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Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs 3-25-2019 Free NHL Expert Picks, Predictions and Odds


Florida Panthers (33-30-12) at Toronto Maple Leafs (44-25-6)


NHL Hockey: Monday, March 25, 2019

(Scotiabank Arena)


Line and Odds: Toronto Maple Leafs -210

Over/Under: 6.5


     It’s the Panthers and the Leafs is one of the most anti-climaxing sounding games of the season. One of the NHL’s most overrated and storied franchises against a team still trying to escape the shadow of John Vanbiesbrouck. Since Florida’s playoff hopes are just about dead, I’d say this is the final showdown between these two this season.


     Speaking of this season, the Leafs are in a much more celebrative spot as they’ll be heading to their third straight playoff. My advice to them is to practice making it past the first round against the Panthers tonight. You have the talent to shell one of the league’s weakest defensive units and the goaltending is either old or not an NHL force.

     They still rank fourth in the league in scoring and will no doubt be riding the offense into the postseason. Will we see the curl and drag of Auston Matthews or will we see him pull another rabbit out of his bag? Will Mitch Marner or William Nylander be the difference or will Frederick Anderson make make the spotlight his?

     Based on the evidence, I’d say the goal scoring of Toronto will produce while Anderson or Garret Sparks will enjoy a some-what bust night or two or three goals allowed. Florida’s playing for their lives while Toronto is, at this point, guaranteed a playoff spot. Florida might jump on them early like Chicago did about a week ago.

     If that’s the case, this might be a really great hockey game.

     I’m expecting plenty of goal scoring because that’s what the stat sheets tells me to expect but these games don’t always go the way one would expect. Perhaps both the net-minding of Toronto and Florida will be a double goose-egged showdown that ends in a shootout. That would either Roberto Luongo or James Reimer will need to put on their capes tonight and steal a game.

     If they could do that every night, the Panthers would find themselves in a much better situation. Their chances to make the playoffs aren’t dead but they’re so slim that they might as well be dead. Stranger things have happened and anything goes should they put on a string and beam it to the postseason but to do that, they’ll need to win tonight.

     Question is, will they?



          Florida is entering this game following a four goal loss to Boston on home ice. Considering this might be their last chance at the playoffs, I’m expecting them to play with desperation. A lot of people love the Leafs but we’ve all seen what happens should they get off to a slow start.

     Florida has the second ranked power play in the league and Toronto knows it must keep penalties to a minimum because if it doesn’t, they just don’t have enough to keep the Florida PP down. That means Toronto must do all they can to utilize their home ice advantage and keep the Panthers down.

     The Panthers have nothing to lose and I feel more pressure is on Toronto in this game than on Florida. Goals will be scored in this game but I’m expecting either an upset by the Panthers or a high scoring victory by the Leafs. If I had to choose, I’d like to think the Hockey gods would give the Panthers a chance but my heart and soul tells me the likes of Conn Smythe will be smiling down on his beloved Leafs in this one.

Toronto wins a shoot-out: 6-4.