NHL Picks: Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs Recent History Adds Value to an 'Over' Play

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 3:41 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 3:41 PM GMT

The NHL regular season opens on Wednesday and we’re ready to go. Go inside to read our betting preview article on today’s game between Montreal &Toronto which culminates with a NHL pick.

Historic Rivalry on Opening Night of NHL
Two epic NHL franchises will meet tonight in what will be the season opener for both clubs when the Maple Leafs and Canadiens collide. The opening faceoff at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto is slated for 7:05 PM ET. Current NHL odds at 5Dimes show Montreal as a -145 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5. Montreal won all four games played last season between these Atlantic Division rivals. These teams have seen each of the four played in Toronto go over the total during the past two seasons, and there was a combined average of 7.3 goals scored per game.

 

The Goaltenders
Barring something unforeseen, Carey Price will be in goal tonight for Montreal. Price is coming off a career season in which he won the Vezina Trophy (NHL best goaltender), William M. Jennings Trophy (fewest goals allowed), Hart Trophy (MVP), and was selected as a NHL first team all star. Price was 4-0 versus Toronto last season with an excellent .935 save percentage. However, it must be noted, in his two starts at Toronto, Price allowed 6 goals, and had a sub standard .878 save percentage.

Jonathan Bernier is slated to be in goal for Toronto this evening. Bernier was 21-33 a season ago with a respectable .919 save percentage, and also posted 6 shutouts. For whatever reason, Bernier performed much better on the road than at home. As a matter of fact, 5 of his 6 shutouts occurred in away games. Bernier made all 4 starts for Toronto in last season’s encounters with Montreal and had a mediocre .908 save percentage, and that includes .886 in the two on home ice.

 

Final Analysis
NHL handicapping in the first week of the season can be a bit of a crap shoot at times. Based on the team histories against one another, and the goaltending data I just provided, I’m going to have a small lean toward this game being a high scoring affair. One of my NHL picks on Wednesday will be reflective of that sentiment.

NHL Pick:  Montreal & Toronto Over 5 (-121) at 5Dimes

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