Montreal Canadiens (0-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (0-0)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Scotiabank Arena)
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -145 / Montreal Canadiens +117 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs meet Wednesday in NHL action at the Scotiabank Arena.
The Montreal Canadiens ended up being a surprise team in the NHL playoff bubble, taking out the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Play-In Round. The Canadiens were an excellent possession team last season that played well at full strength and still ha a veteran goalie in Carey Price who can stand on his head from time to time. However, I’d like to see Jake Allen step up in the backup role and take some pressure off Price this season. If Montreal gets breakout seasons from Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, this is a team that could certainly find itself back in the playoffs. The Canadiens need a fast start to build on the confidence early while also proving to the outside noise that the bubble success was not a fluke.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had another disappointing end to their season and the pressure is starting to build. The Maple Leafs will have some adjusting to do, as they add eight new faces, including Michael Hutchinson, Travis Boyd, Joe Thornton and Jimmy Vesey. Still, the Maple Leafs are easily one of the more talented rosters in the sport led by star forward Auston Matthews, and he was even more productive when he shared a line with Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Goalie Frederik Andersen is also in a contract year, so he should be highly motivated this season. Bottom line is the Maple Leafs have run out of excuses. It’s time for a deep playoff run or things could get ugly in Toronto.
The Canadiens are 8-17 in their last 25 Wednesday games and 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Atlantic. The Maple Leafs are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Atlantic and 2-5 in their last 7 Wednesday games. The under is 5-1-1 in Canadiens last 7 overall. The under is 6-2 in Maple Leafs last 8 overall. The Canadiens are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Toronto and 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
The Montreal Canadiens have had recent success against the Maple Leafs and should feel confident coming off a successful bubble. However, this is the year the Toronto Maple Leafs need to put it together. This roster is too talented for inconsistent results and coming up short in the playoffs. It's now or never and the players have to feel like that as well. I expect the Maple Leafs to get off to a fast start. I'll lay the reasonable price with the home team.