Here we go! Opening night in the NHL and we have three solid games on the schedule.
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Alright lets get right into tonight’s pick…
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – UNDER 5.5 GOALS (-125)
(Note: I’m risking 1.25 units to win 1 unit)
A classic All Canadian rivalry between the Habs and the Maple Leafs to kick off the NHL season. I was very pleased to see a total set at 5.5 for these two teams to start the season, and we will be rolling the UNDER as we look to start the season 1-0 with our NHL picks. In net we will have Carey Price for the Montreal Canadiens, and young James Reimer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season Price was 38-28-6 with a 2.35 GAA and .923 SV%, and he recorded 8 shutouts. Price was one of the reasons the Canadiens played the UNDER so much last season (the UNDER was 45-26-11 for the Canadiens). James Reimer took over the starting role for the Maple Leafs last season, and there was no doubt that he deserved to start the season as the #1 this year. In 37 games played last season Reimer went 20-10-5 with a .921 SV% and 2.60 GAA – not bad for stepping into a big role with a struggling Leafs team. Reimer has worked extremely hard in the off-season and I wouldn’t be surprised for him to improve on his solid numbers from last year. These two teams met 6 times last season, splitting the season series 3 games a piece. Take note that 5 of the 6 meetings went UNDER the posted total with totals of 5, 3, 4, 2, and 5 for the UNDERS. Also note that the UNDER is 5-0 in these two teams last 5 meetings in Toronto. Both teams played the UNDER vs divisional opponents last season. The UNDER was 14-6-4 for Montreal vs divisional opponents, and the UNDER was 13-10-1 for the Leafs vs divisional opponents. The UNDER is 33-15-3 in the Canadiens last 51 road games, and 42-18-3 in their last 63 games as a road underdog. The UNDER is 5-2 in the Leafs last 7 games as a home favorite dating back to the end of last season. Neither team was known for their offense last season, and the Leafs will be missing some of their key offensive players to open the season. Clarke MacArthur is out serving a suspension, Nazem Kadri is injured, and off season acquisition Tim Connolly is on the IR. We should also note that the Leafs best looking offensive player in the preseason, Mikhail Grabovski, is listed as questionable, but I couldn’t see him not being in the lineup. These two teams have been playing a lot of UNDERs recently, and with the two goaltenders we have in the season opener I wouldn’t be surprised for another one. Take the UNDER.
Good Luck, and we will be back Friday with more NHL picks!