Tuesday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Arizona Coyotes vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Preview
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Anderson.
Coyotes vs. Canadiens Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The NHL’s bottom-two teams square off on Tuesday night as the Arizona Coyotes head to Montreal to face the Canadiens.
In the only other matchup they had, the Yotes convincingly won 5-2 back in January. Both teams have been riding high, though, and the Habs currently are the favorites at -160, while Arizona is +140.
With a convincing win over the Senators last night, the Coyotes are playing exceptional hockey. In their last six games, they’re 5-1, during which they went on a four-game winning streak.
Despite placing last league wide, the Habs are playing their best hockey all season. In its last 10 games, Montreal is 7-2-1 and putting teams on notice.
Arizona Facing Plethora of Injuries
There’s been a ton of controversy off the ice in the desert, however that hasn’t seemed to stop them.
After a dreadful start to the season, the Coyotes are doing well with a decent lineup. All-Star Clayton Keller is averaging near a point per game, while Nick Schmaltz, Shayne Gostisbehere and Phil Kessel are all contributing well.
The Coyotes will be without key players though due to injury. Jakob Chychrun, Connor Timmins, Christian Fischer, Johan Larsson, Antoine Roussel and Dmitrij Jaskin will all be out.
The Yotes had a plan in place to get worse before getting better. With this season being a wash, they’ve focused on improving from their dreadful start.
Arizona currently scores 2.54 goals per game, is last in expected goals with a 42.99 xGF% and creates the second lowest amount of high-danger chances. Not only that, but its power play is abysmal, scoring 12.2% of the time.
The Coyotes defense has certainly suffered, especially losing two key pieces like Chychrun and Timmins. Currently, they allow the second-most goals per game (3.55), and allow a ton of high-danger chances. Not only that, but they have the third-worst penalty kill with only a 73.3% success rate.
Since Scott Wedgewood played last night in Ottawa, I’d expect Karel Vejmelka to get the start. The Czech netminder has fared well since a very rocky start to his NHL career. Vejmelka is posting a .905 save percentage and a -7.5 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx).
St. Louis Has Sparked Montreal
Since hiring coach Martin St. Louis, the Habs have been on a tear, going 9-4-1, and most likely will play spoiler to a lot of teams this season. With not a lot of hope for this season, St. Louis instilled that spirit into them.
There’s a good foundation in Montreal with talented guys like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Josh Anderson and Mike Hoffman. On the injury front, the Habs have been hammered, but guys like Artturi Lehkonen, Jonathan Drouin, Jake Allen and Christian Dvorak are close to returning
Montreal has done a wonderful job at creating offense under St. Louis. While it’s still last in GPG (2.42), that number was much lower before. The Habs also got much better at driving play, as their expected goals is 28th with a 45.15 xGF% – whereas before the hire, they were in the bottom two. The power play isn’t great still — second last, scoring at a 13.5% clip.
On the defensive side, it still needs to be better. Currently, the Canadiens allow the most goals per game (3.78) and are ranked 24th in high-danger chances allowed. The penalty kill is also among one of the worst, with a 73.7% success rate.
With Carey Price out all season, the goaltending situation has been up in the air. Jake Allen has done a fine job, but he’s been injured for a while, and it’s uncertain if he returns tonight.
Samuel Montembeault seems to have come into his own this season. His numbers this season aren’t great as he’s posting an .897 save percentage and -10.2 GSAx, but recently has been playing better hockey as the team has improved. I expect him to start this game.
Coyotes vs. Canadiens Pick
I always love watching both bottom teams square off, and I think it’s a fun bet.
I can’t resist picking Montreal tonight. It’s hard to discredit Arizona’s recent hot stretch, as well, but it’s coming off a back-to-back and Montreal’s fanbase seems to be rejuvenated.
Not only that, but while both teams have been hot, the Habs have been just a little bit better recently.
With that, I feel comfortable backing Montreal, even at a high number.
Pick: Montreal ML (-165)