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Senators vs Maple Leafs Betting Odds – Sens Looking For 12 Straight

Posted by Don Melrose on 2/5/2010 1:33:26 PM

NHL Odds: Pick New Senators

Super bowl lines aside, the Ottawa Senators are the team on an 11-game win streak, but if you paid attention to Toronto fans you’d think the Leafs were going into this one with all the momentum. And who can blame them? On Sunday the Leafs pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent memory, acquiring Dion Phaneuf, a 24-year old former All-Star and Norris Trophy Candidate. Toronto also acquired J.S. Giguere from the Anaheim Ducks. In their first game post-trade, the Leafs beat the Devils 3-0. So yeah, there was optimism is Leaf Nation. As for Ottawa, they’ve only just strung together a franchise record 10-straight wins and gone from playoff bubble team to possible home-ice advantage.

The Rangers too made big moves this week as well. On Wednesday a deal was finalized that sent Chris Higgins and Ales Hemsky to Calgary in exchange for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. Jokinen has always been seen as someone who could be great but never quite reached the threshold. The Blueshirts are hoping his return to the east coast (Jokinen has played for the Islanders and Panther) will be enough to spark the Finnish centre.

Senators vs Maple Leafs betting odds:

Senators goalie Brian Elliott in last eight games: 9-0-0, 1.33 GAA, .934 S%, 1 shutout
Ottawa 2-1 vs Toronto this season; all games decided by one goal
Leafs 10-12-5 at home this season

Leafs General Manager Brian Burke should get some sort of medal for unloading the contracts of both Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala in the same deal. Blake and Toskala were the poster-children of former GM John Ferguson Jr’s tumultuous reign in Toronto. They were both shipped to Anaheim for Giguere, who got a shutout in his first game as a Maple Leaf. Rumour has it the Mayor of Toronto is already planning on naming a street after the former Conn Smythe Winner.

As for the Phaneuf trade, the Leafs didn’t really give up that much. Forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and defenseman Ian White all went west to Calgary. NHL betting knows White was fan favourite in Toronto and Hagman has the potential to net 30-goals a season, but the Leafs basically sent second line players for a defenseman who has the potential to be a cornerstone in any franchise. Toronto also picked up Fredrik Sjostrom (a serviceable penalty killer) and defense prospect Keith Aullie, who impressed many at the World Juniors this past winter. Not a bad deal for Toronto at all.

As for their playing, the Leafs did look very good in Tuesday’s win against the Devils. In fact, the three newcomers who did play (Giguere, Phaneuf and Sjostrom) were named the game’s Three Stars. But it’s unsure how long that confidence and energy will last. Burke is still claiming his team’s goal is to make the playoffs, but that’s not a very realistic possibility. Before Tuesday’s win, the Leafs had lost six straight. They learned recently that Mike Komisarek, one of their prized offseason acquisitions, will require shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season.

Still, a reasonable finish isn’t out of the question for Toronto, especially with the moves they made. A non-lottery pick finish would certainly make the Phil Kessel deal looks that much better.

As for Ottawa, they’re playing as good, if not better, than they were in 2006 when they made it to the Stanley Cup finals. A lot of things have to go right during a 10-game win streak, but those into online betting know that Daniel Alfredsson has been the fuel to the Senators fire. Alfie missed the first half of January with an injury, but has been on absolute fire since his return with seven goals and 15 points in his ten games back. In the year 2010, the Sens have yet to lose with Alfredsson in the lineup.

A great hockey mind once said confidence is overstated but underrated. No one can deny the confidence that these Senators are showing. After looking dead in the water only a month and a half ago, and sportsbook says the Sens are playing arguably better than any team in the NHL. It starts with Alfredsson, but it trickles down into the improved play of Brian Elliott and resurgence of Jason Spezza. Head Coach Cory Clouston deserves all the credit in the world. He took a franchise reeling from separate personnel debacles (Ray Emery and Dany Heatley) and molded into a Stanley Cup contender.  

The momentum from the Phaneuf/Giguere trades won’t last forever as the Leafs still are not a great team. The Senators are on too hot of a streak to pick against, and have always had the Leafs number in head-to-head contests. But it will be a close game; it usually is between these two.

Senators vs Maple Leafs Betting Pick: Senators

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