Round 1 predictions: Leafs will fall to Caps

By pretty much any measure, this is the most lop-sided series in the opening round of the NHL playoffs. At one end, you have the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals, perhaps the best edition of the team in the Alex Ovechkin era. At the other, a Toronto Maple Leafs squad that has a very bright future, but which was still trying to lock down a playoff spot in the season’s final weekend. Let’s take a closer look.

Toronto Maple Leafs (40-27-15) at Washington Capitals (55-19-8)

Key numbers

Lines: Leafs +350, Capitals -450

5-on-5 FF%: 49.7
Freddy Andersen save percentage: .918
Goal differential: +9

5-on-5 FF%: 51.4
Braden Holtby save percentage: .925
Goal differential: +81

You could make an argument that a strong start in the this series by Toronto could get in the heavily favoured Caps’ heads and lead to a miracle upset, but when you look at those goal differential numbers, it’s hard to see how the team that entered the playoffs with the fewest wins will get more than one or two here against a highly motivates Washington group. Caps in 4.

James Gordon is publisher of Follow him on Twitter here. Follow Hockey Markets on Twitter here.

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