The Montreal Canadiens will drop the puck on their third game of the season against the Sabres in Buffalo tonight. This will be their first contest since coming from behind to defeat the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. The Canadiens scored 4 goals in the 3rd period to erase an infamous 4-1 lead for the Leafs. Next time they might want to consider getting a 5th goal before sitting back and allowing the opposition to erase their lead. The Canadiens hope to get ahead early and not have to make another miraculous comeback.
Montreal enter with a record of 1-0-1 following the win and loss in a shootout against the Hurricanes. Both of their games have been really entertaining hockey, so we can say that much about the Habs thus far in the 2019-20 season. The defence has been deteriorating since about the same time Subban was traded for Shea Weber.
While they’ve notched 3 points in two games, which is nothing to feel bad about, the Canadiens have already showcased their holes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Weber and Jeff Petry, but they’re both carrying their line mates on the blue line. Victor Mete is still trying to find the first goal of his NHL career. Mete is entering his third season, so it’s getting a bit crazy for him. Since he made his debut in 2017, 852 players have scored a goal.
Brett Kulak and Cale Fleury leave a lot to be desired on the third line. They’ve combined for a -3 when they are on the ice. Fleury is expected to develop into a contributor, but he’s shown a lot of inexperience as a 20-year-old in two games. The Canadiens’ blue line will have to work without Carey Price tonight, as newcomer Keith Kinkaid will get the call in Buffalo. Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Sabres pick.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres Pick
The Devils gave Keith Kinkaid a lot of rope to save his job in New Jersey, but they finally let go of him after continuing to struggle. Kinkaid was thrust into a starting role for the Devils after Cory Schneider had to sit out with an injury. However, he was bypassed by rookie Mackenzie Blackwood after he got some work as the starting netminder.
The Devils had plans to trade Kinkaid last season, but they couldn’t find any suitors given his struggles. Kinkaid appeared in 38 games and finished with a 3.36 GAA and 0.891 save percentage. If Carey Price goes down for an extended period of time, the Canadiens are going to be in deep trouble with Kinkaid and their defence.
That could be the case against a Sabres team who blew the doors off the Devils with 7 goals the other day. One of the most overlooked offences in the NHL could be the Sabres. Now that Jack Eichel has help in Buffalo with Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart, to name a couple of playmakers, the Sabres should not be hurting for goals this season. Look for them to play a solid game against the Canadiens at home tonight.
The Sabres were on a three-game win streak and going for a season sweep over the Habs before watching it come to an end with a 7-4 loss in March. Buffalo didn’t have any issues scoring against Montreal in their four games a season ago. The Sabres scored an average of 4.25 goals per game, with at least 4 goals scored in three of four games last year vs Montreal. With the Canadiens giving Price the night off, the Sabres seem like terrific value at home Wednesday night in Buffalo.