Stadium: Canadian Tire Centre (Ottawa)
The Toronto Cardinals have defeated Ottawa in all three preseason head-to-head battles. Will the Maple Leafs manage to beat the Senators in an official game as well? We predict that the visitors will be closer to success now!
Ottawa continue their global rebuild. They reached the high rounds of the Stanley Cup not so long ago, but they have spent all the last years as an NHL underdog. Amazingly, at the end of last year’s regular season, when it was already clear the Senators would again miss the playoffs, they put together a magnificent run of nine wins in 12 games. That period made it clear that D.J. Smith was capable of producing results with Ottawa, which is why he continued to coach the team. The Canadiens parted ways with Vitali Abramov, Evgenii Dadonov, and Artem Anisimov in the off-season, while the acquisitions of Michael Del Zotto, Zachary Sanford, and Tyler Ennis stand out.
Toronto are approaching the new season as one of the main contenders for the Stanley Cup, but it’s clear to everyone that this is not true as since 2004, they can’t get past the first round of the playoffs. Last year they should have crushed Montreal in the last 16, but they lost three games in a row and lost the series 3-4. After such an embarrassment, the Maple Leafs needed to overhaul their entire team and shut down ice hockey in the city. Still, they decided to get rid of only goalie Frederik Andersen and veterans Nick Foligno and Joe Thornton. There’s no reason to single out any of the acquisitions, as they won’t show themselves in the playoffs anyway. Toronto started the regular season with a 2-1 win over Montreal.
Expert Betting Tips
The regular season is when Toronto can safely show their best hockey, beating outsiders like Ottawa. In the offseason, the Senators have not become stronger. They have not made any notable acquisitions. Therefore they started to lose often in preseason games, and the Maple Leafs lost all three control games with a combined score of 2:11. Sheldon Keefe’s team has already had one official game, beating Montreal, which shows that they are in good shape, so it begs the bet on the Toronto win for 1.78.
In the first game of the regular championship, Toronto were limited to a very modest victory over Montreal - 2-1. In the upcoming battle also should not expect a goal extravaganza, as in three control meetings before the start of the season, the Maple Leafs paired with the Senators only squeezed out 13 pucks (4.33 average per game), with Ottawa only two goals, and the guests in the upcoming match will not have Auston Matthews. Both teams have their problems, so there will be nothing extraordinary in this game, and the best option for the prediction seems to be Total Under 6.5 pucks for 1.80.
Nick Ritchie is a formidable forward for the third or fourth line, who can be productive against opposing leaders and has a knack for scoring himself. His personal best is 31 points (9 goals + 22 assists) in Anaheim’s 2018/19 season. That can hardly be considered incredible, but it’s not bad for a player of his plan. In Toronto, he replaces Auston Matthews in the first line, so now he has a great chance to improve his stats, and you can place a bet on Nick Ritchie’s Total Over 0.5 points for 4.32.