by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs are not only struggling as a road underdog while dealing with a major loss to their offence, but they also have to take on one of the NHL’s top teams.
The Maple Leafs are a +105 underdog against the -125 favourite New York Islanders with a 6.0-goal total on the NHL odds for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Toronto is 5-10 in its last 15 games as an away underdog, although it is also a more auspicious 7-4 in its last 11 away games against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Islanders are 4-0 in their last four games as a home favourite and the total has gone UNDER in six of their last nine games as a home favourite at online betting sites. The Islanders are also 11-4 in their last 15 home games against the Atlantic Division.
Maple Leafs at Islanders | OddsShark Matchup Report
The first point of reference for the Maple Leafs, who are 9-6-4 this season, is that No. 1 right wing Mitch Marner (high ankle sprain) is out for at least four weeks. Centre John Tavares will have a new line – his regular left wing Zach Hyman is due back from knee surgery – as he and Auston Matthews lead an attack that is sixth in the NHL in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (52.10 per cent). Toronto is 10th in the NHL in goals scored (3.32 per game) and 20th in goals against (3.16), while on special teams, it has the 17th-ranked power play (18.2) and 23rd-ranked penalty killing unit (77.1).
Frederik Andersen will be in line for the start; the veteran Toronto goalie is 9-3-2 this season with a 2.62 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.
The Islanders are 12-3-1 this season largely on the strength of having the NHL’s stingiest defence. New York is actually 30th in the league in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (44.74 percent) while relying on Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson to lead an offence by committee, but the likes of Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews anchor a deep defence. The Islanders are 15th in goals scored (3.00 per game) but, as noted, are first in goals against (2.19). On special teams, the Islanders power play is 20th (17.8) while the penalty killing unit ranks eighth (85.1).
New York has been rotating its goalies, which would mean that under normal circumstances Semyon Varlamov would start in goal. Varlamov is 5-2-1 this season with a 2.37 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
The Maple Leafs play back-to-back games later this week, hosting the Boston Bruins on Friday and visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.