Fresh off their stunning sweep of the heavily favoured Winnipeg Jets in the second round of this year’s NHL playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens are enjoying a meteoric rise on the NHL futures as they pursue their first Stanley Cup victory in 28 years. Expected to roll over in their opening round clash with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal opened their playoff schedule as massive longshots to end their championship drought, but have made steady gains since shocking the hockey world by overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to knock off their archrivals. Now riding an impressive seven-game streak, and quickly approaching the NHL record for the longest run during the playoffs without sacrificing a lead, the Canadiens suddenly offer intriguing value at the sportsbooks as they wait to see what team they will face in the semi-finals.
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at how the Montreal Canadiens stack up against the other four teams still standing in this year’s NHL playoffs. Sports bettors getting into NHL playoff action for the first time can learn more about how to gain an edge by reviewing or guide on how to bet on hockey.
|Odds to Win the Stanley Cup|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||2.90||2.80||2.87|
|Vegas Golden Knights||3.25||3.25||3.26|
|New York Islanders||7.00||6.50||7.05|
Canadiens Shock Their Fans with Surprising Playoff Performance
Few, if any, observers expected the Montreal Canadiens to enjoy any success during this year’s NHL playoffs. Middling performers throughout the pandemic-shortened 2021 NHL season, the Canadiens backed into a playoff spot late in the campaign, thanks to even worse performances by both the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. Indeed, after ending their schedule on a five-game losing run, doubts lingered as to whether this team could even muster a single win against a Maple Leafs squad that dominating them during the regular season.
The stage is set.
— NHL (@NHL) June 11, 2021
However, the stars have quickly aligned for the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge. Listed as distant longshots entering the postseason, sporting odds as long as 71.00, the Habs have rocketed up the betting board, with odds as short as 9.00 at Sports Interaction. Of course, Montreal still has a mountain to climb in their bid for their first Stanley Cup win since 1993. The club awaits the winner of the ongoing West Division second-round series between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights.
Can Habs Extend Win Streak Against Vegas, Colorado?
Fixtures at or near the top of the Stanley Cup odds throughout the season, Vegas and Colorado finished deadlocked atop the NHL league standings, each with 82 points. The two clubs were also among the top teams in the league on home ice this season, racking up a combined 43-9-4 record.
We can talk about the next round tomorrow, but it will basically come down to can the Avs/Golden Knights get around Montreal’s neutral zone trench warfare strategy effectively and immediately. If yes, see you in September. If not, well it’s going to be a hell of a series
— Olivier Cadotte (@OlivierCadotte) June 8, 2021
The Avs and Golden Knights also have plenty to prove following recent playoff disappointments. But despite finishing the regular season a full 23 points ahead of Montreal, neither of these potential opponents have enjoyed consistent success against the Habs in recent years. Colorado has scored just nine total goals while winning three of its past five meetings with the CH, and the Golden Knights have managed to pick up just one win in six all-time dates with Montreal despite being pegged as betting chalk in each of those contests.
Price Making Case for Conn Smythe Trophy
Of course, while the Canadiens have been successful at bogging down opponents with frustrating defensive play, their playoff success has largely hinged on the spectacular play of superstar goaltender Carey Price. Hobbled by nagging injuries and a growing chorus of naysayers claiming his best years are behind him, Price endured a difficult regular season during which he earned wins in just 12 of his 25 starts. However, it has been vintage Price that has shown up in the playoffs.
#GoHabsGo Carey Price: Last 7 games
Save %: .943
Shutouts: 1 pic.twitter.com/We8ND4Haul
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) June 8, 2021
The 33-year-old slammed the door on the vaunted Maple Leafs attack in the first round, protecting slim leads against a sometimes fearsome onslaught during the club’s comeback win. That continued in the second round, with his 30-save performance in a 1-0 shutout win in Game 2 representing somewhat of a turning point for critics and long-suffering Canadiens fans who expected little from the club in the postseason. Price has been rewarded for his heroics on the odds to win this year’s Conn Smythe Trophy. An afterthought among sports bettors as the postseason got underway, Price has made gains with each passing win, and now sits among the favourites, with a $20 bet at Bodog (10.00) to earn playoff MVP honours now returning $200.
- Betway100% Deposit Bonus up to $200Bet NowNew Canada customers only. Opt-in required. Bonus based on 1st deposit of $10+. You will get a 100% matched bonus up to $200 based on your first deposit. Full terms apply.
- 888sport100% up to $250 on your first depositBet NowNew customers only | €10 min deposit | The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater. Wagering must be cleared within 60 days.
- 10bet100% up to $300 welcome bonus (Bonus code CA300)Bet NowNew customers only | Min. deposit $15 (no Skrill/Neteller) | Bonus amount is 100% of deposit up to $300 | Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 5x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money
- Spin Palace Sports100% Match up to $200 CADBet Now1st Deposit - Free Bet up to $200 • New customers only • Min deposit $10 • 5x wagering at odds of 1.3+ to unlock free bet • Terms apply
Familiar Foes Await in Stanley Cup Final
Plenty of things must still fall into place for the Canadiens, regardless of who they face in the Stanley Cup semi-finals. The club is favoured to see their current playoff streak snapped in Game 1 of the semi-finals, with a $20 bet at Sports Interaction returning a meagre $29.22. And even if they manage to make their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in a generation, they are likely to meet their toughest opponent so far this spring.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the New York Islanders in the upcoming round in a battle for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Lightning are 12-4 against the Islanders in the playoffs All-Time, winning series in 2004, 2016, & 2020. pic.twitter.com/Vuq7A4trm3
— Greg Harvey (@BetweenTheNums) June 10, 2021
In a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Final, the New York Islanders will face the Tampa Bay Lightning after dispatching the Boston Bruins in just six games in the second round. Led by head coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders have also defied the odds in these playoffs, eliminating the East Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round before stunning the Bruins.
Lightning Too Hot to Handle
However, they are likely to have their hands full against the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning, who have endured arguably the toughest road to the semi-finals, posting series wins over the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. Sporting a battle-tested lineup that is equally adept at playing wide-open freewheeling hockey or a tight defensive game, the Lightning has steadily gained momentum during the postseason. That has been evident over the past six games, in which they have outscored opponents by a wide 18-9 overall margin.
The Canadiens are all too familiar with the Lightning, and must be concerned about their chances should they meet Tampa Bay in the final in light of their dismal head-to-head record, which features just two wins in 13 meetings.