I was away for the weekend, but am back on this fine Monday evening to deliver some free NHL picks, but first a brief recap of my Friday picks.
I had the Hurricanes to take care of the Coyotes in regulation on home ice and they followed suit.
The Canes recorded a shutout of the Coyotes in that one, winning the game 3-0 and netted us a one-unit profit.
However, that unit was grabbed right back in the matchup between the Avalanche and Penguins.
I had the Avs in regulation there, but the Penguins once again hung tough and not only sank our pick by taking them to overtime, but also capping the upset with a goal in the extra frame to win that one 4-3.
It was a 1-1 and dead-even in terms of units.
Let’s now turn our attention to this five-game Monday night schedule!
Season Record: 75-60-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Flames and Canadiens from Montreal!
Flames vs. Canadiens Betting Odds
- Flames (-102)
- Canadiens (-108)
- Flames +1.5 (-266)
- Canadiens -1.5 (+226)
- Over 6 (+104)
- Under 6 (-115)
Flames vs. Canadiens NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these team’s before I get into my final pick!
The Flames are once again red-hot as they take a five-game in streak into tonight’s contest in Montreal after a heated victory over their arch rival, the Edmonton Oilers, on Saturday night in Calgary.
Now it’s time for a three-game eastern swing through Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa and they’ll look to take advantage of a struggling Canadiens club.
The Flames have averaged a healthy 3.40 goals per game over their current five-game win streak, but have largely struggled to score goals on the road, ranking 26th with just 2.38 goals per game outside of the Saddledome.
They have been solid on the defensive end, however, as their 2.96 goals against per game on the road sits just outside the top 10 at 11th league wide.
While their road power play has also struggled for consistency with their 17.4% mark tied for 19th on the road, their road penalty kill has been among the best in the league with an 83.1% mark that’s in a three-way tie for fifth.
In terms of possession, the Flames are about a middle of the pack team, but they do get outshot by more than three shots per game, but rank 11th with a 48.56% mark in terms of High-Danger Chances For%.
Where the Flames have been hurt the most is in the shooting percentage column at 5v5 on the road.
Their 6.22% 5v5 road shooting percentage is the lowest mark in the league. I wouldn’t suggest a ton of positive regression there as the Dallas Stars interesting owned that exact same mark last season as the 31st-ranked 5v5 road shooting percentage and the Panthers sported that samw 6.22% mark in the 2017-18 season, but two teams actually finished below that number.
Getting the nod in goal for the Flames tonight will be No.1 netminder David Rittich who has started just one of the Flames’ last four games as Cam Talbot has won each of his last three starts.
Rittich enters this one sporting a 2.81 GAA and .911 Sv% on the season and a very similar 2.87 GAA and .913 Sv% to go along with a 9-6-2 record.
The 27-year-old has scuffled of late, however, posting an .849 Sv% over his last three outings and was pulled in one of those.
Quickly fading from the playoffs after their second eight-game winless streak of the season, the Canadiens finally got back into the win column with an overtime win in Ottawa on Saturday.
Still, with just one win in their last nine games the Canadiens’ postseason chances are getting down to miracle territory.
A big problem, or perhaps the main reason why they are where they are in the standings has been their play on home ice where they’ve gone just 8-11-4 on the season.
More specifically, their play defensively at home has been poor.
The Canadiens enter this one ranked 27th with 3.26 goals against per game at home this season despite outshooting the opposition by 7.7 shots per game, good for the NHL’s third-best mark in that department.
Of course, that likely means the possession metrics are favorable of the team at home.
They do own quality advanced numbers at home, but they have been trending in the wrong direction since earlier in the season.
At 5v5 at home, the Canadiens rank 18th with a 50.14% Corsi For%, 16th with a 51.64% Scoring Chances For% and 10th with a 54.49% High-Danger Chances For%. These numbers were much closer to the top five earlier in the season.
While the defense has been poor on the whole at home, the play of Carey Price has been no where near good enough.
Price enter this one sporting a 2.95 GAA and .904 Sv% on the season, but also a 3.08 GAA and .895 Sv% in going just 7-10-2 at home.
He has bounced back a little bit with a .922 Sv% in January after finishing December with a mark of .908.
A couple of teams that have trended in opposite directions of late, the Canadiens’ playoff chances are in life support, as noted.
On top of the defensive struggles at home, a big concern of mine is their injury-ravaged forward group.
The Canadiens are once again without their heart and soul in Brendan Gallagher who is back on the shelf with concussion symptoms on top of missing Jonathan Drouin, Paul Byron and Joel Armia – the latter whom was enjoying a breakout season.
That’s four extremely important member of the forward group, and I’m not sure they can even score enough to win. They barely did in a 2-1 OT victory their last time out, but have now averaged just 1.86 goals per game over their last seven.
As a result, I think we have to give the red-hot Flames the benefit of the doubt.
They might not score a ton on the road, but they might not have to considering the state of the Canadiens’ offense.
They defend well on the road and their penalty kill is strong, and that in itself could be enough to get them the victory.
At the end of the day, they’re also the superior team facing a poor home team, so I will grab the road team as the slightest of underdogs in this one tonight.