Following a disappointing showing in a big spot yesterday vs. the Leafs, the reeling Habs will look to dust themselves off on a quick turnaround as they host Edmonton on Thursday night.
Montreal were often seen as the top-team in the North division based off of many underlying metrics and early results. And though they soundly out-shot the Leafs last night, they lacked the urgency or quality chances that were prominently featured in their game through the opening month. Carey Price also wasn’t that sharp between the pipes, and he’ll be replaced by Jake Allen against the Oilers.
Edmonton enters Montreal feeling a bit better about their game lately. That’s what back-to-back games against Ottawa can do to a team. The Oilers are still scoring but have improved their play away from the puck. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl continue their assault on the division, and will surely be a handful for the Habs after getting shut down by them earlier this season.
The North division has produced its fair share of exciting contests, and the lack of COVID cases in Canada has also meant a relatively uninterrupted schedule. Thursday’s showdown features two fast-paced squads that should provide for a lot of excitement. Will the Oilers be able to keep their mini-streak alive? Or will Montreal shake off last night’s loss and bounce back with a dominant effort? Continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our take and betting analysis on this all-Canadian encounter. Enjoy!
Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Odds:
Edmonton Oilers (+130)
@ Montreal Canadiens (-150)
Over 6.5 (-110)
Under 6.5 (-110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick:
Earlier in the season when these teams met, it was clear the Habs were the far superior side. They controlled every aspect of their head-to-head meetings, surprisingly stifling all offense from the likes of McDavid and Draisatl. Montreal has stayed hot, and though they’ve had a bit of a lacklustre week of late – this is till an elite club, producing at an impressive pace.
Though Montreal seemed sluggish in the latter stages of last night’s encounter vs. Toronto, let’s not forget they soundly outshot Toronto and were frequently stymied by a red-hot Freddie Andersen in goal.
Montreal still controls possession and sit atop the NHL in many shot and chance-based metrics. Carey Price has been mediocre thus far, but expect Jake Allen between the pipes tonight. The dependable backup has been dynamite thus far in 2021, and has given Montreal a solid tandem for the first time in a while.
Though the Oilers seem to have remedied some of their earlier defensive issues, don’t get fooled by a two-game positive stretch coming out of beating Ottawa. The Sens are likely one of the worst teams in recent history, and the Oilers still lack the necessary depth beyond their top-line talents.
Expect Montreal to bounce-back despite being on a back-to-back. Jake Allen provides confidence in goal, while the Habs’ deep scoring options and skill and speed through their top-9 forwards will really overwhelm and suffocate Edmonton when they have the puck. The Oilers’ defense remains a really weak point, and the quick passing and cycling game of Montreal should wear them down – as it did last month in Edmonton.
With last change this time around, the Habs control the matchup advantage when it comes to stifling McDavid. While he’s a tough player to stop, the Habs’ structure should win out, and we’re getting a discounted price on Montreal at home, with an in-form Jake Allen. Back the Habs to get back on track Thursday night.