- After shocking the Bruins, the Panthers meet the Maple Leafs in the 2nd Round of the NHL Playoffs
- The Maple Leafs are -165 favorites to win this series and advance to the Eastern Conference Final
- Read below for the Maple Leafs vs Panthers series odds, preview and pick
Stunning the hockey world after upsetting the regular season record-setting Boston Bruins, the Florida Panthers now get set to tussle with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the NHL playoff bracket.
At the outset of the playoffs, this had to be one of the most unpredictable second-round encounters, given Florida’s opponent and the Leafs’ inability to advance past the first round in almost two decades, but here we are.
The Maple Leafs will have home-ice advantage over a Panthers team that didn’t clinch a playoff spot until the last few days of the season. Let’s take a look at the Maple Leafs vs Panthers odds for this series and offer you our pick and prediction.
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Series Odds
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-165|
The Maple Leafs are strong -165 favorites to win this series in the NHL odds, which gives them an implied win probability of 62.26% to advance to the next round. At +135 the Panthers have a 42.55% probability to score another series upset.
This Maple Leafs vs Panthers series will get underway Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena. Game 1 puck drop is 7:00 pm ET.
Odds as of April 30th at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Maple Leafs Shed Ghosts of Playoffs Past
Exorcizing the demons that followed them for 19 years, one of hockey’s most iconic franchises is finally back in the second round and expectations are sky high. Only the Edmonton Oilers currently have shorter Stanley Cup odds than the Blue and White.
During the regular season, they took three of four from Florida, outscoring them 15-10 in those matchups. Each of the final two encounters were played in the last couple of weeks of the season and both needed overtime with the teams splitting those games.
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Head-to-Head Stats
|42-32-8||NHL Regular Season Record||50-21-11|
|3.51 (6th)||Goals For/GP||3.39 (9th)|
|3.32 (21st)||Goals Against/GP||2.68 (7th)|
|22.8% (10th)||Power Play||26% (2nd)|
|76% (23rd)||Penalty Kill||81.9% (12th)|
|54.33% (3rd)||5-on-5 Corsi||51.07% (16th)|
Nobody was happier to get the monkey off their back on the Leafs more than Auston Matthews. Although he didn’t factor into the Rocket Richard odds as expected this season, the sniper found the back of the net five times in the last four games against Tampa, finding the twine time and time again when his team needed it most.
Perhaps the biggest reason the Maple Leafs find themselves in the second round was the performance of Ilya Samsonov who overcame some playoff demons of his own and outdueled none other than Andrei Vasilevskiy to propel the Leafs to victory.
The charismatic Russian netminder had a 1-6 playoff record with the Capitals, before taking four of six games in the first round against Tampa. In the clinching Game 6 victory over the Lightning, he stoned Tampa over and over, stopping 31 of 32 shots.
Montour and Tkachuk Push Panthers Past Bruins
Falling in the standings from a record-setting season where they won the President’s Trophy last year, many were left wondering if the Panthers gave up too much in acquiring Matthew Tkachuk. With just eight games left in the season, they were sitting three points back of the final playoff spot. They went 6-1-1 down the stretch and have carried that momentum into the postseason.
Not only has Tkachuk led the Cats with his clutch scoring and rambunctious style of play, but defenseman Brandon Montour may be the biggest surprise in the league this season after being counted on much more due to MacKenzie Weegar being sent to the Flames as part of the Tkachuk deal.
In his seventh NHL season, Montour has come into his own, recording a Panthers franchise record for points by a defenseman in a season with 73 and scoring an incredible five goals in the first round upset of the Bruins. He’s leading the Panthers in time on ice and should be a top contender in the Norris Trophy odds, given his performance during the regular season.
Congratulations to Florida Panthers defenceman Brandon Montour (Mohawk) for breaking the most goals in a playoff series by a defenceman record with 5! #FirstNation #NHLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/7GdZcX5lhT
— Hockey Indigenous (@HKYIndigenous) May 1, 2023
One big question mark facing the Panthers lies in goal. Head coach Paul Maurice made the switch from inexperienced Alex Lyon to veteran Sergei Bobrovsky halfway through the first round. In four starts, the former Vezina winner gave up 16 goals, not exactly a showing that inspires a ton of confidence.
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Series Pick
This should be a fun one. One of the keys to this series will be the special teams. After finishing with the second-best power play during the regular season, the Leafs continued their electric display with the man advantage against Tampa, clicking at a 28.6% success rate in the first round.
KERFOOT COMPLETES THE COMEBACK ‼️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 25, 2023
Of all teams remaining in the playoffs, the Panthers had the worst penalty kill in the regular season. That doesn’t bode well for the Cats.
Both teams will be riding high after defeating two of the league’s best. Keeping the pesky Tkachuk at bay and containing the surprising Montour will be key to the Leafs success, but they have more depth, more superstars and at the moment, the advantage in net.
The playoffs are always full of surprises, but after finally vanquishing the demons that plagued them for so many years, the Maple Leafs are our pick to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.
Pick: Maple Leafs Series Moneyline (-165)