April 20, 2021
The pandemic has gifted us with a unique version of the NHL this year, with four realigned divisions, including the Northern division. The Northern division only includes Canadian NHL teams.
There is no Eastern and Western Conference this year. This means that the Stanley Cup Final could be played out by two teams that typically come from the same conference. There are no wild cards either. Instead, the top four teams from each division advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs. The winners of each division then qualify for the conference finals and, after that, the Stanley Cup finals.
Below we will go through our predictions for the Canadian division, along with the best NHL odds and betting tips.
CANADIAN DIVISION 2021 PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS AND NHL ODDS
The playoff picture of the Canadian Division likely won’t change over the last few rounds of the NHL regular season. Below, we will go through the teams that will qualify, along with ranking them in the order we think they will finish in the postseason, and with the best NHL odds for Division Winners.
1. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Toronto Maple Leafs are having a great regular season. Things looked a bit rocky about four weeks ago when Sheldon Keefe’s squad only had one win in seven games. Since then, the Leafs found their way back to playing the best ice hockey in the whole of the NHL, including goals scored and goals allowed.
If they continue like this, they will secure the first spot of the Canadian division, and if they bring their A-game into the Stanley Cup playoffs, they will be very difficult to stop. We expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to make a deep playoff run, maybe even all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.
There is not much value in placing any NHL bets on Toronto to win the Canadian division, Spin Sports have them to win at 1.18.
2. EDMONTON OILERS
Edmonton Oilers have played stellar ice hockey all season and are all primed for the playoffs. However, with both a hungry Winnipeg Jets and an incredibly strong Toronto Maple Leafs, they will have a hard time making it to the conference finals.
Ken Holland did not make any moves before the NHL trade deadline last Monday. He could have aggressively pursued a forward to improve their chances in the postseason, but this did not happen, and we don’t think that the Oilers have what it takes to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, and maybe not even the Winnipeg Jets.
However, the current team is playing very well, and they could surprise us. If they do, Ken Holland should be named coach of the year as he has freed up a lot of cap to make some off-season moves to push the team into being Stanley Cup contenders next season.
If you believe that Edmonton Oilers have what it takes, then you can find the best NHL odds for them winning the Northern Division to 10.00 in odds at Spin Sports.
3. WINNIPEG JETS
Winnipeg Jets have surprised everyone this season by playing remarkably well, currently sitting in the second position of the Canadian division. We would say it is a 50/50 between them and the Edmonton Oilers, competing with the Toronto Maple Leafs for a spot in the Conference finals.
They have been slow and steady all season, with a well-rounded team that has scoring power across all lines. However, we think that they lack the resources to match up against the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs when push comes to shove.
The NHL odds for Winnipeg Jets are attractive. You can place a bet for them to win the Canadian division to 7.00 at Spin Bets.
4. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Marc Bergevin’s off-season bets have not really paid off for the Habs. They started their regular season campaign like juggernauts, going 7-1-2 in their first ten games. Since then, they have been so-so. While they have secured the fourth seed in the Canadian Division, we don’t think they will make it that far in the postseason.
With some recent injuries, the status of the roster remains questionable ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin made some additional trade moves before the trade deadline by bringing in Eric Staal, Erik Gustafsson and Jon Merrill. Staal is an interesting addition, someone who could have a significant impact.
While we think it is unlikely, there is a chance that the Habs make it further than we think. If the whole team can perform at a higher level in the playoffs while the line-ups remain intact, free of injury, they could deal some damage.
The NHL odds for Habs to win the Canadian Division is 51.00 at Spin Sports.