NHL Picks: Canadiens Goaltending Gives Them the Edge Over Predators

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 2:05 PM GMT

We have a top-notch matchup as the Montreal Canadians and the Nashville Predators collide in Nashville. Monteal is tied for the most amount of points in the NHL with the Rangers and Ducks at 99 and Nashville is not far behind at 96 points. See who we like as Nashville gets the home ice edge.

Face-off is set for 8:00 pm ET tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. According to the NHL betting odds, the Predators are a substantial -140 betting favorite and the total for the game is 5 goals. This can only be attributed to home ice advantage because the Canadians have been playing very well as of late and Nashville has cooled off. Nashville might be a good fade in this instance.

 

The "Price" Is Right
Goalie Confirmation is so important in my mind and we have it in this matchup . Pekka Rinne is in net for the Predators and Carey Price will be between the pipes for the underdog Canadians.

Rinne has had an outstanding season at 38-15-4 with a 2.09 GAA. His save percentage has been outstanding at .927%. He's coming off of a shutout victory of the lowly Buffalo Sabres in which he stopped all 24 shots. The only negative to his play as of late is that he's 3-5-1 in his last 9 games. However, this isn't his fault. Nashville hasn't been putting the puck in the net.

Carey Price has also been a beast this season. These numbers are eye-popping. He's 40-15-4 with a 1.86 GAA and .938 SV%. The Canadian are looking to eclipse the 100 point mark tonight. I don't care what odds makers place the odds at. This team is on a major roll.

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Going For 100 Points
As stated, Montreal has a great chance to eclipse the 100 point mark in this game with Price in net. They also get some solid support from leading scorer Max Pacioretty.

Pacioretty can do many things well. He's great on the power play and has nearly 300 shots on goal this season.. Pacioretty is also a +40 when he's on the ice. Did I forget to mention that he's potted 35 goals to go along with 28 assists? It's easy to see why the Canadians are on top of the NHL. In his last 2 games, Pacioretty has 1 goal and 2 assists. He will be challenged by Pekka Rinne tonight, but thus far, Pacioretty has passed every challenge that he has met.

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Team Depth
Nashville doesn't have that Pacioretty type of player on their squad, but what they do have is team depth offensively. The Predators have 8 players with 13 goals or more and the player with 13 goals is the 2nd leading scorer on their team in Mike Ribeiro. Ribiero is a big time assist guy with 40 assists on the season. He's not going to look to shoot a lot with just 85 shots on goal this season, but the Predators come at their opponents in many different ways.

Leading scorer Filip Forsberg (21 goals and 34 assists) has finally woken up. In his last 3 games, Forsberg has 2 assists. Previous to that, he had just 1 assist in his last 7 games. There's no wondering why Nashville has been losing. A team needs their top player to contribute or they'll start to lose. Guys like Craig Smith have been picking up the slack, but scoring a goal against Buffalo isn't the most difficult thing to do.

I love Montreal in this spot, so I'm backing them with my NHL picks. Carey Price is possibly the best goaltender in the NHL and Nashville has been playing poorly despite a great season. The odds are off and I'm going to take advantage of it.

NHL Pick- Montreal +120 at The Greek

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