NHL Picks for Blackhawks vs. Canadiens

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, January 11, 2014 2:46 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 2:46 PM GMT

The Canadiens host the Blackhawks on Saturday at the Belle Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with the opening faceoff slated for 7:05 PM ET. Check out all the trends and tips from our handicapper to make the best sports picks.

According to NHL betting odds Chicago is a -130 money line road favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The home team has won the last 8 meetings between these two teams.

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The Standings

Chicago enters tonight tied for 1st place with St. Louis in the Central Division. However, the Blues have played 2 fewer games than the Blackhawks this season. Chicago is tied for 2nd overall in the Western Conference just 4-points behind the Anaheim Ducks.

Currently Montreal is 3rd in the Atlantic Division just 1-point behind Tampa Bay for 2nd, and 3-points behind 1st place Boston. The Canadiens are 4th overall in the Eastern Conference holding a 6-point lead over both Washington and Philadelphia who are tied for 5th.

No Celebratory Hangover for the Hawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquitted themselves exceptionally well after winning the Stanley Cup last spring. It’s not uncommon for a team to have a drop off after winning a championship in the prior season, and for a variety of reasons. The Blackhawks haven’t fallen into that trap. They’ve lost on just 8 occasions during regulation time this season, and have earned at least 1-point in 38 of 46-games. They’ve been terrific both at home (36-points) and on the road (31-points).

A Recent Funk

Chicago enters tonight’s game versus Montreal having lost their last 2, and 4 of their last 6. Despite the recent funk they’ve earned at least 1 point in 5 of those 6-games, with 3 of the 4 losses coming in overtime. Chicago is still #1 in the NHL averaging 3.6 goals per game despite the fact they’ve gone through a recent scoring drought. The Hawks have scored 2-goals or less in 4 of their last 5-games, and have gone under the total in 4 of the 5 as well. Chicago hasn’t played since a 3-2 home loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Tonight will be the first of a 3-game in 4-day set for the Hawks. They will be hosts to Edmonton tomorrow, and Colorado on Tuesday.

Price has been Money

One of the many bright spots for the Canadiens in the first half of the season has been the stellar play of Carey Price in goal. Price had come under a lot of scrutiny after not performing well during last season’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals loss the Ottawa Senators. The 26-year old 7-year NHL veteran has been terrific so far, and has temporarily silenced his critics. In 35 starts Price has posted a very good 2.22 GAA, and an exceptional .922 save percentage.

Up and Down Recent Ride

The Canadiens have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride in recent weeks. They’ve gone just 6-8 versus the money line in their last 14-games. They last played on Wednesday in a 3-1 road loss to the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers. Peter Budaj received the start in goal in order to give Carey Price a rest. Price had started 8 of their previous 9-games, and is expected to get the nod tonight versus the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Make sure to check out our NHL Picks of the Day for Saturday

NHL Betting System

Play on any money line road favorite that’s playing their 2nd game in the last 5-days, and has a money line winning percentage of between .600 to .700, versus an opponent with a winning record, has gone 47-17 (73.4%) since the beginning of the 2009-2010 year. Take Chicago over Montreal for your free NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Chicago -130 over Montreal

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