Maple Leafs soar, Canadiens sag on North Division odds

Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson discusses the sense of pride in the team

In the wake of consecutive shutout victories over the Edmonton Oilers the Toronto Maple Leafs have solidified their place atop the odds to win the North Division, where they now sit as -300 betting favourites at sportsbooks monitored by

Toronto outscored Edmonton by a wide 7-0 margin while claiming victory in the first two dates of a three-game series that wraps up with Wednesday night's game at Rogers Place. With those wins, the Maple Leafs now sit seven points up on second-place Winnipeg and eight points ahead of the previously red-hot Oilers.

Injuries and a pair of lengthy western road trips have not dampened the surging Maple Leafs. The team has allowed just one total goal while winning three in a row despite losing Auston Matthews and goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell to injury. The Maple Leafs have also emerged as road warriors, going 8-1-1 in 10 contests away from Scotiabank Arena.

While the Maple Leafs continue to soar, the Montreal Canadiens have lost considerable ground while losing seven of nine, and now sit off the pace as a +1500 wager at online sports betting sites on the divisional odds. The Canadiens briefly climbed to the top of the odds during a strong 7-1-2 start, but an offensive drought has limited them to just 2.09 goals per game over their past 11 outings.

Offensive production has also emerged as an issue for the Oilers. Now mired in its first losing streak since late January, Edmonton has dipped to third place in the North Division standings. But the impact of those defeats have yet to be reflected on the divisional futures, where they remain listed as the +400 second favourites on those NHL odds.

While the spotlight has been firmly fixed on Toronto and Edmonton, the Winnipeg Jets have quietly climbed into second place in the division with wins in six of eight outings, lifting them to a +500 wager to win the North. The Jets have padded their record with wins in seven of 10 meetings to date with Ottawa and Vancouver. Winnipeg enjoys a golden opportunity to close the gap on the Maple Leafs when they open a three-game series in Toronto next week.

Further down the North Division odds, the Calgary Flames have faded to a +4500 wager. The Flames have been regularly outclassed while losing seven of 10, potting just one goal in each of those recent defeats. The Canucks opened the season at +700, but have tumbled to a distant +17500 wager during a dismal 9-15-2 start. And the last-place Senators, despite going 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, continue to lose ground, tumbling to +50000 longshots.

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