by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs drag some defensive and discipline issues into a matchup that seems set up for some scoring, since the San Jose Sharks are struggling and playing back-to-back.
The Maple Leafs are listed as -170 favourites while the Sharks are +150 underdogs with a 6.5-goals total on the NHL odds for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs, who will face the Montreal Canadiens on the road on Saturday, are 12-4 in their last 16 games when they are also playing the next day with the total finishing OVER in nine of those 16 games. The Sharks, who faced Montreal on Thursday, are 5-5 in their last 10 games when they played the previous day and the total finished OVER in nine of those 10 games.
Sharks at Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Sharks, who are 4-5-1 so far this season, have frayed in recent years when playing three time zones from home, going 9-16 in their last 25 away games against Eastern opponents. Built around centers Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl on the front end, the Sharks have the 20th-ranked offense (2.80 goals per game) in the NHL and rank 25th in goals against (3.40), one notch above their opponent on Friday. The Sharks are having issues at even strength – they’re being outshot by 3.7 shots per game – but their power play is ranked eighth (25.7 percent) and the penalty killing is first (91.4).
Aaron Dell played in Montreal, so the Sharks will likely start goalie Martin Jones, who is 2-4-1 with a 3.46 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.
The Maple Leafs come in with a record of 5-4-2 and have not had a regulation-time win in four games, but they have the benefit of playing on two days’ rest. Toronto’s seeming inconsistency of late is buttressed by a 5-9 record in their last 14 home games as a favorite of -150 to -200 on the moneyline at online sports betting sites, but interestingly, the total has gone OVER in nine of their 10 most recent home games when the odds were in that range.
Thanks in large part to center Auston Matthews and right wing Mitch Marner, the Leafs have a fourth-ranked offense (3.64 goals per game) but are 26th defensively (3.45). They rank seventh in shots per game despite the fact they have spent less time on the power play (11th, 25.0 percent) than on the penalty kill (20th, 78.9). The Leafs are just 10-10 in their last 20 home games against the Western Conference.
Frederik Andersen, who is 5-2-1 with a 3.19 GAA and .901 save percentage, will start in goal, barring unforeseen circumstances. He would be on three days’ rest.
Following Saturday’s game at Montreal, the Maple Leafs have two days off before hosting the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.