Sunday, May 22, 2022
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NHL Betting: Leafs clash with the Canadiens

Carey PriceFlorida Alabama odds probably seem more tempting – after all, those teams are actually good – but the NHL gets our attention whenever the storied Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens meet. As bad as both these teams may be, they always battle harder than normal against each other, treating us to an epic game. Each of their meetings went to overtime so far this season with Montreal winning both, but the Leafs’ time for vengeance may be upon us.

Could Toronto’s online sportsbook odds be trending upward? After starting 0-7-1 the Leafs have gone 6-4-7 – not a great number but one reflecting a relatively competitive team. Phil Kessel has been a major help since joining the team, creating offense off the rush and sniping goals left and right with his lightning-quick release. Niklas Hagman has been absolutely on fire; he’s up to 13 goals and just earned the NHL’s third star of the week after sniping five goals in three games. Toronto’s defense is solidifying – Francois Beauchemin has really settled down – and should welcome Mike Komisarek back from his torn quad for Tuesday’s game..

The Habs have had some bright spots this year, as Carey Price has played well in spurts and Tomas Plekanec has rediscovered his scoring touch, but plenty has gone wrong as well. Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta are hurt and no one is chipping in any semblance of offense besides Mike Cammalleri. The days of Montreal’s deadly power play are long gone as the Habs lack a boomer on the point. Like the Browns in NFL betting, they need a quarterback; Andrei Markov remains on injured reserve.

After their worst start in franchise history, it’s almost like the pressure is off for the Leafs now. They’ve been forgotten and have quietly started stringing wins together. They still need more on offense from guys like Mikhail Grabovski but a game against his hated former team may be just the spark he needs. Bet on the Leafs to get the monkey off their back and steal one from the Habs on the road.

Hockey odds pick: Maple Leafs

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