The Montreal Canadiens head into Columbus on a three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets enter tonight with four straight wins. Someone is going to see their streak come to an end on Friday night. In their last meeting, the Blue Jackets delivered a 5-2 win in Columbus on March 12th of last season. The Canadiens did not have a great season in 2017-18 and were not expected to do much this season either.
So far they’ve exceeded expectations, with a record of 26-17-5 and currently in possession of a wildcard. There isn’t much room for error, though, with 3 points separating a playoff berth and no playoff berth. With that said, every point matters at this juncture.
As far as the Blue Jackets are concerned, they are feeling great after catching the Capitals in the Metropolitan. They’ve reeled them in thanks to their recent four-game stretch and are now tied at 59 points with the Caps. Kudos to this Columbus team who posed the greatest threat to Washington in the playoffs last night.
If only they could have handled their business at Nationwide Arena we may have been talking about something different. The Blue Jackets have come back this season and look like they’re going to be a thorn in the side of the Caps again. For the Canadiens, it’d be an accomplishment just to reach the playoffs. However, an early exit wouldn’t feel too great, especially if they met the Maple Leafs in the first round. Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets pick.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Canadiens’ defence and Carey Price has been responsible for this recent surge in Montreal. Along with three wins in a row, they are winners in four of their previous five games. With the resurgence of Price, the wins are starting to pile up for the Canadiens. During their three-game streak, Montreal have allowed just 3 goals, including a shutout against the Avalanche.
After a turbulent start, Price has brought his numbers up sharply. He enters with a 2.65 GAA and 0.912 save percentage. His GAA was well over 3.00 for several weeks, so this has been a breath of fresh air in Montreal. If the Canadiens are going to compete and make the playoffs, they’re going to need Price to go into elite mode.
Price has allowed 2 or less goals in three of his last four starts. He’s also been victorious in five of his last seven appearances in net. With just 1.7 goals allowed per game in the Canadiens’ previous nine outings, they’ve been making a point about getting better defensively. If this were occurring from the start of the season, the Canadiens would be in a much better position. But hey, it’s better late than never.
The Blue Jackets enter with a couple of more wins than the Canadiens at 28-15-2. As you can see, there isn’t much separating teams in the conference. Besides say the Lightning who have built up a pretty decent lead. Both teams are obviously playing solid hockey head into Friday night. The Blue Jackets have the edge at home, but the Canadiens have been rather reliable on the road with a record of 13-8-3. The price the oddsmakers are giving the Jackets just doesn’t seem justified. I think the Habs have a better than +130 chance of winning this game, so the value has to be with Montreal on Friday night.