The 2018/19 National Hockey League season is well underway and fans are in for a real treat this weekend. This clash between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs could be very exciting…
Ahead of this clash, Toronto are out at 6/5 to emerge victorious whilst Columbus are 20/23 to prevail. The Canadian outfit will be quietly confident of winning this one, especially after stringing a run of four victories in a row together.
Auston Matthews is nearing a return but he is expected to miss out again so the onus will be on John Tavares to carry the Maple Leafs in this one. With 14 goals and 12 assists, Tavares has been supreme so far in 2018/19.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are currently leading the way in the Metropolitan Division. Two points clear of their nearest rivals, Columbus have been excellent this season and you won’t find too many punters writing the hosts off ahead of this clash.
Toronto Destined For Glory This Year?
With 15 wins from their 22 regular season games, Mike Babcock’s side have been incredible and plenty of punters will fancy the Canadian outfit to go the distance this year. This is their best chance of Stanley Cup success for some time.
When you take Matthews’ absence into account, Toronto’s record is boosted – the Maple Leafs should improve considerably once the former number one overall draft pick returns from injury.
Toronto lost a difficult road game at the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this week and another tough encounter awaits here. These are the kind of games you have to win in order to claim the Stanley Cup crown.
At the time of writing, the Maple Leafs are 10/1 to win the Stanley Cup this season. Toronto have the class to go far in 2018/19 and Matthews’ absence could benefit the Maple Leafs in the long term – he may be fresher for the playoff series.
Are The Blue Jackets The Real Deal?
With just two regulation defeats in their last 10 games, Columbus are making themselves very difficult to beat. You won’t find too many bettors backing the Maple Leafs to win inside the scheduled 60 minutes.
One point separates the top three teams in the Metropolitan Division; the Blue Jackets will need to be gritty and determined to pip their rivals to the crown. Columbus are building for a playoff push and winning ugly is an excellent trait to possess.
Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin have notched 22 points apiece for the Blue Jackets so far this season – these two men could make the difference for Columbus in the coming months. Watch this space, Atkinson and Panarin could run riot against Toronto…
The Metropolitan Division is one of the most difficult to predict. According to the latest odds and betting markets, the Blue Jackets are 4/1 to prevail at the top of the division. This one could go either way though.
This has all the makings of a close affair. Toronto would have the advantage if Matthews had been passed fit but his continued absence puts the Blue Jackets in prime position to emerge victorious. Columbus have been simply sublime on home soil in 2018/19 and it is hard to see their incredible run ending this weekend.
For the Maple Leafs, this is more about putting in a performance than the result. Taking this one to overtime would be ideal; Toronto will earn lots of plaudits if they can take Columbus past regulation.
TIP: Under 6.5 goals
CORRECT SCORE: Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Toronto Maple Leafs (AOT)