The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to avenge last nights loss to the Minnesota Wild tonight when they take on the Detroit Red Wings. This will be the Leafs first meeting at the new Little Caesars Arena. Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock takes on his former club. I'm sure there will be no love lost between the two and that Babcock is looking forward to coaching his first regular season game in Detroit's new barn. Thursday against the Wild marked the first time this season that the Leafs have been shutout, which is quite the impressive feat. It just goes to show you how much depth this Leafs team has up front and how on any given night, we can see a mix of scoring up and down the lineup. It looks as though Auston Matthews will miss another game tonight, but we'll keep you up to date on his status before puck drop. This game could be exactly what the Leafs need to get their offensive ways back, Detroit has allowed 4.4 goals per game so far in December and the Leafs already doubled them up 6-3 earlier in the season.
Player to watch on Detroit
Keep an eye on Red Wings forward Dylan, who's quietly had a nice bounce back campaign after struggling in his sophomore season. Larkin has 24 points in 31 games this year after posting just 32 in 80 last season.
What are the odds?
It's the second half of a back-to-back and these type of games are usually tough, especially against a struggling team that's looking to break out of a slump in Detroit. Despite this being a back-to-back, I like Toronto's value here. I'll take Toronto -1.5, I'm expecting them to have a nice bounce back performance after struggling to generate any offense in Minnesota last night.
This one isn't likely to draw in a ton of viewers. Yes, it's the Leafs and the final numbers will be fine, but I just don't see this game being very exciting. I picture a pretty dominating Leafs victory, potentially of the 3-0 or 3-1 variety. Detroit isn't afraid to push the pace, but Toronto can match that and do them one better. I'll give this a very bland 2/5 stars on the watchability scale. Don't be afraid to go out for date night instead
Red Wings Lines
Gustav Nyquist — Henrik Zetterberg — Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar — Dylan Larkin — Anthony Mantha
Darren Helm– Frans Nielsen –Luke Glendening
Luke Witkowski — Andreas Athanasiou — Martin Frk
Danny DeKeyser — Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson — Trevor Daley
Niklas Kronwall — Nick Jensen