Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#39 Montreal Canadiens vs.
#40 Chicago Blackhawks
Friday, November 25, 2022 at 2:05pm EST
United Center, Chicago
Written by Kevin V.

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After a day off for Thanksgiving, the NHL fires things back up on Friday afternoon with the Montreal Canadiens (10-9-1) looking to build some consistency as they visit the struggling Chicago Blackhawks (6-10-3). Montreal has alternated wins and losses in their last four games, but should be able to get a second consecutive victory against a Hawks' team that has dropped five in a row. 

 

Chicago is a surprising -120 favorite for this meeting from the United Center where they have gone 4-6-1 on the season. It's still going to be hard to place a wager on a Blackhawks club that has dropped 7 of their last 8 and have fallen into last place in the Central division. Montreal has some value at +100 in this spot and they're a decent 4-4-1 on the road this season. The Canadiens picked up a 3-1 win at Columbus on Tuesday and have scored points in three of their last four away tilts.

Canadiens Aim For a Win Streak

It's not necessarily that Montreal has a good offense – they're 19th in scoring (3.0 goals/game) and only complete 15% of their power play opportunities – but Chicago's defense is that bad. The Blackhawks are giving up five goals/game during their five game slide. 

 

What Montreal is really looking for on Friday afternoon is some consistency. They won three in a row earlier this month but overall are just 5-5-1 in November. Even so, the 10-9-1 start hasn't been bad for a Canadiens team that had the fewest points in the NHL last season (55). 

 

Sam Montembeault started in net for the Canadiens on Tuesday with the team playing on the back-to-back. He stopped 30 of 31 Columbus shots in the 3-1 road win but will likely give way to Jake Allen for Friday's game. Then again Craig Berube could go with the hot hand considering Allen has allowed 4+ goals in four straight starts and has a 4.26 GAA this month.

Chicago Defense in Shambles

The Blackhawks are throwing the kitchen sink at their goaltending issues lately, alternating between Petr Mrazek and Arvid Soderblom but to no real avail. Mrazek has allowed 11 goals in his last two starts and has a 3.93 GAA in four starts since returning from the injured list. Soderblom has allowed 9 goals in his last two outings, but does have a decent 3.0 GAA on the season and is up in the alternating rotation. 

Chicago is allowing five goals/game during their losing streak but only scoring two, so it's not just their defense that has their share of issues lately. The Blackhawks are actually the lowest scoring team in the NHL at just 2.4 goals/game, due largely in part because they take the second fewest SOG (25.8). Even Patrick Kane is struggling for the Blackhawks with just one goal this month.

Best Bets for this Game

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The fact that Chicago is a -120 favorite in the midst of a five-game losing streak really looks like a trap play on Montreal. That being said, you just can't play the Blackhawks right now. Montreal has the advantage in net, and their offense has scored 4+ goals in four of the last seven which gives them at least the potential to pull this game off. Chicago has dropped six of their last seven at home so even being at the United Center doesn't give them an advantage on Friday afternoon.

Prediction: Montreal Canadiens +100

Full-Game Total Pick

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Neither of these offenses inspire a lot of confidence, but the equally bad goaltending makes the 'over' the way to go here. Chicago's Mrazek and Soderblom have allowed a total of 20 goals in their last four combined starts if anything for the mere fact that they are each getting pelted, facing 35+ shots in three of those outings. If the Canadiens indeed go with Allen their #1 goaltender, his confidence is in shambles with 19 goals allowed in his last four trips between the pipes.

Prediction: OVER 6.5
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Written By Kevin Vallego , "Kevin V."

Kevin grew up in a sports-only household. Every afternoon was set to watching any sport that was on T.V. After years of watching sports he got introduced to the betting world, and soon stats, trends, and odds were Kevin's best friends. Now, almost 2 decades later, His life revolves around sports, writing about them, and betting on them. We are glad to have Kevin on our Winners & Whiners & StatSalt teams and you should be happy that we have him as well.