One losing streak will end in Detroit tonight, while another team will continue their slide to a five-game losing streak. The Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings are both on a four-game skid, with the Canadiens putting their slim playoff chances on ice recently. They’re not dead yet, but getting pretty close.
The Canadiens head to Detroit with a record of 27-26-8 and 62 points. Barring a miraculous comeback, the Canadiens will not be going to the playoffs once again. It’s likely going to be chalked up as another wasted season in Montreal. They’re 9 points behind the Flyers for the final wildcard and 8 points behind the Maple Leafs for No. 3 in the Atlantic Division.
Overcoming 8 points certainly isn’t impossible and there’s still ample time left in the season. However, the four-game losing streak has hurt them deeply, and they haven’t played like a team deserving of the playoffs. If they are going to go on a run, it’s likely going to have to happen now in Detroit.
A loss against the lowly Red Wings would surely be the dagger on their season. The NHL recently fined Claude Julien $10,000 because of comments regarding officiating in the league. He went on a tirade after the Canadiens lost in overtime against the Stars in their most recent outing.
The Canadiens ultimately lost, 4-3, and Julien wasn’t having any of it. And rightfully so, the officiating in that game was really bad. The Canadiens might have had a point stolen from them Saturday night. There has been a lot of frustrations in Montreal this season, and Julien unloaded to get some of that anger out which was levied towards the refs. We’ll see if Julien survives past this season, but things aren’t looking great for him if the Canadiens can’t turn on the magic and get into the playoffs.
Habs’ fans won’t waste time firing in Julien in the court of public opinion if they lose against the Red Wings tonight. That has been ongoing in Montreal throughout the season, though a loss in Detroit would likely set off an explosion. Firing him won’t fix all of the Canadiens’ problems, but it could breathe some new life into the organization. It’s possible that Julien, along with Red Wings’ head coach, Jeff Blashill, will be looking for new jobs soon. Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Red Wings pick.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Odds:
Canadiens vs. Red Wings Prediction:
Is Steve Yzerman going to stay with Jeff Blashill after this disaster of a season? It’s highly unlikely, though the Red Wings’ struggles can’t be blamed squarely on Blashill. If Yzerman can attract Gerard Gallant to come to Detroit, then Yzerman is probably going to pack his bags. There will be a bidding war for Gallant, so we’ll see what the Red Wings are willing to do. The Red Wings as a team have been doing absolutely nothing recently. The absence of Filip Zadina is quite evident now. Zadina out of the lineup really hurts, and we’ve seen the Red Wings as their worst recently.
The Red Wings have been outscored 16-6 in their last four games, and scored just 1 goal in each of their last three games. Their latest effort resulted in a 5-1 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were severely outmatched in that game, as they suffered a 5-1 loss. It was the same story versus the Bruins as well, with a 4-1 loss in Boston at TD Garden. The Red Wings have been better at Little Caesars Arena in 2019-20, but that isn’t saying much. They’ve gone 9-18-2 at home, so that’s nothing to celebrate. Overall, the Red Wings carry a record of 14-43-4 into tonight, which is the worst record by a long distance.
Naturally, the Red Wings have been last defensively and offensively throughout the season. Not much has changed in that regard. The Red Wings have yielded 3.74 goals per game on defence, while suffering offensively as well, with 1.98 goals scored a game. Removing Zadina from the equation hurts the offence drastically. He’s a guy the Red Wings are going to be building around for the future, so his presence is important.
In their previous ten games, the Wings have scored a measly 1.3 goals per contest. I’m expecting the Canadiens to come out angry and take their frustrations out on the Red Wings tonight. Tensions were high in Montreal after they felt the officiating staff stole a win away from them. They’ve had success in Detroit of late, with five wins in their last six trips to Motown. By the looks of it, the Canadiens have to be the play here.