NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Nashville Predators

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Nashville Predators&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Big matchup in Nashville tonight as two of the best teams in their respective conferences go head to head. The Nashville Predators have been in a slump for the past few weeks but are still among the top teams in the Western Conference. They enter tonight’s contest with 96 points putting them in third place overall. They’ve been struggling to regain their momentum and face a tough challenge tonight in the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens. The Habs have 99 points which puts them in a tie with the New York Rangers for the best record in the Eastern Conference and a 3 way tie for the best record in the league. Montreal has won three straight but is just 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.

While it’s debatable that this is a matchup of the two best teams in the league it’s almost certainly a matchup between the two best goaltenders in the league–and especially with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined. Carey Price and Pekka Rinne are #1 and #2 in goals against average though Price is the only goalie in the NHL with a GAA under 2. Price and Rinne are #1 and #2 in wins while Price holds the lead in save percentage. Barring a late season slump Price looks every bit like a Vezina Trophy winner and a very strong case could be made that he deserves the Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player as well.

Price is so valuable because the Habs aren’t a very good team offensively. Montreal ranks #21 in goals scored per game and their inability to put ‘the biscuit in the basket’ makes Price all the more valuable. The Canadiens try to play a tight defensive style and simply put without Price they’re not contending for the President’s Trophy. The Predators are a more potent team offensively though they’ve had their own offensive issues during their recent downturn.

Slump notwithstanding, Nashville is one of the best home teams in the league going 27-7-2 at the Bridgestone Arena. Montreal has been a very good road team (22-12-2) but a team as good as Nashville won’t stay down for long. We look for the Preds to get the win here as they start to regain momentum for the stretch run.


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