Colorado Avalanche (20-17-8) at Toronto Maple Leafs (28-14-2)
NHL: Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET (Scotiabank Arena)
Line & Odds: Colorado Avalanche +165/ Toronto Maple Leafs -175 — Over/Under: 6.5
Free ESPN NHL Picks Toronto Maple Leafs vs Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche will look to turn things around as they take on the strong Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been a really good team for some time now and that continues to be the case this season as they sit in second place of the Eastern Atlantic division, behind the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning. They are being led by winger Mitchell Marner, who is having a career year, with 17 goals and 41 assists. Also, newly acquired center John Tavares has been a huge help as well, having his own career year with 29 goals and 21 assists. However, what has been most impressive with him is how the team is doing with him on the ice as he has a +17 plus/minus, which so far is a career high. His previous career high was just +6. Defender Morgan Rielly is also having the best season of his career with 13 goals (career high), 33 assists and a team high +26. It should be no surprise to you guys, but with all these players having their best seasons at the same time the Toronto offense has been one of the best in the NHL this season. The Maple Leafs average 3.59 goals per game (3rd in NHL) and 31.9 shots on goal (15th in NHL) on 11.3% shooting (4th in NHL). When you combine that with their ability to win 52.4% of their faceoffs (3rd in NHL) and score on 22.6% of their powerplays (8th in NHL), you have one of the most all around offenses in the league. Defensively, the Maple Leaf’s are strong, but at the same time they have some weaknesses as they allow just 2.77 goals per game (6th in NHL), but on 32.2 shots on goal (23rd in NHL), which gives the goalies much more work to deal with. However, a great sign to see from this defense is the fact that they are super disciplined when it comes to committing penalties as they average just 6.6 penalty minutes per game, which is 1st in the NHL and when they do commit them they kill 80.5% of opponent penalties (13th in NHL). All solid numbers and with goalie Frederik Andersen back between the sticks, it makes things even easier for the Maple Leaf’s defense.
The Colorado Avalanche have had an up and down season so far, and are right now on the biggest low they’ve had to deal with all season. Since the start of December, the Avalanche have completely fallen apart winning just five games in that span. Luckily, with the help of Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, the Colorado Avalanche have been able to stay respectable because they have been tearing it up. Both Rantanen and MacKinnon are among the NHL point leaders with 68 and 66 points respectively, while also posting plus/minus numbers over +15 for a team that has been struggling. To complete the front line, Landeskog has been strong as well leading the team with 27 goals to go with 24 assists and a solid +16 plus/minus. Unfortunately, after these three players they don’t get much help and that seems to be hurting them now. Those three players combined make the Avalanche one of the better offenses in the league as they average 3.36 goals per game (8th in NHL) and 32.2 shots on goal (11th in NHL) on 10.4% shooting (9th in NHL). They also score on 25.3% of their powerplays (6th in NHL) while winning just 48.1% of their faceoffs (25th in NHL). Where things get a bit bleak is on the defensive end, where the Avalanche are among the worst in the league. They allow just 3.18 goals per game (23rd in NHL) on 31.3 shots on goal (18th in NHL), but what makes them really bad on that end is their ability to commit penalties (9.6 penalty mpg, 27th in NHL) and their inability to stop opponent power plays (76.1%, 28th in NHL).
Cover The Spread 365 NHL betting trends
2-4 ATS & SU in their last 6 games
1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of their last 7 games
3-9 ATS in their last 12 games
1-9 SU in their last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 games
ESPN NHL Scores Colorado Avalanche vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Both these teams are heading in opposite directions as the Maple Leafs continue to keep pace with the best in the league while the Avalanche have fallen off. You have to think Colorado is going to be motivated to get a victory here, but with them having to go to Scotiabank Arena, it’ll be too hard of a matchup to overcome.
Pick: Toronto -175