Bruins vs. Canadiens: Low Scores Expected Take 'Under' Our NHL Pick

Jason Lake

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 1:08 PM GMT

Original Six hostilities will be renewed Tuesday night when the Montreal Canadiens host the Boston Bruins. Boston looks like the better NHL pick these days, but not by much.

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NHL Pick: UNDER 5 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Full disclosure: I have feelings when it comes to the Montreal Canadiens. Especially when they're facing the Boston Bruins. That hasn't stopped me from recommending both the Habs and the Bruins with my NHL picks this year. Too bad neither team got the job done as road dogs on the moneyline – although they did cash in at +1.5 on the puck line. Do I get a consolation prize? I'm being told I don't.

The Canadiens will host the Bruins Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NESN) in the latest installment of their ongoing Original Six rivalry. This will be their first meeting since New Year's Day, when Montreal (+111) went to Foxborough and skated away with a 5-1 win. Neither team has done very well since then, and as we go to press, this game is a coin toss on our NHL odds board, with the total set at five goals (UNDER +105).

 

Air Condon
I suppose now that we've got our recommended pick already on the table, there's no point in building any drama about what side we're going to take. With both teams playing poorly, we're more than happy to run into the arms of the total – besides, all the cool kids bet the total these days. The UNDER is 5-0-2 in Boston's last seven games since the Winter Classic, and a neutral 3-3 for Montreal.

The Habs are expected to start Mike Condon (.908 save percentage) in goal on Tuesday, which helps our cause – at least compared to Ben Scrivens (.882 SV%), who has lost all three of his games since joining Montreal on December 28. Carey Price (.934 SV%) isn't likely to return until after the All-Star break. Tuukka Rask (.915 SV%) is projected to start for Boston; Rask has dropped five of six appearances in January, but the B's only scored a combined seven goals in those five losses.

 

Krejci Train
Things could be looking up for Boston, mind you. Center David Krejci (11 goals in 35 games) hasn't played at all this month because of an upper-body injury, but Krejci traveling with the team to Montreal, even though he isn't expected to play during this road trip. The Bruins are still third in the league in scoring at 2.98 goals per game, but they don't have the same zip without Krejci in the lineup.

As for the Canadiens, they might not have Price in net, but they do make life easier for Condon by allowing just 27.8 shots on goal per game. Only three clubs have been stingier when it comes to team defense. Boston ranks No. 12 overall in this department at 29.1 shots on goal allowed. These teams have split the total down the middle in their last 10 meetings, so don't bet the farm on this one, but a small bet seems appropriate as long as Krejci doesn't make a surprise appearance.

 

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Jan. 18: 2-0 ATS (+2.0 units), 0-3 ML (–3.12 units)