With 12 games in the NHL to look forward to, this is a good night for hockey fans. Anthony Elio has a single NHL best bet for one of the night’s most exciting matchups.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins
My mouth is watering looking at this matchup, with two Original Six teams duking it out at TD Garden. While I was expecting a hangover this year from the Bruins following a first-round defeat by the Florida Panthers in April, Boston has been off to a hot start. The team is 8-0-1, most recently exorcising their demons by taking down the Panthers 3-2. David Pastrnak (8 goals, 6 assists) is off to a hot start while 19-year-old Matthew Poitras (3 goals, 2 assists) shows potential and is currently the top line center.
The defense has been the main story in Boston so far, with the team allowing a league-best 1.56 goals per game. Keep in mind, through, that defenseman Charlie McAvoy will miss this matchup due to a suspension for an illegal check while fellow blue liners Matt Grzylcyk and Derek Forbort are dealing with injuries.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to bounce back after a 4-1 home loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. The team looked impressive in 3 straight road wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Dallas Stars, outscoring their opponents 12-5. But tonight is easily the team’s biggest test so far, and they’ll need to be sharp to stay in this game.
William Nylander leads the team with 13 points, including a point in every game this year. Auston Matthews has 7 goals thus far, although he has only lit the lamp once since opening the season with back-to-back hat tricks. The team is currently tied for 13th in the league on offense (3.22 goals per game) with the Winnipeg Jets and, you guessed it, the Boston Bruins.
Where Boston really has the edge is between the pipes. Projected goaltender Jeremy Swayman is undefeated in 4 matchups with a .957 save percentage to go with 1.26 GAA. Toronto is looking much more vulnerable in goal, with Ilya Samsonov (.841 SV%, 3.98 GAA) projected to start. The Bruins will be more thin on defense without McAvoy and company, but Pastrnak’s scoring abilities and Swayman’s elite-level goaltending should give Boston a W at home.
Best Bet: Boston Bruins Moneyline
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