Today is Hockey Day in Canada and to celebrate there's a bumper schedule including three All-Canadian ties. First up will be the Ottawa Senators hosting the Winnipeg Jets. On paper it looks like a routine win for the Sens. Tobias Enstrom is on an outstanding points run at the moment and leads the scoring in his team. He couldn't stop the Jets crumbling late against Toronto, though, and as they haven't produced on the road so far I have to back this Ottawa team and their excellent defense at 2.10. This is not a good match-up for the Jets: their offence could well get shut down, whilst the Senators have enough to expose them on the back end.
The big rivalry tonight is one of the oldest in hockey: the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Montreal Canadiens. With a combined 37 Stanley Cup wins between them, these two go way back. Recent times have been harder, though, with Montreal the last to win the big one in 1993. Toronto haven't even made the play-offs since 2004. Good early form from both clubs is putting them in contention this time around, making tonight's game an important one in the context of the Northeast. The Leafs have excellent momentum as part of a winning road trip and are also one of only two teams to have beaten Montreal at Bell Centre. Taking that in to account they are well priced at 3.10.
Calgary have managed to propel themselves off the bottom of the West of late, and will certainly be looking upwards as they have games in hand on everybody. A difficult assignment in Vancouver awaits them today, however; the Canucks are running hot right now and taking control of the Northwest division. We are still not seeing the powerhouse Vancouver attack that has won them the West in the last two years, but they've been solid all-around. Calgary are still without first choice goalie Miikka Kiprusoff as well as a number of forwards. I can't see them avoiding defeat so take the Canucks at 1.87 or 2.55 with the -1.5 handicap.
Best bet: Ottawa Senators to win at 2.10