Free NHL Pick: Maple Leafs vs Wild Lines
Looking for Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Minnesota Wild free NHL picks? NHL betting sees the Maple Leafs taking on the Wild on Wednesday December 7, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL hockey matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL predictions.
(10-9-5) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Minnesota Wild (12-8-4)
Date: Wednesday December 7, 2016
Time: 7:30PM EST
Venue: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Toronto -110
NHL Hockey Betting Odds: Toronto -1.5
NHL Hockey Betting Total: 5.5
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An Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference matchup will see the Minnesota Wild heading up North to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second game of the season between these two teams.
The fast-paced Maple Leafs will look to bounce back after two straight losses, including a 3-0 shutout loss to the struggling Vancouver Canucks.
Meanwhile, the Wild will hope to get their defense back on track after losing three of four and surrendering 12 goals in those losses.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto happens to have one of the youngest active rosters in the NHL, suiting up multiple players born after 1996 on a nightly basis. This youth has led the Leafs to a fast, flashy, and fun offense led by Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, and William Nylander.
However, it’s been that same youth and inexperience that has let them down on the defensive end. The Leafs have a minus-five goal differential on the season, allowing 77 goals in the first 24 games, and the inconsistent defense has gotten goaltender Frederick Anderson off to a less than stellar start.
Right winger Mitch Marner will look to continue his great rookie campaign. He has 19 points (7 G, 12 A) so far this year and, while all eyes have been on #1 overall draft pick Auston Matthews, Marner’s consistency and offensive prowess have been a pleasant surprise this year.
Speaking of Matthews, he has been off to a good start this December, after an early season scoring slump that led to only two goals from the 25th of October to the 19th of November. Since then, he has recorded five goals in his last five games.
The Leafs have been great at the Air Canada Centre this year. With a record of 8-3-0, the Toronto club will look to keep that solid home ice record going.
Sitting at 3rd in the always tough Central Division, the Wild will try to exploit the youth and subpar defense of the Maple Leafs in order to gain some ground on the division-leading Chicago Blackhawks.
Coming off a tough 2-1 win at Edmonton, Minnesota is looking for some consistency on the defensive end, themselves. Notably tough on defense, the Wild have struggled as of late, dropping three in a row before the Edmonton win.
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk is leading the NHL with four shutouts, but has not recorded one since November 17th.
He’ll look to a strong game from his defensive unit to help keep the puck away from his net, while also hoping the offense can pull away on the scoring end and prevent a fourth overtime or shootout in his last five starts.
The Wild will look for 24-year old Charlie Coyle to put the puck in or around the net. He’s recorded 19 points on the season, including nine goals.
The experience of Nino Niederreiter will need to be on display as well. He’ll look to get back on track in the goal scoring department. The right winger hasn’t lit the lamp in his last four games.
Minnesota should be the better team, but will need to control the tempo on both sides of the puck. The Wild will look to stifle the speed of the young Leafs and exploit the inexperienced defense.
NHL Hockey Handicapping Trends:
- Minnesota ranks 1st in the NHL in goals against, while Toronto ranks 26th in goals against
- Minnesota is 5-5-4 on the road this season
Free Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Minnesota Wild NHL Prediction:
Both Toronto and Minnesota are having their struggles on the defensive end. The Leafs have been notably solid on their home ice but have allowed seven goals in two of their three losses in Air Canada.
I think Minnesota gets the job done, led by a stellar performance from goalie Devan Dubnyk.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Over 5.5
Both teams rank in the top 15 in goals per game. Neither team is playing that well on the defensive end as of late and both have high-powered offenses.
Matthews and Marner can definitely get the puck into the net for Toronto and Niederreiter and Coyle will shoot early and often for the Wild.
This should be a high scoring game.
NBA Free Score Prediction: Toronto 2 – Minnesota 4
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