Wednesday Night Pucks: Leafs-Jackets Preview and Prediction

by Andrew Lauro – Wannamakeabet Staff Writer

Toronto Maple Leafs (21-13-1) 2nd in Atlantic Division vs Columbus Blue Jackets 3rd in Metropolitan Division (20-13-1)

The Maple Leafs head to Columbus for a Wednesday night Eastern Conference showdown. They’re coming off an extraordinary 8-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Blue Jackets are currently on a 2-game losing streak, falling 7-2 to the Boston Bruins Monday night. The Leafs are playing on short rest, they have lost their 2-previous back to back games against Washington and Detroit. The Blue Jackets are hungry for a win, they’re 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. Their home record is 12-6-0 while the Leafs are 10-8-1 on the road and have lost 4 out of their last 5 road games.

Let’s see both teams statistically:

Toronto has scored the 3rd most goals in the league, and they’re ranked 5th on the powerplay. They have a great offensive arsenal, but forward Auston Matthews is listed as questionable for Wednesday nights game. The Blue Jackets have fell in the standings to the first Wild Card spot, they seem to be a mediocre team of late. They don’t match up from a statistical standpoint. Columbus’ powerplay is ranked last in the NHL.

It’ll be interesting to see who Toronto plays in net, goalie Frederik Andersen played Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes. His career record against the Blue Jackets is 3-1-1 in 5 games with a GAA of 2.77 and a SV% of .911. Their backup goalie Curtis McElhinney made 7 appearances against them going 1-4-0. The goalies don’t tend to have good numbers against the Blue Jackets. It’s almost certain Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will be making the start his numbers against Toronto are great, in 11 games he’s 8-3-0 with GAA of 2.01 and a SV% of .927 with 2 shutouts.

These teams head to head in the past 10 games:

Team Maple Leafs Blue Jackets
Record 4-6-0 6-4-0
GF Average 2.70 3.10
SPG 32.30 29.70
PPG 4 6
# of PP’s 27 24
PP% 14.81% 25.00%
PK% 75.00% 85.19%

With Bobrovsky’s record and the Maple Leafs possibly playing without Matthews, I’d take Columbus -155 in this one.

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