The Toronto Maple Leafs have a long learning curve in front of them. This storied franchise is in Year One of its latest rebuilding effort, this time under GM Lou Lamoriello and head coach Mike Babcock. They might be the biggest stars on a Leafs team that has one victory in its first eight games this season. The learning continues Saturday night (7:00 PM ET, NHLN) at the ACC with a game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins (5-4 after nine games) skated into the 2015-16 campaign as solid +1200 contenders on the Stanley Cup futures market. However, they’ve been unusually quiet in the scoring department at just 1.78 goals per game. The under went 7-0-2 during Pittsburgh’s first nine games; Crosby had one goal on 27 shots.
That drought has made the Penguins a losing proposition on the puck line. They were down 4.25 betting units on a 3-6 ATS record before Thursday’s action, even worse than the Leafs at –2.37 units and 4-4 ATS. However, the Penguins are relatively healthy and looking forward to bigger things, while Toronto is already missing center Tyler Bozak and defenseman Jake Gardiner to undisclosed lower-body injuries.