What a night we had Friday in what was our most profitable night of the NHL season so far. We made 3 picks Friday night and were bang on with all 3. We took the Sharks Friday afternoon over the Blues in what was a battle of two of the top teams in the NHL, and the Sharks were able to take care of the Blues pretty handily in a 6-3 Sharks win. Our next pick was Washington to take down Montreal on home ice and the Capitals managed to beat the Habs, albeit in a shootout by a score of 3-2. Lastly, we took the Penguins to stay hot and beat the Lightning, and they did just that as the Pens topped the Bolts in a 3-0 shutout victory. Always feels good to put together a perfect night, but let’s move forward and see if we can keep the ball rolling now that the calendar has flipped to December.
New Jersey Devils @ Montreal Canadiens
My Pick – DEVILS (+150) @ 5Dimes.eu ($520 free)
Two hot teams will collide tonight in Montreal as the New Jersey Devils continue to rack up points as they make their way up the Metropolitan Division standings, while the Canadiens haven’t lost in regulation in nearly 2 weeks. The Devils are coming off back to back wins as they exploded for four 3rd period goals against Carolina on Friday night, then they blanked the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in overtime on a late goal from Steve Bernier to win the game 1-0. Now, the Habs are playing better defensive hockey then just about any team in the NHL right now as they haven’t allowed more than 2 goals in 10 straight games, but I am not sure any team in the league plays a better road game than this New Jersey Devils team.
The Devils tend to lull their opponent to sleep by clogging up the neutral zone and forcing dump ins and turnovers rather than giving up opportunities on the rush that provide excitement for the home town crowds. Defensively, the Devils might be as sound as anyone as they gave up 33 total shots over the weekend in 2 games, and the 18 they gave up against Carolina on Friday also came on the road. The Devils have not given up more than 30 shots against over their last 5 games, nor have they surrendered a powerplay goal over that same 5-game span. Some say there is goaltender controversy brewing in New Jersey as Cory Schneider seems a little agitated at the fact that Martin Brodeur continues to see a good chunk of the starts. Besides the two starts Schenider made over the weekend, it is still hard to call it a controversy when both goalies are playing so well. Broduer’s goals against average currently sits at 2.20 on the season, while Schneider is even lower at 1.72 and has also compiled a .927 save percentage in 12 games played compared to Brodeur’s 15. However, Brodeur will get the nod tonight in his home province of Quebec.
Some may ask why I am betting against one of the hotter teams in the NHL tonight in their home building, but I believe Montreal is due for a let down game after an emotional win Saturday, and I believe the Devils are a perfect team to sneak in and steal 2 points on the road. The Devils are 4-1 in their last 5 road games, 13-6 in their last 19 games against the Canadiens and 8-1 in their last 9 trips to Montreal. Let’s take the Devils tonight as substantial underdogs to take 2 points from the home side from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.