New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/27/14
Toronto Maple Leafs (32-22-6) at New York Islanders (22-30-8)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Nassau Coliseum)
The Line: New York Islanders / Toronto Maple Leafs --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: MSG Plus 1, SNET
The New York Islanders and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum host the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday.
The Olympic break probably came at the wrong time for Toronto who had been one of the hottest teams in the game with with a fantastic 11-2-1 mark heading in to the break. The hope now is the momentum is not lost with only 22 games remaining in the regular season because the will need it with only 45 days to play them in meaning they will average a game every other day with 14 coming against teams poised to make the postseason.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport
The second half will be one of endurance for the Leafs who play in four back to backs and will be on the road in seven straight to open the post Olympic schedule. The good news is the team's red hot streak before the break built a cushion in the standings which is nice to have but can quickly disappear. The main concern will be maintaining their health and avoiding fatigue while surviving an extremely tough schedule in the second half.
Even though Toronto has their work cut out for them, the Islanders would love to be in their position but they are far from it. Although not mathematically eliminated from the postseason the Isles are 8th in the Metropolitan and a hefty 12 points out of the postseason which logically makes the second half one where they can be spoilers but not much more. The season ending injury to star John Tavares puts an exclamation point on a season that is not yet over...technically. Look for New York to put Thomas Vanek on the trading block with virtually any team that needs a productive scorer would be interested in. A few youngsters in the minors could be called up and even though this team will take some lumps now, the experience could prove invaluable down the road.
Toronto is 4-1 in their last five visits to New York while the over has fallen in five straight and is 7-0 in the past seven. No goalies confirmed but based on the line I would have to look at the Leafs and possibly the over so please stay tuned...