The Pepsi Center will be the site for an East-West matchup as the Toronto Maple Leafs square off against the Colorado Avalanche. The opening face-off takes place at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, December 29, and fans at home can catch it live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Colorado Avalanche Odds
Toronto is 23-15 straight up (SU) and has netted 2.8 units for moneyline bettors this season. 18 of its contests have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and just three have pushed. The Leafs are 12-10 SU on the road in 2017-18.
Toronto has converted on 22.9 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.5 percent of all penalties.
The Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized 3.7 times per game overall this season, and 5.2 per game over its past five match ups. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
With a .923 save percentage and 31.5 saves per game, Frederik Andersen (20-11-1) has been the primary option in goal for Toronto this year. Andersen did just play last night, however, so head coach Mike Babcock could choose to rest him and go with Curtis McElhinney instead (3-4 record, .916 save percentage, 2.78 goals against average).
Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Maple Leafs. Matthews has 29 points via 15 goals and 14 assists, and has recorded multiple points nine times. Marner has five goals and 24 assists to his credit (and has registered a point in 15 games).
On the other side of the ice, Colorado is 17-19 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.1 units this year. Through 36 regular season matches, 21 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 10-8 SU at home this year.
The Avalanche have converted on just 18.9 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked sixth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.3 percent of all penalties.
Avalanche players have been called for penalties 4.4 times per game in total this season, and 3.4 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to defend opponent power plays a whopping 15.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Semyon Varlamov has stopped 28.8 shots per game as the primary selection in goal for the Avalanche. Varlamov has 12 wins, 12 losses, and two overtime losses to his credit and has registered a subpar .909 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average this season.
Nathan MacKinnon (15 goals, 25 assists) will lead the attack for the home team.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Colorado Avalanche Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over
- Over Toronto’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 2-4 in those games).
- The Maple Leafs are 7-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 15-13 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
- Colorado is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 2-1 in shootouts.
- Toronto may hold an advantage if it’s a tight one late. The teams an impressive 11-3 in games decided by one goal, while Colorado is 5-8 in such games.
- The total has gone under in three of Toronto’s last five games.
- One of the top teams when it comes to valuing possession, Colorado is ranked 4th this season with just 6.5 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as the teams averaged 5.0 giveaways over its last 10 games and 5.2 giveaways over its last five.
- Toronto is ranked 26th this season with 11.8 giveaways per game. That figure has trended down lately, however, as it’s averaged 9.4 giveaways over its last 10 games and 9.0 giveaways over its last five.