Senators at Maple Leafs 10/2/19 - NHL Picks & Predictions

Last Updated: 10/01/2019 at 8:06 PM ET

Senators at Maple Leafs 10/2/19 - NHL Picks & Predictions

On Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators visit the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL regular season opener for both. The Senators did not have a good team in 2018-19 and will not likely be much better this season. A mix of veterans such as Artem Anisimov and Ron Hainsey will play with young players such as Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk. Don’t be surprised with a last place finish in the NHL for Ottawa this season.

Brady Tkachuk is the player to watch when the Senators open their season on Wednesday. Tkachuk showed a strong ability to drive the line last season while on Mark Stone’s line but when Stone was not playing the line took a big hit. As a rookie in 2018-19, Tkachuk scored 22 goals and assisted on 23 others and this season, his goal scoring should surpass the 30-goal plateau.

Toronto is loaded with elite talent but the big question mark is whether the Maple Leafs can put it all together and take a run at this season’s Stanley Cup title. The big three for Toronto are Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares. A slight question mark remains in goal as not all hockey pundits believe Frederik Andersen is a goaltender that can lead Toronto to the Cup.

The player to watch starting this season for the Maple Leafs is Andreas Johnsson. As a rookie last season, Johnsson impressed with 20 goals and 23 assists, but flew under the radar on a team with so much talent. Johnsson begins the season on Matthews’ top line as Zach Hyman is out with an injury, but a good start there may keep the second year talent alongside Matthews even when Hyman returns.

 Ottawa has lost 26 of its last 36 versus Atlantic Division opponents, 48 of its last 68 overall and 4 of its last 5 on the road. The Senators have lost 48 of the last 60 when playing against Eastern Conference opponents. The Maple Leafs have won 12 of the last 17 when playing on three days or more rest. The home team (Toronto) has won 4 of the last 5 between the two. Final Score Prediction, Toronto Maple Leafs win 5-1.

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