Saturday games during hockey season are must-watch games for fans of Canadian hockey teams, and this first Hockey Night in Canada for the 2015/16 season features some classic match-ups between historic rivals. Take a look at the odds for all the teams playing this weekend on our NHL betting odds page.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins
This is a big game for both the Habs and the Bruins. The Bruins will want to get back on their feet after an absolute trouncing at the hands of the Jets this week, and the Canadiens will want to make a statement and set the tone for this season’s games against their most intense rival in Boston’s arena.
The Habs have had the Bruins’ number for quite a while, beating Boston 3 times out of their 4 meetings last season. Boston has always struggled to keep up with the speed of Montreal’s roster, and the Hab’s decision to move Alex Galchenyuk to center has been, so far, a great change that should cause problems for a potentially Chara-less Boston d-line.
Prediction: Canadiens 3-1
Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames
This HNIC game will be an immediate rematch for these two divisional rivals, who opened their seasons earlier this week. Vancouver dominated the confused looking Flames throughout the game, and came away with a convincing 5-1 win. Don’t expect the Flames to come to the rink this Saturday looking as ill-prepared as they did in their first game.
If Calgary can get themselves organized, and get back to playing the kind of hockey that ended in a playoff run last season, they could come up with a win in Vancouver. The Flames are a faster, harder-hitting team than Vancouver, but the Canucks play a very tight, technical game that the Flames will struggle against if they look like they did in that first meeting. If Mark Giordano wakes up and if Dougie Hamilton can find his rhythm with his new teammates, this will be a much closer game, even if they don’t pull off a win in Vancouver’s building.
Prediction: Canucks 3-2
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Ottawa Senators are planning on starting Craig Anderson tomorrow, which will be his third game in four days. Statistically, a goalie’s save percentage drops when he plays back-to-back games, but the question is: is that enough of a disadvantage to give the Leafs a chance to win one?
Ottawa looked good in their season opener against the Buffalo Sabres, with a strong performance from Kyle Turris, who scored 2 of their 3 goals. The Maple Leafs lost to the Canadiens in their opener, but looked slightly more organized than they did last season. The Leafs are a team on the rebuild, so they’ll struggle all season, and this HNIC game against the Sens might be close, but should still go to the Ottawa club.
Prediction: Senators 4-2