Columbus Blue Jackets (49-24-8) at Toronto Maple Leafs (39-26-15)
|Date & Time||Sunday April 9, 2017, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs / Columbus Blue Jackets --- Over/Under:
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The Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs gear up for the playoffs with one final matchup in their respective regular seasons finales.
The Blue Jackets look to snap out of an ugly losing streak in their regular season swan song as they take on a Maple Leafs team who clinched a playoff spot last night and will surely be riding high heading into this one as they try to avoid a first round matchup with the Washington Capitals. Columbus has not been playing like a playoff contender over the last two weeks as they head into tonight’s game as losers of five in a row and will surely be out for blood in a rematch of one of the league’s best games this season that happened last month between these two sides. Columbus is locked into a first round series with the defending champs from Pittsburgh and while this game has no bearing on the playoffs for the Jackets you can bet they’d love to get away from this losing atmosphere before the second season begins.
The Maple Leafs meanwhile currently sit in third place in the Atlantic division and if they can earn a point here they will lock in ahead of the Boston Bruins who are idle on Sunday after their regular season came to an end yesterday with a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. Toronto is miles ahead of where many people expected them to be at this point in their rebuild but a remarkable season from their rookie sensations that is highlighted by a 40-goal campaign from Calder favourite Auston Matthews has them right back in the playoffs and they will be tough to slow down across a seven game series. Toronto did lose Frederik Andersen again last night as he was removed after getting contacted to the head but his status remains up in the air for this one and for the start of the playoffs altogether.
The Jackets are winless in their last four road games and 7-2 in their last nine Sunday games while the Leafs are 4-1 in their last five against the Metro and 7-3 in their last 10 overall. This should be another exciting game between these two teams but I expect the Leafs to have a little more bounce in their step as they get another win to lock up third place and set up a date with the Ottawa Senators.