A trio of Canadian NHL teams will try to overcome shaky starts as the NHL campaign enters its second week. Fresh off a crushing 5-0 loss to the visiting San Jose Sharks that extended their season-opening losing streak to four games, the Montreal Canadiens aim to bounce back on Thursday, when they host the Carolina Hurricanes as slim underdogs. The Calgary Flames also continue the search for their first win of the season as they visit the revitalized Detroit Red Wings as narrow betting chalk. The Toronto Maple Leafs hit the ice for a rare Friday home contest, as they take on the surging Sharks as big favourites.
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at all the best bets as the NHL season gets into full swing. Sports bettors looking to get in on NHL action for the first time can refer to our NHL betting guides to learn all they need to know to get the best out of their hockey betting experience.
|NHL Three-Way Moneyline Odds|
|Thursday October 21|
|Detroit Red Wings||2.56||4.10||2.60||2.66||2.65|
|Friday October 22|
|San Jose Sharks||3.25|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||n/a||n/a||n/a||1.90||n/a|
Kotkaniemi Returns to Montreal as Habs Host Canes
Last season’s march to the Stanley Cup Final has quickly become a distant memory for the Montreal Canadiens after opening the season with four straight losses. Still smarting from their worst loss on home ice since last April, the Canadiens will be aiming to rediscover their offensive touch on Thursday, when they battle the Carolina Hurricanes at Bell Centre as 2.50 underdogs on the NHL three-way moneyline odds at Betsafe.
— Montreal Gazette (@mtlgazette) October 21, 2021
With the exception of their heartbreaking 2-1 loss in Toronto on opening night, the Canadiens have been largely outclassed during their 0-4-0 start. The club has been outscored by a wide 15-3 margin during their season-opening swoon, which has featured three straight defeats while pegged as betting favourites. Injuries are at the heart of the Habs’ woes. The club has sorely missed the leadership of team captain Shea Weber and star goaltender Carey Price, who are both out indefinitely. Montreal has also felt the absence of defenceman Joel Edmundson and two-way veteran Paul Byron.
104 days ago the Canadiens were looking forward to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Now? They’re about to be 0-4-0 on the season, have lost Shea Weber to injury for the season, have lost Carey Price for the time being as he tends to his personal health & cannot score goals. Woof!
— Puck Podcast #NoWeeksOff (@PuckPodcast) October 20, 2021
The Canadiens’ offensive struggles cannot be blamed on a lack of effort. The club has outshot opponents in two of their four outings to date. However, they have struggled badly on special teams, with seven of the 15 goals they have allowed coming while shorthanded. And while the Canadiens have fallen to defeat in nine of 12 meetings with Carolina, they have tallied wins in two straight home dates with the Hurricanes, scoring 10 total goals in those contests.
The Hurricanes arrive in Montreal perched as slim 2.39 favourites at Betsafe after opening their schedule with a back-to-back win, capped by a 3-2 win in Nashville on Saturday night. However, Carolina has struggled on the road since late last season, posting consecutive wins just once while claiming victory in just four of their past 11 away contests.
When Jesperi Kotkaniemi returns to Montreal, it won’t be about vengeance — he’s grateful for his Canadiens tenure. But on Thursday, his new team will get the chance to send his old club into a deeper early season hole. (@EricEngels) https://t.co/DDJxGKZNGy
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 21, 2021
The spotlight will be squarely fixed on Jesperi Kotkaniemi as he makes his first appearance in Montreal since leaving the club for Carolina during the offseason after the Canadiens declined to match the lucrative one-year offer sheet the Hurricanes pitched to the talented young Finn. Kotkaniemi played a key role in Montreal’s playoff success last summer, and sports 4.15 odds to find the back of the net on Thursday despite failing to record a point in his first two appearances with Carolina.
The Pick: Hurricanes to win (2.39) at Betsafe; UNDER 6.0 (1.92) at Bet99
Flames Search for First Win in Visit to Motown
The Calgary Flames will be looking for the bounces to go their way when they open a five-game Eastern road trip in Detroit on Thursday as 2.10 favourites at Betway. The Flames have yet to be rewarded for steady offensive performances in a pair of season-opening losses. The club has outshot opponents by a wide 90-60 overall margin in their first two outings but has mustered just four total goals in losses to Edmonton and Anaheim. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has emerged as the goat, surrendering seven total goals on just 59 shots faced.
“Lots of opportunities but seal the deal.”
Darryl Sutter talks about scoring chances and tonight’s overtime setback to the Ducks. pic.twitter.com/gyirVtT969
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) October 19, 2021
The Flames will need to be better at both ends of the ice against the resurgent Red Wings, who are set to hit the ice as 2.65 home underdogs. Winners of just 19 games last season, the Red Wings have benefited from the strong play of rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, who have recorded a combined six points during the team’s 2-0-1 start. Detroit’s fast start also extends their recent steady results on home ice at Little Caesars Arena, where they have picked up at least a point in 15 of their past 20 contests.
The Pick: Red Wings to win (2.60) at Betway; OVER 5.5 (1.88)
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Snake-Bitten Leafs Aim to Rebound Against Youthful Sharks
The Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to be in a surly mood when they take on the San Jose Sharks on Friday as strong 1.90 home favourites at Bet99. The Leafs’ attack continued to miss the mark in a frustrating 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday that dumps the club’s record to 2-1-1. Toronto came up short despite outshooting the Rangers by a wide 41-23 margin and has also given up the first goal in three of their first four outings.
highlights from that insane leafs-rangers overtime. matthews was on an absolute mission, but so was igor shesterkin pic.twitter.com/mneHa56KQx
— dylan (@dylanfremlin) October 19, 2021
Riding high after posting a pair of impressive wins over Winnipeg and Montreal to open the season, the Sharks arrive in Toronto pegged as lengthy 3.25 underdogs. The Sharks have powered their fast start with stingy defence, allowing an average of just 22 shots on goal per game, and demonstrated character beyond their years in an impressive 4-2 comeback victory over the Jets on opening night. However, they have plenty of work to do to flip the script on a three-game losing streak at Scotiabank Arena, during which they have been outscored by a wide 12-6 margin.
The Pick: Maple Leafs to win (1.90); UNDER 6.5 (1.84)