New Jersey Devils (3-7-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-0)
|Date & Time||Friday November 8, 2013, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -168 / New Jersey Devils +153 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The New Jersey Devils head into the Air Canada Centre on Friday night looking to win their second straight while the Leafs play in their first game since last weekend’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Devils are coming off one of their best efforts of the season as they went into Philadelphia and blanked the Flyers by a 3-0 mark – the 122nd shutout of Martin Brodeur’s illustrious hall of fame career – and they’ll look for a repeat effort against the Maple Leafs. New Jersey hasn’t had a ton to cheer about this season and after the offseason that they had there is no doubting that they were in for a tough year but they can move to within two games of .500 with a win in Toronto and they get Corey Schneider between the pipes to face the Buds. New Jersey does have some talent up front that will want to showcase their skills in one of the biggest hockey markets in the world and with the Leafs likely focused on Saturday’s encounter with the Bruins this could be a prime spot for the Devils to come away with a win.
Toronto has been in practice mode for the last week as they had a huge layoff between last Saturday’s loss to the Canucks and tonight’s matchup against the Devils and that long of a break can do some damage to the game mentality. The Leafs would have loved to have strapped on the skates right after their tough outing against Vancouver but they have had to stew in the loss for the last week and this coming on the heels of Dave Bolland’s absence as it was announced he will miss around 6 weeks with a leg injury. David Clarkson faces off against his former team for the first time but as we have talked about before it is always a better litmus test when you return to the city you once played in instead of playing them in your new barn. Nonetheless, Clarkson will look to play a huge role for the Leafs especially now that Bolland is out but that could take some time. While the Devils played last night I am more focused on the fact that Toronto hasn’t played in a week and I see this being a look ahead spot for the Leafs as they get their archrivals from Boston on Saturday and they may not be too focused here. Not a strong play but I’m taking New Jersey to keep it close.