- LINES SHOWN ARE MOST FAVORABLE LINE FROM DRAFTKINGS & FANDUEL SPORTSBOOKS
3. WINNIPEG JETS -125 (30-23-3 / 63pts)
4. MONTREAL CANADIENS +102 (24-21-11 / 59pts)
It must be tormenting to be a Leafs fan. And that is not a shot at the team or the fan base, I am being sincere. The Leafs have not won a playoff series since 2004, but prior to the start of the playoffs it seemed like that streak was going to come to an end. This is the most talented team they have had in years, after all. Then they went up 3-1 on the Habs after losing captain John Tavares in Game 1. Their ticket appeared to be punched. But back stormed the Habs, led by stellar play in goal by Carey Price, who is playing like his vintage self. Montreal would win 3 straight, including two road games in Toronto, one of them of course being Game 7. They are healthy and playing at a high level, thanks to Price and Gallagher returning from injury. They will look to continue their success in Winnipeg, as they are set to face a Jets team who managed a surprising Round 1 victory themselves over the Edmonton Oilers. They are also aided by a key player returning from injury, as F Nikolaj Ehlers was able to get back on the ice after a long absence. So, both teams pulled out shocking victories, both boosted by the return of key players, but the way they won paints a stark contrast. While Montreal had to scratch and claw their way out of a 3-1 hole, needing to win 3 elimination games to advance, the Jets cruised into Round 2 with relative ease, sweeping the Oilers 4-0. So, who do we back? The Jets certainly have the rest advantage, as they closed out their series on May 24th. Montreal on the other hand will have to take the ice just two days after a clutch Game 7 performance in Toronto. The Jets should have a slight edge in Game 1, but I like Montreal to come out of this 7-game series, mainly due to Carey Price. Jumping right back into goal should keep him in rhythm. Couple that with the Canadiens ability to maintain puck possession and clog up the neutral zone, and I like their chances to punch through to the Semifinals. Not to mention their favorable line also makes them an attractive pick.
PICK: MONTREAL CANADIENS (+102 on DraftKings)