After getting stonewalled by Martin Jones last night, it’s time to look towards Tuesday night. As I write this right now, the Flames have 34 shots on net and it’s the start of the 3rd period. There really isn’t anything you can do against that, other than move and looking forward to the next opportunity, which we’re going to do. Tonight we look at a team trying to get on a roll, as another is trying to stop the bleeding desperately. It’s a throwaway season for the Canadiens at this point, so there isn’t any meaning to this game for them. However, no one likes getting embarrassed, and the Canadiens are turning into a laughing stock of the NHL. The Habs have lost 4 straight games and are 3-7 in their last ten games. Dating back to December 3rd, Montreal has gone 11-29. Their .500 record could be a lot worse than it is, if it wasn’t for a nice start to the season. After Carey Price went out, the entire season was turned on its side for the Canadiens. Price is a good goaltender, but things shouldn’t have gone in the toilet this badly.
The problems for the Canadiens stem deeper than on the ice. I think there are behind the scene issues going on as well. Notably, between head coach Michel Therrien and defenseman P.K. Subban. There is some bad blood going on there and it isn’t difficult to tell that they don’t see eye-to-eye. He was thrown under the bus a few weeks ago for a loss and ended up getting benched the following game. Yeah, that one must have sat well with Subban. Regardless of his sloppy play in that particularly game, I don’t think the face of the franchise should be treated like that.
Considering the season was already in the tubes for the Canadiens, there wasn’t really any benefit of sitting him down, other than dividing the team further apart. The Stars enter tonight following a 2-1 win against the Senators on Sunday. They just have to keep this season together. There have been signs of them losing some lift lately, as they lost four straight before winning a couple in a row against the Devils and Senators. They were 1-7 before the win over the Devils. With a record of 40-25-5, there isn’t any reason to go into panic mode, but as we head into the spring, it’s about time the Stars turn the heat up and send a message to the rest of the league, instead of regressing and stumbling into the playoffs.
Dallas Stars vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL Pick
If the Stars want to learn a thing about regressing, just ask the Montreal Canadiens. The Stars are trying not to duplicate that as the plot thickens deep in the season. The Habs have had their fair share of issues in net since Price was injured, alternating between Ben Scrivens and Mike Condon. Condon is the better of the two, but there is no replacement for Carey Price. Condon would be a nice backup for Price, but this isn’t the kind of role he should have in the NHL. He isn’t a starting goaltender. He owns a 2.58 GAA and 16-19-6 record. He is coming dangerously close to dipping below a 0.90 save percentage. In his last three starts, he’s allowed an average of 3.6 goals per game. Overall the Canadiens have allowed 3.10 goals in their last ten games. Carey Price was their defense.
The Habs should have their hands full on defense this evening, as the 2nd best offense in the league comes into town, albeit shorthanded. Patrick Sharp has been out with a recent lower-body injury. He is a player they’ll need to play well in the playoffs. Sharp is an acquisition which put thrust them to another level this season. However, there is still plenty of talent to go around in Dallas, they shouldn’t fade away. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have combined for 32 goals each, along with 40 assists for Benn and 36 for Seguin. I think Sharp provides a bit of the x-factor. I think the Stars will be fine without Sharp in this particular game tonight. There is no reason for them to take the night off after the skid they were on. I see the Canadiens getting overmatched this evening, with the Stars cruising to a victory in Quebec.
PICK: STARS TO WIN -122