The NHL is set up with a great night of action once again on April 12. Eight games are up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these matchups will be between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. These two teams will look for a big win in this one as the playoffs get closer. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Maple Leafs have posted a record of 28-10-3 throughout this season, which has them sitting in the top spot of the North Division. Toronto has a six point lead on the second place Jets and will look to hold on with a win in this one. The Maple Leafs have won six games in a row and nine of their last ten. Toronto will look to keep it up with a win in this one.
Montreal has put up a record of 17-12-9 to this point in the season, which has them in fourth place of the North Division. The Canadiens have a six point lead on the Calgary Flames for the final playoff spot in the North. Montreal has lost three games in a row and four of their last five. The Canadiens will look to bounce back win a big win on Monday night.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots as of right now, which should lead to a good game in this one. Toronto has been stronger, taking the top spot in the North Division. The Canadiens have been up and down throughout this season, but they will look to finish strong to hold onto a playoff spot. I expect a good matchup on Monday night.
The Maple Leafs and the Canadiens have met up five times throughout this season. The first game of the season series was on January 13 in Toronto. William Nylander had two goals and an assist as the Maple Leafs won 5-4 in overtime. The second game was in Montreal on February 10. Jake Muzzin had three assists as Toronto earned a 4-2 win.
The third game of the season series shifted back to Toronto on February 13. Mitch Marner opened up the scoring, but this time it was not enough for the Maple Leafs. Tyler Toffoli and Brenden Gallagher both had a goal and an assist in the third period. Carey Price finished with 21 saves on 22 shots as the Canadiens won 2-1 on the road.
Montreal hosted the fourth game of the season series on February 20. Paul Byron, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Tyler Toffoli all had a goal on the night, but it was not enough. Auston Matthews scored two goals and added two assists. Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists as the Maple Leafs were able to earn a 5-3 win in this one.
The fifth and most recent game of the season series was on April 7 in Toronto. Corey Perry scored two goals on the night, but once again the Canadiens came up short. Zach Hyman and Auston Matthews both had a goal and an assist on the night. Jack Campbell stopped 32 of 34 shots on the night as the Maple Leafs earned a 3-2 win.
Toronto has been strong on the power play throughout this season. The Maple Leafs have capitalized on 27 of their 116 power play chances, which is a 23.3 percent power play. Toronto has struggled a bit on the penalty kill. The Maple Leafs have killed off 85 of their opponents 109 power play attempts, which is a 78 percent kill rate.
The Canadiens have been around the league average on the power play. Montreal has scored on 21 of their 105 power play opportunities, which is a 20 percent success rate. The Canadiens have also struggled on the penalty kill. Montreal has given up 30 power play goals on 127 penalties against, which is a 76.4 percent penalty kill.
These two teams have been solid on the power play and struggled on the penalty kill. Montreal has been a bit worse on special teams throughout this season. The Canadiens have had more penalties against then they have drawn this season and will need to stay out of the box in this one. If Montreal gives the Maple Leafs a lot of power play chances, it could give Toronto the win.
Michael Hutchinson will likely get the start between the pipes for the Maple Leafs in this one. Hutchinson has earned a record of 4-2-1 throughout this season. He has posted a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.42. Hutchinson’s last start was against the Calgary Flames where he stopped 32 of 34 shots in route to a big win.
I expect Jake Allen to get the nod in the crease for Montreal on Monday night. Allen has started in 15 games this season, going 5-6-4 throughout those games. He has put up a save percentage of .912 and a 2.53 GAA. Allen finished with 20 saves on 25 shots in his last start against the Winnipeg Jets, which was not enough for the win.
These two goalies have put up similar numbers throughout this season. Both goalies have played well in the backup role, which should lead to a great game. Allen is coming off a tough start in his last outing and will look to bounce back in this one. Hutchinson had a great start against the Flames and will look to build off that in this one.
Montreal has struggled against the Maple Leafs throughout this season. Toronto has won four of the five games so far against the Canadiens. Montreal will look to stay out of the box and get a good start for Allen. If the Canadiens can come out fast against the Maple Leafs in this one, it could be enough to pull off the upset at home.
BetOnline has Toronto listed as a -137 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Maple Leafs will win this game around 57.8 percent of the time. Toronto is the better team, which makes this line make a lot of sense. Montreal lost the first two games to the Maple Leafs at home and I think they can bounce back with a win in this one.