NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Canadiens (Dec. 4)
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Roman Josi
Predators vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Nashville Predators have alternated wins and losses the past six games and will host the reeling Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
Montreal has lost eight of its past 10 games, yet one of its wins was a 6-3 victory over the Predators at Bell Centre on November 20. Uniquely, the Canadiens have picked up at least a point in each of their past three Saturday night games, going 2-0-1.
The Predators are coming off a 2-0 home loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Nashville is 5-5 in its past 10 but is 7-5 in 12 games at Bridgestone Arena thus far this season.
The Habs Are a Mess
Montreal has the third-lowest points percentage in the NHL, due largely to its league-worst .968 PDO in all situations, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Canadiens are shooting 7.5 percent for the season and their leading scorer, Josh Anderson, has just seven goals.
The Canadiens are clearly missing all-world goalie Carey Price, who still is still returning from the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The Canadiens have allowed the NHL’s most goals (89) and have the fifth-worst team save percentage in the NHL. Starter Jake Allen has a .907 save percentage and -3.25 Goals Saved Above Average, while playing the 11th-most minutes in the league thus far.
Montreal has the second-worst goal differential, trailing only the Arizona Coyotes, at -33.
The Pedestrian Preds
The Predators have been the posterchildren for mediocrity in the NHL as they are tied for 15th in the league in points and deadlocked with the Colorado Avalanche for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. Nashville has scored the 19th-most goals in the league and has surrendered the 16th-most.
The Predators have been buoyed offensively by Matt Duchene’s resurgent season as the forward has 13 goals and 24 points in 23 games — he had just 13 points in 34 games in 2020-21 and just 55 points in 100 games over the previous two seasons. Filip Forsberg had a four-goal game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in Nashville’s past six games.
Goalie Juuse Saros has been solid in his first full season as starter, with a .923 save percentage, 1.14 high-danger goals-against average and 5.13 GSAA in all situations according to Natural Stat Trick.
Predators vs. Canadiens Pick
Sometimes analysis and information can clutter the picture, but there’s no reason to overthink this one. The Predators are mediocre, but the Canadiens are downright bad, and Nashville shouldn’t overlook the Habs due to that drubbing they poured on the Predators at Bell Centre two weeks ago.
Nashville isn’t typically a team that can get margin, but considering the mismatch in goal if Saros gets the nod, I am comfortable laying the -1.5 with the Preds at home.
Pick: Predators -1.5 (+150)