Plenty of Offense Likely Between Jackets & Habs in Montreal

Dana Lane

Monday, November 27, 2017 6:39 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 6:39 PM UTC

The Montreal Canadiens hope to resurrect their season with the return of Carey Price. They can take another step in that direction tonight as the Columbus Blue Jackets invade the Bell Centre at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Free NHL Pick: Over 5Best Line Offered: Bodog

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Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens

You guys know that I don’t love betting over when the number is six or more; well, the same applies when I see a five. There are way too many variables in a game that can lead to five goals. I get it; the public still holds Montreal's Carey Price in high esteem, despite a goals-against average (3.44) that is starting to make Antti Niemi cringe. On the other side of the sheet is the Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky (5-0, 0.99, .966 last five starts starts) who has been unbeatable of late. The total is justified for sure. According to the SBR odds page the public has given the ‘under’ a slight edge in betting, mostly due to the fact that there are some 5.5s out there giving the ticket count the appearance that its more balanced.

The Jackets are riding a season-high six-game win streak, helped along by a 2-1 overtime win a couple weeks ago at the Bell Centre. That result has definitely fueled tonight’s betting pattern as most people are reasonable thinking that if Charlie Lindgren can hold John Tortorella’s team to two goals then certainly Price can match that effort. That’s not the way to look at this game.

I’ve always said that the second game is the one when players out any amount of time will take a step back. Game 1 is ruled by adrenaline, Game 2 is ruled by reality. This is when a player’s body feels the full brunt of going through daily preparation again. This is the real final step of Price’s recovery. I’m not saying he’s not 100%, but the mind and body have to find a point of marriage and that takes a few games especially after being forced to make 36 saves against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

I think Columbus is going to test Price, like Buffalo did, but with higher quality chances. Fresh off their five-goal effort against the Ottawa Senators on Friday, the Jackets are now fifth with almost 35 shots per game. If the Sabres can find a way to get a large amount of shots on Price, imagine what Columbus is going to be able to do. I’m guessing that we are going to at least see the same amount of chances.

Assume that there will be somewhere between 65-70 shots tonight; remember, Montreal is second in the NHL averaging just under 36 shots per contest. If that compels bettors to jump on the 'under,' then I wish them the best. From a trend perspective, I know that there is very little reason to play the ‘over’ but the past doesn’t equal the future. See you cashing tickets when this is done.

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