Toronto Maple Leafs (34-23-8) at Anaheim Ducks (43-14-7)
|Date & Time||Monday March 10, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -200 / Toronto Maple Leafs +181 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Anaheim Ducks look to reclaim their perch atop the league standings on Monday after the St. Louis Blues knocked them off with a win against the Wild on Sunday. The Ducks host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Honda Center.
The Maple Leafs head into Monday’s action against the Ducks coming off a thrilling overtime victory against the Philadelphia Flyers and while some may look deep into the fact that Toronto blew a lead late that forced overtime, every victory at this stage counts. Toronto is still struggling in the defensive zone as they constantly get outshot but their goaltending as it has been most of the season was up to the task and kept the Leafs afloat which is something they’ll have to do once again here against a very good Ducks team. The Leafs sit in fourth place in the East but are just a single point back of the Canadiens for third and as the season draws near a close you can expect the battle for the coveted home ice seeds to heat up immensely, though the top two seeds in the East are pretty well spoken for as it doesn’t look like anyone will catch the Pens and Bruins.
The Ducks have been the class of the Western Conference for most of the season and all but have the Pacific division wrapped up but a surge from the St. Louis Blues has knocked Anaheim out of the top spot at least for the time being. Anaheim is a team loaded with talent at both ends of the ice as they’re a big, physical group that can dominate their opponent with their size, but they also have a ton of playmakers who possess the skillset to take over a game and score when they have to. Jonas Hiller is a stellar goaltender who can steal a game and while the Ducks blue line received a boost by adding Stephane Robidas I think they’ll still be ecstatic when Hiller bails them out. Anaheim has had a special season and could very well end up the league champions but I am still not sold on them as a Cup favourite especially with the teams they have to get through in order to represent the West. For tonight, I have no clue why they line is this far off but I think we see a tight one with Toronto having an opportunity to win outright. I think they keep it close but I might sprinkle on the money line as well.