NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at New Jersey Devils

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at New Jersey Devils&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Montreal Canadiens celebrated Thanksgiving (well, the US version of the holiday) early with a 5-1 drubbing of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. While it did establish the Habs’ short term superiority atop the Eastern Conference it could end up being a costly victory. That’s because reigning Vezina/Hart trophy winner Carey Price re-aggravated the lower body injury that kept him out of action for nine games earlier this month. That means that Mike Condon will be back in his starting role for the time being and while he’s not as solid an option as price for a backup goaltender he’s very solid. More importantly, his teammates have a lot of confidence in his ability after he went 5-2-2 in Price’s absence. Overall this season, Condon is 7-2-2 with a 2.16 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage.

For the Devils, Cory Schneider has been confirmed as their starting goalie for tonight’s game. Schneider is a workhorse that will play the majority of the Devils’ games this season and maintain a goals against average in the mid 2’s. He’s very solid and that’s important for a team that simply doesn’t score a lot of goals. They’ve shown some improvement on offense this season but that still puts them at #23 in goals per game. Still, that’s better than dead last and that’s where New Jersey (along with Buffalo) ranked for most of last season.

This is the first of a home and home series with the teams rematching at the Bell Centre in Montreal tomorrow. That will begin a three game home stand for the Canadiens against New Jersey, Columbus and Washington. There is one upside to the Price injury–it changes the dynamic of this game from a brutal ‘letdown situation’ to one in which we expect the team to rally around their backup goaltender and put up a strong effort.

New Jersey hasn’t been a great home team this season (5-5-1) and actually have a better record on the road. The Canadiens are better on both ends of the ice and don’t see them losing focus after the big win in New York. Can’t pass ’em up at this price.


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