Toronto are still well in the hunt for the Stanley Cup and plenty of punters will be backing the Maple Leafs at 17/1 with 888Sport in their pursuit of a 14th championship. Mike Babcock’s men are currently third in the Atlantic Division and a victory over their rivals would certainly help to shift the momentum ahead of the business end of the campaign.
At the time of writing, the Maple Leafs have won three in a row and most ice hockey fans would rank Toronto’s offensive unit as one of the most dangerous in the National Hockey League. Auston Matthews will of course be the centre of attention on Saturday night and his form in front of goal should give the visitors a boost here.
For Boston, the ultimate objective is to maintain their current form. With seven wins from their last 10 games, the Bruins are heading in the right direction and the home fans will be expecting a positive response here. Losing to the Anaheim Ducks is a timely reminder that Boston cannot afford to lose focus in the postseason race.
Must Win For Magical Maple Leafs?
Defensive deficiencies have somewhat hindered Toronto’s progress this year and the Maple Leafs are certainly built on an aggressive attacking unit. With 167 goals so far this season, Toronto are the third highest scoring team in the NHL and fans will be demanding more of the same at that end of the ice.
Babcock’s men racked up 95 points in the 2016/17 season and punters will be expecting the Maple Leafs to top that tally in the coming months. If Matthews can hit top form, Toronto will take some stopping. At 20/1 to go on and win the Stanley Cup, the visitors are up there in the betting markets for glory.
KEY MAN: Frederik Anderson. Yep, that’s right. The Toronto goaltender is our man to watch this weekend. With a .922% save percentage, Anderson has conceded 2.61 goals per game and the Maple Leafs will need their keeper to be at his brilliant best at TD Garden.
Bruins Becoming Very Difficult To Beat
Boston are now genuine contenders in the Atlantic Division and a high proportion of hockey fans will be expecting another Stanley Cup title for the Bruins. Bruce Cassidy’s side have lost just once in their last 10 National Hockey League games and another victory could be on the cards on Saturday evening.
The 2011 Stanley Cup champions have allowed 119 goals this campaign – the best defensive record in the NHL. Boston will need to maintain their current stability in front of goaltender Tuukka Rask or Anton Khudobin. The Bruins have a +38 points differential and the form of both keepers has been a key reason for their success.
KEY MAN: Brad Marchand. Marchand has recorded 50 points in 38 games this year and the Bruins will need their main man to be on top form here. He has bagged three game-winning goals so far this campaign and a fourth beckons this weekend.
Defence wins championships is an old adage in sport and Boston may prosper this weekend – Toronto’s offense may struggle to get past the Bruins on a regular basis. On paper, this is an intriguing contest and plenty of neutrals will be expecting a very exciting encounter at TD Garden on Saturday evening.
Matthews has the quality to fire the Maple Leafs to glory but backing against Boston would be foolish on current form. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Bruins run riot in this fixture…
MAPLE LEAFS 2-4 BRUINS