- The Toronto Maple Leafs trail the Lightning by 3 points in the Atlantic Division
- Toronto has been without Auston Matthews for their last three games
- But they remain the favorites to win the 2019 Stanley Cup
The Toronto Maple Leafs showed Saturday night that the loss of star forward Auston Matthews had little effect on their team.
They shattered the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 to keep their perfect road record (6-0-0) intact, and in doing so, actually improved their 2019 Stanley Cup odds as well.
Average 2019 Stanley Cup Odds
The Leafs actually jumped from an average of +670 to +600 in the race for the grail, despite trailing the race for their own division.
The Leafs are behind the first place Tampa Bay Lightning by three points heading into Tuesday and are tied with both Boston and Montreal with 18 points.
Odds to Win the 2019 Stanley Cup
|Team||Odds to win the Stanley Cup|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+600|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+700|
Toronto has one more win to their name thus far than Boston and Montreal, but the simple fact is that the Cup favorites are actually one loss from becoming a wildcard team, or potentially outside the playoff picture.
Now, of course, it is a little early to be talking playoffs. This team has quite a bit of time to get it right and thus far, they also have quite a bit going right for them as well.
The Rise of Rielly
Morgan Reilly hasn’t just made a case to be the number one defenseman on the Leafs at the 15-game mark, he’s pinned himself atop the board as number one in the league.
His 18 points through 14 games leads all blue-liners and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He’s posted four-points in his last three games, three of which came on the power play.
Morgan Rielly had a couple goals in the @MapleLeafs 5-0 win tonight, giving him 6 for the campaign & tying him atop a list that stretches back over 90 seasons of franchise history pic.twitter.com/kf1CM0t41w
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) November 4, 2018
While their 3-5-0 home record hasn’t turned too many heads right out of the gates, the Leafs have been sensational on the road through their six away tilts.
They are a perfect 6-0-0 and with roadies coming up against the Kings, Sharks, Ducks, and Hurricanes you can bet they’ll likely stay hot through the month.
They will have a bit of a test when they head to Boston on the 10th, but after that, the road is a gravy train for a few weeks. Also, by that point, their stud Auston Matthews will have likely checked back into the lineup as well.
Should you bet on Toronto to win the 2019 Stanley Cup?
Futures bets are always exciting through the year because you live and or die with your pick.
With that said, it’s not a bad idea to hitch your wagon to the Leafs in 2019. Aside from the obvious healthy lineup concern, which should be remedied in the coming weeks, Toronto may have a bit of a cake walk in the East.
This by no means makes them a lock, but it definitely improves their chances.
The other contenders out of their conference are the Tampa Bay Lightning (+680 avg) and Pittsburgh Penguins (+1100 avg). Although their odds have slipped a little, the Boston Bruins are still contenders (+1100 avg), but haven’t shown enough consistency thus far to be treated as a major threat.
The East is once again shaping up to be the weaker conference and the Leafs have a golden opportunity to meet the hype.