Are the Montreal Canadiens the Smartest Play to Win the North Division?
Who is better between the long-time rivals Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs? Well, 56.1% say the Canadians get the edge over the Leafs. Now let’s put this into a betting context right now because FanDuel being the kick-ass book that they are, just welcomed the state of Virginia to the party. Yup, Virginia began legalized sports gambling, and FanDuel is open for business. Back to the Buds and Habs as FanDuel has division odds up right now. Toronto is +160, while Montreal is at +280. The Canadiens are a better team than the Toronto Maple Leafs are right now and in the same division, and they’re going to play each other nine more times. They will be playing each other ten times this year, so it will certainly be decided on the ice.
So, here’s why Montreal is a better team, even though it doesn’t mean that they would beat the Leafs in a seven-game series. Looking at these two clubs and the Canadiens and Maple Leafs are as dead, even as you can get. We saw when they played in the season opener. It went to overtime where the Habs had a breakaway that could have easily scored and won that game before Toronto ended it.
They’re that close to each other. You’ve got a pair of teams that are as evenly matched as you can get, but Carey Price breaks the deadlock. Price is a much better goalie than Freddy Andersen. Hell, backup Jake Allen might be better than the Leafs starting goaltender. So Price in a playoff series over Andersen and these guys while it helps to have a backup like Allen. The Leafs also don’t have the heart, grit, and toughness that the Canadiens have. Toronto shows they can be totally heatless. They don’t have any heart. The Leafs haven’t won a playoff series since 2004, and now they’re +160 to win the North Division. There’s a much nicer price at +280 for the Canadiens.
If you think we’re overlooking somebody, the Edmonton Oilers at +500 have a better chance of winning the lotto than winning this division. Do the Calgary Flames win the North? Better chance of a shark attack or getting struck by lightning. They don’t suck, neither of those Alberta teams sucks, but they aren’t coming away with the divisional title. The Canucks look better at 7-1 to win it, but the Montreal Canadiens at +280 is the most potent play of the bunch.