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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes prediction and pick. The first day of NHL action following the All-Star break features two games. NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi offers his pick for Monday night's showdown between the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes Prediction: Should We Expect a Flurry of Scoring?

After a four-day hiatus for the NHL All-Star game and skills competition, the league returns to the ice with two games on Monday. One of them features two of the playoff teams in the Eastern Conference, both of which are near the top of the league in points percentage. Let's dive into the matchup.

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes Prediction

The Toronto Maple Leafs (29-10-3) will host the Carolina Hurricanes (31-9-2) on Monday night. Both of these teams were red-hot going into the break—the Leafs had won five straight, and the Hurricanes had won seven of their last eight. They both have much to play for as we head into the final six weeks of games before the trade deadline. Toronto is trailing the second place Lightning by five points and holds four games in hand. Carolina is tied for first in the Metropolitan with the Rangers, and has five games in hand.

There are a few reasons why I expect this to be a high-scoring affair. The first is that the goaltending is not going to be as top-notch as I first anticipated. Jack Campbell, who made his first all-star appearance this weekend, will sit. Petr Mrazek, Toronto's backup, will start in his place. Mrazek's best years are likely behind him—he has a save percentage of just .902, a goals against average of 2.94, and has allowed 1.8 more goals than expected this season, according to moneypuck. Carolina should be able to get the puck past him.

These are also two of the best teams in the NHL in terms of chance generation. The Hurricanes rank first in the league with a 5v5 xGF/60 of 3.15 and have scored 3.48 goals per game, good for fifth in the league. The Maple Leafs trail just behind in third with a 5v5 xGF/60 of 2.93, but they actually sit in front of the Canes with 3.6 goals per game. Both of these teams are truly elite at generating offense, which hopefully will play out on Monday despite both teams also having elite defensive numbers.

These teams may be a bit rusty given that neither has played a game in six days, which may create some careless plays on defense. I think that this number should be 6.5 based on the matchup and on the fact that Campbell isn't playing, which is why I like it at 6. The over has hit in each of Toronto's last four games; let's see if we can make it five.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Line Movement

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick

Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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