Following a stunning 5-0 defeat at the hands of the 12th seed Canadiens, the top-ranked Flyers will look to rebound in a crucial Game 3.
After looking solid in all facets in Game 1, Game 2 for Philadelphia was certainly a surprise. They were soundly outplayed by all four lines and pairings of Montreal, looking slower than them in all aspects. The Habs combined unbelievable discipline and structure with a powerful forecheck, and the Flyers’ defense was far too slow to react.
In goal, Carey Price continues to impressively turn back the clock for Les Canadiens. He has been a complete rock in goal so far for the Habs, and despite the fact the format was quite forgiving to even include Montreal in the NHL’s return to play – full kudos to the Habs for making things interesting.
With the series tied at one game each, Game 3 is clearly an important one for both clubs. The Flyers are still the clear favourites, but an unproven and youthful core might be feeling the moment a little more than expected. Can the Habs continue to frustrate a more skilled Philly side? Read on beneath the posted odds for more insight on that, as well as a winning selection for Montreal vs. Philadelphia in Game 3.
Canadiens vs. Flyers Betting Odds:
Montreal Canadiens (+115)
Philadelphia Flyers (-129)
Over 5 (-137)
Under 5 (+119)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Canadiens vs. Flyers Pick:
Despite all of the successes Montreal had in Game 2, it remains to be seen if they can pull off another game of good fortune against a certainly hungrier Philly side. The Flyers will no longer be taking these plucky Habs lightly anymore, and though that might not be fair to Montreal – there remains a decisive talent edge in favour of the Flyers.
With the series shifting to Game 3, Montreal now does become the designated home side, though it’s hard to see how Kirk Muller’s gameplan changes too much from Friday’s matchup. The Habs’ new bench boss will still work hard to pair Ben Chiarot and Shea Weber against the Flyers’ top line, though eventually you’d have to think the Flyers’ top trio can turn the tide in that matchup.
Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux are by far the top forwards in this series, and both possess the necessary skills and quickness to punish Montreal’s slow-footed defense. Carey Price remains another question, but expect more direct play from Philly – en route to more scoring chances and shots at goal.
Another point worth mentioning is just how drastically this line has shifted prior to puck drop in Game 2. It’s a staggering 25 cents in favour of Montreal now, and you cannot help but think that the market has totally overreacted to Montreal’s blowout win just two days ago. In the post-season, you need to have a short memory and the Flyers are simply too big and too deep to not respond as the more talented side here.
There’s also some added motivation for the Flyers entering Game 3, as the Habs committed a big no-no late in Game 2 by putting out there top power-play unit when the game was already out of reach. That’ll certainly get many of Philadelphia’s more excitable talents even more amped for this big matchup, and should provide Philly with some added motivation from a more narrative-driven angle.
While the Habs continue to be a trendy pick and a nice story in these unique playoffs, they still lack the skill or shooting potential to consistently defeat a team like Philadelphia. Carter Hart is every bit as talented as Carey Price, and don’t let a fluky Game 2 experience deter you from going back and siding with the favoured Flyers. They’re the deeper and faster group, and should be able to finally start exploiting Montreal’s weaknesses on their back-end. This market price has completely overreacted, and seeing the Flyers this short is quite the gift.
Pick: Philadelphia 3-1