NHL Hockey Betting: Vancouver Canucks at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Hockey Betting:  Vancouver Canucks at Montreal Canadiens&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Very compelling ‘all Canada’ matchup tonight at the Bell Centre as the Vancouver Canucks travel East to take on the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs no longer have the best record in the NHL due to the torrid form of the New York Rangers who have won nine straight games. Montreal is still playing well (5-3-2 L10) but that’s not good enough to keep pace with the surging Rangers. They are maintaining a solid advantage in the Atlantic Division leading second place Ottawa by eight points heading into tonight’s action (Ottawa hosts the Detroit Red Wings tonight). Vancouver has lost two straight and is 4-4-2 in their last ten games. They’ve slipped into a second place tie with Arizona in the Pacific Division but they’re still well within sight of the division lead–currently, the Los Angeles Kings are on top of the Pacific but are just three points ahead.

The Habs are likely very happy with where they are right now considering that they’ve been without the reigning Vezina and Hart Trophy winner Carey Price for the past two weeks. Rookie Mike Condon has done a phenomenal job as his backup this year–the 24 year old Massachusetts native is 6-1-2 with a 2.06 and a 0.921 save percentage. Not that they’re anxious to get Price back from his lower body injury but they’ll make sure he’s completely healthy before they put him back in net. Condon gives them the luxury of taking their time. Vancouver will counter with Jacob Markstrom who gets his second start of the season. The Canucks got a win in his first assignment though he was mediocre at best. The talk around Vancouver is that starting goalie Ryan Miller is getting worn out (starting 16 of a team’s first 18 games at age 35 does that). Look for Markstrom and more Richard Bachman going forward.

Canucks just 3-7 against the Eastern Conference and more alarmingly 1-5 against teams with winning records. Habs have been money in the bank at Centre Bell this season (7-1-1) and they simply can’t take the Canucks lightly. They don’t play again until Thursday so Vancouver should get the home team’s full focus.


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