Toronto Maple Leafs (22-26-4) at New Jersey Devils (20-22-9)
|Date & Time||Friday February 6, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New Jersey Devils -150 / Toronto Maple Leafs +136 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The freefalling Toronto Maple Leafs look to snap their lengthy 10 game losing streak when they travel to the Prudential Center in Neward to take on the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Removing Randy Carlyle has done little to improve the Maple Leafs who have instead simply fallen off a cliff under interim head coach Peter Horachek. Since being named coach the Maple Leafs have gone a remarkable 1-10-1 and as mentioned have lost 10 straight games. Right now Toronto is the mark of a bad team in every way possible. When the Leafs score some goals they can’t keep the puck out of their net, and on other nights they just seem like they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing out there and can’t generate any offense. During the losing streak the Maple Leafs have been out scored 29-10. Toronto has been shut out four times in that span and scored just one goal four other times. On Tuesday night in Nashville the Leafs actually found a way to score three goals somehow, but in typical Toronto fashion they managed to blow a third period lead in the 4-3 loss. Mike Santorelli’s 10th goal of the season came just 37 seconds after Nazem Kadri had tied the game in the third period and lifted Toronto to the lead. But the leafs would allow Nashville to answer back with two of their own later in the period. Daniel Winnik got the Leafs on the board in the second period with his fourth goal of the year. Now might be as good a time as ever for Toronto to break their streak. Even though they’re playing a Devils team that has found a way to win some games recently, New Jersey isn’t doing anything to scare teams with the offense that they’re throwing out there most night.
New Jersey currently ranks 29th in the National Hockey League in shots per game, averaging just 24.3 per game. When you watch this team play consistently it’s amazing how many nights they seem to find ways to record fewer than 20 shots in a game. That’s a hard feat to accomplish when you consider that for a team that doesn’t score much they should just be throwing the puck on net as frequently as possible. But it goes to show just how much this organization is lacking in skill right now all over the ice. New Jersey just doesn’t have a lot of play makers on the ice and it’s incredibly challenging for them to find ways to score on most nights. The Devils enter Friday night’s contest having won four of their last five games, but they’ve still only scored 12 games during that stretch. Of the 12 goals, five were in on game in San Jose and one was an empty net goal against the Florida Panthers. It’s impressive that the Devils have been able to find a way to win some of these close low scoring games but for every one of those there’s games like the one they had last Friday against the Penguins. Tuesday night it was Adam Henrique’s 11th goal of the season in the second period that tied the game with the Ottawa Senators at 1-1 before Mike Cammalleri scored the game-winning goal early in the third period. Cory Schneider got the start and improved his record to 18-19-5.
These two teams met in New Jersey last Wednesday night with both teams only to muster third period goals before the Devils eventually won it 2-1 in a shootout. Based on the way these two teams have been playing it wouldn’t be surprising to see a repeat of that type of performance. If the Maple Leafs don’t win this one though they might not win one for a while.