The struggle without Carey Price in Montreal is real. You can’t say it’s because Mike Condon is going a bad job, but there are goalies that teams play better in front of. Condon has a 2.28 GAA! The blame cannot go with him. It is hard to explain sometimes, but Carey Price is irreplaceable. After a 9-0 franchise record start, the Canadiens enter against the Ottawa Senators with a 19-8-2 record. That is nothing to be upset about, it still makes them one of the best teams in the NHL. But they should be upset that they were 19-4 just four games ago. The Habs have lost four in a row. It was looking like early in the season that they weren’t going to lose a game. That was more a figure of speech, of course they were going to lose, but four in a row seemed like a big afterthought. Price will not be back until mid-January at the earliest, so they better get used to playing with Condon between the pipes.
The Canadiens welcome the Senators to Montreal tonight, as they make the short trip north for this one. The Senators are looking fine with a 15-9-2 record this season. The Sens are on their fourth straight road game, after flying back from Florida after a 4-1 loss to the Lightning. They’ve been all over on this road trip, starting in New York then to Florida, and back near home in Montreal. It’s another road game for the Sens, but they will be close to home for this one against the Habs. Despite the four game skid, the Canadiens are 5-5 in the last ten games, so they were on a winning streak recently before the losing streak. They look to stop the bleeding against Ottawa on Saturday night. With the Toronto Maple Leafs getting the night off on Saturday, the Senators and Canadiens take the spotlight on Hockey Night in Canada. Get the pick below.
Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL Pick
This is a big one for the Canadiens. All good teams go through dry spells, four in a row is okay, but a fifth loss and people will start to get worried. Not that it is justified, I wouldn’t write the Habs off after a fifth loss, but there are people that just look at the now instead of the whole picture. Regardless, the Canadiens don’t want this slide to continue. I think they catch the Senators in a bad spot. Fourth game of a long road trip that sees them just coming back from Florida.
The Canadiens have looked good this season overall. On the season they are 5th in goal against. Offensively they are 3rd in the NHL. Therefore, they are obviously in the top 5 in both departments. However, they haven’t scored more than 2 goals in a game during this losing run. It has actually been seven games since they have scored 3 goals. I think this is one of those games though where they wake up and breakthrough. Like I said, they are catching the Senators in a tough spot coming in on the tail end of a road trip. The Canadiens should be able to snap out of it tonight at home against the Senators. I hate saying teams are due, but the Habs are due.
PICK: CANADIENS TO WIN -135