NHL Hockey Betting: New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens

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

The New York Islanders were expected to be a top contender in the Eastern Conference this season but instead they’ve been bumbling around .500 and playing mediocre hockey all year long. They’ve dealt with a few injuries here and there but that’s no be expected for any NHL team. The reality is that they just haven’t played that well and at this point–with most of their lineup healthy–that’s inexcusable. They haven’t really warmed to their new home digs (the Barclays Center in Brooklyn) but are 6-4-2 at home. This is a team that doesn’t have any excuses for their substandard play.

In the other corner, the Montreal Canadiens don’t need to make any kind of excuses. They’ve been monstrous all season long and started the season by winning their first nine games in regulation. They’re now 15-4-2 for 32 points–a record made all the more impressive by the fact that starting goaltender Carey Price missed nine games with a lower body injury. Mike Condon, a 24 year old rookie from Massachusetts, played very well in his absence and now with Price back–and a proven #2 option–the Habs are better than ever.

Price will be back in net tonight for the Canadiens and should be sharper than his return game on Friday. Even with Price not on top of his game he allowed only 3 goals in a 5-3 Montreal win against the Islanders in Brooklyn. He’ll be opposed by Isles goaltender Thomas Greiss who has played fairly well this season with a 5-2-2 record to go with a 2.17 goals against average and a 0.931 save percentage.

Just hard to make a case against the Canadiens given their current form. Montreal is top five in three of the major team statistical categories–#1 in scoring offense (3.5 goals per game), #4 in team defense (2.2 goals per game–and keep in mind that includes the 9 contests that Price didn’t play) and #3 in penalty kill. Their ‘worst statistical category’ is the power play–they’ve got the #7 power play in the league. They’ve got a huge game on deck–against the New York Rangers–but that’s not until Wednesday. No reason to think the Habs won’t win this one.


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