Take advantage of this NHL handicapper's free pick for the NHL battle of “The Original Six” which takes place tonight when the Montreal Canadiens play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
Wings visit the Mecca of Hockey
The Canadiens will entertain the Red Wings today at the Bell Centre in Montreal with a scheduled opening face-off time of 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at BetOnline, Montreal is a -133 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0.
These two Eastern Conference foes have split the 4-games played against each other during the past 3-seasons.
Low Scoring Games the Norm for Detroit
The Detroit Red Wings have yet to see any of their first 5-games go over the total this season. Those contests have produced an average of only 3.8 goals combined being scored per game. The defensive play and goaltending of the Red Wings through the first 5-games has been nothing short of sensational. They’re allowing an average of just 1.6 goals per game. The penalty killing units for Detroit have been superb thus far, killing off all 17 of opponents power play chances against them. On a negative note, the Red Wings are averaging a mere 2.2 goals per game, and have gone a dismal 2-for-21 (9.5%) on the power play. Jimmy Howard is scheduled to be between the pipes tonight for Detroit. Howard has been terrific in 4-starts with an impressive .934 save percentage.
Terrific Start for the Habs
The Montreal Canadiens are off to a fast 5-1 start to the season. This comes on the heels of making a surprising run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring. That start looks even better than advertised considering their first 4-games of the year came on the road. If the Canadiens have shown a flaw, it’s been their slow starts to games. Montreal has been outscored 9-3 in the first period this season.
The Price is Right
Carey Price is slated to be in goal tonight for the Canadiens. Although Price has been less than superb to start the year, he’s proven to be one of the best goaltenders in the world. Price was the MVP of the 2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey Tournament in Sochi where he led Team Canada to a Gold Medal. Then he followed that up by turning in terrific performances in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Detroit plays the type of conservative and defensively disciplined game that can frustrate opponents. Their 2-losses this season both came by 1-goal, and they’ve earned at least 1-point in the standings in 4 of their first 5-games. Although Carey Price is a top shelf goaltender, the Red Wings Jimmy Howard has been the better of the two in the early going. I have a small lean toward the road underdog for one of your NHL picks today.
Free NHL Pick: Detroit +120 over Montreal at 5Dimes