Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#41 San Jose Sharks vs.
#42 Montreal Canadiens
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
Bell Centre, Montreal
Written by Chris King

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It’s an interconference battle on the ice north of the border in the province of Quebec. The San Jose Sharks are on the road as they travel to face the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night. San Jose has played just once so far this year, edging Winnipeg 4-3 at home Saturday night in their season opener. Montreal was upended 3-1 at home by the Rangers in an Original Six clash in their previous contest Saturday night. The Sharks have owned the series in recent years, taking nine straight meetings between the teams. That includes a 4-2 road victory in the most recent matchup on October 24, 2019. Montreal’s last win in the series came in a 2-0 home win on March 21, 2015.

San Jose Sharks Look to Build Off Season-Opening Win

San Jose was one of the last teams to actually open their 2021-22 schedule on Saturday night and have to be happy that they picked up a victory on home ice. After last season’s rough showing and the whole offseason circus surrounding Evander Kane, it had to be a relief for the Sharks to hit the ice in front of fans and just play hockey. Whether they can carry that momentum for any kind of extended period remains to be seen but for one night at least, the Sharks had some sort of positive momentum. There still is work to be done for San Jose but they come into this game undefeated, which is something.

In the game against Winnipeg Saturday night, San Jose trailed early but rallied to take the lead before holding on for the victory. The Sharks were outshot 10-6 in the opening period of the contest and trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of action. In the second period, San Jose held an 11-6 shot advantage and outscored Winnipeg 2-1 to tie the game at two at the second intermission. After giving up a shorthanded goal to trail 2-0, Andrew Cogliano scored his first of the year, shorthanded, at 3:38 off assists from Logan Couture and Brent Burns to get the Sharks on the board. Later in the period, Jasper Weatherby tied the game with his first of the season in his NHL debut, on the power play at 13:17, with assists going to Erik Karlsson and Kevin Labanc. The third period saw the Sharks with a 14-7 shot advantage and a 2-1 edge on the scoreboard to earn the victory. Tomas Hertl gave San Jose their first lead of the season with his first of the year, on the power play, at 3:25 off assists from Weatherby and William Eklund. Only 97 seconds later, at 5:02, Rudolf Balcers gave San Jose a 4-2 advantage with his first of the season at 5:02 off assists from Hertl and Timo Meier. The Sharks gave up a goal later in the period but held off Winnipeg the rest of the way for the win. Adin Hill made 20 saves for the Sharks, who held a 31-23 edge in shots on goal, in the victory. He’s expected to be between the pipes again for this contest.

Montreal Canadiens Seeking First Win of Season

Montreal has sputtered offensively this season and that trend continued in their home opener as they were knocked off by the Rangers Saturday night. The Canadiens have yet to generate more than one goal in a game, which is a major reason they remain winless. Montreal stands 32nd, or dead last, in the league in offensive production with one goal per game on the season. The Canadiens are 21st in goals against as they allow an average of 3.33 goals per contest. Montreal is tied for 26th in power play success by cashing in 0% of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Canadiens are 24th in penalty killing by successfully getting through 61.5% of their shorthanded situations this season.

Against the Rangers, the lack of offensive production proved to be too much for the Canadiens to overcome once again. In the opening period, the Canadiens were outshot 8-5 though neither team was able to light the lamp, leaving things scoreless after 20 minutes of play. The second period saw Montreal with a 13-9 edge in shots on goal though they gave up the only goal of the period to trail 1-0 after two periods. In the final period, the Canadiens had a 14-7 edge in shots on goal but were outscored 2-1 to wind up with the loss. Jonathan Drouin tied the game with his second of the season at 9:24 off assists from Christian Dvorak and Brett Kulak. The Canadiens gave up the lead for good just 26 seconds later and surrendered an empty-net goal late to seal their fate. Jake Allen made 21 saves for Montreal, who held a 32-24 edge in shots on goal, in the loss. He’s slated to be back in goal for this contest.

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Montreal has been unable to dent the twine with any kind of regularity this season, which is a major reason why they are 0-3-0 on the season. The Canadiens have no margin for error at all, which puts a ton of pressure on Allen to try and be perfect. That’s too much pressure for any goalie on a night in, night out basis. There aren’t a ton of expectations for San Jose this season as they are a young team giving a lot of guys a chance to make a name for themselves at this point. The Sharks acquitted themselves with the win over the Jets at home in their opener. Seeing that we have yet to see Montreal put up multiple goals in a game, you have to fade them a bit here. Look for San Jose to steal one on the road.

Prediction: San Jose Sharks +130

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San Jose’s season opener saw the teams combine for seven goals, which put it over the number. Last season on the road, the Sharks were 10-15-3 with a -23 goal differential. San Jose saw an average total of 6.11 goals per game overall, a number that dropped to 5.82 goals per game on the road. Montreal has seen totals of three, six and four goals this season, giving them an average number of 4.67 goals per game in the early going. That’s contributed to the Canadiens seeing the under post a 2-0-1 mark on the season. We’ve seen the under hit in eight of the last nine meetings in Montreal and in 12 of their last 17 overall. Until we see Montreal get something going offensively, you have to stick toward the total staying under the mark.

Prediction: Under 5.5

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.