A trio of games on the NHL schedule tonight, with the Blackhawks and Rangers being the main attraction Wednesday night. The Hawks got back in the win column with a huge blowout winner against the Maple Leafs Monday night. It was a much needed win for the Blackhawks, who were previously 0-3 in their last three. Now they head to New York for the Rangers at MSG. We’re going to be heading to Colorado instead tonight. The Canadiens and Avalanche will be going to battle, a few days after it was announced Carey Price will be shut down for the season. And with that, the Habs threw in the towel on this year already. Let’s face it, the Canadiens aren’t going anywhere without Price in net. Whether the Canadiens go with Ben Scrivens or Mike Condon, it doesn’t matter, neither are coming anywhere close to picking up for the loss of Carey Price. I think the absence of Price shows all of the other holes the Habs have. The Canadiens have been getting torched on defense, and it doesn’t look good on P.K. Subban here. Offensively for a defenseman there is no problems, but for a guy who wants the kind of money he does, he hasn’t been able to rally the defense.
It’s so weird seeing the Canadiens getting toyed with defensively. Here is a Habs team that has been in the top 5 statistically on defense for many years now. Since Price was injured, they have regressed to the back of the league. Note that the Canadiens started the year off 9-0, looking like a shoe-in to make the playoffs and be a threat as well. Now the Canadiens look like a lottery team out there, and a team tanking to improve their position in the draft. With a record of 27-26-3 the playoffs are there, but I see them as a major longshot to get things together and make a playoff run. They are 4-6 in their last ten games and 5-11 in their last sixteen.
Condon got the last two starts for the Canadiens, who have been rotating between him and Scrivens. Condon got blasted for 6 goals in a 6-2 loss. In the previous game, he allowed 6 goals as well to the Sabres. The Avalanche are 4-6 in their last ten games as well. The Blackhawks and Rangers look like they’re going to have a good game on their hands in New York, but I’ll try and find some money in Denver tonight.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Colorado Avalanche NHL Pick
The goaltending has been suspect for the Habs, it’s an understatement. Scrivens holds a 2.99 GAA with the Canadiens in seven appearances this season. Meanwhile, Condon has posted a 2.60 GAA and 13-17-4 mark. The only goalie on this staff with a winning record is Carey Price, who is of course out for the remainder of the season. In 6-4 of their last ten games, the Canadiens have allowed 4 or more goals. Their shots again is fairly strong, giving up 27.8 per game, but they have been held without any success as they alternate between a trash can and traffic pylon between the pipes. In their last ten matchups, the Habs have allowed an average of 3.60 goals per game.
The teams that have been lighting them up aren’t the highest powered offenses either. The Blue Jackets took them for 10 goals in two games, back-to-back. The Flyers got 4 goals, the Sabres scored 10 goals in two games which were about a week apart. Then the Yotes teed-off for 6 goals two nights ago. The Avalanche defensively have allowed 3.20 goals per game in their last ten games. That makes for 6.8 goals surrendered between them. The Canadiens are 20th in the NHL in goals against, which appears okay, but factor in when Price was healthy, and the numbers are misrepresented. The Avs are right behind the Habs in 21st. The Canadiens have favored the OVER 8-1-1 in their last ten matchups. The Avs have gone 5-3-2. I see some value to be had on the OVER in this spot at plus money.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (+105)