Toronto Maple Leafs (22-18-3) at Anaheim Ducks (27-10-6)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 14, 2015, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -185 / Toronto Maple Leafs +160 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Maple Leafs continue their treacherous West Coast road trip against the league's best team on Wednesday as they head into the Honda Center to play the Ducks.
The Maple Leafs are in a state of turmoil at the moment as the one time division leaders have fallen on hard times and have slipped all the way into sixth place in the Atlantic division and have posted a 3-7 record in their last 10 contests. Toronto has already parted ways with head coach Randy Carlyle and haven't made life easy for interim head coach Peter Horachek as he has assumed a team that hasn't been able to get it together over the last few weeks and a trip to the West Coast is never as easy task let alone when things aren't going your way. The Buds do have a pretty decent roster and to me should be in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference but if they can't shake their losing ways in a hurry they will run the risk of missing out altogether and for a fan base that is among the best in hockey it would be a shame to go back to back seasons without getting a sniff at playoff hockey. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the call as he will go up against Frederik Andersen.
The Ducks have been on fire all season long and frankly they have been the league's best team in the regular season over the last two years but if you ask anyone on their team they would gladly trade in their President's Trophy for a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. The Ducks recently lost their grip on the top mark in the NHL as the Nashville Predators have taken over that claim but they are certainly right in the mix and should be there all season long as they sport an impressive 27-10-6 mark through the first half of the season. Anaheim is four lines solid but could do with a piece or two as the season moves along and come trade deadline time I expect the Ducks will go after someone so they can keep pace with the rest of the big dogs in the Western Conference. This is a tough spot as Toronto usually comes out to play in big games like this but it is also a revenge spot for the Ducks as they were handled easily by Toronto in the last meeting between the teams. In the end, I think the Ducks do enough to get the win and to shave off some chalk I'd say take this one in regulation.