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Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs Free NHL Pick – February 27th

Back in the win column after last night’s convincing Capitals victory over the depleted Hurricanes. That win brings our record on the featured selections to a stellar 18-9 on the season. In tonight’s write-up, we feature one of the greatest rivalries in sport, as the first-place Montreal Canadiens head to Toronto to take on a banged-up Maple Leafs squad.

Montreal Canadiens (-115) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (-105)

This game has the makings of quite the classic. It’s been rare in recent seasons for both teams to meet each other when they’re both playing well, but that’s what will unfold Wednesday evening. These teams have met twice so far in 2013, with the Leafs winning both, including a dominant 6-0 romp on February 9th. That game was filled with plenty of bad-blood and you can bank on the fact that the Habs haven’t forgotten that beat-down. Expect a hungrier, motivated Canadiens squad Wednesday night, and look for the Habs to exact their revenge on a depleted Toronto team.

The Leafs have played surprisingly well this season, especially when you consider the wealth of injuries they’ve had to endure. They enter this pivotal contest still without top-winger Joffrey Lupul, their number one goalie in James Reimer, as well as key youngster Matt Frattin. Those are three big injuries for the Buds, and though they’ve done well thus far, look for Montreal’s depth to severely test the blue and white.

Montreal has mostly avoided the injury bug this year. They enter this game fully healthy except for winger Rene Bourque who is battling concussion-like symptoms. Montreal is currently playing a staunch defensive system, and amazing team game. They clog up the neutral zone like none other, and that style will give the free-flowing Leafs a ton of trouble.

Though Montreal has been thoroughly outplayed by the Buds in their first two meetings, that trend change tonight. The NHL is a league based on parity, and teams will bounce back. The Habs were embarrassed in every way imaginable on February 9th, and it’ll be their turn to do it to their forever rivals. Montreal hasn’t lost in regulation since that disappointing evening, and look for them to turn in yet another solid road performance. Take the Habs at this very generous price.

PICK = Montreal (-115)