Toronto Maple Leafs (18-16-4) at New York Rangers (16-18-2)
|Date & Time||Monday December 23, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Rangers -147 / Toronto Maple Leafs +134 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Maple Leafs looks to head into the Christmas break with a victory on Broadway as they face off against the Rangers at MSG.
The Maple Leafs have hit a rough patch in their season as the once dominating Buds who looked very strong at the beginning of the season have slipped into 5th place in the Atlantic division and are just two games above the .500 mark. Toronto is 4-5-1 in their last 10 contests but luckily for them after a string of incredibly tough games they get a Rangers team who has been equally if not more disappointing than the Leafs have been. Toronto has just six wins on the road this season which doesn’t put them in good company and if they want to enjoy a successful season and make a push in the playoffs they’ll need to rectify their weary play away from the ACC. James Reimer is expected to get the call for the Leafs and after what looked like a hostile interaction with Randy Carlyle in his last outing you can expect Reimer would love to post a stellar effort in this one.
The Rangers have been tough to watch this season as the once feared perennial Eastern Conference powerhouse has slipped into an also ran and are in sixth place in a very weak Metropolitan division. Henrik Lundqvist has been the class of the NHL in terms of goaltending over the last few seasons and whether it is more a product of his surroundings or he simply hasn’t played his best thus far he isn’t as feared this season as he has been in year’s past. New York sits a game under .500 and is 19 points back of the division leading Penguins which can’t sit well with GM Glen Sather and the rest of the Rangers front office. While there is plenty of time for New York to turn things around I simply don’t think they have that good of a roster and while they are at home in this spot against a struggling Leafs team there is no reason to me why the Rangers are favoured. I’ll gladly take this price with the better team against a Rangers squad who has been abysmal at home this season.