NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Detroit Red Wings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Detroit Red Wings&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Very big Atlantic Division matchup on Thursday night as the Montreal Canadiens travel to the Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings. The Canadiens still lead the Atlantic and have the best record in the Eastern Conference but their grasp is tenuous. Washington is just one point back in the conference standings while the Red Wings are tied with the Ottawa Senators for second place in the division just six points back.

This wouldn’t be as big of a concern at this juncture were it not for the suddenly shaky goaltending situation in Montreal. Starting goalie and reigning Hart/Vezina trophy winner Carey Price is sidelined for at least six weeks with a knee injury. Rookie Mike Condon is a capable option, but in his previous stint as the Habs starter looked to wear down as the starts piled up. That’s not surprising for any rookie goalie and particularly one expected to fill the shoes of the best netminder in hockey. The team wants to ‘lighten the load’ on him during this run as a starter which is why Dustin Tokarski will get the start tonight. For the time being, it’ll be Condon and Tokarski with Price on the shelf though there’s been much speculation that the team will trade for a goalie. Speculation or not, the team has denied this so far.

Detroit is all of a sudden one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They haven’t lost in regulation since mid-November and enter this game on a 6-0-4 run and are coming off an overtime loss to the Washington Capitals. Statistically, the Wings don’t look like much–they’re middle of the pack in every major statistical category. But to their credit, they’re doing what they need to do in order to win games. Montreal has lost three straight and are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. All of a sudden the Canadiens’ offense has disappeared due to a slew of injuries up front. Montreal has scored only nine goals in their last five games.

The Canadiens have shown an ability to get a win in ‘statement games’ this season. We’ll take the Habs at a hefty price against a Detroit team that doesn’t impress us all that much.


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