NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets are trudging along in the middle of the Central Division pack right now, tied for fourth place with Nashville. They’ll face a tough challenge tonight as they host the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens. Winnipeg hasn’t played especially well at any point this season but they’ve continued to ‘grind’ and they’ve been rewarded for it. They’re 6-4-0 in their last ten games and 11-8-1 on home ice. Montreal started the season in absolutely torrid form. Obviously they couldn’t sustain that but they’ve continued to play well and win games. They’ve definitely fallen ‘back to the pack’–their 56 points would have them in fifth place were they in the Metropolitan Division but gives them a comfortable lead in the Atlantic. The Habs are 5-3-2 in their last ten games and are 10-6-4 away from the Bell Centre.

The Jets do catch something of a break as Montreal is starting Al Montoya in the first of a back to back game situation, presumably saving Carey Price to start against Devan Dubynk and the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night. Montoya has been serviceable, with a 5-4-2 record and 2.76 goals against average. He’ll be matched against Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck who has been the most consistent netminder amid the chaos of the Jets’ goaltending situation. Michael Hutchinson is his backup now while one time starter Ondrej Pavelec continues to languish between the pipes for the AHL Manitoba Moose. Hellebuyck is just 23 and is for now the Jets’ ‘goalie of the future’. He’s got a record of 6-13-1 with a 2.65 GAA and a 0.913 save percentage along with three shutouts.

Montreal remains one of the best defensive units in the NHL and are more physical and consistent with the addition of former Nashville captain Shea Weber. The Habs have the #5 goals against per game while the Jets–a team that at one point was built around defense–are #23 allowing 2.91 goals per game. The Canadiens also score a fair amount of goals, ranking #6 in the NHL in goals for per game at 3.02 while the Jets are middle of the pack. Montreal has their share of injuries–particularly to their frontliners–but just can’t pass up this chance to take them as an underdog against a mediocre Winnipeg side.