A couple of teams that have put themselves squarely in the playoff picture, the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs clash at Air Canada Centre for an Original Six matchup. The action will get started at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, and it’ll be shown live on CBC Sports.
Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Odds
Earning moneyline bettors 6.1 units, the Maple Leafs are 38-25 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL so far this season, is a welcome improvement compared to how the team performed during last years regular season (40-42). Out of its 63 regular season contests, 30 of them have gone under the total, while 29 have gone over and just four have pushed. The team is 21-10 SU at home this year.
Toronto’s converted on 19.5 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked third overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.2 percent of all penalties.
As a team, Toronto has been called for penalties just 3.3 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over its last five contests at home. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays for just 4.0 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, in total.
Averaging 31.6 saves per game with a .923 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (32-20-4) has been the top option in goal for the Maple Leafs this year. If head coach Mike Babcock chooses to rest him, however, the team could go with Curtis McElhinney (7-4-4 record, .932 save percentage, 2.24 goals against average).
The Leafs will continue looking for offensive production from Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner. Matthews (50 points) has tallied 28 goals and 22 assists and has recorded multiple points on 14 different occasions this year. Marner has 15 goals and 32 assists to his name and has notched a point in 28 contests.
Over on the other bench, Boston is 37-21 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 7.3 units this season. A total of 31 of its matches have gone under the total, while 26 have gone over and just one has pushed. As the visiting team, Boston is 18-10 SU so far.
Boston has converted on 20.4 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked first overall and it’s successfully killed off 84.1 percent of all opponent power plays.
Boston’s players have been penalized 3.8 times per game in total this season, 4.0 per game over their past five match ups total, and 3.8 per game over their last five on the road. The teams been forced to stave off opponent power plays 12.0 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Tuukka Rask (2.17 goals against average and .922 save percentage) has been the main option in goal for Boston. Rask is averaging 24.9 saves per game and has 24 wins, 15 losses, and four OT losses to his credit.
Leading the offensive attack for the visiting Bruins will be Brad Marchand (22 goals, 33 assists) and Patrice Bergeron (27 goals, 25 assists).
Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Predictions
Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Bruins, O/U – Under
- The over has hit in three of Toronto’s last five outings.
- The extra-man advantage could play a key role tonight. The Bruins are 11-14 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 21-13 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Maple Leafs are 14-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 28-23 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- Two of Toronto’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 2-0 in those games and 6-1 overall in shootouts this year.
- Toronto has created 9.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 8.2 takeaways per game (ranked 9th in the league).
- Boston is ranked sixth overall this season with 8.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the team has managed 7.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.6 takeaways over its last five.