NHL Lines: New York vs Toronto Pick
Eastern Conference opponents will meet for the third time this season when the New York Rangers (30-16-5) take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (23-27-4). Cappers Picks will provide free NHL picks all season so check back often.
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New York vs Toronto
When: Tuesday Feb. 10 at 7:30 pm EST
Where: Air Canada Center
NHL Gambling Line: Toronto +119/ New York -131
NHL Gambling Over Under Line: 5.5
The Leafs and Rangers will meet for the third and final time this season, in a series that has been oddly dominated by Toronto.
The Leafs won the first two meetings between the two and scored a combined 11 goals, chasing goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the first meeting and shelling Cam Talbot the second time around.
The New York Rangers have come back to earth and are playing more like the team that they are than the team that ran rough shot on the NHL in December.
Back on December 8 the Rangers were on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, before running off an impressive eight game win streak and a total of 13 wins in 14 games to put themselves in a tight race for first in the Metropolitan Division. Since that run, the Rangers have cooled off and have won six games and lost six and sit in the first wild card spot.
This is a team that should make the playoffs, but I’ve felt since the outset of this season that they weren’t nearly good enough to win the East again and here’s why. There’s just not enough top end talent beyond Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist.
Nash has been phenomenal this year and is a serious threat for the Rocket Richard trophy and Lundqvist was posting some great numbers before getting hurt, but that’s where the team dips off.
Martin St. Louis adds a nice punch up front but is aging, Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard have put up solid numbers as well, but players like Mats Zuccarello have seen big drop offs from a season ago. Zuccarello is on pace for 48 points after putting up 59 last year.
Rewind to when the Rangers were running off that huge streak of wins, the Leafs were actually in a playoff spot before their epic January collapse. The team has won just four games in their last 22 and have plummeted down the Eastern Conference standings and sit in 12th, just one point ahead of both Ottawa and Columbus.
Toronto finally snapped out of a franchise record 11 game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Oilers on Saturday so at the very least this team will be coming into tonight’s game with some lifted spirits. The Leafs can also lean on the fact that they finally put some goals on the board after posting just 11 goals during their 11 game losing streak.
The Leafs can also lean on the fact that for whatever reason, the they’ve been able to pile up goals on the Rangers, and here’s why; the Leafs have speed in bunches and the Rangers are also a good skating team that likes to open the game up and make it a track meet, which plays right into Toronto’s hands.
If the Rangers come in with the same game plan tonight we could see another high scoring affair (these teams have combined to score 18 goals in their first two games).
The Leafs have however changed their style a bit since Peter Horachek took over as coach and are trying to get away from that run and gun offense.
Rangers vs. Maple Leafs 4* Free Pick
The Rangers have lost two straight, the Leafs finally won a game. What does that mean for tonight? Perhaps a tight Rangers team against a Leafs team that should be loose and in a good mood. Both teams will go with their backup netminders (Cam Talbot – Rangers, James Reimer – Leafs) as each team’s starter is nursing injuries/illness.
I’d lean towards the Rangers in this one in a 3-1 game.
New York will definitely look to buckle down against a team that has lit them up for 11 goals in two games and the Leafs have not done well of late against teams that stifle them defensively.