Golden Knights vs. Canadiens Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction for Game 6: Can Vegas Extend Series? (June 24)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Pietrangelo.
- The Montreal Canadiens host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night with the Habs clinging to a 3-2 series lead.
- The Canadiens are still listed as underdogs to win Game 6, despite outplaying the Knights for much of the first five games.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down his Canadiens vs. Golden Knights pick and preview below.
Knights vs. Canadiens Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-148|
|Time||Thursday, 8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday and via DraftKings|
Montreal controlled a good deal of the play early on and did well to continue to create chances as the game wore on instead of sitting entirely back to protect their lead. It was a near perfect effort from the Habs, given the fact that they are rarely going to outplay an excellent Knights group by so much, specifically leading by two and three goals.
Stone, Pacioretty Must Step Up For Vegas
For Vegas Game 5 will go as a bit of an embarrassment, losing 4-1 on home ice in a crucial affair, and it will be interesting to see the response from a very deep and talented group in a do-or-die Game 6.
The Golden Knights have not been outright bad, but the Canadiens leading 3-2 is certainly a fair series score given the way the games have been contested . A lot of what the Habs have done well in this series to help control the Knights’ aggressive style of play has looked awfully similar to what we saw from Dallas in their five-game elimination of Vegas in last year’s playoff bubble.
Montreal has consistently been well sorted out in their D-zone, not allowing Vegas to turn offensive zone time into much with regards to chances, and forcing Vegas to often settle for a lot of lower-quality shots. A number of crucial goals have come off the rush for Montreal in the series, capitalizing on some neutral zone miscues or turnovers from Vegas at Montreal’s blue line leading to plays going the other way.
One of the bigger concerns for Vegas has been how badly outplayed Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty have been throughout the series. I certainly can not say I saw this coming, even with respect to Montreal’s excellent top two defensive pairings.
The two were mainly dominant in some very tough matchups against Colorado, but so far in the series Stone’s xGF% sits at 38.8% and Pacioretty’s goes for 46.0%. In an utterly shocking stat at this point in the series, Stone sits with zero points, while Pacioretty has contributed just three. The two will certainly need to show better if Vegas hope to turn the tides, specifically Stone who has been at a near Hart-caliber level of play all season long.
Vegas should skate the same roster as Game 5, but the question will come with regards to their goaltending situation. It would not be surprising to see Pete DeBoer shake it up again and put Robin Lehner back in the net, but for me whichever guy he goes with doesn’t change a lot as both have clearly proven themselves with consistently great play this year. There isn’t much to say one is going to offer a better chance than the other.
Canadiens Go For Series Finish
The Canadiens have now created an opportunity to pull off something truly special, and deservedly so. I mean don’t get me wrong here, the play altogether has been close to equal in this series, but the point is that the Knights were supposed to outright dominate this Habs group. Montreal, instead, continues to do a number of things very well, biulding a 3-2 series lead.
Carey Price or not, this hasn’t come as a fluke. But with that said, Price is supposed to be Montreal’s best player with his $10-million salary, and I do not exactly see how people have critiqued the Habs for his strong play during this run like it has been a lucky break for the group.
Another crucial point is simply that the Habs have not relied upon Price as much as many analysts have noted, specifically in the Jets series where the Habs were just outright better top to bottom.
The tremendous shortening of the bench defensively continues to work wonders for Montreal, with the top two units eating 80% of the minutes in excellent fashion so far this postseason.
The line of Artturi Lehkonen, Phil Danault and Brendan Gallagher continue to be such an important cog to this Canadiens’ team success. A big question for this Montreal team would be how they would match up to elite top lines come playoff time with no proven number one center, or truly elite stars up front. Well this line has done a big part of answering that question, locking up Stone and company in this series and the Leafs’ top stars in Round 1.
But will the Habs be able to finish off a spectacular Knights group in Game 6 at home?
Golden Knights vs. Canadiens Pick
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vegas come out and control a good deal more of the play in this one than we saw in the last two games of this series, however, even if we are likely to see a much more urgent effort from Vegas in Game 6, I do not feel that makes them worthy of a bet priced as a considerable favourite.
Montreal has been spectacular at handling opposition pressure all postseason long and has been doing a great job of limiting teams mainly to the sorts of chances Carey Price is comfortable with, and when that fails he’s made lots of spectacular saves too.
In Games 4 and 5 Montreal didn’t just do a great job of limiting grade-A chances like we have often seen from them this postseason, but they even managed to control more of the play altogether by a decent margin. Montreal leads on xGF 6.72-5.11 over the two contests and owns 15 more high danger chances.
For me the main reasons most will be backing Vegas here will simply revolve around their belief that Vegas was supposed to greatly outplay Montreal in this series to begin with, not that much of the play we have seen suggests that backing them as a road favourite is a good idea.
Pick: Montreal Moneyline +129