The Montreal Canadiens needed a good win, and they got one against the Dallas Stars. It amounts to their best win since beating the Capitals a few weeks ago. The Canadiens are not a good team on paper, and aren’t really a good team on the ice either, but they will bite if you don’t take them seriously. If it wasn’t for the poor play of Kari Lehtonen though, the Stars probably had that game. As it was, the Canadiens were able to win the contest by a score of 4-3 in overtime. A game in which resulted in a pretty tough loss for us. Anytime you lose in overtime or a shootout it never feels good. It essentially becomes a coin flip when it gets to that point in the game. Tonight the Canadiens look to build off that victory and parlay it into two wins in a row, after losing their previous four straight games.
Don’t get too excited Canadien fans, it would have to be some kind of epic conclusion to the season to make it back into the playoff hunt. The Senators did it last year, but Carey Price isn’t here to steal multiple games. Mike Condon or Ben Scrivens aren’t going to be able to do that. It was a 3-3 game at the end of regulation and they were the beneficiaries of bad play by Lehtonen in net. I suspect goaltending is going to be the talk of the playoffs for the Stars.
The Sabres are on the way up, but are not going to be able to elevate high enough to reach the playoffs. However, this season has laid the foundation for the future. They made some quality moves and drafted a budding star in Jack Eichel. In time, the Sabres should be able to climb back into relevancy. That question will be answered by how management handles the roster. Ryan O’Reilly was a bold signing, handing him a fairly big contract to come over to Buffalo from Colorado, but it’s appeared to pay off for the Sabres. We divulge deeper into this meeting between the Sabres and Canadiens below.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL Pick
This is one team that hasn’t been too generous to the Canadiens. The Sabres have beaten the Habs five of their last six meetings. Could history repeat tonight in Montreal? The Canadiens are vulnerable and definitely have the potential of being upset yet again. But maybe the Canadiens will take some of the momentum from the Dallas game and carry it over to tonight. If Carey Price was starting in net, that would be easier to answer. However, with Condon and Scrivens being such wildcards in net, it can be difficult to peg the Canadiens. It’s a matter of how well the Canadien offense is going to play, because more times than not, Scrivens or Condon will get hit hard.
And the Sabres have been able to do just that against them. Buffalo has scored 12 goals against the Canadiens in their last three meetings, which equates to an average of 4 goals per game. Moreover, the Sabres have scored an average of 3.8 goals a game over their last five meetings. Montreal enters with the 19th best defense in the NHL tonight. The Canadiens have allowed at least 3 goals per game in their last five matchups. There has only been one game in their last ten games which has produced less than 5 goals, a 2-1 game against the defensive minded Nashville Predators.
The OVER has gone 4-0-1 in their last five meetings. Additionally, the OVER went 3-1-1 in the Sabres last five matchups, and 3-1-1 for the Canadiens as well. Taking an UNDER 5 in the NHL has looked like suicide lately. Either games are going OVER, or at the very least, you are getting your money back on a PUSH. It’s been a league-wide trend. I’m really tempted to take the Sabres here, but I feel this is another instance of the OVER looking like the play.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-120)