Habs Keep Rolling; Blackhawks Keep Reeling

Jimmy Murphy

Saturday, December 8, 2018 10:21 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 10:21 PM UTC

In the Hockey Night In Canada Hometown Hockey game, it will be the visitors that will feel at home as the Canadiens go into the United Center and rout the Blackhawks

Murphy: 41-37-2

Montreal (14-10-5, 14-15 ATS) vs Chicago (9-16-5, 9-22 ATS)Sunday 6 PM ET (NHLN)Free NHL Pick: Canadiens PL; OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Coming off a home and home sweep of the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens will keep it going against the reeling Chicago Blackhawks who have lost 6 straight games. The United Center in Chicago got the nickname ‘Madhouse On Madison’ because it was looked upon as one of the loudest and toughest arenas to play in for the visiting team. Nowadays though, the sellout crowds are dwindling and the noise is getting drowned out by one of the worst Blackhawks seasons in the last 12 years. Chicago is just 5-5-3 and on Sunday they will fall below .500 at home as they lose their 7th straight game and get dominated by the upstart Habs who will go to 5-4-3 on the road with the win. Montreal will also give the United Center goal lights plenty of work as they throw up a 6-pack in a 6-1 rout of the home team.

Montreal has to be considered one of the feel good stories of the season thus far as they entered the season in a self-proclaimed rebuild with expectations low for a fan base that had grown understandably frustrated and hasn’t seen a Stanley Cup banner raised since 1993. The 25th Cup in franchise history has proven to be more than elusive to this franchise since they dealt away arguably the best goalie in franchise history in Patrick Roy (December 6, 1995), just over 23 years ago. No one is expecting the next Cup win to come this season, but fans have been pleasantly surprised with a Habs team that plays an up tempo and exciting brand of hockey and has the Canadiens in a playoff spot as they enter this Original 6 tilt with the Blackhawks. Current franchise goalie Carey Price is finding his game again and Antti Niemi has been a solid back up for the Habs as their young defense led by veteran captain Shea Weber develops in front of them.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks, who have been perennial Cup contenders for the last 10 years, have been an absolute disaster after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 last season and are on their way to another playoff miss this season, mired at the bottom of the NHL standings. By no means is it all their fault, but goalies Corey Crawford and Cam Ward - both previous Stanley Cup winners - have allowed the 2nd most goals in the NHL at 112. Meanwhile the roster in front of them has been decimated by the cap mismanagement of general manager Stan Bowman, who somehow was allowed to fire future hall of fame coach Joel Quenneville and keep his job. That’s the perks of having hall of famer Scotty Bowman as your dad I guess!

The Canadiens are 14-15 against the spread and 6-7 on the road. Montreal has scored 93 goals and allowed 92. They’re 15-13-1 on the over/under and 7-5-1 on the road. The Habs are 17-12 on the puck line and 8-5 on the road. Max Domi is tied with Brendan Gallagher for the team lead in goals as they both have 13 lamplighters a piece. Domi also leads the team in assists with 17 helpers and in points with 30.

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Max Domi taunting Zack Smith with \"waivers\". Smith cleared waivers earlier this season. pic.twitter.com/eCqjlh19g7

— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) 7 de diciembre de 2018
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The Blackhawks are 9-22 against the spread and 5-8 at home. As mentioned above, Chicago has allowed 112 goals and they have scored 82. They’re 15-12-3 on the over/under and 5-8-0 at home. The Hawks are 13-17 on the puck line and 6-7 at home. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews share the team lead in goals with 13 lamplighters apiece. Kane leads the team in assists with 19 helpers and points with 32.

Goaltending Match-Up

For the Canadiens, Price is 10-8-0-4 with a 2.96 GAA and .900 save percentage

Niemi is 4-2-0-1 with a 3.61 GAA and .893 save percentage

For the Blackhawks, Crawford is 5-13-0-1 with a 3.22 GAA and .902 save percentage

Ward is 4-3-0-4 with a 3.91 GAA and .888 save percentage.

M*A*S*H Report

For the Canadiens defenseman Noah Juulsen (face) could return to action.

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