Take Fueled Predators -115 As Our Sharp NHL Pick vs. Canadiens

Dana Lane

Monday, February 22, 2016 2:33 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 2:33 PM UTC

Chances are that the Nashville Predators won't catch Dallas or Chicago in the Central but this an excellent opportunity for them to solidify their wild card position again the Montreal Canadiens.

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NHL Pick: Predators -115
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Nashville vs. Montreal
I know the Canadiens have put together a bit of a home win streak but their goaltending has been extremely weak since Carey Price went down. No offense to Mike Condon but the Canadiens are backed by two American Hockey League goaltenders.  This gross oversight can only be placed at the feet of General Manager, Marc Bergevin, who didn't go out and get a significant back-up to Price this past offseason.  Instead, he has rookie, Mike Condon, and Ben Scrivens who is not as quick as you'd like from your netminder. When you don't have confidence in your goaltender you are a little less likely to bring your defensemen into the offensive zone for fear that they must get back to protect their netminder. You can't rely on a rookie goaltender even if Price was healthy. Condon is 14-17-4 since taking over for Price.

Montreal has won five straight at home but Nashville has a streak of their own seeking their first single season eight game point streak on the road and in five straight overall going 2-0-3. They also are working on a 5-0-2 road road point streak. Despite the montreal home win streak they are still 4-6 in their last ten games.  Not good enough for me to back.

In their last meeting, the Preds had very little problem disposing of the Canadiens, 5-1, in December. Nashville has now earned at least one point in eight straight meetings with the Habs. They are 5-0-3 in those eight games and 2-0-1 in their last three trips to Montreal. The Preds have now earned points in 12 of their last 13 games against Canadien teams, posting a 9-1-3 record, or 21 of a possible 26 points.Nashville has averaged 3.31 goals in that span, while allowing just 1.92 goals per game. In addition, Nashville has 11 power play goals in 43 opportunities (25.6%).

I appears that Nashville Goaltender, Pekka Rinne, is starting to find his game again. Rinne has stopped 57 of his last 59 shots faced. Against Montreal Rinne is 5-0-1 with a 0.99 goals against average, in his last six games in the series.

Former Canadien, Mike Ribeiro, has a goal and eight assist in his past six games against his former team and eight assist in his last eight games overall. 

Montreal allowed only two goals in their 3-2 shootout victory over Philadelphia, Friday, but is just 2-9 in their last 11 games the game after allowing two goals or less in their previous games. Another sign of inconsistency. 

Nashville is 8-5-6 all-time against Montreal. Nashville is 15-7 against the Atlantic Division.

An interesting trend if you're looking at the total. The 'under' is 35-16-12 in Nashville's last 63 vs teams with a losing record. We're backing Nashville with our NHL picks in this one, where they are favorites in the NHL odds boards.

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