Habs Look To Extend 14-Game Win Streak Over The Leafs
Hard to believe, but the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens was January 18th, 2014 - before Phil Kessel became a Stanley Cup winner.
Even last year's Maple Leafs couldn't quite get over the hump, going 0-4 against the Habs. Montreal has feasted on the weakness of Toronto hockey since 1967, a number Canadiens fans chant at Leafs expats who invade their home arena.
Time changes everything, and Montreal appears to be in a moment of decline as the Leafs suddenly possess some of the best young talent in the NHL.
Despite an impressive start to the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs still require work on the defensive end. The Montreal Canadiens have been a bit unlucky to start the season 1-3, with advanced stats suggesting a higher quality of play than the results show.
Since Montreal has won 14 in a row, betting on the puckline will provide an opportunity to maximize your wager. The Canadiens are due for a breakout, and the Leafs defense has yet to display 60 minutes of cohesive resistance, so bet over on a total of 5.5 goals.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens Preview
After four games, the Canadiens appear to have issues with scoring, but the numbers suggest that Montreal’s the victim of bad puck luck. This team averages nearly 39 shots a game, with a total of five goals to show for their effort. A 2.6% rate of success represents an unsustainably small shooting percentage. As they progress to the mean, the Canadiens will start filling the net with more frequency, sooner rather than later.
Carey Price’s performance is another unsustainable trend, mostly because he’s still one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. He has a .899 SV%, far below the .920 SV% over his career. Unless he’s genetically wired to lose all his athleticism at the age of 30, Carey will rebound too, lifting the Canadiens along with him. The team will also become more accustomed to defensive systems installed by coach Claude Julien, a bench boss who lead the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup win since 1972.
Toronto has the second-best offense in the NHL, scoring 22 goals and possessing the second-best power play, scoring at a 33.3% rate. Auston Matthews ignites the impressive production of the Maple Leafs on a nightly basis, leading the team with six points. The Leafs loss to the New Jersey Devils revealed a genuine deficiency in their backline. New Jersey’s much improved, but they shouldn’t be able to hang six on a Maple Leafs squad filled with talent.
Some stats defy logic, including the Canadiens 14-game winning streak over the Leafs. Eventually, the streak will end, but Montreal’s due for an explosion of goals, and the Leafs team defense appears to need more time to coalesce into a cohesive unit. Carey Price has a 23-13-1 record against Toronto, so he’ll look to reestablish a positive routine against the Leafs.
Despite low scoring to start the season, the Canadiens have a better Corsi-for than the Leafs. Montreal peppered Chicago with 42 shots last game, which usually results in more scoring. Signs point to the Canadiens handing Toronto their second loss of the season, along with an existential crisis for nervous Leafs fanatics.
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