NHL Picks: Canadiens vs. Oilers

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:53 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 12:53 PM UTC

The Montreal Canadians travel to Rexall Place tonight in Edmonton, Alberta to take on the Oilers with faceoff scheduled for 9:35 PM ET.

NHL Preview-Montreal @ Edmonton

According to NHL betting odds at the time of this writing there’s been no money line or total posted on this contest.

Western Canada Woes for the Habs

The Canadians continue endure their struggles when traveling to the western provinces of Canada. Last night they were 3-2 losers at Calgary in a game they fell behind 3-0 and were never able to fully recover. Montreal has failed to win at Calgary since 2001 which is really hard to comprehend with all things considered. The Canadians are now a miserable 8-23 versus the money line in their last 31 games played in the western provinces. Once again Carey Price was less than stellar last night stopping just 22 of 25 Calgary shots. In all likelihood backup Peter Budaj will make his season debut tonight in goal for Montreal. Last season the Canadians were very good when playing their 2nd game in as many days going 6-2 on the money line in that role. The Canadians Lars Eller continued his hot start for the Canadians registering his 4th goal of the season last night. Eller has now scored at least one goal in each of the Canadians first 3 games and leads the team with 6-points.

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Monumental Momentum 

The Edmonton Oilers not only were able to attain a much needed win on Monday night but it was a huge confidence builder in the way they accomplished it. The Oilers trailed New Jersey at home 3-0 entering the 3rd period and stormed back for an improbable 5-4 triumph which marked their first win of the season. They were able to do so against future Hall of Fame inductee Martin Brodeur in goal for the Devils. Devan Dubnyk will be back in goal tonight for Edmonton after Jason LaBarbera was between the pipes on Monday. Dubnyk is off to a horrible start to the season posting a 6.52 goals against average and a pathetic .831 save percentage. The Oilers received a huge boost on Monday with the return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the lineup from offseason shoulder surgery. He made his presence felt immediately contributing a goal. 

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Final Analysis 

This is a difficult call in a couple respects. Yes, the Oilers have a ton of momentum derived from their huge comeback win over New Jersey on Monday. However, they continue to have shaky goaltending. Devan Dubnyk gets the call tonight and he’s been unable to stop a beach ball so far this season. The Canadians futility in the western provinces is well documented, and most likely backup Peter Budaj will be in goal tonight. Budaj will be making his first start of the season. If you put the proverbial gun to my head to come up with a free pick I would have the ever so slightest of leans on the Oilers. 

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