January 23, 2017

NHL Hockey Betting: Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Hockey Betting:  Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens&h=253&w=372&zc=1

The Montreal Canadiens are in an interesting position. They’ve essentially been ‘treading water’ for the past month or so and enter this game with a 5-4-1 record in their last ten games. They’ve been fortunate, however, in that the rest of the Atlantic Division has also been ‘treading water’ or worse. With no team able to cut into their advantage atop the division they’ve been able to maintain a decent lead with mediocre play. They enter tonight’s game with an 8 point advantage over the second place Ottawa Senators and a ten point edge over the third place Toronto Maple Leafs. They’re in a good position to get another win in the books tonight as they face the erratic Calgary Flames.

It’s hard to figure out what is going on with the Flames. They had gone on a streak of decent play about a month ago but enter tonight’s game on a three game losing streak and with a 3-6-1 record in their last ten games. They’ve badly fallen off the pace in the Pacific Division and now trail Edmonton and San Jose (tied for second) by 9 points and the first place Anaheim Ducks by 12. The Flames are a bottom ten offensive team and a mediocre defensive team with equally mediocre special teams. That’s just not going to get it done in the highly competitive Western Conference. The Flames are a very mediocre 11-10-3 on the road this season and that’s not going to get it done at the Bell Centre where the Habs 16-5-3 this year.

Montreal has confirmed that Carey Price will start here–Price might not be having a Vezina Trophy worthy season but is having a solid comeback year following his injury plagued season last year. Price is 21-9-5 with a 2.36 goals against average and a 0.920 save percentage. Calgary has yet to confirm their goalie but off a 7-3 thumping by the Edmonton Oilers they’ll likely give Chad Johnson the start. Johnson has been pretty solid this season with a 16-11-1 record, a 2.41 goals against average and a 0.917 save percentage. The teams split a pair of games last season with each winning on home ice and Montreal has won the last two meetings at the Bell Centre.