Ari breaks down the two HNIC games in his latest Covers.com article
New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs (+110, 6)
This game looks like it will be a lopsided affair.
The New York Rangers are 6-1-0 and have won six in a row. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 0-5-1 and have lost five straight in regulation. The Rangers embarrassed the Maple Leafs 7-2 earlier this week at Madison Square Garden.
Toronto GM Brian Burke summed up the Maple Leafs’ struggles after Toronto’s most recent loss.
“There’s four main components and we’re not executing in any of them: our defensive-zone play, our scoring, our special teams, our goaltending,” said Burke.
Much of the Blueshirts’ early success can be linked to the influence of Coach John Tortorella and the contributions of free agents Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal.
Tortorella has changed the way the Rangers play hockey. According to New York defenseman Dan Girardi “our main thing is we are still defensive, but it’s getting in their face in the neutral zone and shutting them down there instead of backing up and playing in our zone.”
Gaborik and Prospal lead New York with 10 points in seven games.
Newly acquired Maple Leaf Jonas Gustavsson has seen limited action and Phil Kessel is still weeks away from his debut.
Free agent acquisitions Francois Beauchemin and Mike Komisarek headline a Toronto defense that has allowed the most goals in the league.