Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets in Battle of First-Place Teams

Blue Jackets Hockey


It would have been unthinkable not too long ago. It is true, the Toronto Maple Leafs (15-7-0) and Columbus Blue Jackets (12-7-2) are both on top of their respective divisions heading into the American Thanksgiving break. They’ll meet this Friday in what should be an entertaining game at Nationwide Arena.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN4 (Toronto), FS Ohio (Columbus)

Line: Blue Jackets -135; O/U: 6 Under -115.

This will be a rematch of Monday’s game in Toronto, which the Leafs won 4-2 as –145 favorites. They won on a pair of late third-period goals by Zach Hyman.

That’s four wins in a row for Toronto, who find themselves alone atop the Stanley Cup futures market at +400. They are well ahead of the Blue Jackets at +1600. And they’ve done it despite Auston Matthews missing 10 games thus far with an injured left shoulder. He isn’t due back until December.

Monday’s loss snapped Columbus’ win streak at three games. They’re still the top team in the Metropolitan Division. Their superior puck possession stats to Toronto’s.

The Blue Jackets are completely healthy, and they’re getting solid goal-tending from Sergei Bobrovsky, who has .915 save percentage. No. 2 netminder Joonas Korpisalo has a .885 SV%). He has been a disappointment in his fourth year as their back-up plan.

Columbus G Sergei Bobrovsky, who is expected to make his 400th career start on Friday, has allowed 12 goals on 219 shots in seven contests this month.

Toronto is 3-for-21 on the power play in its last eight games.

The Blue Jackets scored six power-play goals in the last seven contests after going 6-for-56 in their first 14 outings.

PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 2

Handicappers Hideaway


Title Stat Rank Stat Rank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense 3.45 4 3.19 20
Away Team Away Scoring vs Home Team Home Defense 4.27 1 3.40 24
Away Team Road Powerplay vs Home Team Home Penalty Kill 31.25 5 75.00 21
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense 3.38 8 2.64 4
Home Team Home Scoring vs Away Team Road Defense 3.70 5 2.91 9
Home Team Home Power Play vs Away Team Road Penalty Kill 9.38 31 75.86 23

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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