The NHL Playoffs are underway, as hockey fans and sports bettors from around the world tune in for the all-action postseason. With many Stanley Cup hopefuls showing their strength in the NHL Regular Season, will they carry that momentum over into the finals?
This seasons’ NHL has been an interesting one, with a shorter timetable and a reshuffle of divisions. With so much to play for in the coming weeks, NHL betting sites are receiving a lot of traffic from bettors.
We’ll take a look at the Canadian teams today. But, elsewhere, we’ve seen the Capitals go 1 up against the Bruins and the Islanders go up against the Penguins. The Wild continue to produce title-winning performances, as they beat the Knights in a shock first win of the series.
The reigning Stanley Cup holders the Tampa Bay Lightning start their campaign off with a win, in a 5-4 thriller against the Panthers. The North Division teams aren’t favoured to win the title, but the Leafs have had an excellent season and the Oilers are always in with a chance.
We’ve assessed the odds from all the top-tier sportsbooks available to Canadian players and will offer some picks and insights for the upcoming North Division playoff fixtures. So, without further adieu, let’s take a look.
Edmonton Oilers (1.67) vs Winnipeg Jets (2.30)
The Oilers Edmonton finished the season with a loss against the struggling Canucks, but went 7-3-0 in their last 10 and have looked as strong as ever. It seems to be the same old story for Edmonton, a team featuring 2 of the leagues’ best players, but unable to find a plan B when those players are shut down.
Getting McDavid and Draisaitl on the puck is going to be key to any success the Oilers have in the postseason. The opening fixture against the Jets should favour the all-attacking Edmonton roster.
However, the Jets are in the playoffs for a reason. Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele have put up the points this season, scoring 26, 21, and 21, respectively. The Oilers have always struggled in defence and will need to shut out the Jets offensive lineup if they are to get the result they want.
Toronto Maple Leafs (1.48) vs Montreal Canadiens (2.80)
The Maple Leafs finish the NHL Regular Season as the North Division winners, with a record of 35-14-7 overall and edging out the Oilers. The Canadiens didn’t necessarily look like they’d make it to the playoffs, with a less than convincing finish to the season.
Auston Matthews has been absolutely sensational this season and has been the driving force in the Leafs’ success. He’s put up 41 goals and 25 assists in 2021 and if Matthews continues this into the postseason, they are certainly in with a chance of getting their hands on the Cup.
The Canadiens have relied on native-born Tyler Toffoli for points this season, as their leading scorer with 28 goals. Josh Anderson, Nick Suzuki, and Brendan Gallagher have bolstered the attack as well.
We expect to see a very convincing Toronto team and one which will win this first playoff series with relative ease. Take the Leafs to come out firing early on and take control of this tie.