NHL Hockey Betting: Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Hockey Betting:  Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Here’s a spoiler alert: The Montreal Canadiens have a very good team this year. That makes this matchup difficult for the Florida Panthers right off the bad but they’re catching the Habs in a really bad situation. Montreal is coming off of only their second loss of the year. They’ve not lost more than two games in a row this year. The loss last time out wasn’t as embarrassing as their 10-0 loss to Columbus earlier this year but clearly this veteran, competitive team isn’t going to be happy about it. Florida isn’t having quite the success they did last season but they’re still well poised to make the playoffs. Their biggest problem has been their play on the road. The Panthers are 6-3-0 at home (despite having the worst fans in the NHL) but are just 1-4-1 on the road. They’ll no doubt improve away from home as the season progresses but its obvious that the Bell Centre isn’t the best place to ‘get well’ on the road.

There’s really nothing to criticize about the Habs’ play this year. Carey Price has been a monster. After a horrible season for both himself personally and the Montreal franchise there were concerns that he wouldn’t be 100% when the season started. Knee injuries are especially tough for goalies and some are never ‘themselves’ again. It’s possible to make a case that Price ‘isn’t himself’ to this point in the 2016-2017 season–he’s better. His stats are good across the board but all you really need to know is this: 10-0-0. This Price’s record making him the first goalie in NHL history to win his first ten decisions. That’s pretty good.

Price is the front runner for both the MVP and Vezina Trophy at this point. If he doesn’t get the MVP I’d give it to his teammate–newly acquired defenseman Shea Weber. This was a great trade for both teams but Weber didn’t lose a step in Montreal. He’s leading the league in ‘Plus Minus’ at +16 and he’s the gritty, tough, physical defenseman the Habs needed. Full disclosure–I’m a long time Nashville Predators honk and sure didn’t like seeing Weber go. No disrespect to Subban who has endeared himself to his new city but Weber is one of the most solid and generally classy individuals in the league. He’d be a guy you’d want to have on your team even if he were a marginal player. Of course he’s an exceptional player–one of the best defensemen in the league with a downright absurd slapshot. All you need to know about Weber–he’ll likely get a five minute standing ovation when he returns to Nashville. That’s respect and he’s definitely earned it.

Florida has a lot of talent but until they give me a reason to do otherwise it’s hard to pass up the Habs at a decent price. Oddly enough, Florida has won the last four head to head matchups (all last season). Given Montreal’s dominance at home this is tough to pass up at this price.


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