Bluelines: A chance to take a commanding lead

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The Leafs have a chance to do something they have only achieved twice since 1987: take a 3-1 series lead. It will be easier said than done since the Lightning will try and do everything in their power to force an additional game, but it is an opportunity that is attainable nonetheless.
The Leafs are underdogs tonight (+105)
The oddsmakers aren’t heavily favouring the two-time reigning champions, but they aren’t giving the Leafs good odds either. Dating back to the start of the 2020 playoffs, the Lightning are 14-0 in the game following a postseason loss. Can Toronto snap the streak or will history repeat itself?
John Tavares records a multipoint night (+300)
The Leafs’ captain only has one point so far in this series, a secondary assist on an Auston Matthew power-play tally. Most of the other forwards have been carrying their load up to this point but getting Tavares going will prove pivotal for the team’s success. He is also at +800 to score at least three points; if there’s any night to leave his mark offensively, it’s this one.
A low-scoring affair? (+400)
There has been a combined 20 goals scored through the first three games and it seems likely that this could be another high-scoring game. We have yet to see a goalie duel between two of the league’s best and if that were to be the c …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: One more in the regular season

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Game #82 is finally here. The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Boston Bruins tonight to wrap up the regular season, and while Toronto has their seeding locked in, there are still big playoff implications from this matchup. With the Bruins win and Tampa’s loss last night, any result that sees Boston record one more point than the Lightning tonight will see the Maple Leafs face the Bruins rather than Tampa Bay in the first round.
A Leafs win (+105)
No Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, or Jack Campbell tonight sees the Toronto Maple Leafs as only a slight underdog.
This is a pretty big surprise to me given the Bruins appear to be dressing a full-strength lineup in hopes of picking up the #3 seed in the Atlantic. The Leafs have played Boston very well this season, winning 5-2 and 6-4 respectively, and will be going for the season sweep. That said, with such a depleted lineup and seven defencemen dressed for Toronto, a victory tonight is going to be a challenge going up against a seemingly full-strength Boston squad.
Islanders to beat Tampa Bay (+160)

Going to a different game to keep an eye on tonight, a result that sees Boston record one more point than Tampa Bay tonight will see the Leafs play the Bruins in the first round rather than the Lightning. If you want to avoid the Bruins for the obvious trau …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: A chance for Marner to hit 100 points

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The last road trip of the season is wrapped up and all that remains before the start of the postseason are two meaningless games at Scotiabank Arena. First up is a matchup against the Red Wings, which should make for an exciting and frustrating affair if the last meeting between these two teams is any indicator.
The Leafs are heavy favourites (-496)
With two teams on opposite ends of the division standings and on completely different paths as the regular season draws to a close, it’s no surprise the oddsmakers are leaning towards the Leafs for this contest. Toronto has been the better team in the all-time series of late and appears destined to extend their winning streak over Detroit to seven.
Or you could side with the underdog (+365)
In their last meeting, the Leafs were ahead 7-2 entering the third period and should have been on track to secure the two points with little trouble. But the Red Wings stormed back and nearly completed the comeback within the first six minutes. Toronto was ultimately able to survive the comeback attempt but it should Detroit could play the Leafs hard and might be able to pull off the upset.
Mitch Marner hits the century mark with a hatty (+3300)
Marner sits three points shy of reaching 100 points for the first time in his ca …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: An offensive gongshow

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The Leafs went down to Tampa Bay looking to lock up home-ice advantage and left getting embarrassed by a score of 8-1. There isn’t time to dwell on the loss cause a date with the high-flying Panthers awaits them on HNIC. If their last meeting was any indicator (a 7-6 overtime win for Flordia) then we are in for some fireworks.
A Leafs win (+115)
For the second straight game, the Leafs are listed as the underdogs. It is no surprise given that the Panthers sit atop the Atlantic Division and the league while in the midst of a 12-game winning streak to secure the President’s Trophy. Toronto isn’t in a case of David vs Goliath, but they will have their work cut out for them if they want to secure some crucial points and prevent the Panthers from setting a franchise record.
Mitch Marner registers at least two points (+145)
Towards the latter stages of Thursday night’s loss, Marner was on the receiving end of a dangerous collision with Nikita Kucherov. Marner was livid at Kucherov and looked irate for the rest of the game. Along with being reunited with Auston Matthews, it would not be shocking it Marner took out his frustrations on the scoresheet and have a big night offensively.
10 goals or more in the game (+340)
The oddsmakers seem to believe that this game could be another offensive explosion. With the two highest-scoring teams squari …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: Attempting to end the Islanders’ playoff hopes

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The Leafs were able to come away with the two points after having a strong game mirrored with a number of costly mistakes that put them behind early. A little over 24 hours after squaring off in the nation’s capital, the Buds return to Toronto on Easter Sunday with a chance to continue the positive momentum while also ending the Islanders’ hopes of a late-season push for the postseason.
A Leafs victory (-216)
Despite being in the second half of a back-to-back and facing a team that rested, it is no surprise that the Leafs enter this game as the favourite. Not only does Toronto have the edge in the season series (only surrendering one goal in the previous two contests), both teams will be playing their third game in four nights. It will certainly help to have Jack Campbell back in the crease after Erik Kallgren was not at his best last night.
Auston Matthews scoring twice (+390)
It has felt inevitable that Matthews will soon hit the elusive 60-goal mark, being the first to do so since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12. After coming up with just a single assist, I can imagine he will be turning up the heat against the Islanders so it’s no surprise he has the best odds of any to score twice. If you want to try an …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: Matthews goes for 60 against Ottawa

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The battle of Ontario wraps up for another season when the Leafs and Sens face off on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday and Auston Matthews will be looking to crack the 60 goal plateau against a team he has had plenty of success against in the past. The Leafs have had their share of struggles against non-playoff teams and the Senators are coming off back-to-back wins, but Toronto is 2-1-0 against Ottawa this season and they will be looking to lock up the season series with a victory on Saturday night.
Leafs to win (-261)
There isn’t much value to be had in picking the Leafs to win outright unless you’re including it as part of a parlay but picking the Senators at +210 is good value if you believe the Leafs will have another lackluster showing against a lesser opponent.
These are valuable points for the Leafs, however, as they look to lock up home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs and the team has been hot, winning eight of their last ten games and outscoring opponents 44-22 in those victories. Picking the Leafs -1.5 is paying +105, a much better value than sim …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: The Leafs Nation’s game day betting guide for Leafs vs. Canadiens

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It’s a classic Hockey Night in Canada matchup as the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Montreal Canadiens for the final time in 2021/22. The Habs have the lead in the season series, up 2-1 this year, so the Leafs will be looking to even things up against Montreal tonight at Scotiabank Arena.
Leafs vs. Canadiens (Leafs: -430)
As you might expect coming into a matchup with the league’s fourth-ranked team taking on the 31st ranked team, the Maple Leafs enter tonight’s game as big favourites.
Simply put, there isn’t much value to be had in the Leafs moneyline in this one. I’m sure you’re aware, but Montreal has been a tough out for Toronto ever since the first-round playoff series last spring. The Leafs have scored two goals in all three matchups against the Canadiens this season, winning 2-1 in Toronto and falling 5-2 and 4-2 respectively in Montreal.
If you are going to bet on Toronto to win, there’s much more value in the Leafs to win by over 1.5 at -160 odds.
Montreal’s two wins this year hav …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: The Leafs Nation’s game day betting guide for Leafs vs. Panthers

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What better way to kick off Bluelines, our betting guide in partnership with PointsBet Canada, than with a back-to-back on the first two days of their launch in Ontario. Every Leafs game day we’ll give you a quick look at what is being said about the Leafs, some player props, and a couple of other bets that might be worth your time.
Leafs vs. Panthers (Leafs: +140)
For the second consecutive game, the Toronto Maple Leafs are underdogs. Despite coming off of a strong 6-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Leafs enter tonight’s game with plus odds. On the second half of a back-to-back and facing one of the top teams in the league in the Florida Panthers, it’s going to be another big test for this Leafs team, who are seeing a potentially big boost with the anticipated return of Jake Muzzin to the lineup.
Toronto and Florida are both in the midst of multi-game win streaks, with Florida’s last loss coming against the Leafs. It will be no easy feat, but you have to like the value in the moneyline for the Leafs in this one.
Mitch Marner over 1.5 points (+155)
Mitch Marner is on another planet right now. Marner has hit over 1.5 points in six consecutive games and hasn’t shown any …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Amirov staying positive, Robertson’s recall, Anderson excelling for the Marlies

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The biggest story from the Leafs’ prospect pool this week goes far beyond hockey.
2020 first-round pick Rodion Amirov has missed most of the season for Salavat Yulaev in the KHL and the Leafs, in conjunction with the player and his agent, revealed the gut-wrenching news last week that Amirov has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
After suffering a collarbone injury along with a concussion earlier in the season, doctors saw something that caused them to investigate further and the hope is that this was caught as early as possible.
Amirov’s agent released a statement saying that he is in good spirits, working out daily and skating three times a week while undergoing treatment in Germany.

Official statement re: Rodion Amirov’s health. #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/9XcqRzpUxd
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) February 23, 2022

The way that Amirov has approached this news is truly inspirational and if you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out Elliotte Friedman’s fantastic interview with the young man.
Messages of support continue to roll in for Amirov and he will need all the support he can get on this difficult road ahead. We here at The Leafs Nation wish Rodion all the best in his recovery and hope that he can return to living a healthy, normal life as soon as possible.

Rodion Amirov responds to the Leafs’ message of support following his brain tumour diagnosis. pic.twitter.com/jAz1XMTxjK
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 24, 2022

Nick Robertson | W | Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Robertson’s development path has been a bit unorthodox, to say the least. It feels like he has been around a while but he is still just 20 years old with a grand total of 41 games played between the AHL and NHL.
After a difficult 2020-21 season in which he missed time due to various injuries and found himself bouncing between the Leafs’ taxi squad and the AHL, Rober …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Lyubushkin eye test, and what he can bring to the Leafs

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The acquisition of Ilya Lyubushkin seemed like a good safety net move for the Leafs. Someone they could count on when things started looking bleak. In true Leafs’ fashion, it managed to get bleak before Lyubushkin even received his Canadian work visa and a would-be third-pairing defenseman is now likely holding down the fort on the second pairing.

The Russian Bear has arrived. pic.twitter.com/FOqWGTVCIy
— Nick DeSouza (@NickDeSouza_) February 23, 2022

It’s in the spirit of the trial by fire that I decided to take a look at some video of how Lyubushkin played while with the Coyotes. I’ve looked at his numbers, and know he’s a low-event player. I know he likes to hit and he’ll even punch faces when he has to, and the fact that he’s received the blessing from Michael Bunting as a good guy to bring in, it seems like the Leafs made the right choice, but let’s take a quick look at how he defends.


Watching Lyubushkin play on the penalty kill there is already a lot of hope that he can bring some of what he does in 4v5 situations to 5v5 situations. This seems like Lyubushkin is very good at staying aware of not only the primary threat in the high danger area of ice, but who may be entering it, and he cheats towards them to keep himself positionally sound.
Lyubushkin also doesn’t make life easy for players taking up that real estate and that’s something that has been lacking from the Leafs’ lineup, but even when he’s doing that, it looks like he doesn’t overcommit and tracks the play effectively.
He’s not pulled away from his assignment and stays where his skill set is best utilized. Putting Lyubushkin on the ice with someone like Sandin or Rielly at 5v5 might allow for the Leafs to maintain strong net protection while having a more mobile defender attack the puck.

#Leafs are 30th in NHL with .757 high-danger SV% at all strengths since start of December. They ranked 1st through November at .872. pic.twitter.com/T7W8NZx7Ei
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) February 22, 2022

https://theleafsnation.com/wp-content/upload …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation