Tuesday NHL Odds, Pick, Predictions: Canadiens vs. Maples Leafs Betting Preview
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Suzuki
- The Canadiens and Maple Leafs meet on Tuesday night to kick off the 2021-22 NHL season (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
- The Habs are fresh off an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final, while Toronto is dealing with injuries to a few key players ahead of their opener.
- Get our Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs betting pick and full preview below.
Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-185|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
When last we left these two teams, the Maple Leafs were blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Canadiens — apologies for the spoiler to everyone waiting to find out what happens on “All or Nothing.” Montreal went to the Stanley Cup Final. Toronto’s NHL-high Stanley Cup and playoff-series-win drought was extended another year, to 54 and 16 respectively.
Montreal lost two of its top forwards, Phillip Danault and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, to free agency — Kotakaniemi signed the most ruthless offseason contract when the Carolina Hurricanes sent him a one-year offer sheet that Montreal didn’t match. The Canadiens are also without all-world goalie Carey Price, who is on a voluntary 30-day mental health leave.
But Montreal still boasts Calder Trophy favorite forward Cole Caufield, who had three points in nine games against the Maple Leafs last season between regular season and playoffs. Mike Hoffman, coming off a season where he shot 15 percent and scored 0.33 goals per game for the St. Louis Blues, is also expected to produce offensively after signing a three-year, $13.5 million contract in the offseason.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto is also without its biggest star center Auston Matthews, who will miss at least Toronto’s first three games due to injury. All-Star forward Mitch Marner could also miss the game due to an injury sustained in practice Tuesday.
Toronto’s depth will be tested if neither can go, as Marner and Matthews’ salaries make up a sizable chunk of the team’s cap. But John Taveras will rise as Toronto’s No. 1 center, and William Nylander is coming off a monster year where he averaged 0.82 points per game and shot 12.8 percent.
The Maple Leafs will put their faith in goal in Jack Campbell for a full season after the goalie enjoyed a breakout season where he went 17-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.
Canadiens-Maple Leafs Pick
Even if Marner and Matthews are out, the Maple Leafs are expected to again be one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, and that would expect to bear out playing Montreal without Price — who stopped an eye-popping 12.3 goals above expected, the second-best rate in the NHL last postseason.
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Campbell regress after a season that saw him post a .921 save percentage and a +8.4 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) in 22 games last season. Campbell may very well be a good netminder, but goaltending is voodoo that tends to fluctuate from year to year.
Seven of the teams’ 17 head-to-head meetings last season featured at least six goals, including Toronto’s 5-4 win on opening night last season. We particularly like this with even-money odds and would consider it even if it dipped to -110, which it shouldn’t.
Pick: Over 6 (+100)
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