NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Canadiens (Nov. 20)
Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images. Pictured: Montreal Canadiens standout Nick Suzuki.
Predators vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Montreal hosts red-hot Nashville, looking to bounce back after a humiliating 6-0 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, which was likely the low point in an altogether disappointing year.
Nashville took a tough 3-0 loss to a Toronto Maple Leafs team in excellent form Thursday, and will look to get back on track as they fight to hold down their surprising playoff spot out of the West.
An 8-2-1 stretch has the Predators currently holding a surprising a wild-card berth out of the West for the time being.
Two key forwards have bounced back for the Predators in the early going this season, as Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund have both found some form from years past in posting point per game marks through 16 games.
Captain Roman Josi continues to dominate as well, also holding 16 points from the back end and again putting his name into the Norris Trophy mix.
However, beyond those guys the support appears to be lacking again for the Predators, who snuck into the playoffs last season mainly on their defensive prowess, and the otherworldly play of Juuse Saros down the stretch.
Analytics suggest Nashville is due for regression with regard to the offensive output. And when you look toward the roster, particularly short Filip Forsberg, that isn’t overly surprising.
Even over their recent 8-2-1 stretch, the Predators hold a concerning 2.28 xGF/60 mark, and altogether sit at 2.18 xGF/60 this season, good for 28th league wide.
However true to form, the team has held the opposition to just 2.19 xGF/60 overall this season and when needed Juuse Saros has again been excellent, stopping .928% of shots faced, and owning 7.8 goals saved above expected mark (GSAx).
Things continue to get worse for the Canadiens after a magical run to the Stanley Cup final last spring, and it seems to be the perfect storm of changes to the roster to create the worst possible results.
Shea Weber, and Carey Price are the two most obvious losses, as both were in tremendous form during the run. Phillip Danault acted as an eraser capable of going head to head with the likes of Auston Matthews, Mark Stone, and others and even winning the matchup.
The top-four defense was relied upon very heavily minutes wise, unsustainably so over a regular season, and especially as Joel Edmundson has also been out of the lineup.
The damage has been done record wise, and Montreal are already realistically playing for nothing but pride in an extremely competitive Eastern conference. Yet, with all that being said, it’s hard to believe the Canadiens should be this pathetic long term, and as we have seen from Chicago and Arizona, things probably won’t stay this awful in a league and sport which offers so much parity given respectable efforts.
Expect Montreal to come out and compete hard at home here for one of hockey’s most passionate fanbases. And although that might not result in a win, I definitely expect a tighter contest skating against a Nashville team who offer less offensive talent than much of what Montreal have seen of late.
Jake Allen remains doubtful for the contest, which would likely leave Cayden Primeau again. Primeau was very solid against New York, and was not as bad as the numbers might indicate against Pittsburgh, as outside of shaky rebound control at times his appearance was more on the team as opposed to soft goaltending.
Predators vs. Canadiens Pick
The Predators have played some of the league’s lowest event hockey in the early going and I think this sets up as a good spot for that to continue. They’re skating against a Montreal team that has struggled to generate next to anything and will come in off of a humiliating 6-0 home defeat to Pittsburgh.
There is no doubting that the Canadiens simply aren’t what they were last season with the key changes to the roster, but as with all teams, they aren’t going to be as pathetic as they currently look going forward, and might have bottomed out to an extent last time out against the Penguins.
I imagine cleaning up the defensive zone will be a huge talking point for the Habs entering this game, and it should be a manageable task for them to hold a Nashville team who appear to be overachieving offensively to a lesser total in this contest.
That said, it’s hard to think an offense which has struggled greatly all year in Montreal is likely to break through with big numbers against Saros and the stingy Predators.
Altogether this sets up as a good spot to hop on the under at 5.5, currently at -120 on DraftKings, and I would play it to -130 odds.
Pick: Total Under 5.5 (-110 — play to -130)