The National Hockey League playoffs are here – much to the delight of supporters whose teams are involved in the postseason. Plenty of punters fancied the Toronto Maple Leafs to go close in their pursuit of glory at the beginning of the season and Mike Babcock’s side are certainly on the verge of something special.
It would be foolish to say that Toronto are primed to win the Stanley Cup but the Canadian outfit have given themselves a real chance of advancing to the next stage of the playoffs. A win in the opening game of the series earlier this week has put the Maple Leafs in control of their own destiny and Toronto will want to get through to the next round with minimal fuss.
However, Boston are no slouches and the Bruins faithful will expect to level up the series on Saturday night. On paper, this is a tough one to call but Toronto would’ve taken 1-1 after two road games at the beginning of the series. Victory for the Maple Leafs in Game Two will put them in a commanding position ahead of their own home double header.
The Bruins have now lost five of their previous eight games across the regular season and in the playoffs – a concerning run of form to say the least. Boston will need everything to go their way in order to defeat Toronto this weekend; the Maple Leafs are arguably the more gifted team in terms of raw talent but Boston are organised and it should balance out.
Event Date: April 18, 2019
Bruins Set For Another Early Playoff Exit
Boston have advanced past the second round of the playoffs just once in the last eight years and Bruins fans will be fearing the worst ahead of Saturday’s Game Two. The Bruins, priced at 4/6 with William Hill to emerge victorious in that clash, know that it is going to be very difficult from here if Boston fail to pick up the win.
Brad Marchand has been a revelation in 2018/19, notching 100 points in 79 regular season games. If he is at his brilliant best, Boston are capable of beating anyone – he is central to their success. Watch this space, Marchand will be looking to record two points in this clash and that might be enough to lead the Bruins to victory.
Maple Leafs Mean Business This Year
When Toronto moved to acquire John Tavares, most ice hockey fans believed that it was a clear statement of intent: the Maple Leafs are looking to win now. They had a brief blip at the back end of the regular season but Toronto are playing some superb hockey and you won’t find too many punters backing against the Canadian side.
The Maple Leafs are out at 14/1 with Betway and that is an appealing price given the talent on their roster. Toronto have the quality to go all the way this year and it could be between them and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup crown. With Tavares fit and Auston Matthews firing on all cylinders, Toronto will take some stopping.
This has all the makings of a modern classic. With Toronto taking the opening game of the series, all of the pressure is on the Bruins. A win for the Maple Leafs will cement their status as clear favourites to advance in this tie. Matthews and Tavares could give Toronto the edge on Saturday night – the TD Garden crowd won’t be too happy if Boston fall short once again.
TIP: Toronto Maple Leafs to win
CORRECT SCORE: Boston Bruins 2-4 Toronto Maple Leafs