NHL Hockey Betting: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Hockey Betting:  Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Montreal Canadiens will conclude a brutally disappointing season tonight as the host the Tampa Bay Lighting at the Bell Centre. The Habs got off to a phenomenal start to the 2015-2016 NHL season even setting a franchise record for the best performance to open the season. When you’re talking any Montreal Canadiens’ franchise record that means something. That was all before Carey Price suffered what would ultimately prove to be a season ending injury (though he tried to return to no avail). Since then it’s been a downward spiral of injuries and off ice issues.

Tampa Bay will finish the year in second place in the Atlantic Division and they’re likely happy with that. For that reason, this game doesn’t seem to mean much to the Bolts one way or another. They’ll send backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes tonight to be opposed by Montreal’s Mike Condon. Tampa Bay is 6-4-0 in their last ten games while Montreal is 4-6-0 in their last ten.

Despite the awful season they’ve endured you’ve got to give this Montreal team a lot of credit. There have been plenty of opportunities for them to fold completely and they continue to scrap despite it all. They’re now playing with an AHL level defensive corps and few weapons on offense but they’ve given a good account on most nights. They’ve managed a decent 21-16-3 record at home which is better than a number of playoff teams. The team still cares and is showing their character.

That character will likely be enough to get them the win here. Simply put, Tampa Bay has nothing at stake here. In fact, they’ve got plenty of reasons not to make this game life and death with the playoffs set to begin next Friday night. The Bolts are the more talented team but this game means more to Montreal and that should be enough for the Canadiens to get the win. It’ll be a tumultuous Summer for the Habs as the management of the team tries to figure out how to straighten out the mess but this game is for the team, for the franchise and for the fans. Montreal wins their home finale.


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