A trip to Philadelphia might be the panacea for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ inconsistent play, since the Flyers are struggling to contain talented opponents of late.
The Maple Leafs are the -150 away favourite (bet $150 to win $100) on the NHL betting lines for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, while the Flyers stack up as a +130 home underdog (bet $100 to win $130), with a 7.0-goal total. Since the start of the calendar year, the Leafs are a middling 4-5 as an away favourite of -140 to -500 on the moneyline, but an interesting dynamic is that they thrive in more open offensive conditions and the total has gone OVER in the Flyers’ last four games as a home underdog.
This is the third and final meeting of the season between the clubs, and what happened the last time they met also explains the high total. On March 15, Toronto won 7-6 with Auston Matthews and Jake Muzzin each scoring two goals, while James van Riemsdyk had a hat trick for the Flyers against his old team.
On Monday, the Maple Leafs were involved in a similar goal-fest, defeating the Florida Panthers 7-5. Center John Tavares had the first four-goal game of his career. Left wings Zach Hyman and Patrick Marleau also scored and Muzzin added a goal from his defence spot. Interestingly enough, Nazem Kadri shared the team lead with five shots on goal but saw his scoring drought reach 12 games.
Since January 1, the total has gone UNDER in seven of the Maple Leafs’ nine away games when they were a favourite of -140 or farther into minus money, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. But they are catching a Flyers team that is 2-5 over its last seven games and has the NHL’s fourth-worst goals-against average. Two of Philadelphia’s most talented forwards, Claude Giroux (zero goals in nine games) and Travis Konecny (zero in eight), are in prolonged scoring droughts.
The Maple Leafs are second in the NHL in goal scoring, averaging 3.6 goals per game, while the Flyers are 14th, averaging 3.0. Toronto has the NHL’s seventh-ranked power play (22.2 percent) and 13th-ranked penalty kill (80.8). Philadelphia has the 21st-ranked power play (17.1 percent) and 21st-ranked penalty kill (79.5).
Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen has been let down by his defense in March, with a 5-2-2 record, 3.64 goals-against average and .887 save percentage in 10 games. Flyers rookie goalie Carter Hart is 2-3-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in five games so far this month.
The Maple Leafs, who are five points behind the second-place Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division with six games to play, will have a two-day break after this game before visiting the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The Flyers, who are 10 points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with only six games left, visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.