NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Minnesota Wild

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Minnesota Wild&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The last day of NHL action before the holiday break and that break can’t come soon enough for the reeling Montreal Canadiens. It wasn’t that long ago that the collective hockey world was about to prematurely award the Stanley Cup to the Habs. Now not so much. Montreal is in freefall following a spate of injuries, most significant being to goaltender Carey Price and forward Brendan Gallagher. Montreal has lost 8 of 10 and 9 of their last 11. They’ve been outscored 17-4 in their last four games and are coming off a brutal 5-1 loss at Nashville. They only get a short respite, however, as they resume this road trip after the break with stops at Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida and Boston–not an easy game in the bunch.

The Canadiens catch a Minnesota Wild team had had been playing well during the past few weeks but all of a sudden has lost two straight. The Wild are 6-2-2 in their last 10 and as is seemingly the case every season they have been excellent on their home ice going 12-4-1. Hard to downgrade the Wild too much due to those two losses which came to Central Division rivals Nashville and Dallas. The Stars do everything well with the exception of killing penalties. They’re top ten in the other three major statistical areas: #8 in goals per game, #10 in goals against and #10 in power play percentage.

Mike Condon gets the start tonight against Darcy Kuemper–and Kuemper has been just as good as starter Devan Dubnyk in limited action this season. In fact, he’s yet to lose a game in regulation with a record of 3-0-4. The Canadiens goaltenders have to feel shell shocked at this point. Dustin Tokarski got the start last night in Nashville but got the hook when the Predators went up 3-0. Condon didn’t do any better allow 3 more goals as Nashville completely dominated every phase of the game. The Canadiens really need to get Price back but so far no timetable for his return beyond what we were given when he first went out with this injury (‘6 weeks or so’). I don’t see Montreal bouncing back until at least after the break.


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