by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
There is a home-team trend in the NHL’s forever rivalry, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are also dealing with a rival whose actions on the road suggest they have something to prove.
The Maple Leafs are -140 home favourites with the Montreal Canadiens coming back as a +120 underdog and a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Wednesday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The home team is 7-2 in the last nine matchups between the North Division rivals, and the total has gone OVER in five of the six most recent matchups.
Canadiens vs Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
Toronto has a 2-5 record in its last seven games as a home favourite of -130 to -140 on the moneyline at betting sites. Montreal is 6-3 in its last nine games as an away underdog of +110 to +120, with wins in the last five matchups within that sample. The total has gone OVER in five of the last six Montreal-Toronto games.
The Canadiens were 24th overall in 2019-20 with a .500 points percentage, but beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifying series before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in a six-game first-round series. Montreal averaged 2.93 goals per game last season, 19th in the NHL, and the main upgrades up front over the offseason have come through adding wings Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli. Montreal will be counting on outsized contributions from the top-3 center combo of Phillip Danault, Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Defensively, Montreal’s big addition is Joel Edmundson as it tries to lower its average of 3.10 goals against, which was 19th last season.
Montreal goaltender Carey Price has a 26-15-4 record with a 2.62 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 45 career games against the Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs were 13th overall last season with a .579 points percentage before falling against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a five-game qualifying series. Toronto, coming off a season where it was third in the NHL in scoring at 3.39 goals per game, projects to carry over a top offense. The top-nine forward corps anchored by centers Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Alex Kerfoot has been upgraded with the signings of future hall of famer Joe Thornton – the team’s No. 1 left wing flanking Matthews, for now – and left wing Jimmy Vesey.
Toronto’s big question is on the blue line, where they were 26th in goals against (3.17) last season; the signing of T.J. Brodie is expected to give Toronto the luxury to have its two best defenders, Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin, play apart on the main two pairings.
Veteran Toronto goaltender Frederik Anderson, often a slow starter when the season begins in October, has a 7-3-2 record with a 2.57 GAA and .923 save percentage in 12 career games against Montreal. Only 19 of the 31 goals against him have been at even strength.
The Maple Leafs are beginning the compressed 56-game season with three in four nights. They play back-to-back away games against the Ottawa Senators on Friday and Saturday.