It’s getting worse before getting better for Carey Price. After taking a week off to process his thoughts and get his mind right, Price had a couple of decent starts with 2 goals allowed in his first two starts back. However, he’s beginning to relapse into the form he was before he got some rest. With 5 goals allowed in each of his previous two outings, whatever confidence he gathered against the Canucks and Capitals has evaporated after a couple of his most recent starts between the pipes.
Let it be known, though, this isn’t all Price’s doing. The defence has been playing just as badly as him. He bailed the Canadiens out a few times against the Capitals before ultimately letting in a saveable goal in overtime. Whether the Canadiens want to go with Price or Niemi in net, it doesn’t fix the issues their having on the blueline. They’re paying Price a boatload of money, so don’t expect him to get benched for a considerable amount of time. Also, Niemi isn’t exactly a reliable second option.
Niemi is fine for a spot play here and there, but not enough to replace Price if he continues to struggle and needs an extended break on the bench. Regardless of the goaltending issues, the Canadiens have been better than anticipated. The offence has been a major bright spot, and the acquisition of Max Domi has been one of the best in the league this season. Carey Price playing like an elite goalie, like he is getting paid to do, would put this team over the top and a real contender. However, it certainly hasn’t been the case. Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Sabres pick.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres Pick
Two of the hottest teams in the league are who you wouldn’t necessarily suspect. The Detroit Red Wings won again last night to add another win to their recent tear, and the Sabres are going into tonight on a seven-game winning streak. They’re sitting comfortably with a record of 14-6-2. This is after they went a horrible 25-45-12 just a season ago, so they have been the comeback team of the year thus far.
The Sabres are already 11 games away from matching their win total from last season and we’re still a week away from December. The offence has been playing exceptionally better than in the past. Jack Eichel has developed into a leader and leads the team with 25 points, while Jeff Skinner has been a tremendous steal. He’s already scored 15 goals, 9 behind his mark with the Hurricanes a year ago. Then the ageless one, Jason Pominville, continues to perform well in a league filled with young legs.
Buffalo have notched an average of 3.09 goals per game this season. They’ve turned it on recently, with 10 goals in their previous two games, and an average of 3.7 goals per in their last ten outings. Contrasted with the Canadiens who have been getting pummeled defensively. The Habs have surrendered an average of 4.2 goals per game in their previous ten games.
In six of their last eight, they’ve given up at least 4 goals. But that doesn’t take anything away from their forwards, who have been playing well with 3.18 goals scored per game. They desperately need Shea Weber to get back to their blueline soon. Until the Canadiens show any ability to keep the puck out of their net, the OVER is going to continue to be an attractive option.