Weak Offenses Prompt Our NHL Picks To Go 'Under' In Devils vs. Canadiens

Bruce Webster

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 6:07 PM GMT

The New Jersey Devils come to visit the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Join us in our preview of this matchup and get the best NHL picks.

New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens
Lines: Montreal -145/ New Jersey +131
Total: 5
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Free NHL Pick: Under 5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

The NHL odds are out as the New Jersey Devils (20-15-1-4 SU, 25-15 PL, 11-17-12 OU) enter this game off a 1-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, which broke a modest three game win streak they were on, while the Montreal Canadiens (22-15-1-2 SU, 22-18 PL, 18-16-6 OU) will enter this game off a game in Philadelphia on Tuesday night and they will be looking to build on their 5-1 win over Boston in the Winter Classic. The road team is 16-6 the last 22 in the series.

 

Devils Have No Offense in Loss to Red Wings
Offense has been a major issue for the Devils all year so far and it certainly was an issue in their 1-0 loss to the Red Wings on Monday night. New Jersey got off just 22 shots in the game and connected on none of them. This was the 15th time this year they scored one goal or less and it was the 3rd time them were shutout. The Devils are now 28th in the league in scoring, putting up just 2.3 gpg and 30th in shots taken at 25 spg, but they have been rather decent on the power play, where they rank 13th in the league, converting on 19.7% of their chances.

Taking another hard luck loss in the game was Cory Schneider, who is just 17-16 on the year, but with a solid 2.07 GAA. He just hasn’t been getting help from his offense. Schneider should get the start in this game as well and he has gone 10-6 on the road with a very nice 2.04 GAA, while vs the Habs in his career he is 1-2 with a 2.19 GAA. New Jersey has been an excellent defensive team this year as they come in ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg, while also ranking 6th in shots allowed at 28.4 spg and 7th on the penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on just 16.7% of their power play chances. Just a little more offense and this team could really be good. 

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Canadiens Looking to Turn it Around
The Montreal Canadiens have really been slumping of late, but they may be on the verge of turning things around as they have won two of their last three games after they had lost 10 of their previous 11 games. Their last game was a 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins in the Winter Classic, which was played at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Mike Condon has really been struggling for the Habs, but he came up big in the win as he stopped 27 of 28 shots in the game. Condon has now won his last two starts, after losing seven in a row. He should get the start here as it looks like Ben Scrivens will start in Philly. Condon is 5-7 with a 2.31 GAA at home and he is 1-1 with a 2.35 GAA vs the Devils.

The offense for Montreal has been very weak of late, but they did explode for five goals in the win over the Bruins. Five different Canadiens scored in the game, including Max Pacioretty, who notched his team leading 16th of the year. Despite the team’s offensive woes of late they are still ranked 4th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while converting on 18.8% of their power play chances, which is 17th in the league. On defense they have been decent, ranking 12th in goals allowed at 2.4 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on just 15.2% of their power play chances, which is 4th in the league.

 

Trends for New Jersey:
The Under is 4-1-5 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record
The Under is 5-1-1 in their last seven road games

 

Trends for Montreal:
The Under is 5-0-2 in their last seven home games vs. a team with a winning road record
The Under is 35-15-10 in their last 60 games playing on 0 days rest

 

Betting Analysis
I will look at the under in this game for my NHL picks as both teams have had issues scoring of late and both goalies should be able to step up and keep the offenses struggling. Mike Condon had a game vs the high powered Bruins and now he has had some extra rest, which he really needed as he was getting plenty of time since Carey Price is on IR. Cory Schneider has had many solid outings this year and he has a 2.04 GAA on the road, despite a losing record. This one has 2-1 written all over it.

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