NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Tricky game for both teams as the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens head out on the Canadian prairie to face the Central Division also ran Winnipeg Jets. Montreal is in better shape than Winnipeg and could have their focus elsewhere. The Habs are 25-10-6 and lead the Atlantic Division with a 7 point lead over the second place Boston Bruins. They’re 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. They do appear to have ‘bigger fish to fry’ with a tough game against Minnesota on deck and are giving goaltender Carey Price the night off here hoping he’ll be focused and in form against the Wild. He allowed 4 goals in his previous start, a 4-1 loss at Montreal. That means that Al Montoya will be between the pipes tonight. Montoya’s numbers aren’t bad–2.76 goals against average and a 0.911 save percentage with one shutout. He’s just 5-4-2 which suggests that he might not always get the necessary support from his teammates.

The goaltending situation in Winnipeg is somewhat bizarre. Right now, the starting job is held by 23 year old Connor Hellebuyck who is considered the goalie of the future. He’s also the lowest paid goalie in the organization ($667,500). Michael Hutchinson has been ‘consistently inconsistent’ so he’s a backup making nearly twice as much as the team’s starting netminder(1,150,000). And then there’s Ondrej Pavalec. The Jets are pretty much done with him and he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season. They’re paying Pavalec a whopping $3,900,000 to be the starting goalie for the AHL Minnesota Moose which all but certainly makes him the highest paid minor leaguer in hockey. Hellebuyck will start tonight for the Jets.

The Jets are playing reasonably well at the moment but Montreal continues to grind and to keep their spot at the top of the Atlantic Division. They can’t afford to let the rest of the division catch them since their 56 points would be just the 5th best in the Metropolitan Division right now. We understand that it might not be a ‘kill spot’ for the Habs who are really banged up. They need every win they can get, however, and they’re facing a Winnipeg side that is just 7-13 against the East this year.


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