Last night capped off another great evening here at The Sports Geek as the Bruins came through for a featured pick winner. Our main selections are now 5-2 through the first week of the post-season, and we’ll look to keep that going throughout the duration of the spring. In other action, the Rangers vaulted back into their series against the Caps, one I still think New York can win. And out West Detroit tied up their series against the Ducks, as did the defending champion Kings versus the Blues. Both of those should go down to the wire and seem too close to call at the moment.
Tonight we’ll focus our attention on what has been one of the best series to date, the Montreal and Ottawa battle. The Sens enter tonight’s action with a 2-1 lead and after all of the bad blood that has been spilled thus far, Game 4 surely makes for can’t-miss television. Read below for thoughts and selection on this pivotal encounter.
Montreal Canadiens (+125) @ Ottawa Senators (-145)
Our series prediction at the outset was a long battle, but ultimately one that would see Montreal prevail in seven hard-fought games. However, after the first three contests the Habs haven’t fared all that well against Ottawa, and goaltender Carey Price is showing some serious flaws. Montreal appeared very rattled and clearly lost their composure Sunday evening, but this is a team that has responded to adversity all season long, and I’m banking on them doing it again tonight.
Montreal suffered a couple of embarrassing losses this season, two notable ones totheir hated rivals, the Leafs. The Habs endured a 6-0 defeat on home ice, and how did they respond? By being the hottest team in the game for a month-long stretch thereafter. They can respond, and they will resond. No doubt they are an angry bunch that feels embarrassed right now, but the best way to overcome those feelings is by winning this hockey game. As much as vengeance plays on the mind of Michel THerrien and his team, the best revenge is success and expect the Habs to have plenty of that in Canada’s capital tonight. Ottawa has antagonized the Habs all series long and it boiled over during the waning seconds on Game 3 when Ottawa’s coach Paul MacLean called a timeout with a 5-1 lead with thirty seconds to play. That was a classless act deemed by many and Montreal will respond to those sorts of gestures. Eric Gryba returns for the Sens tonight adding an entirely new wrinkle to this already tense rivalry. Look for that to motivate Montreal and deliver their most inspired outing of the season.
The Habs are loaded with character and when they are playing their best, the Sens cannot match up with their unique blend of skill, speed, and scoring ability. Ottawa has the lead in the series, but most of their success has been a result of shoddy goaltending from Carey Price. Expect Price to respond and the rest of the team to feed off of this. Montreal will control their emotions effectively, stifle the Senators’ scoring chances, and win a tight-checking, low-scoring affair. The Habs will get back to playing the game that led them to the Northeast Division crown and respond to the adversity in a big way. Expect Price to outduel Anderson, and the Habs to send this series back to Montreal all-square. Ottawa’s laying too steep a price here and consider Montreal excellent road value tonight.
PICK = Montreal (+125)
As far as additional bonus selections go for tonight, there aren’t too many other intriguing options on the NHL slate. This Pens/Isles series has been tough to read thus far, especially given the pesky performances of New York. One thing that has been certain though are the presence of goals, but at the current listing of O/U 6, that’s not something I’d want to get involved with. My other personal winners for the evening are Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Chicago though at the prices listed, I’d stay away.