Stadium: Scotiabank Arena (Toronto)
The Toronto players have beaten the Rangers in only one of their last five head-to-head encounters. Will the Maple Leafs be able to improve that statistic now? We predict that the Canadian team will win this time!
Toronto are one of the main contenders to win the upcoming Stanley Cup, but one factor prevents that from happening. The last time they won at least one round in the playoffs was back in 2004. Last season, the Maple Leafs were close to stopping that curse when they won the series with Montreal, 3-1, but managed to squander the lead and lost. In the offseason, the Canadian team kept the core of a team with mixed success to start the regular season. First, they beat their offensive rival Montreal 2-1, then traded victories with Ottawa 2-3 and 3-1.
The Rangers have been trying to get to the next level for the last few years. The New York side had a rebuilding period, which ended fairly quickly, as they now have a capable squad that can take on big challenges. David Quinn failed to squeeze the maximum out of his charges, so Gerard Gallant will be in charge starting this season. The Blue jackets’ management didn’t sit idly by in the offseason either, signing some big players who were vital to the team. The Rangers failed to make their regular-season debut, as they lost at the hands of Washington and Dallas 1-5 and 2-3, respectively but had beaten Montreal 3-1 the day before, improving their morale.
Expert Betting Tips
Toronto and the Rangers are two teams that have undergone a major personnel rebuild in recent years. Both teams have already formed very strong squads with which to solve big problems, but they do not succeed in doing so. The difference between the opponents is that the Maple Leafs can show good results in the regular season, while the Blue Jackets don’t look good even in the smooth part of the season. As a result, we have to bet on Toronto to win for 1.78.
Toronto and the Rangers are two young, aggressive, and reckless teams that tend to play open and attacking hockey, even if it often comes at the expense of defence. Their recent head-to-head encounters best illustrate this. The opponents combined for 26 goals (8.67 goals-against average) in their three previous meetings, which is respectable even by NHL standards. Given that nearly all of the teams’ star players are currently on the roster, we would expect Total Over 5.5 pucks for 1.69.
Morgan Rielly is a defenseman who recorded an incredible 77 points (21 pucks + 56 assists) in the 2018/19 season. The crazy figure for a defensive player who made it clear what he was capable of. Yes, the Canadian hasn’t reached such a monumental mark since, but even in the last truncated regular season, he registered 35 points (5 goals + 30 assists). In three games this season, the 27-year-old has already scored two assists, so a bet on Morgan Rielly’s Total Over 0.5 points for 5.00 should be worth considering.