Monday NHL Props: Will Auston Matthews Light Lamp Vs Montreal?

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews waits for a face off against the St. Louis Blues
Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It might be President’s Day in the United States, but there’s no holiday north of the border, where five NHL squads will take the ice in a trio of games with a puck drop of 4 p.m. ET or later. Our top Monday NHL props come from those three contests, starting with the hottest team in hockey.

With the NBA in the midst of its All-Star break and only one high-profile college basketball game on the Monday schedule, the best opportunity for bettors to get their action fix is on the ice. So here are our top five Monday NHL props.

Odds via DraftKings and FanDuel, and updated as of 2 p.m. ET.

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (28) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Seattle Kraken
Image Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 3.5 Total Goals Scored, including OT (vs. Winnipeg)
The odds: Over -130/Under +100

The Flames are absolutely (pun fully intended) on fire right now. Not only are they riding a season-high nine-game winning streak, but they’re 12-2 dating back to Jan. 18.

As a result of this 14-game run, Calgary has vaulted to the top of the Pacific Division. And a big reason why is a scalding-hot offense that has produced 61 goals, which pencils out to 4.4 goals per game. That offense cooled off a bit Saturday (2-1 victory over Seattle), but prior to that, the Flames had tallied at least four goals in seven consecutive outings (including five or six goals in five straight contests).

On Monday, Calgary’s shooters will take aim at a Winnipeg squad that ranks smack in the middle of the league in goals-against average (2.92 per game, 16th). However, the Jets have been quite generous in recent weeks, giving up three goals or more in 13 of 17 games since Jan. 6. During this stretch, Winnipeg has surrendered four or more goals seven times.

In the only previous meeting between the teams this season, the Jets traveled to Calgary and halted the Flames’ four-game winning with a 4-2 victory. But that was way back on Nov. 27. This is an entirely different Calgary offense, especially with last week’s addition of sharp-shooting center Tyler Toffoli.

Look for the Flames to set the net ablaze once again and put up at least a four-spot for the eighth time in the last nine games.

Toronto Maple Leafs: C Auston Matthews

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews pursues the play against the St. Louis Blues
Image Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 0.5 Goals (at Montreal)
The odds: Over -130/Under -102

Matthews has run hot and cold in the goal-scoring department lately. The Maple Leafs’ superstar found twine in four straight games (five total) from Jan. 8-15, followed by a four-game goal-less drought from Jan. 19-29.

He caught fire again from Jan. 31-Feb. 7 with six goals in three games, but he’s since put the puck in the net just twice in three contests. Now, if you believe in patterns, you’re likely to back Matthews in the Monday NHL props market, because here are his goal totals in the last six games: 2, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0.

However, if you believe in home-road splits, you’re more apt to play the Under here, as Matthews has lit the lamp just twice in his last seven as a visitor (this after tallying 13 goals in his first 16 road outings).

So what’s the deciding factor? It has to be Montreal’s defense/goaltending — or lack thereof. No team in the NHL has allowed more goals than the Canadiens (195, which is 13 more than any other squad). And the Habs rank dead last in goals-against average (3.90 per game).

In fairness, Montreal has tightened things up a little bit of late, allowing exactly two goals in three of the last four. But in none of those games did the Canadiens have to face Matthews — in fact, this is the first meeting of the season between these rivals.

How has Matthews faired in his career against Montreal? Oh, only 19 goals in 24 games. It’s the most goals he’s scored against any opponent except Ottawa (23).

Montreal Canadiens: C Nick Suzuki

Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki skates during warm-ups before a game
Image Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 0.5 Total Points (vs. Toronto)
The odds: Over -138/Under +112

After a very productive sophomore season in which he put up 41 points in 56 games, Suzuki has tailed off a bit in 2021-22. He has just 29 points (9 goals, 20 assists) in 50 contests.

The 22-year-old forward has been slightly more productive at home (16 points in 24 games) than on the road (13 points in 26 games). But he’s been shutout in seven of his last 10 in his own building (a building that’s been mostly empty due to Montreal’s COVID restrictions).

Suzuki did nab an assist in Sunday’s 3-2 upset win at the Islanders, but he’s still been held off the scoresheet in six of his last 10 games. On the bright side, Suzuki did pick up eight points in 10 games against Toronto in 2020-21 (and as noted above, this is the first Leafs-Canadiens clash of the season). Also, Toronto’s goaltending has been shaky of late, with eight goals allowed in the last two games and 15 in the last five.

That probably explains why there’s significant juice to the Over on this prop. Still, Suzuki has registered a point in consecutive games just three times in his last 36 contests. Throw in the fact that he’s picked up a point just once in eight games when playing the second night of a back-to-back, and the value play with this prop is on the Under.

Vancouver Canucks: D Quinn Hughes

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes handles the puck during a game against the St. Louis Blues
Image Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 0.5 Total Assists (vs. Seattle)
The odds: Over -142/Under +116

When it comes to scoring goals, Hughes isn’t exactly the spitting image of Alexander Ovechkin — he has put the biscuit in the basket just 15 times in 176 career games. However, the Florida native certainly knows how to set up scoring chances for his teammates, as he’s tallied 120 assists in his three-year career.

This season, Hughes has 34 helpers in 47 contests. That includes single assists in four of his last six games, including the last two in a row against San Jose (road) and Anaheim (home). In fact, Hughes also scored a goal against the Sharks and Ducks — the second time in his career he’s lit the lamp in back-to-back outings.

How many times has the 22-year-old delivered an assist in at least three straight games? Three, most recently from Jan. 16-21 against the Capitals, Predators, and Panthers.

Hughes has faced the Kraken twice this season — both times in Seattle — and he picked up one assist in each contest. Another reason to like the Over on this one: Hughes has at least one helper in five of his last eight home games (seven in all).

Seattle Kraken: C Jared McCann

Seattle Kraken left wing Jared McCann skates during warm-ups before a game against the Winnipeg Jets
Image Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 2.5 Total Shots (at Vancouver)
The odds: Over -120/Under -105

Now in his eighth NHL season — and first with the expansion Kraken — McCann is averaging 2.57 shots per game. That’s a vast improvement from his final two seasons in Pittsburgh (2.16 in 2020-21; 2.27 in 2019-20).

Most recently, McCann has been hovering around this prop number quite a bit. During his last 10 games, he’s recorded more than two shots on goal four times and exactly two shots five times.

Looking across the entire season, though, the 25-year-old Canadian has been credited with three or more shots in just 21 of 46 games. And he’s done it just seven times in 21 road games … but two of those instances came in his last three road efforts (three shots each at Anaheim on Feb. 22 and Winnipeg on Thursday).

Vancouver ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of shots allowed per contest (31.6, 15th). On the flip side, though, only the offensively anemic Coyotes (25.9) are getting off fewer shots per game than the Kraken (28.2).

In two previous battles this season against the franchise that drafted him, McCann had two and four shots. The latter came during a four-game stretch from Dec. 30-Jan. 12 in which McCann was absolutely unloading on goaltenders (20 total shots).

Tough call here, but seeing that McCann has topped this total in three of his last four games (and landed right on two shots on Saturday at Calgary), we’ll lean slightly to the Over.