Toronto are planning for a long run in the postseason and the Maple Leafs will take some stopping with everybody fighting fit. A win could see Mike Babcock’s side locked in as the number three seed in the Eastern Conference and that should be enough to secure a slightly easier run to the Stanley Cup.
And then you have Montreal. The Canadiens have struggled to inspire confidence this year and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see plenty of changes in the offseason. Montreal need a complete change in fortune to stand any chance of success in 2018/19 and it is difficult to place too much faith in Claude Julien’s side on current form.
This has all the makings of an entertaining encounter and plenty of punters will be backing a lot of goals in this fixture. Montreal have enough talent to give Toronto a good game and it could turn out to be one of the matches of the weekend. The Maple Leafs are superior but the visitors stand a decent chance of keeping this one close.
Magical Maple Leafs In Playoff Mode
If you are looking for a team with ‘wow factor’, look no further than Toronto. Babcock’s side are well placed to challenge for the Stanley Cup this year and they are well worth a punt at 12/1 with bet365. When it comes to offensive talent and sparkle, you’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting team than the Maple Leafs.
Powered by Auston Matthews, Toronto have the talent to give anybody a game and plenty of bettors will fancy the Maple Leafs to claim a first Stanley Cup since 1967. Canadian sports fans will be fully behind Babcock’s men in their pursuit of glory but Montreal followers will be keen to hold off any support until after this weekend.
KEY MAN: Mitchell Marner. Currently leading the Maple Leafs in points, Marner has been a revelation in Matthews’ absence this year. Without a doubt, Matthews is the most gifted player on the roster but he is injury prone and Marner’s consistency has helped Toronto to secure their current standing near the top of the East.
With 22 goals and 47 assists, he has notched 69 points in 81 appearances this season and he could have a key role for Toronto in the playoffs. He has gone three games without a point but he did notch back-to-back braces before that barren run and Marner is on the verge of a huge month. Write him and the Maple Leafs off at your peril.
Canadiens Dreaming Of Success In 2018/19
Montreal fans will be disappointed with their side’s efforts this year – and rightly so. Plenty of changes are expected in the offseason and the Canadiens could look very different at the beginning of next year. Keep an eye on their moves during the summer.
KEY MAN: Brendan Gallagher. Tough to choose a specific Montreal player but we’ve opted for Gallagher. Leading the team in points, the Canadiens star is on the verge of completing an entire 82-match regular season. A goal or assist against Toronto will see Gallagher hit the 54 point mark; he has been one of Montreal’s standout names this year.
Look no further than Toronto here. The Maple Leafs will want to send out a real statement of intent ahead of the playoffs and the Matthews-Marner combination could run riot. On paper, the Canadiens have enough quality to cause problems and they should go all out for the win – that may make this one very entertaining to watch and goals at both ends looks very likely indeed.
MAPLE LEAFS 5-2 CANADIENS