The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens meet at the Bell Centre in Quebec on Saturday a day after both teams played. Nearly every team in the league is going to be playing on a back-to-back today, after the card was stuffed with action on Black Friday. I believe the only team who had the day off was the LA Kings. So, if you’re looking at finding an angle to fade a team who might have tired legs, just about the entire NHL will be on an even playing field in that respect.
The Kings are home as they welcome the Canucks, but other than that, you are going to find everyone else hitting the repeat button Saturday. The Bruins are coming off a 2-1 overtime win over the Penguins. Pittsburgh finally gets some stable goaltending in net and the offence lets them down. Nine times of ten it’s been the other way around this season. The Penguins got out of a funk against the Stars, but got themselves right back on a losing track.
Boston will look to make it another win in Montreal after getting a standout performance from Halak in net. Halak got the nod yesterday and the Bruins will hope to get the same production out of Rask on Saturday evening. The Canadiens went to extra time yesterday, though the result was unfavourable for them, as the Sabres got a Jeff Skinner power play goal to beat Niemi for the win.
It was the third game they’ve lost in a row with respects to games that have needed more time to decide things. The Sabres beat the Habs, 6-5, in overtime back on November 8th and then a 5-4 loss to the Capitals on the 19th. Carey Price will be between the pipes for the Canadiens tonight. Which Carey do we get? It’s been a struggle for him this season, so he’s been more of a liability than anything. Get our free Bruins vs. Canadiens pick below.
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick
What Carey Price is going to show up is on the mind of head coach Claude Julien every night. While they got away with a point with Niemi in net on Friday, he is not the everyday netminder, so that leaves Price to figure it out. Price is the highest paid goaltender in the NHL with a salary of 10.5 million per year. That’s 2 million more than the next closest, Henrik Lundqvist. A guy like Antti Raanta has a 2.10 GAA yet isn’t making half of Price’s contract. The same goes for Frederik Anderson, Jimmy Howard, and Ben Bishop. All are providing more at a considerably cheaper price.
Price enters Saturday with a 3.17 GAA and 0.895 save percentage. He’s allowed 5 goals in each of his last two outings. Like I’ve said before, his defence lets him down regularly, but for 10.5 million he has to win games on his shoulders. He finished last season with a 3.11 GAA, so this might just be the norm for him now, though. If that’s the case, the Canadiens are stuck with one of the worst contracts in the league.
Overall, the Canadiens have allowed an average of 3.39 goals per game for 27th in the NHL. Not exactly a solid ROI with the goaltender. Conversely, the Bruins are 2nd with 2.41 goals allowed per game between Halak and Rask. The Bruins haven’t had any issues traveling to Montreal and playing well on the road. This is an Original 6 rivalry game, so there is no reason for the Bruins not to get excited about the Canadiens. The Bruins have gone 6-1 in their last seven meetings, and 5-1 in their last six trips to the Bell Centre. I can’t trust Carey Price with juice against a formidable opponent on Saturday night. I’d go for the value and select the Bruins in this matchup.