We’re now around 25 games into the 2019/20 National Hockey League campaign and the standings are beginning to take shape.
In the Atlantic Division, Buffalo have failed to inspire confidence so far this year. The Sabres are languishing down in sixth position but ice hockey fans will notice that they are just three points behind second place at the time of writing.
With just two victories in their previous 10 games, confidence is low at KeyBank Center but a win here would certainly lift the mood. According to the latest NHL betting odds, Buffalo are 31/20 with 888sport to claim victory in this clash.
Meanwhile, Toronto are third in the Atlantic Division – two points above the Sabres. A win for the Maple Leafs will cement their status as one of the division’s top teams but it won’t be straightforward by any means.
Sheldon Keefe’s side have adapted well to life under their new head coach; fans expected a lull in confidence and momentum after Mike Babcock’s departure. However, Toronto could be set for success based on recent results.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the two teams ahead of Friday’s clash. This one has all the makings of an exciting and entertaining contest – but who will come out on top?
Event Date: November 29, 2019
Sabres Set For More Playoff Heartache In 2019/20
Buffalo’s record in recent years has been abysmal and plenty of punters will be backing the Sabres to finish bottom of the Atlantic Division once again.
It is now nine years since Buffalo last featured in the NHL playoffs, with the Sabres finishing eighth in the Atlantic Division in four of the last six years.
There was a slight improvement up to sixth in the standings last season and optimistic fans were hoping that the Sabres could build on that. Unfortunately, it hasn’t panned out that way just yet…
Jack Eichel has been their standout player in 2019/20, notching 31 points in 25 games this season. He leads the team in goals and assists – Buffalo will be relying on their main man to put Toronto to the sword.
Patience Wearing Thin Amongst Toronto Fans
The Maple Leafs made the tough decision to move on from Mike Babcock earlier this month but that dismissal was a long time coming.
Toronto should be challenging for the Stanley Cup with this roster and supporters will hope that Keefe can get the most out of their talented group of players.
Making that move now was wise rather than waiting until the end of the campaign – there is still plenty of time for Keefe to turn things around.
And with Auston Matthews in fine form, who’s to say that the Maple Leafs can’t climb the Atlantic Division ladder? His impact and influence will be key to their Stanley Cup chances in the coming months.
KeyBank Center is a tough place to go and win but Toronto have enough experience to cope with the intense Buffalo atmosphere. In fact, a win here could act as the catalyst for Keefe’s side to go on and build a Stanley Cup challenge.
Toronto’s struggles have been well documented but the Maple Leafs are now in a new era. It is time to focus on the future rather than the past and Matthews can be their future for years to come.
The former number one overall NHL Draft pick can fire Toronto to victory in this contest and the Maple Leafs are well priced at 4/7 to clinch a huge road divisional win. This one could go down to the wire…
TIP: Toronto Maple Leafs to win (4/7 with Betfred)
CORRECT SCORE: Buffalo Sabres 3-5 Toronto Maple Leafs