Toronto opens the campaign with a lot to prove after losing to the Canadiens in seven games in their first-round playoff series. But the team dominated Montreal in regular season home games, taking victory in eight of their last 10 games heading into Wednesday night’s game at the Air Canada Center.
The Maple Leafs’ playoff failure hasn’t weakened their strong position on the Stanley Cup odds, where they are among the favorites at +1100. However, Toronto will have to make do without forward Auston Matthews, who will open the campaign on the sidelines with a wrist injury. Forward Mitch Marner’s status has also been called into question after he was forced out of training on Tuesday following a collision on the ice.
The Canadiens are back in action after last summer’s march to the Stanley Cup Final, but will hit the ice in Wednesday’s season opener with +145 underdogs on sports betting sites. Montreal has taken steps to strengthen its lineup during the offseason, but health issues remain a concern. Mike Hoffman, Paul Byron and Joel Edmundson will be among the regulars missing from Wednesday’s roster, and Carey Price and Shea Weber are also on the shelves indefinitely as the Canadiens seek their first season opener in four years .
Later Wednesday, the Vancouver Canucks will look to bounce back from a forgettable 2021 campaign as they visit the Edmonton Oilers as the +155 underdogs. The Canucks are back in action after finishing last in the North Division standings last season. Hampered by injuries and an extended COVID-related shutdown, Vancouver finished last season with just four wins in its last 15 contests. However, the Canucks continued to produce stable results against the Oilers, who expect Wednesday at -180 chalk. Vancouver took the win on three of its five visits last season, averaging four goals per game.
Also on Wednesday, the Winnipeg Jets will visit the Anaheim Ducks as the -155 road favorites. The Jets are aiming to bounce back from being winless in three preseason road games, but tied for fourth in the NHL with 17 road wins last season. The team have also impressed on recent trips to Anaheim, posting shutout wins in two of their last three road trips with the Ducks.