The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to secure wins two and three this weekend vs. the Ottawa Senators. The Battle of Ontario will be on full display this season – yet another perk to the newly formed North division. Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said it best, telling TSN that he expects “the rivalry certainly will heat up.”
The Maple Leafs are riding high after a win over the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday. Recent history shows that this weekend’s back-to-back duel with the Senators should give them every opportunity to start the season 3-0.
The Leafs community expressed their concern with Frederik Andersen after game one, who was found guilty of allowing a couple cheeky goals. However, Freddy wasn’t the only player put on trial for their mistakes. The sheer number of turnovers from every corner of the roster was plentiful. In actuality, the Leafs played up to expectations when considering pre-season competition was a forgone luxury this year.
Despite their feeble reputation, the Ottawa Senators deserve credit where credit is due. For one, the addition of German powerhouse Tim Stützle has massive upside. The 19-year old rookie tallied 34 points in 41 games for the Mannheim Eagles, and an additional 10 points in five games at the 2021 World Junior Championship.
If you thought the Leafs had a young core, the Senators can argue the same. With Brady Tkachuk leading the offence and Thomas Chabot taking centre stage on the blue line, there’s no longer a reason to sleep on the Senators.
Expect the Battle of Ontario to be tougher than ever in 2021.
Odds: Toronto Maple Leafs -200 / Ottawa Senators +170
O/U is set at 6.5
Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs (5) – Ottawa Senators (2)
Leafs win & cover the spread / Over 6.5 goals scored