NHL Betting: Toronto too strong for New York

Carolina are a club in disarray, plummeting after a spell of one win in twelve games. The Boston Bruins will be smelling blood tonight as they try to achieve the best possible play-off seeding and their choking, defensive style is exactly what the 'Canes wouldn't want to face right now. Goalie injuries have been a big factor in Carolina's demise but they don't excuse such a disastrous run; offensively they're seemingly devoid of confidence too. Take Boston at 1.70, because the Hurricanes don't look capable of an unlikely upset. On top of that, add in fewer than 4.5 goals at 2.30.

Edging closer to the post-season and ending their eight-year drought are the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have had a great season. Today they face the New York Rangers, another club right in the middle of the action, and who are also in decent form. It's sure to be gritty: both rank highly in terms of hits and blocked shots, getting the puck down low and looking to create opportunities from there. As the home side I think the Maple Leafs are good value for the win at 2.50.

A string of home games has allowed the Phoenix Coyotes to get back in the West's play-off fight. On the downside, the majority of their remaining games are out on the road, where they've struggled most of the season. They start in Vancouver, where the Canucks are rolling at Rogers Arena with five straight wins. They're unlikely to take their foot off the pedal with qualification not yet a certainty. One streak will end, but I'd back Vancouver with a -1.5 handicap at 2.67.

Best bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to win at 2.50