Montreal surprisingly mediocre on road
Home ice has been very good to the Blues so far this season. But will the NHL’s top team put an end to the fun shortly?
Montreal visits St. Louis tonight, with an 8 p.m. ET puck drop at Scottrade Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Ken Hitchcock’s troops odds of -175 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Canadiens represent +155 underdogs.
The Blues’ last regulation loss in their own building came against Calgary on Oct. 25. A lot of the credit for such a long stretch of success should go to Jaden Schwartz and David Perron. That duo has combined for 20 points in the club’s past 10 tilts. Jake Allen continues to provide stellar work in goal, too, with a 12-3-3 record and .907 save percentage.
Interestingly, Habs coach Michel Therrien won’t deploy his No. 1 netminder this evening. Carey Price (rest) yields to Al Montoya, ostensibly limiting Montreal’s chances of improving to 6-5-1 away from the Bell Center. Montoya holds a 0-3 mark with a 5.45 GAA since Nov. 4.
The fact that the Canadiens are concluding a five-city, 12-day trip can’t be ignored. For all their skill, fatigue invariably enters the equation. As a result, expect the Note to capitalize on a few defensive-zone breakdowns for the class of the Atlantic Division.
TUESDAY NHL FREE PICK: CANADIENS/BLUES OVER 5 GOALS