NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at New York Islanders

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at New York Islanders

The Montreal Canadiens got off to a red hot start last season but got derailed when goaltender Carey Price suffered what would ultimately be a season ending injury. They’ve picked up right where they let off but for some reason they remain ‘under the radar’ of the betting public and the linesmakers. The Canadiens have won 4 straight and have a record of 5-0-1 on the season. Price is back in net and Montreal has been getting good play from backup Al Montoya (who’ll get the start here). That allows them to give Price more rest and keep him fresh and healthy. Montreal has also received great contribution from newly acquired defenseman Shea Weber. Weber leads the NHL in +/- (+10) and has 7 points in 6 games (2 goals and 5 assists).

The Islanders have won 2 straight and 3 of 4 but are currently in the middle of the pack in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 3-3-0. They’ve done well at home (3-1-0) but have yet to win on the road (0-2-0). Statistically, the Isles are ‘middle of the pack). They’re #15 in goals scored per game (3.00) and #14 in goals against per game (2.83). They’re #25 in shots per game (27.8) and #12 in shots against per game (29.0). They were a tough team to figure out last year and aren’t any easier to figure this year. They’ve got plenty of talent but it’s unclear at this point if this team can be a contender or an also ran.

Montreal has dominated this series head to head and won all three games last year. The Habs were fortunate to catch the Islanders early in the season and won all three head to head meetings (11/5, 11/20, 11/22). The Canadiens have won the last three meetings on the Islanders’ home ice and 6 straight overall. Jaroslav Halak gets the start here and he’s been ‘good but not great) with a record of 2-2-0, a 2.77 GAA and a 0.905 save percentage. Not sure why the Isles are favored here. It could be the fact that Price is getting the night off but backup Montoya has been very good (2-0-1, 1.30 GAA and a 0.962 save percentage). No reason to get off the Canadiens right now. They’ll cool off at some point but until they do we’ll keep riding them.