NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Montreal Canadiens have been treading water of late with a 5-3-2 record in their last ten games and now have the Ottawa Senators to worry about just three points behind. Definitely not an easy challenge tonight as the Habs hit the road to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning who are starting to round into competitive form even with starting goaltender Ben Bishop sidelined.

Montreal still leads the Atlantic Division with 46 points but they’ve now got Ottawa just 3 points behind in second place. Boston is in third place with 40 points and Tampa Bay pulls up in fourth place with 37 points. The Lightning are 4-4-2 in their last ten games but are starting to play much more competitively on a game by game basis. They’ve got Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes tonight and he’s clearly their goaltender of the future. The expectation is that Bishop will be gone after this year–a 6’7″ goaltender with skills is a hot commodity on the open market and the Lightning know better than to break the bank to re-sign a free agent. Vasilevskiy has performed well during the playoffs when Bishop has been injured and he’s only going to get better at age 22. And while he might not be the monstrous, hulking presence of Ben Bishop he’s not exactly ‘tiny’ at 6’3″.

The Canadiens will start Carey Price who has definitely regained his form after what was essentially a ‘lost season’ in 2015-2016. Price is 18-5-2 with a 1.91 goals against average, a 0.934 save percentage and two shutouts. The other ‘MVP’ for Montreal this year has been off season pickup Shea Weber. Weber’s character, toughness and leadership are off the charts as is his 108 MPH Howitzer of a slapshot. He’s +18 and has solved a big problem the Habs had last year and particularly after Price went out for the year–they were getting physically manhandled on both ends of the ice. Good luck manhandling the 6’4″ 240 pound Weber who can take care of things with his fists if need be but has such a ‘badass’ reputation that guys often will just not tangle with him.

Montreal is 8-3 against opponents with losing records while Tampa Bay is 5-11 against opponents with winning records.


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