Canadiens at Maple Leafs - 10/7/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Montreal Canadiens (56-27-11) at Toronto Maple Leafs (30-44-8)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Air Canada Centre)
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -110 / Montreal Canadiens -110 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs open the season Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre.
The Montreal Canadiens are coming off a 50-win season and have made the playoffs in seven of their last eight seasons. Offensively, the Canadiens finished last year ranked 20th with 2.61 goals per game. Max Pacioretty returns after leading Montreal with 37 goals, Tomas Plekanec had 34 assists and Brendan Gallagher had 254 shots on goal. Defensively, the Montreal Canadiens were the best in the NHL with just 2.24 goals allowed per game. Carey Price and Dustin Tokarski return at goaltender and will hold down the fort for Montreal. Max Pacioretty is expected to play despite a leg injury.
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The Toronto Maple Leafs look to bounce back after winning just 30 games last year and missing the playoffs for two straight seasons. Mike Babcock makes his coaching debut for the Maple Leafs here. The Maple Leafs finished last season ranked 24th 2.5 goals per game. James van Riemsdyk returns after leading Toronto with 27 goals, Tyler Bozak had 26 assists and Morgan Rielly had 148 shots on goal. Defensively, the Toronto Maple Leafs ranked 26th in the NHL with 3.1 goals allowed per game. James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier hope to step it up this season as the goaltenders once again.
The Canadiens are 5-1 in their last 6 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 1-4 in their last 5 Wednesday games. The Maple Leafs are 1-7 in their last 8 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 21-44 in their last 65 vs. Eastern Conference. The Canadiens are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Toronto and 6-0 in the last 6 meetings overall.
The Canadiens have beaten the Maple Leafs six straight times, as Toronto hasn't beaten Montreal since January of 2014. Although there's a new feel about the Maple Leafs and they have a new coach, I have to take the more consistent team in Montreal and pick the Canadiens for the victory.