NHL Picks: Lock Canadiens & Sharks Game To Stay 'Under' 5.5

Dana Lane

Monday, February 29, 2016 4:42 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 4:42 PM UTC

The San Jose Sharks, fresh off their road victory in Vancouver, are playing the second in as many nights against the Montreal Canadiens. Who will be our NHL pick here?

Montreal vs. San Jose

Montreal are hopeful that they can find another winning streak to propel them back into the playoff race. I've found that most teams that are desperate find themselves to be tight, afraid to make mistakes. They also have to be aware that Mike Condon will be in goal which means you must give him some protection from as many shots as possible. Condon is only 16-17-5 on the year with a below average 2.50 goals against average and save percentage .906. Before you assume this is a good 'over' play Condon has shown signs of life. He is unbeaten in his last four games played while only allowing three goals one in that streak and that was the night Condon faced 36 shots. He made 31 saves Saturday in a 4-1 victory over Toronto. Despite his overall numbers he has become efficient as the year has progressed. 

This series has been dominated by defense. San Jose started the Canadiens 6 game slide with a 3-1 victory in Montreal.

Since December 2011, the Sharks have only allowed three goals in the series last five games leading to a 5-1 record against Montreal in their last six. 

It took San Jose 44 minutes to score against a horrible Vancouver team, Sunday. They gave up too many pucks in their own end while fishing for something to motivate them. Let's check the latest trends and the NHL odds

It's not exactly known when newly acquired, James Reimer will join the Sharks so expect Aaron Dell, who was just called up from the AHL, to get the start after Martin Jones started Sunday night. Dell has been fantastic at lower levels. He works hard to improve but I still wonder if he will ever be a full time goaltender. It wouldn't be a complete shock of Jones received his 9th straight start. 

In San Jose's 3-1 victory over Montreal, back in December, let's not forget that not only did the game go 'under' easily but there were only 45 total shots in the game, 18 by San Jose. The Sharks had only 5 total shots in the 1st and 3rd periods combined. There were only 11 combined 3rd period shots. 

Scoring depth is becoming an issue for the Sharks. Joonas Donskoi who is a rookie may be slowing down a bit as he's scoreless in three games. Melker Karlsson also is scoreless in three games while Tommy Wingels is out with a sprained shoulder. 

The Sharks top goal scorer, Joe Pavalski, has only 2 goals in his last 13 games. 

Although I don't think Montreal is as bad as everyone makes them out to be they still need to do better than a mini-ten game stretch before I can forget their overall inability to win. In their last 36 games the Canadiens are 11-25.  

The 'under' is 5-1-1 in their last seven games when Sharks opponents score two goals or less in their previous games.  The 'under' has won five straight in the series. Add Under 5.5 as your NHL pick

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NHL Pick: Under 5.5 (-130)
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

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