The Montreal Canadiens have gotten off to a monster start to the season. Heading into tonight with a 5-0 record, the Habs welcome a team to Montreal that has had a nice start of their own. The Detroit Red Wings lost their first game of the season last night with a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Perhaps a look ahead sport for the Red Wings? It sure looks like that way, as the Red Wings need to come back tonight to face the Canadiens. Just like that a team can hit a snag. After a loss to a rather inferior opponent, there is one of the best teams in the league in front of you the next night. The Wings got off to a hot start, 3-0-0, but with a loss tonight just like that they’ll be 3-2-0. Nobody said that the Red Wings were going to fly to the top of the standings this season. They are under a rookie head coach, Jeff Blashill, who made the jump from the Red Wings’ farm system to the NHL. With Mike Babcock in Toronto now, the Red Wings are depending on a quick transition from him to Blashill. Not exactly the same name appeal of Babcock, but there are many people that have confidence in Blashill. I say that the Wings will have periods of growing pains, but they should generate a middle of the conference seed in the playoffs.
The Red Wings core is generally still there, but are getting older. Notably Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. They come came into the league and marked a new era in Red Wing hockey and will presumably go out together. I don’t think they have too many prime years left in their careers, so the window is closing on the Red Wings winning a Stanely Cup with this group. The Wings are one of the best teams in drafting and evaluating talent that it wouldn’t surprise me if they just reload and stay competitive. The Wings do have a good young goaltender in their possession, Petr Mrazek. Mrazek who is only 23 years old posted a nice GAA of 2.38 in his first season as a regular on the Red Wings. The ex-Ottawa 67 gets the expected nod tonight against the Canadiens. Carey Price has been unbeatable thus far, it’s Carey Price being Carey Price. It means Mrazek faces a stiff test on the road tonight in Montreal, having to keep pace with Price in net.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick
The Red Wings suffered an unexpected loss last night against the winless Hurricanes. Both streaks came to an end for both teams. A win over the Canadiens would be a nice way to recover from that one last night. It certainly won’t be easy, though. The Habs have gone 5-0-0 with wins over Leafs, Bruins, Senators, Rangers, and Penguins. Those last two wins over the Rangers and Penguins are mighty impressive. The Canadiens have allowed just 1.20 goals per game to start the season. Price owns a 1.25 GAA in this opening season win streak.
Despite getting beat for 5 goals last night against the Canes, the Red Wings have been playing well on defense as well. They’re letting in an average of only 1.33 goals a game, the most impressive game coming against the offensive minded Tampa Bay Lightning, holding them to just 1 goal. Price is a great goalie, but it’s a team effort in Montreal, as their defense is stout as well. The last three of four games in this series has gone UNDER the total. I expect another low-scoring affair tonight between the Wings and Canadiens. After getting lit up by the Hurricanes, the Wings’ defense should get back to form tonight.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (-110)