Jets have no answer for 'Northern juggernaut' Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens are one win away from the third round.
Everybody knows what’s waiting for the Habs if they get there, but at this point it’s difficult to look past what they’ve already done.
Six straight wins – three when facing elimination.
They’ve now played 376 minutes and 14 seconds without trailing – the fourth-longest span in a single playoffs in franchise history.
Their first five wins in the postseason came as money line underdogs and even after going up 2-0 in their second-round series they were only -125 to win Game 3 on home ice.
Now they are one win away from the Stanley Cup semi-final, with a chance to clinch on home ice tonight.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Monday June 7, 2021.
Habs one win away from advancing
Montreal opened the season at +3000 to win the Stanley Cup – the same price as the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.
Even after making the playoffs, the Habs were still listed at +2800 to win it all.
While they remain a long shot to win the Cup at +900, anyone who has backed them since they went down 3-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round has cashed in.
If someone placed a $1,000 wager on Montreal money line in every game since they fell behind 3-1 versus Toronto, they’d be up $8,350 right now.
Even factoring in their three losses to the Maple Leafs, anyone who risked $1,000 on the Habs to win all 10 of their postseason games would be up $7,150.
Now the focus shifts to Game 4, with the Canadiens listed at -150 to end the series tonight. The Habs were +1000 to sweep the Jets.
If Montreal does end it tonight, Winnipeg would become just the 11th team in NHL history to sweep an opponent in a best-of-seven and then get swept in the very next series.
Teams that hold a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven are 194-4 (.980) all-time, including 2-0 so far this postseason.
While the Habs can clinch tonight, which of the two Stanley Cup favourites they would meet in the next round is anybody’s guess right now.
Golden Knights right back in it
The Vegas Golden Knights (-115) handed the Colorado Avalanche their worst loss in almost two months with a 5-1 win in Game 4 on Sunday night to even their best-of-seven series at 2-2.
Colorado had not trailed by more than one goal in 13 straight games dating back to the regular season.
Jonathan Marchessault delivered the third hat trick in Golden Knights’ postseason history.
After managing just three goals in a pair of losses to open the series, Vegas has scored eight goals combined in back-to-back wins to claw their way back into the series.
The updated series price has the Avalanche at -140 and Golden Knights at +115 as the series shifts back to Colorado for Game 5.
Canada wins gold
Nick Paul scored the overtime winner for Canada (-110) in a 3-2 win over Finland in the gold-medal game at the world hockey championship on Sunday.
It was the grand finale in a remarkable turnaround that saw Canada won gold after starting the tournament 0-3.
Canada was +900 to win gold entering the quarter-final.
Maxime Comtois and Adam Henrique also scored for Canada. Connor Brown assisted on all three goals, including the overtime winner.
Andrew Mangiapane, who led Canada with seven goals, including the game-winners in both the quarter-final and semifinal, was named player of the tournament.
Kawhi, Clippers advance with Game 7 win
Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 28 points as the Los Angeles Clippers (-6.5) beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-111 in Game 7 of their first-round series on Sunday.
Leonard became just the second player since 2000 to average at least 30 points per game on 60 per cent shooting or better in a playoff series (Shaquille O’Neal, 2000 NBA Finals).
The Clippers advance to play the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the second round.
Utah opened -150 to win that series – the comeback on LA is +130.
Hawks strike first versus 76ers
Trae Young became the first player in franchise history with 35 points and 10 assists as the Atlanta Hawks (+170) beat the Philadelphia 76ers 128-124 in Game 1 of their second-round series.
The Hawks jumped out to an early lead and never really looked in trouble throughout the win.
Perhaps most troubling for the 76ers is the fact that Joel Embiid scored a game-high 39 points in the loss.
There was a lot of talk heading into the series about the potential impact of the fact that Embiid would have to play through a torn meniscus.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Embiid’s 39 points were the most by a 76ers player in a playoff game since 2003.
The fact that Embiid played as well as he did and the 76ers would have to be a concern for anyone who backed Philadelphia to win the series.
Still, as of this morning the 76ers remain the favourite to win the series at -120 – the Hawks are +100.
Titans acquire Julio Jones
The Tennessee Titans made a splash on Sunday when they traded for perennial All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones.
The Titans, which are +3000 to win Super Bowl 56, could feature an absolutely loaded offence led by Jones, A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry.
Tennessee is also +1500 to win the AFC and +110 to win the AFC South.
On the flip side, it’s easy to second-guess the Falcons for the lack of compensation they received in the deal, netting a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick for their superstar wide receiver.
Atlanta is currently +5000 to win Super Bowl 56.
In a loaded NFC South in which they are a +800 long shot to win the division, the Falcons have clearly shifted their focus to the future with this trade.