by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ vulnerabilities from their own blueline in need to be balanced out against their next opponent’s sporadic offensive production.
The Maple Leafs are the -160 home favourite while the Calgary Flames are the +140 away underdog with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Thursday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs are 16-4 in their last 20 home games against the Pacific Division with the total finishing UNDER 13 times and are also 5-3 in their last eight home games as a -150 to -170 moneyline favourite at online sports betting sites. The Flames are 7-13 in their last 20 games as an away underdog of +130 to +150 on the moneyline.
Flames at Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Flames are 25-18-5 overall, including a 7-3 mark in their last 10 away games. Calgary, paced up front by centres Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm, can be peaks-and-valley offensively but ranks 12th in the 31-team NHL in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (50.4 percent). Calgary is 26th in goal scoring (2.65 per game) while ranking 11th in goals against (2.94). On special teams, the Flames have a 21st-ranked power play (19.1 percent) and fourth-ranked penalty killing unit (83.2).
Calgary has yet to name a starting goalie, but David Rittich has an 18-11-5 record this season with a 2.79 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Rittich, whose last start was on Monday, has benefited from extra rest this season, posting a 2.12 GAA and .929 save percentage when he has two days of rest.
The Maple Leafs are 25-16-6 as they embark on their first game since first-pairing defenseman Morgan Rielly (foot) was diagnosed with an injury that will keep him out for up to eight weeks. The absence of Rielly and fellow cornerstone defenseman Jake Muzzin is likely to make Toronto even more reliant on the forward lines anchored by Auston Matthews and John Tavares, who are largely reliable for the Maple Leafs ranking sixth in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (52.7 percent). Toronto has vaulted to first in goal scoring (3.66 per game) but ranks 24th in goals against (3.28). The Maple Leafs have a fifth-ranked power play (24.0) and 25th-ranked penalty killing unit (75.7).
Primary goalie Frederik Andersen has a 22-8-5 record with a 2.86 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. Andersen, whose most recent start was on Tuesday, has a 2.44 GAA and .926 save percentage this season when he starts with one day of rest.
The Maple Leafs host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, then embark on an eight-day bye week before visiting the Nashville Predators on January 27.