Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Regulation only. The Canadiens played a very decent game against the Bruins on Saturday night and could’ve just as easily won that game. Although we’re not going to put too much emphasis on a single game, it is comforting to know that they came off their break with some fire. Victor Mete back in the lineup after a strong showing at the World Juniors may have injected some energy but whatever the case may be, Montreal played a strong game against a very strong team and have now picked up five out of a possible six points over its past three games. Aside from that, the Habs rank a respectable 14th in 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For % over the past month. Finally, after the scary incident to Phillip Danault on Saturday, (he took a Zdeno Chara slapshot to – which we now know specifically – was the lower back side of his head just missing his ear), the Habs know he’s going to be alright and figure to rally or dig even deeper tonight in support of him. That said, this one is all about fading the Islanders.
The Islanders Corsi Against all season is weak but in the last month or since December 10, only two teams, the Rangers and Coyotes, are ranked worse. In Scoring Chances Against over the same span, the Islanders rank dead last in the NHL. This is a deplorable defense with disgraceful goaltending and frankly, that’s all the info we need to make this bet. Thomas Greiss has been confirmed today. We’re constantly preaching that goaltending is the #1 factor that decides the outcome of games, which makes Montreal a strong play with Carey Price behind them. Greiss last played on Jan. 4 when he surrendered five goals in a 6-4 loss to Philadelphia. He ranks 65th out of 65 qualified goaltenders in GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average) and when he plays, the Islanders chances of winning are not good. This one is absolutely not rocket science, as we would bet Price over Greiss 100% of the time and make no exceptions here.
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MONTREAL -½ +130 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.60)