Toronto Maple Leafs center William Nylander(88)during an NHL hockey game, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in Toronto, Canada. (AP Photo/Peter Power)
- The Canadiens and Maple Leafs play their NHL season opener on Wednesday, October 13th
- Toronto’s Auston Matthews will miss the game due to injury, while Mitch Marner is questionable
- Read below for the odds, game preview and betting pick
The Toronto Maple Leafs could be without both Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner when they open their NHL season against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, October 13th. Puck drop is set for 7pm ET at Scotiabank Arena.
Matthews won’t play against Montreal due to a wrist injury, while Marner’s status is uncertain after he suffered an injury in Tuesday’s practice. The Leafs are still being listed as -170 favorites over the Habs.
Can Montreal spoil Toronto’s home opener?
Canadiens vs Maple Leafs Odds
|Game Time (EST)||Team||Puck Line||Total||Moneyline|
|Wednesday Oct. 13||Montreal Canadiens||+1.5 (-176)||O 6 (-104)||+144|
|7:00 p.m.||Toronto Maple Leafs||-1.5 (+146)||U 6 (-118)||-172|
Odds as of Oct. 12 at FanDuel.
Leafs Are Banged Up
Toronto will be with their top goal scorer and potentially their best playmaker when they face Montreal on Wednesday. Matthews is out of the lineup as he recovers from wrist surgery, while Marner is questionable after colliding with Wayne Simmonds during Tuesday’s practice.
Wayne Simmonds tripped up Mitch Marner here at #Leafs practice and Marner went down hard. He stuck around for a bit, but after a chat with Sheldon Keefe he is now leaving with a trainer.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 12, 2021
Marner leaving Tuesday’s practice sent Leafs Nation into a panic, but it sounds like it may have been a precautionary thing. Considering how top-heavy the Maple Leafs are offensively, losing both Matthews and Marner would be significant. Matthews paced the team with 41 goals last season, while Marner led the group in points (67).
Toronto still has players who an pick up the slack, including William Nylander and John Tavares. Nylander was one of the team’s best players in the 2021 NHL Playoffs, scoring five goals in seven contests, while Tavares is back to full health following last year’s freak injury. The Toronto captain impressed in the preseason with five points.
Habs Aim For Encore
What does Montreal have in store this season after reaching the Stanley Cup last year? The latest Stanley Cup odds suggest that the Habs will be taking a big step backwards this season. Montreal will be without captain Shea Weber this season, while Carey Price announced last week he’ll be taking some time away from the team.
Posted by Carey Price’s wife Angela on IG. Credit to them for trying to help others by sharing their story. Here’s hoping Carey gets the help he needs. pic.twitter.com/WLnKSCwqZk
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 7, 2021
Not only is Montreal without two of its most important players, but they also lost two-way center Phillip Danault and sniper Jesperi Kotkaniemi this offseason. It’s no surprise Montreal is favored to miss the postseason in the NHL Playoff odds. The Canadiens will be relying heavily on the Tyler Toffoli-Nick Suzuki-Cole Caufield line, which excelled in the postseason.
With Price being absent, Montreal will be turning to Jake Allen in net against Toronto. The 31-year-old was stapled to the bench during Montreal’s incredible playoff run, but posted a .907 save percentage in 27 starts during the regular season. He’ll be going toe-to-toe with Maple Leafs starter Jack Campbell.
Recent Head-to-Head Results
|Date||Home-Away||Moneyline||Puck Line||Over/ Under|
|05/31/2021||Toronto 1 – Montreal 3||MTL||MTL||Under|
|05/29/2021||Montreal 3 – Toronto 2 OT||MTL||MTL||Under|
|05/27/2021||Toronto 3 – Montreal 4 OT||MTL||MTL||Over|
|05/25/2021||Montreal 0 – Toronto 4||TOR||TOR||Under|
|05/24/2021||Montreal 1 – Toronto 2||TOR||MTL||Under|
Canadiens vs Leafs Best NHL Pick
The injury to Matthews and potential loss of Marner means the Leafs are available at a reasonable price for their home opener. Toronto went 18-7-3 at Scotiabank Arena last season and will be amped to play in front of their fans. There’s also a revenge element as Toronto lost to the Habs in heartbreaking fashion during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Montreal being without Price is a massive blow to their chances of winning their season opener. Allen is certainly a capable backup, but his 2-3-0 record against Toronto last season doesn’t exude much confidence. Campbell was the better goalie last year, posting a 4-1-1 record against Montreal in the regular season.
Even if Marner is unavailable, the Tavares-Nylander duo should do some damage. This is a shaky and inexperienced Habs blueline with Weber’s absence. Bet on Toronto to get some early revenge on the Habs in their NHL home opener.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs ML (-170)
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.