Make the best NHL pick you can for tonight's exciting matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens. Our expert hockey handicapper points out the edge.
Premier Matchup at the Mecca of Hockey
The Canadiens will entertain the Blackhawks today at the Bell Centre in Montreal with the opening face-off slated for 7:35 PM ET. In the earliest NHL odds, Chicago was a -120 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. These teams split their two meetings a season ago with each club winning on home ice, and both contests stayed under the total.
Playing Better than Record Indicates
Chicago started the season by winning 4 of their first 5-games. Since then they’ve gone just 2-5, and enter tonight with an unimpressive 6-6 money line record. However, after careful examination the Blackhawks have played much better than their recent funk may indicate. During their last 5-games they’ve outshot the opposition by a cumulative total of 202-145. All 6-losses sustained by Chicago this season have come by exactly 1-goal. The Hawks have seen just 2 of their first 12-games go over the total, and have gone under in 4 of the last 5 despite averaging 40.4 shots on goal during that period. As a matter of fact, Chicago has amassed 37-shots or more on goal in 8 of their 12-games this season. Cory Crawford is scheduled to be in goal tonight for the Hawks. Crawford has gone 3-3 in 6-starts with a stellar .926 save percentage.
Coming off an Absolute Clunker
The Canadiens are coming off arguably their worst performance of the season in a 6-2 home loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday. They were outshot by the Flames 36-20 in the loss, and in their last 3-games the Canadiens have been outshot by a cumulative 104-64. Montreal began the season 7-1, and since has lost 3 of their last 4. Despite their recent struggles, Montreal is tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carey Price is slated to be between the pipes tonight for Montreal. Price has started all but one game this season for Montreal, and is 7-3 with a solid .913 save percentage.
Chicago is averaging a robust 38.4 shots on goal per game for the year. They’ve also had 6 or more shots on goal than the opposition in each of their past 5-games. The combination of these two factors qualifies for a superb betting system, and I’m going to utilize it when making my NHL picks for today. Any team that averages 29.5 or more shots on goal per game, and has outshot opponents by 6 or more in each of their past 5-games, has gone 159-75 (67.9%^) against the money line since 1996.
Free NHL Pick: Chicago -125 over Montreal at BookMaker