The Montreal Canadiens hit the road after a trio of games at the Bell Centre in Montreal. They’ve been home for eight of their last eleven games, but things are about to get turned up on the road for the Canadiens. It’s been a nice start for them, though they haven’t had to go on a long road trip like many other teams in the league have had to do already.
Seven of their next nine games will be out of town, so we’ll get a good look at the Habs out of their comfort zone. They head into Brooklyn with a record of 7-4-2 against one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The New York Islanders? Yes, the Islanders have been playing like one of the best teams in the league of late. The Isles are on a roll with five straight wins.
It’s been a complete team effort from the Isles, as they’ve gotten production from multiple outlets on their roster. Their most impressive effort during the winning streak, was back-to-back wins against the Penguins in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn. They followed that up with a 3-0 win over the Devils.
The Isles lost John Tavares in the offseason, and they’ve so far been developing a defensive game to counter the loss of one of the best goal scorers in the NHL. Thomas Greiss, in particular, has been outstanding between the pipes. Both him and Robin Lehner rank in the top-10 among goaltenders in the NHL. Greiss stole a win against the Pens, as he turned back four breakaways in extra time. One against Sidney Crosby in overtime and three in the shootout. Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Islanders pick below.
Montreal Canadiens vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick
Since winning four of five games, the Canadiens have gone 3-4 in their previous seven games. I think that’s a little more in line with what people expected out of the Canadiens this season, which wasn’t much. The game plan looked like it was going to be Carey Price having to steal games to pick up any wins. They haven’t had to depend on Price totally, though I don’t expect the offence to continue to average over 3 goals per game as the season progresses.
The Islanders haven’t been giving much room defensively, as they currently rank 3rd in the NHL with 2.31 goals allowed per game. If they don’t have to rely on Barzal and Josh Bailey putting up big numbers every night, the Isles should be fine. It’s a big if, though, let’s see if Greiss and Lehner can continue this impressive tandem in net. Greiss is 3rd in the NHL, while Lehner is 10th statistically. Along with keeping the puck out of the net, they’ve scored 3.15 goals per game.
Even more impressive, has been the Islanders performance at home to this point. They have allowed just 1.6 goals per game at Barclays Center, with the most being scored by the Predators, 4, back in the home opener on October 6th in a 4-3 loss. No, the Canadiens are not as talented as the Preds by a long shot.
Until the Canadiens begin to find their equilibrium this season as we get further in the season with more of a sample size, which I believe is just below .500, they’re likely to be overpriced by odds makers. We were able to take advantage of that on Saturday against the Lightning.
Everyone has seen how quickly they’ve fired out of the gates, so sportsbooks can afford to provide odds that reflect a better team than they actually are. Max Domi is going to need some help if they want to go into January as a winning team. Expect them to regress and end up fooling a few people after the nice couple of weeks they had in October. This should be a good one, but expect the Islanders to ultimately edge out the Canadiens on Monday night.