The New York Islanders have their eyes set on Montreal following a 4-1 win in Detroit against the Red Wings last night. It was a rather easy night for the Islanders, as the Red Wings didn’t provide any pushback. The Islanders generated a 2-goal lead and pretty well coasted from there. Detroit were never a threat to complete the comeback. The Islanders caused the Red Wings to sink even further, and they have an opportunity to do the same against the Canadiens on Tuesday night. The Canadiens are closing in on a franchise record following a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday. It was their eight straight loss and longest losing streak since 1939-1940. Their longest losing streak in team history was set in 1926 with 12 in a row, so they are flirting with history.
It’s been an absolutely brutal stretch for a team who believed they were ready to go on a run after defeating the Washington Capitals. The Canadiens beat the Capitals by a score of 5-2 on November 15th and haven’t won a game since. That was their third win in a row and four wins in five games, so there was reason to feel confident about the Canadiens then. The Capitals were steamrolling, and they haven’t won too many games in regulation, with the Canadiens currently only one of four teams to do it. So, no one saw an eight-game losing streak coming on the heels of an impressive showing against a good Capitals squad. Tonight at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens will look to hand the Islanders only their sixth loss in regulation.
The Canadiens need a new approach against the Islanders tonight. It isn’t much of a secret what it’s going to take, but whether the players respond and do it is something totally different. Getting back on defence is a must, though the Canadiens haven’t been doing that. It happened again Sunday as David Pastranak flew up the wing to blast a laser past Carey Price to tie the game up in the 3rd on Sunday. It was all downhill from there, with the Bruins scoring 2 more goals for a 3-goal period and 3-1 win. The Canadiens face another capable team this evening at home. We’ll see if they can turn it around. Head below for our free Islanders vs. Canadiens pick.
NHL Awards Odds, Predictions and Value Picks
N.Y. Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Odds:
Islanders vs. Canadiens Prediction:
The Islanders are a team who have done the opposite of whatever the Canadiens have been doing recently. They get back and play defence instead of getting lazy. Barry Trotz would not allow his players to play that poorly on the backcheck or they’d hear it during practice. The Islanders are finding success because of their hard-nosed physical style. Montreal could learn a thing or two from the Islanders in that respect.
The Canadiens just have to look at the schedule and realize right now that there’s a lot of hockey left to go. This losing skid could be a blip on the radar by the end of the season if they prevent this slide from going on much longer. Montreal head into Tuesday with a record of 11-10-6 and 28 points, so they haven’t hit disaster territory.
Despite the losing streak, the Canadiens are only 3 points behind the Panthers and Sabres for 2nd in the Atlantic. They also outshot six of their eight opponents, so they are getting pucks to the net. Even a mediocre stretch in the last eight games would have the Canadiens behind the Bruins. Are they going to catch the Bruins? That’s unlikely, nor does it look realistic that anyone in the division will be able to. The Maple Leafs have been playing better hockey with Mike Babcock gone, though it’d take a whole lot to erase a 13-point deficit vs a team like Boston.
The Canadiens have had a lot of success against the Islanders in recent memory. They have two very different styles of play, with the Canadiens wanting to play fast offensively. It’s seemed to work out well against the Isles, as the Habs have won four of the last five meetings. In their most recent showing, the Canadiens downed the Islanders by a score of 4-0 in Montreal this past March. Montreal average 3.6 goals per game, while allowing 1.8 per game in the defensive zone.
Price has been solid against the Islanders with a 2.49 GAA and 0.915 save percentage in 22 games. He should have a decent night against an Islanders’ offence that has sputtered on the road. They’ve netted just 2.3 goals per game outside of Barclays and the Coliseum. This looks like a nice spot for an Islanders’ letdown. They just beat a Red Wings team that showed zero energy last night. In an attempt to avoid nine straight losses, the Islanders are likely going to see a lot more pushback from the Canadiens here. Look for the Canadiens to finally find 2 points in one night on Tuesday.