The New York Rangers have struggled to start the season but let’s not forget: they began the year on a ridiculous nine-game road trip. On Monday, they’ll finally play their first home in the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden. Expect a strong effort from them.
The Montreal Canadiens can win because…
They’ve dominated the Rangers in recent meetings. Handicappers who make their NHL picks should note that the Habs have won 10 of the last 13 meetings between the teams. On top of that, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t even played that well this season. He’s expected back on Monday (after missing a couple of games) but he’s just 2-4-0 with a 3.45 GAA in seven games this season. As for Habs goaltender Carey Price, he’s shutout the Rangers in each of his last two starts.
The New York Rangers can win because…
They are finally back at home. People who make their sports picks have shot a number of criticisms towards the Rangers so far this season but they’ve had a long, grueling road trip. Let’s wait until we see them play at home before we start drawing conclusions about their head coach, style and performance.
The Rangers won two of their last four road games, notching wins in Detroit and Washington, so they should have some momentum coming into this game.
Outlook & Pick
Yes, the Rangers back at home and the crowd should be fired up after the $1 billion renovation to MSG. However, the Habs look like they offer some good value. For starters, they play well in this series. Secondly, Lundqvist hasn’t played that well for the Rangers. Thirdly, the Rangers will be without Rick Nash (concussion), Ryan Callahan (thumb) and Carl Hagelin (shoulder), which means they are without three of their top five scorers from last season. This looks like a spot where the Habs can spoil the party. Take them on the NHL odds.
NHL Pick: Canadiens -116 at Pinnacle