The Washington Capitals are in Montreal tonight for a primetime game against the Canadiens
Tonight’s NHL betting theme for Chirper’s Corner is “Bump the Slump” as Rye-Guy continues his quest back to .500. Tonight’s play looks at two offensively challenged teams who are squaring off at the Bell Centre and the current NHL odds show the Habs at -155 with a total of 5.5.
WASHINGTON at MONTREAL
NHL Odds Online: Canadiens -155 and 5.5 UN (-130)
Washington has scored fewer than two goals in six of the seven games during its current skid while the Habs have scored two or fewer goals in five of their past seven games. I’ve watched both teams over the past couple weeks and it hasn’t been pretty. The effort level is there but for some reason the finesse is surely not. Both teams have been sloppy coming out of their defensive zone which can only lead to bad things, starting with neutral zone turnovers. The lack of a crisp first pass has killed momentum into the offensive zone and all too often these pucks are ending up the back of Montreal’s net.
Perhaps the dump and chase is in order? Montreal could use some of its speed to gain the offensive zone and then let its playmakers go to work. And speaking of playmakers, the normally potent power play for each team has been non-existent of late. In the course of their past eight games the Capitals are 1 for 24 while Montreal is sporting a 3 for 28 mark in nine games since Jan. 24.
With the injuries that both teams have endured it should be time to go back to basics and “battle focus” is what coaches Michel Therrien and Adam Oates have to preach before this tilt. Braden Holtby will get the start between the pipes for Washington and I’m expecting Peter Budaj in net for the Habs. Budaj started both games in Washington and posted a 1.92 GAA while Holtby is 4-0 with a 1.23 GAA and .957 save percentage in his career against Montreal. Let’s do dis! Chirp out.
Chirper’s Pick: UNDER 5.5 -130 (****out of *****)