A whopping 15 points separate the Montreal Canadiens (53) and Florida Panthers (38) in the Eastern Conference standings, but it might surprise you to hear that since the start of December, these two teams have collected an equal amount of points (20). Does that make Florida a good value play at +155 on the NHL odds this Monday?
The Florida Panthers can win because…
Montreal has been struggling over the last few weeks. Heading into Monday’s game, the Habs have lost three of their last four overall and three of their last four at home. Two of those home losses came at the hands of these very Panthers.
The issue for the Habs is that goaltender Carey Price is in the midst of his worst stretch of the season. He’s allowed three goals or more if five of his last six outings while giving up a total of 22 in the process. That’s reason enough to add the Panthers to your NHL picks.
The Montreal Canadiens can win because…
This is a revenge game. If there ever was a time for the Habs to get back on track, it’s against Florida on Monday night. The Panthers are a lousy Eastern Conference team and Montreal has been middling for the last few weeks. If they want to not only make the playoffs and make some noise in the postseason, they have to win games like this.
Although the Panthers have won the two meetings so far this year, that’s an aberration. The Habs won all three meetings last season. They’ll be focused for this one with revenge on their mind.
Outlook & Pick
This looks like a good spot to take another shot with Florida. There’s no reason to lay this type of juice with Montreal. The Habs and Panthers have been about equal over the last month, Montreal isn’t playing well at home right now, Price is struggling and the Panthers have beaten them twice since December 15th.
If you don’t like the side, consider the over for your NHL picks based on Price’s struggles.Pick: Panthers +155 at 5Dimes