Canada has a great match up tonight before the weekend hits, as two extremely popular teams with some of the most devoted fan bases in Canada will face off in wintry Winnipeg tonight, to put on a real show. No matter what the standings say, Canadian teams always like to show up hardcore against each other, so this is the perfect game to bet on, as the emotional stakes will be high, and so could the winnings from your bets ladies!
Montreal vs. Winnipeg
The basics: it’s the fourth of five straight home games for the Habs, who are 2-0-1 after handing the Anaheim Ducks a 4-1 loss on Tuesday. Montreal has a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games and are challenging for a solid place in the Eastern Conference, currently in third place with 66 points. That means they are only one point ahead of the Boston Bruins but the B’s have a game in hand so Montreal will need more wins. Winnipeg on the other hand lost 3-2 in overtime to San Jose on Tuesday in their own building, and that’s too bad since it was their coach’s, Paul Maurice‘s 1500th game. But despite the loss, the Jets too also have a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 but the difference being that they’re in first place in the Central Division with 71 points and going strong.
The Hab’s goalie, Carey Price is getting back into his flow and made 24 saves Tuesday getting his sixth straight win. He’s been red hot the last two month ever since trusty Shea Weber got back from injury and started showing up the defence. After a slow start he is looking to take the team to the playoffs. Their rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi also has been contributing and looks like had a nice rest on the all-star break and the bye week combination. He’s scored goals in three straight games and set a team record for consecutive goals by, yes that’s right, an 18-year-old!
The Jets though are a powerhouse team and a favourite to win the cup this year, ranking fifth in offence putting up an average of 3.49 goals a game. They also have the fourth-best power play that has a success rate of 26.8 per cent. Their captain Blake Wheeler also has the magic touch and currently is tied for eighth place in the league scoring race. He’s got an impressive 65 points and is No. 2 in assists with 54 helpers, he’s only five behind Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov who is leading the league. Mark Scheifele is not far behind, he’s got 62 points, and leads the team with 26 goals. We can’t forget the sniper, Patrik Laine who’s netted 25 goals already, who’s helped by Kyle Connor, who’s got 22 goals and is always on the hunt. The speed that Winnipeg can create through the neutral zone and then transition to a hard and quick attack is amazing to watch, so it’s exactly why Price will be expected to hold the fort against this expected barrage.
There is an added perk for beating the Jets tonight for the Habs too, Joel Armia will face off against his former team for the first time tonight! Last July, before he signed with the Canadiens, the 25-year-old Finn played the previous three seasons in Winnipeg. In all those 179 regular season games Armia scored 26 goals and banked 58 points. Two of those goals were scored during the Jets’ storybook run last year to the Western Conference Finals. When asked how he’d feel playing his old team:
“It’s going to be fun to play against them. They have a really good team,” said Armia to media pregame,”It’s going to be a fun night.”
We think so too for the visitors.
Pick: Montreal wins, 6 plus goals
Moneyline: Montreal Canadiens +100 / Winnipeg Jets -120