The NHL season is well underway, and the top two in the North Division will clash on Wednesday evening as the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to the Montreal Canadiens.

Maple Leafs On A Roll

When it was revealed by the NHL that all the Canadian teams would be in the same division this season due to COVID protocols, there was an immediate feeling that if the Toronto Maple Leafs were to end their wait for a Stanley Cup success, then it could come this season. The Leafs are certainly the stand out team in the North Division, and have been in excellent form throughout the regular season to this point. Only two sides in the division has scored more goals than the Leafs, and both the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks have played more games than the Leafs to this point.

Defensively there will still be questions surrounding the Leafs, as they have let in 34 goals in the 13 games that they have played, but they have lost just twice in regulation time so far this season. Toronto come into the top of the division clash having won their last three on the bounce, with victory over Vancouver Canucks being their last outing. Auston Matthews, Alexander Kerfoot and Morgan Rielly scored the goals in that win.

Canadiens Looking To Close Gap On Leafs

The Canadiens are in second spot in the North Division at present, and have lost just two games fewer than the Leafs, and have played a game less. Montreal look to be the main contenders to the Leafs in the division this term, as they have won seven of their last ten games in the NHL. After winning two on the bounce, they were beaten by the Ottawa Senators last Friday.

However, they were able to gain revenge on Ottawa by winning the second of their back-to-back games, as they picked up a hard-fought 2-1 success on the road. Montreal scored their winning goal in that game in the final period, with Josh Anderson and Jeff Petry scoring the goals in the game for the Canadiens. There is still room for improvement for them if they are to win the North Division this season, but we will certainly learn more about their chances for the remainder of the season after this game against the Leafs on Wednesday night.

Previous Meetings Between Leafs And Canadiens

Montreal will be boosted by the number of wins that they have recorded against the Leafs over recent years. They have won four of the past five, but they were beaten earlier in the season by the Leafs. On that occasion, Toronto ran out 5-4 winners, with William Nylander scoring twice.

Canadiens vs Leafs Pick

It will be interesting to see the top two in the North come up against each other. The Leafs still need to improve defensively if they are to challenge for the Stanley Cup this season, but they should have enough to get past Montreal on Wednesday night and win for a fourth game on the bounce.