NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at New York Islanders

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

The Montreal Canadiens will head into the All Star Break with the best record in the Atlantic Division and they’ll try to add a couple more points to their total as they head to Brooklyn to take on the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center. The Islanders have shown a bit of life since their coaching change taking points in 8 of their last 10 games (5-2-3). They’re currently in a 3 way tie for sixth place in the Metropolitan Division with 49 points and are one of six teams in the conference with the same point total. That’s significant since they–and the rest of the teams in the 49 point ‘pack’–are just four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final wild card spot in the East. Unless one of the top teams in the Metropolitan Division starts to fade there will realistically be only one wild cards spot ‘up for grabs’ in the stretch run. Right now, the New York Rangers hold down the top wild card spot with 63 points giving them a full ten point advantage over the Maple Leafs in the second spot. If this dynamic continues that means down the stretch there will be nine teams vying for one open wild card spot!

The Canadiens are in decent shape–they hold an 8 point lead over the second place Ottawa Senators, an eleven point lead over the third place Boston Bruins and a 12 point advantage over the fourth place Toronto Maple Leafs. They’ve been ‘treading water’ of late but with the exception of Toronto and suddenly hot Buffalo so has most of their divisional rivals. The Canadiens are 5-4-1 in their last ten games. Both goaltenders have been confirmed for this game with Carey Price between the pipes for the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge and Thomas Greiss starting for the Islanders. Price is 22-9-5 on the season with a 2.32 goals against average and a 0.921 save percentage. Greiss is 13-7-3 with a 2.31 goals against and a 0.927 save percentage.

The Canadiens have been decent but not great on the road this season with a 12-8-4 record while New Jersey has been fairly capable at home with a 10-8-3 record. We’ll look for the Devils to steal a win from the Habs heading into the break.


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