The NHL All-Star Break has come and gone over the weekend, meaning it’s time to re-focus on the 2021-22 regular season. Prior to the All-Star festivities, the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the hottest teams entering the break. They’ve won their last five consecutive games and will look to make it six when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Arena tonight.
While there’s no denying the Maples Leafs’ current surge, it’s important to point out that Toronto has actually won 22 of its last 30 games. They’re currently eight points back of the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers and also have five games in hand, so beating Carolina is crucial to close that gap.
Nevertheless, beating the Hurricanes will be easier said than done. Not only do they lead the Metropolitan Division with a 31-9-2 record, but they’re on their own winning streak as well, winning four straight. Like the Leafs, the Hurricanes will be looking to start the second half of the 2021-22 NHL season on the right foot and there’s no better way to do that than by defeating Toronto.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Matchup Info and Betting Odds
- Game Matchup: Carolina Hurricanes (31-9-2) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (29-10-3)
- Venue & Location: Scotiabank Arena (Toronto, Ontario)
- Date: Monday, February 7, 2022
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
- Moneyline: Carolina Hurricanes +105, Toronto Maple Leafs -130
- Total: OVER 6.5 (+100), UNDER 6.5 (-120)
- Puck Line: Carolina Hurricanes +1.5 (-225), Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (+180)
Odds are from BetMGM.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Outlook
Auston Matthews Looks to Continue Offensive Surge
As mentioned before, the Maple Leafs will look to pick up right from where they left off before the NHL All-Star Break. If they want to continue their winning ways, they’re going to need Auston Matthews to keep being the superstar that he’s been throughout the first half of the campaign.
Matthews currently paces all Toronto players when it comes to goals (29) and points (51) in just 39 games played. Opposing teams have been struggling to keep the 24-year-old off of the scoresheet in some capacity, proven by his nine goals and nine assists over his last 11 games.
If that wasn’t impressive on its own, Matthews has also recorded at least one point in 10 of those 11 contests. BetMGM is listing him at +105 to record at least an assist, giving bettors some decent value to work with. He’s also -115 to score a goal, making him the most likely player in the game to find the back of the net.
The sportsbook is also listing Matthews at +170 to record at least two points. While that’s a less-than-guaranteed task for a lot of players, it’s pretty doable for him. Matthews has had a multi-point effort in 44% of his outings this season, including in each of his last four games. Once he catches fire, it’s hard to stop him, making the over on his points prop a no-brainer tonight.
Hurricanes Look to Cement Metropolitan Division Lead
The fight for the Central Division lead is one of the more closely-fought battles in the NHL, with just five points separating the first-place Hurricanes and the fourth-place Washington Capitals. Carolina has played at least four fewer games than the three teams behind them, so an upset win against Toronto could certainly cement its divisional lead.
In addition to winning four games in a row, the Hurricanes are 7-2-1 in their last 10 contests. Their winning ways as of late have been thanks to a trio of players that has been playing at a point-per-game or better pace over that stretch:
- Andrei Svechnikov (10 games played: four goals, eight assists)
- Tony DeAngelo (10 games played: one goal, nine assists)
- Sebastian Aho (10 games played: four goals, six assists)
If the Hurricanes want a chance to upset the Maple Leafs, they’re going to need their young stars to step up and go head-to-head against Matthews, John Tavares and the rest of Toronto’s talented roster.
Fortunately, it’s looking like there’s a good chance that Carolina’s hottest players will show up tonight. Svechnikov has points in seven of his last eight games and is +130 to register an assist, as well as -155 for a point.
Meanwhile, Aho has been somewhat streaky lately, going goalless in four of his last five games. With that being said, he did score against Toronto back in October and is +160 to score again tonight. This is a big game for Carolina, so I like the idea of him stepping up when his team needs him.
DeAngelo has also gone through his own drought, having been held pointless in three straight games. It’s the longest he’s gone without a point this season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him at least get an assist tonight. He’s +100 to do so, making it a pretty safe bet for fans to make.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Prediction and Best Bet
Toronto Maple Leafs to win (Best Bet: Maple Leafs ML)
Even though this is a pretty evenly matched contest, look for the Maple Leafs to win their sixth game in a row.
Carolina defeated Toronto, 4-1, in the two teams’ only previous meeting of the season. That was about two weeks into the campaign and the Maple Leafs are a much better team now. Toronto’s stars are firing on all cylinders and fans should expect that trend to continue on home ice tonight.