All-Canadian matchups highlight opening NHL betting slate

Four games are on tap to open the NHL’s regular-season schedule on Wednesday, starting with the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting the Winnipeg Jets in a contest pegged as a virtual pick’em on the NHL betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto kicks off the campaign amid high expectations after reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years last spring, and is set as a +1400 wager on the Stanley Cup odds going into Wednesday night’s game at the MTS Place.

The Maple Leafs carried over their strong play into the pre-season, recording a 5-2-1 record in eight September contests, but have recorded just one win in eight visits to Winnipeg since the Jets returned in 2011.

Wednesday’s matchup also marks the first of two meetings this season between reigning rookie of the year Auston Matthews and Jets sniper Patrik Laine, selected first and second overall at the 2016 NHL Draft. Laine had five total goals in a pair of dates with Toronto last season, while Matthews racked up four assists against the Jets and sits at +850 on the Hart Trophy odds.

Later on Wednesday night, the Battle of Alberta continues with the Edmonton Oilers hosting the Calgary Flames as -150 betting favourites.

The Oilers joined the New York Islanders as the only teams to notch six wins during the pre-season, further fuelling their steady rise up the Stanley Cup odds where they now join Pittsburgh as +800 championship co-favourites.

Calgary welcomed a hockey legend into the fold this week with the signing of Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract. While the addition of Jagr adds leadership depth to a youthful Flames core, it has done nothing to lift Calgary on Wednesday’s NHL game lines where they trail the Oilers as +130 road underdogs.

The Flames sport a dismal record in recent dates with their provincial rivals. Calgary has dropped four straight to the Oilers while getting outscored by a 21-11 margin, and has also earned just one win in its last five visits to Edmonton.

Also on Wednesday, the Penguins will raise their second Stanley Cup championship banner in as many years when they open the campaign against the visiting St. Louis Blues as heavy -190 favourites. And the San Jose Sharks close out the NHL’s opening night by hosting the Philadelphia Flyers as -165 favourites.