The Columbus Blue Jackets meet the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL at the Nationwide Arena on Friday evening.
This will be the first game of the regular season for the Blue Jackets and it’s one that they go into having lost a lot of talent since last season. Two of their best players of recent times, winger Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, will be particularly significant departures. They also said goodbye to Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Keith Kinkaid and Adam McQuaid.
There will be pressure whichever one of the largely unknown quantities in Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins is selected as replacement for Bobrovsky and it doesn’t get much tougher than the Toronto Maple Leafs first up.
The Maple Leafs were in action on Wednesday night when they played host to the Ottawa Senators at the Scotiabank Arena to get their season underway.
There are, as was the case last season, high expectations at Toronto. With over $33 million in cap space dedicated to three forwards in Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner, they certainly warrant being among the bookmakers favourites for the Stanley Cup this season.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Lines & Predictions
With the result of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ game on home-ice against the Senators not known at the time of writing, there are currently no odds available on this game.
The start of the season is always a difficult time in which to make betting predictions in any sport, as it can take a few games for the quality teams to play to their potential.
However, given the quality of the Toronto forwards and the changes to the roster at Columbus, the Maple Leafs have to be the tip to win this game on the Money Line when betting odds become available at the likes of Sports Interaction, bet365 and 888Sport though.
NHL Predictions: Money Line – Toronto Maple Leafs to win at -166 (1.60) with Bet365.