Slumping Canadiens’ Stanley Cup odds in free fall

Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien leaves the bench past players David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, left to right, following their 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in NHL hockey action Saturday, January 9, 2016 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

The Montreal Canadiens‘ current free fall in the Eastern Conference standings has finally taken its toll on the club’s Stanley Cup odds, which have tumbled to a distant 25/1 at Sportsbooks monitored by

With their disappointing 4-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, Montreal has now dropped 17 of their past 21 games and find themselves on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture ahead of their game against Toronto in Saturday night’s matchup at the Air Canada Centre.

The Canadiens opened their campaign on a franchise-record 9-0 run, lifting them to the top of both the NHL standings and the Stanley Cup betting odds — briefly perched as strong 7/1 favourites.

But the Habs have scored more than two goals on just five occasions during their current swoon, leaving them three points back of both the Bruins and New Jersey Devils in the race for an Eastern Conference wild card spot.

Montreal takes on a Leafs squad that has also hit hard times, losers of six of their past seven according to the OddsShark NHL Database, after posting wins in six of eight games during the holiday season. Toronto is coming off a disappointing 1-0 overtime loss to Carolina on Thursday, but remains just eight points back of the Canadiens, with two games in hand.

Following their matchup with the Leafs, Montreal meets Columbus in a home-and-home series on Monday and Tuesday, while Toronto travels to Florida for a clash with the Atlantic-leading Panthers, beginning a stretch of seven road games in their next eight outings.

Montreal’s slide now leaves all seven Canadian-based clubs out of NHL playoff spots, painting a bleak picture on the Stanley Cup betting odds.

The Vancouver Canucks wind up a six-game road trip in Pittsburgh on Saturday night after recording consecutive wins just once in the past month, but hold steady at 50/1, while the Calgary Flames maintained their mediocre .500 record with a 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, and have dipped to 66/1 where they are joined by the Ottawa Senators.

The Winnipeg Jets, basement dwellers in the Central Division, own long 100/1 odds followed by the Edmonton Oilers at 150/1 while the Leafs remain near the bottom of the Stanley Cup odds at 300/1.

The Washington Capitals continue to lead the way as 4/1 Stanley Cup favourites, closely followed by the surging Chicago Blackhawks who have seen their odds shorten to 5/1 following their recent 12-game win streak.

The Los Angeles Kings are at 13/2 and the slumping Dallas Stars have stumbled to 10/1.

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