Two squads that’ve positioned themselves squarely in playoff contention, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild collide at the Xcel Energy Center in an East-West showdown. The action gets started at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14, and fans at home can catch it live on Fox Sports North.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Minnesota Wild Odds
Toronto is 20-12 straight up (SU) and has earned 3.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 32 regular season contests, 16 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just three have pushed. This 2017-18 Maple Leafs team is 10-7 SU on the road.
Toronto has converted on 22.0 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s good enough for sixth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it has successfully killed off 82.0 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Toronto has been penalized just 3.6 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 2.4 per game over its last five on the road. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 5.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 31.9 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (17-10-1) has been the best option in goal for Toronto this season. If Toronto chooses to rest him, however, the team might turn to Curtis McElhinney (3-2 record, .925 save percentage, 2.44 goals against average).
Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Maple Leafs. Matthews has 26 points on 13 goals and 13 assists, and has recorded two or more points eight times. Kadri has 13 goals and 10 assists to his nameand has logged at least one point in 18 games.
On the other side of the ice, Minnesota is 16-14 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. 16 of its outings have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just two have pushed. It’s 9-5 SU at home this year.
Minnesota has converted on 21.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s good enough for sixth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.1 percent of all penalties.
Minnesota players have been sent to the penalty box 4.1 times per game in total this season, and 4.9 per game over their last ten outings. The team has had to kill penalties just 7.2 minutes per contest over their last five home games.
Devan Dubnyk (27.8 saves per game) has been the primary selection in goal for Minnesota. Dubnyk has 13 wins, 10 losses, and two overtime losses and has recorded a pedestrian 2.69 goals against average and a .916 save percentage this year.
Eric Staal (12 goals, 14 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the Wild.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Minnesota Wild Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Wild, O/U – Over
- The total has gone under in three of Minnesota’s last five outings.
- The Maple Leafs are 6-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 15-10 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total.
- Minnesota is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 2-1 in shootouts.
- Minnesota skaters have created 6.3 takeaways per game (ranked 23rd).
- Toronto skaters have forced 7.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked eighth in the league).