College football’s national championship game is Monday night. It’s likely the NHL didn’t want to schedule many games opposite that since it will dominate the sports marketplace. Thus, there’s just one hockey game on Monday’s schedule and it’s Columbus visiting Toronto – most Canadians could care less about an NCAA football game. Check back for the NHL lines on game day.
Columbus at Toronto NHL Lines & Game Info for Monday Night
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 8, 2018
When: Monday, 7 PM ET
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
TV: TVA, NHL Center Ice
Radio: 97.1 The Fan (Columbus) / 590 AM (Toronto)
Opening NHL Lines: Toronto -1.5
Latest NHL Lines Trends
- Columbus is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games
- Columbus is 2-4 SU in the last 6 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of Columbus’s last 5 games
- Toronto is 0-5 ATS in the last 5 games
- Toronto is 5-1 SU in the last 6 games at home
- The total went UNDER in 5 of Toronto’s last 6 games at home
Why Bet on Columbus?
It’s the second of a back-to-back for Columbus as it hosted Florida on Sunday. No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was in net so it’s more likely than not that backup Joonas Korpisalo will start here as it’s fairly rare for a goalie to play two games in 24 hours. Korpisalo needed to get in some playing time so the Jackets sent him to their Cleveland farm team on Saturday to play. He took the shootout loss against Rockford but made 37 saves on 40 shots. He is 4-4-0 in the NHL this season with a 3-10 GAA and a .904 save percentage.
In the first meeting with Toronto this season, Columbus won 4-2 at home in Korpisalo was in net. He had 39 saves in his best outing of the year. Seth Jones had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who never trailed. Lukas Sedlak, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Wennberg also scored for Columbus, and Cam Atkinson had two assists.
Jake Gardiner scored in the second period and Mitchell Marner added another goal in the third for Toronto. Former Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney, starting for Toronto in place of Frederik Andersen on the second leg of a back-to-back, had 33 saves.
Columbus is really banged up right now with wingers Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson all out injured. Dubinsky (fractured orbital bone) was on the ice Saturday. He worked out with a couple of other injured Blue Jackets before the rest of the team took to the ice. Dubinsky should be out at least another few weeks as his diagnosis when injured on Dec. 12 was 6-8 eight weeks. He has three goals and 12 points in 31 games.
Wennberg is out with a back injury and should be back around the All-Star break as he was injured just before the Christmas break. He has only four goals and 16 points in 30 games after 59 points last season in 80 contests. Atkinson is out with a broken right foot and is on about the same timetable as Wennberg. Atkinson, 28, has six goals and seven assists this season in 32 games. He signed a seven-year, $41.125 million extension last month after setting career bests with 35 goals and 27 assists during the 2016-17 season.
Why Bet on Toronto?
The Leafs are 2-1 on a six-game homestand as they are coming off back-to-back wins of 3-2 in a shootout. It was against San Jose on Thursday and Vancouver on Saturday. Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored in the third period and again in the shootout vs. the Canucks. Andersen stopped 2 of 3 shootout attempts after making 34 saves. He’s now 22-12-1 with three shutouts, a 2.64 GAA, and a .922 save percentage.
Canucks rookie Brock Boeser appeared to have won it with a blistering shot 45 seconds into overtime, but replays showed the puck went off one post and then another without crossing the line. Boeser scored in the second period and Sam Gagner in the third to put Vancouver ahead 2-0 before Matthews and Bozak brought Toronto back.
Saturday represented the second consecutive game the 31-year-old Bozak scored the winning goal in a shootout for the Leafs. For his career, it was his fifth shootout winner.
“I think shootouts have always been pretty comfortable (for me). I’ve done pretty well in them, so it’s fun to go in those, especially when you have a chance to win it for the guys,” Bozak said.
Matthews has scored in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season. Last year’s Calder Trophy winner has 19 goals and 33 points in 33 games this season. Defenseman Travis Dermott made his NHL debut on Saturday and had an assist. He was a great college player and an early second-round pick in 2015. Dermott took the lineup spot of Andreas Borgman.
Paired for most of the game with veteran Roman Polak, the 21-year-old Dermott settled in after a few shifts and began to display his skating and puck handling ability on a few offensive rushes and also showed a physical side, taking forward Nic Dowd out with a check along the boards and knocking down Markus Granlund in front of the net. Trailing in the third, the Leafs coaching staff showed some confidence in the rookie, pairing him up with Morgan Rielly, which led to Bozak’s tying goal.
Expert Prediction & NHL Betting Pick
Hey, stick with what’s working: Leafs win in another 3-2 shootout, so it’s a definite pick in the NHL lines.