NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes all in action
It is another jam-packed week of NHL action and there’s plenty to look forward to. While the Florida Panthers and Carolina Panthers face off on Wednesday evening, the pick of the games will undoubtedly be the Toronto Maple Leafs v the Ottawa Senators. We preview all the latest odds, injury news and potential talking points.
Maple Leafs desperate to prove point against the Senators
After two defeats on the spin, the Maple Leafs will be desperate to bounce back and show exactly what they are made of. The 6-5 overtime loss to Monday against the Senators was shocking as they had led 5-1. Prior to the game, the Senators trailed the Maple Leafs by 16 points in the Scotia North.
Nevertheless, the Maple Leafs saw old habits creep back into their game. While they are four points clear of their nearest rivals the Montreal Canadiens, nothing can be taken for granted. Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe couldn’t hide his disappointment. He admitted he held a frank team talk in which he emphasised the need for his players to ‘clean up things’ in the third period.
- Toronto Maple Leafs to win in regular time @-200 with Casumo
- Ottawa Senators to win in regular time @+390 with Casumo
Senators reeling from Matt Murray injury news
The Senators will be bereft of goaltender Matt Murray due to an upper body injury, and he will be out for an unspecified amount of time. Although Murray had an inauspicious start to his Senators career after joining from the Pittsburgh Penguins, he has sprung into life. In his previous four appearances for the Senators, he had a GAA of 1.70 and SV% of .947.
Maple Leafs handed Joe Thornton boost
Joe Thornton is poised to return for the Maple Leafs against the Senators. After missing the last 10 games for the Maple Leafs with a rib injury that he sustained last month, Thornton is raring to go again. Having signed on a one-year deal, the 41-year-old has one goal and one assist to his name this season from 5 outings.
Edmonton Oilers can’t neglect defensive duties against the Winnipeg Jets
As far as the Edmonton Oilers are concerned, they need to tighten up their defence. Against the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week, Mikko Koskinen faced 24 shots and conceded 6 in a 6-5 defeat. While some teams can salvage things while trying to overturn a deficit, the Oilers have been too easy to carve through as of late.
Jets need to make the most of four-game road trip
The Jets are very much in the mix in the Scotia North and have their sights on top spot. For them, the Oilers is the first part of a four-game road trip and with a 9-5-1 record this term, they will be relatively happy with how their campaign has panned out so far.
After coming through a tight game against the Oilers this week, the Jets will be confident of repeating the trick. Nevertheless, they will have to do without forward Pierre-Luc Dubois. Having been limited to just two outings for the Jets this season, it is unclear as to what the problem is, although Jets coach Paul Maurice described it as a ‘mechanism of injury’.
- Edmonton Oilers to win in regular time @-139 with Casumo
- Winnipeg Jets to win in regular time @+116 with Casumo
And as far as Mark Scheifele is concerned, he will be hoping to consolidate and build upon his rich vein of form. Against the Oilers earlier this week, the Jets centre enjoyed a productive game. He scored a goal and provided two assists; however he indicated after the win that the Jets have room for improvement.
Florida Panthers looking to maintain fine away record
On the road, the Florida Panthers are 4-0-1 and they took out the reigning champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night. A 6-4 victory was momentous for the Panthers, even more so on a personal level for Aleksander Barkov. He was on the scoresheet and his strike was the 420th point of his career, putting him second on the list of all-time franchise points.
Only a place separates the Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes as they are both level on points (20) from 13 games played. But the Hurricanes – who are at +100 with Casumo to beat the Panthers – have built up steam. Against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, they scored six unanswered goals in a handsome 7-3 win.