If the NHL playoffs started right now, the Toronto Maple Leafs would be in, and the Boston Bruins would be out. We’ve still got half a season to go, so the Bruins can still make things right. This Wednesday (7:00 PM ET, NESN) they welcome the Leafs to the Garden.
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The Maple Leafs (20-14-2-1) are skating into New Year’s Eve as the most profitable team in the league at plus-15.48 units against the moneyline. They have a sparkling 24-13 record against the puck line. They’re also the highest-scoring team in the league at 3.30 goals per game, but defensively, Toronto ranks No. 25 at 2.97 goals allowed per game. The advanced stats also show the Leafs to be one of the worst puck-possession teams in the league.
The Bruins (19-15-1-2, minus-5.29 units), on the other hand, have decent possession stats, but they’re only scoring 2.59 goals per game (No. 21 overall). They could also be without top forwards Milan Lucic (six goals, 11 assists) and Patrice Bergeron (seven goals, 20 assists) after both players missed Monday’s game against Detroit with undisclosed injuries. They’re considered day-to-day.
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