Maple Leafs vs Canadiens: Big NHL Rivalry Renewed in Montreal

Eddie Griffin

Tonight, one of the biggest rivalries in the NHL is renewed as the Toronto Maple Leafs visit Bell Centre to take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Here’s a look at the odds for the matchup in Montreal.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens Matchup Info and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: Toronto Maple Leafs (32-13-3, 67 points, 3rd in Atlantic Division) vs. Montreal Canadiens (10-33-7, 27 points, 8th in Atlantic Division)
  • Venue & Location: Bell Centre (Montreal, Quebec)
  • Date: Monday, February 21, 2022
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+

Betting Odds

  • Moneyline: Toronto Maple Leafs -375, Montreal Canadiens +300
  • Total: OVER 6 (-125), UNDER 6 (+105)
  • Puck Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (-145), Montreal Canadiens +1.5 (+120)

Odds are via BetMGM.

Can the Cellar-Dwelling Canadiens Pull Off Another Stunner Against Cup-Contending Maple Leafs?

Last season, the two Original Six teams met in the first round of the NHL playoffs in a series that will not soon be forgotten by Canadiens fans.

The top-seeded Maple Leafs, who had dominated the makeshift North Division, took a 3-1 lead in the series and had a chance to clinch the series in Toronto. But the fourth-seeded Canadiens won Game 5 at Scotiabank Arena and Game 6 at Bell Centre, both in overtime, to force a Game 7 in Toronto, which they won 3-1 to send the Maple Leafs to their latest early playoff exit.

The Canadiens made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but there has been little to cheer about in Montreal this season.

Entering today, Montreal sits a distant dead last in the Atlantic Division and has the lowest points total in the NHL. The Canadiens are last in the NHL in goals per game (2.20), have allowed the most goals in the league (195), and have won only six of 24 home games.

Dominique Ducharme led the team on last season’s Cup run as interim head coach, lasted only 45 games with the permanent head job before he was fired on February 9. And right winger Tyler Toffoli, who contributed 14 points in last season’s playoffs, was traded to the Calgary Flames

2021-22 NHL Atlantic Division Standings

  1. Florida Panthers: 75 points (50 games)
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning: 70 points (49 games)
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs: 67 points (48 games)
  4. Boston Bruins: 60 points (49 games)
  5. Detroit Red Wings: 52 points (51 games)
  6. Ottawa Senators: 41 points (49 games)
  7. Buffalo Sabres: 40 points (51 games)
  8. Montreal Canadiens: 27 points (50 games)

On the other side, the Maple Leafs are having another strong regular season. They may not catch the high-flying Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division, but they have +850 odds to win the 2022 Stanley Cup, which puts them fourth behind the Avalanche (+425), Lightning (+750), and Panthers (+800).

While Montreal has struggled to score this season, that has not been the case for Toronto. The Leafs are fourth in the NHL in goals per game (3.58), and Auston Matthews (33 G, 26 A) is on pace to have his first 50-goal season.

2021-22 NHL Goal Leaders

  • 1. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers: 35
  • t-2. Chris Kreider, New York Rangers: 33
  • t-2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs: 33
  • 4. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: 31
  • t-5. Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets: 29
  • t-5. Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks: 29

However, when it comes to the most recent results, things are actually trending a bit better for the Canadiens than they are for the Leafs. Since winning six in a row to end January and begin February, the Leafs have dropped three of their past five games and suffered a 6-3 home loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

It’s far too late for the Canadiens to have something that resembles a decent season, but they enter tonight’s game with back-to-back wins for–wait for it, wait for it–the first time all season. Is that astounding? That is astounding.

The Ducharme era, if you can call it that, ended with a seven-game winless run (and two wins in over two months). The winless run extended to ten games before Friday’s overtime win over the same Blues team that turned around and walloped the Maple Leafs two days later. Montreal followed their win over St. Louis with a shootout win over the New York Islanders yesterday.

If they can upset the odds tonight, it will be the first time this season that the Canadiens were able to win on back-to-back days after failing to do so in eight previous back-to-backs this season.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens Pick

OVER 6 Goals (-125 at BetMGM)

The Canadiens’ little resurgence is nice, but the odds are not favorable for them to finally win on back-to-back days for the first time this season.

Saturday’s loss to the Blues was not a good result or performance for the Leafs but look for them to bounce back. That was the seventh time this season that Toronto has lost by three or more goals; in the previous six instances, they have won four times.

More importantly, at least with regards to the above pick, look for goals to not be lacking in tonight’s tilt. Goals have flowed with regularity in Toronto’s road games. In the Maple Leafs’ past 15 road games, there have been six or more goals a dozen times.

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