The Central Division will duke it out with the Atlantic Division as the Colorado Avalanche take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The Avs check in off a 5-3 loss to the Flames on the road, while the Habs are off a 4-1 loss to the Blues on the road.
The Avs Continue To Lose
The Colorado Avalanche had a decent start to their year, but they have fallen apart of late. They enter this contest off a 5-3 road loss to the Flames and have now lost eight of their last nine and 14 of their last 19. Colorado currently sits in the 7th spot of the Western Conference by they have just a two-point lead over Anaheim, who is in the 9th spot. Colorado needs to get their act together or they will fall out of the top eight in the West. The offense is coming around again as the Avs have scored 17 goals in their last four games, after notching just 13 goals in their previous seven games. Scoring in the loss to the Flames was Nathan MacKinnon, which was his 26th of the year, Erik Johnson, which was his 3rd and Mikko Rantanen, which was his 20th.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 10, 2019
Absorbing the loss to the Flames was Semyon Varlamov, who allowed four goals on just 15 shot attempts to fall to 11-14 with a 2,85 GAA and a .908 save percentage on the year, including 6-7 with a 3.00 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 6-1 with a 2.45 GAA against the Canadiens. The Avs have gone 11-13 on the road and they have averaged 3.58 gpg and have allowed 3.46 gpg in those games. Colorado checks in at 5th in the league in power play conversions at 25.9% and 27th in penalty kill at 75.5%.
The Habs Can’t Find Their Offense
The Montreal Canadiens are currently in the 9th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, but they are just one point out of the 8th spot. Montreal had been rolling along as they won five of six games, but they have since lost three of their last four games. Montreal enters this game off a 4-1 loss to the Blues on the road and they have now scored a total of 10 goals in their last six games, after scoring 14 goals in their previous three games. Montreal needs to get their offense back on track or they could be in trouble over the 2nd half of the season. Scoring their lone goal against the Blues was Brendan Gallagher, which was his 17th of the year.
“It’s tough every time you lose one. You have to put it behind you, you have to be able to move on, but you want to get on a little streak because everyone else is going to start winning. Win one, lose one isn’t good enough anymore.” -Brendan Gallagher#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/cqmITOGFk8
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 11, 2019
Taking the loss against the Blues was Carey Price, who allowed four goals on 30 shot attempts to fall to 16-17 with a 2.75 GAA and a .908 save percentage on the year, while here at home he has gone 8-11 with a 2.92 GAA and a .898 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 5-5 with a 2.79 GAA against the Avalanche. The Canadiens have gone 11-11 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.00 gpg and have allowed 3.05 gpg in those games. Montreal enters this contest ranked 31st in power play conversions at 12.8%, while also ranking 21st in penalty kill at 78.4%.
- 4-1 in their last 5 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
- 8-3 in their last 11 vs. a team with a losing record
- 32-65 in their last 97 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 1-4 in their last 5 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Habs are struggling at the moment, but I feel that they can grab a nice win in this one. The Avs have lost eight of their last nine games and they have lost their last six games on the road. The Avs are 1-4 in their last six games here in Montreal and the home team is 6-0 the last six games in this series. The Avs are struggling a bit more than the Habs are at the moment and I will look for that to continue.
Prediction: Montreal -125
Full-Game Total Pick
I will go with the Over in this one. The Habs has struggled to score of late, but Colorado has allowed 3.50 gpg in their last 10 games and 3.46 gpg on the road. Montreal has allowed 3.05 gpg here at home and the Avs have hung up 3.58 gpg on the road. The Over is 7-1 in Colorado’s last eight road games and 5-1 the last six games between these teams here in Montreal.
Prediction: Over 6