The Montreal Canadiens lost another game on Thursday because of… Carey Price? The young guns came out firing for the Canadiens against the Sabres, but it wasn’t enough, as the Sabres stole a 6-5 win in overtime. It was a blast by Ristolainen as he flew in after the Canadiens botched a 2-on-1. However, for a guy making 10 million a year in net, Price has to stop a shot that he had a clear look at.
There was no deflection or screen, the puck just got right by him. That loss is on Price and the defence. It’s not something you would have expected to hear this many times this early in the season. With how well the offence has been playing, if they could get some help in net from Price, they’d be in a nice spot right now. Nonetheless, given their pre-season predictions, it’s been better than expected for them thus far. They were expected to have issues offensively, but that hasn’t been a problem at all.
Max Domi tallied a point against the Sabres to give him at least a point in five straight games. Domi has been the engine driving the Canadiens’ offence this season, as their move to acquire him is looking pretty smart right now. It may just save Marc Bergevin’s job. Tomas Tatar also has recorded a point in five straight games.
With Domi, the Habs have elected to go with a quicker attack on the ice. It’s worked for them as this has been the best we’ve seen from a Montreal offence in awhile. With that said, it’s putting more stress to get back and defend the counter attack, which is exactly how they lost to the Sabres. The Vegas Golden Knights arrive in Montreal following a 5-3 win over the Senators on Thursday. They finally got some puck luck in front of the net, including a controversial goaltending interference call that wasn’t ruled interference. We’ll see if they can keep it up against Niemi and the Habs. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Canadiens pick.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick
The Canadiens are going to give Price the night off on Saturday to allow him to think about things and clear his head. He missed a couple of starts earlier, but that was because he was sick. Price is essentially getting benched in this game after getting torched by the Sabres on Thursday, a game that should have resulted in 2 points.
Niemi can’t do much worse than how Price has been playing, so why not give him the crease and allow the starter to refresh. The only problem is that Price’s average play is about Niemi’s best. If Price continues to struggle they’re going to be in trouble. Niemi enters Saturday with a 3.13 GAA and 0.893 save percentage. The Canadiens are 18th with 3.19 goals allowed per game.
The offence has been their crutch, with 3.19 goals scored per game. With a record of 8-5-3, give the Canadiens another couple of wins at least if Price had been playing well. The Habs have allowed at least 4 goals five of their last six games. Also, they have allowed at least 4 goals in seven of their previous ten outings.
With Vegas finding their offence in Ottawa, expect it to carryover to Montreal. They have averaged 36.2 shots per game in their last nine games, so the goals will eventually come, which came against the Sens and likely as well against Niemi and the struggling Montreal defence. A play on the OVER in Montreal should prove to be profitable on Saturday.