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Free NHL Pick: Maple Leafs vs. Islanders Betting Lines & Preview

Maple Leafs vs. Islanders Pick

NHL Betting action sees the Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the New York Islanders on Thursday February 12th at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

Thursday night sees the Toronto Maple Leafs on Long Island, playing out the string with almost 30 games remaining on the schedule.

NHL Predictions

Toronto vs Long Island
Date/Time: Thursday, Feb. 12 2015, 7 pm EST
Venue: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale NY
Broadcast: MSG Network
Toronto +175, Long Island -220
Over/Under: 5.5
***2015 BONUSES***

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A situation that is predictably pathetic for Blue and White is the exact opposite for the Islanders, who are enjoying their best campaign in recent memory.

The Islanders are a dynamic young team led by promising, just-entering-their-prime stars like John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

New York GM Garth Snow, long a punching bag around the league, spent this past offseason making shrewd moves, including signing Jaroslav Halak as a starting goalie (Halak has been steady if unspectacular between the pipes) and signing two key defensemen, Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk.

Other role players like the ascendant Brock Nelson (23 years old), rookie Ryan Strome (21), Josh Bailey (25) and Frans Nielsen (30) support Okposo and “Johnny T” with an Islanders team that is a scoring juggernaut loaded with potential.

Halak may only be an average starting goalie, but New York’s earlier goaltending was spotty with Evgeni Nabokov and Al Montoya; the Isles only need average netminding with all the scoring capability available.

It couldn’t be a more different narrative for Leafs Nation. Toronto is hopeless for the ninth year out of the past ten and, although interim head coach Peter Horachek is merely keeping the seat warm for whomever arrives in the offseason, he’s going out with guns a-blazing.

Horachek relegated scoring superstar winger Phil Kessel to a fourth-line role in practice this week because of Kessel’s disengagement in games. Veteran David Clarkson, a supposed crash-and-bang forward who signed for over $5 million per season, has been a healthy scratch for the past couple of games.

Horachek is doing nothing if not sending a message that loafing around will not be tolerated.

One bright spot for Toronto is 20-year old blueliner Morgan Rielly, who has three goals in the past four contests and is brimming with potential as an offensive creator on the back end.

That’s what 24-year old D-man Jake Gardiner was supposed to evolve into, but he has stagnated in the Leafs’ dressing room, though perhaps the lightbulb is coming on under the new coaching regime.

Ultimately, almost every player in Toronto is being shopped as Leafs’ brass surely contemplates a start-from-scratch rebuild. Most Toronto fans are cheering for the Leafs to continue losing, to at least procure a good draft selection out of the misery.

Beleaguered Leafs fans shouldn’t have to wish hard, because the Islanders should crush the Leafs in Uniondale and continue their smooth sailing atop the Metropolitan division.

4* Free NHL Play: New York 5, Toronto 3

Toronto – whether publicly admitted or not – hopes to slip to the depths were it can enter the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes for the 2015 NHL Draft.

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