Dallas Stars vs. Toronto Maple Leafs - 1/23/14
Toronto Maple Leafs (27-20-5) at Dallas Stars (22-20-8)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm (American Airlines Center)
The Line: Dallas Stars -142 / Toronto Maple Leafs +129 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: TSN, FS-SW
In a battle of East versus West, the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to American Airlines Center to challenge the Dallas Stars.
The Toronto Maple Leafs enter Thursday’s game riding high on a six game winning streak. The Leafs’ offensive unit has been on a tear, scoring 25 goals over the six game winning streak. At the heart of the production has been forward Phil Kessel, who leads the team with 26 goals and 26 assists. Kessel has at least one goal in four straight games and a point in seven straight games. Toronto’s most recent victory came in Colorado, where Kessel scored a pair of goals on the way to an easy 5-2 win. The Leafs have also seen strong play from both Jonathan Bernier, who ranks in the top five among NHL goaltenders in save percentage, and James Reimer.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport
In a stark contrast to the Maple Leafs, the Dallas Stars have struggled of late and are just 2-7-1 in the last ten games. The Stars have nearly blown any shot at salvaging the season by making the playoffs and sit in 10th place in the Western Conference. However, in the Stars’ most recent game they defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-0. The Stars looked to be a different team against the Wild, a team which they’ve shown spurts of this season.
The Stars fell to the Leafs in Toronto by a score of 3-2 earlier this season. In the last ten games the Leafs are just finishing at a much higher rate than the Stars. Toronto has scored on approximately 10% of its shots on goal over the last ten games while Dallas has put away only 6% of its chances during the same span. Honestly, I don’t like a play on either side in this game. I really think the Stars will come out focused in this spot and build on the win over the Wild, but I refuse to lay the hefty spot in a matchup where the two teams are trending in extreme opposite directions. So, while I would not recommend a play on this game, I think the play should be on Toronto or over the total.
Toronto is clicking on offense at the moment, which is portrayed through the trends. The over is 4-0-1 in the last five games when Toronto plays on a single days rest. The over is 22-8-3 in the last 33 Leafs games overall. The over is 4-1-1 in the Leafs last six road games. The over is also 4-1 in the last 5 versus the Central Division and 4-1 in the last 5 versus the West overall for Toronto. As for the Dallas, the over is 5-1-1 in the last seven home games and 5-1-1 in the last seven versus the Atlantic Division. The over is also 6-2 in the last eight Stars games versus an Eastern Conference opponent. I think the over is the best play on the board for this game.