NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers

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

The Montreal Canadiens will try to bounce back from a loss to arch rivals Tampa Bay on Tuesday as they travel to South Florida to take on the Florida Panthers.  The Habs slipped into a tie with the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 loss and haven’t been in exceptionally good form as of late.  The loss with Montreal’s sixth in their last eight games.  They’re now tied with Tampa Bay atop the Atlantic Division with 93 points.  Both teams are two points back of the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers (95 points).  Florida is trying to scrap their way into the NHL playoffs.  They’re now the second team out of postseason play having been passed by the red hot Ottawa Senators (8-1-1 L10 games) who now lead them by a single point.  The Panthers are trying to run down one of the two Eastern Conference wild card teams–Boston is 6 points ahead (82 points) while the Washington Capitals are 10 points up.  The Bruins have been in very good form of late so neither team is a particularly easy target–and especially with the way that Ottawa has been playing.  The Panthers are just 5-3-2 in their last 10 games but have won 5 of their last 8 contests.

The problem for Montreal is obvious–they’re having problems scoring goals.  The Habs are the best defensive team in the league ranked #1 in goals against per game.  Goaltender Carey Price leads the NHL in every significant statistical category as well.  The bad news–Montreal is a bottom 10 offensive team.  In fact, they’re the lowest rank goals per game team among all playoff qualified clubs.  It doesn’t matter how solid the defense and goaltending may be–if the Habs can’t score goals they won’t win games.

Florida is the epitome of a working class team.  They do nothing but scrap and that’s what they’ll do tonight.  With Montreal having problems scoring goals and coming off a big rivalry game just 24 hours earlier they could be ripe for the plucking.  Canadiens backup goalie Dustin Tokarski will get the start tonight against Florida’s Dan Ellis who has looked very good filling in for injured Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya.  The Panthers are the play here.


Related Posts