Le Tir! Et Le But!
Ok now for the english. “Shot and Goal.” The Vancouver Canucks begin a five game road trip on Thursday night against a team that they have had their share of troubles with in the last couple of seasons, the Montreal Canadiens.
Vancouver Canucks (16-10-1) at Montreal Canadiens (11-11-6)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, December 8, 2011
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Broadcast: RDS (HD), SNET-VAN (HD), TSN-HABS (HD)
Canucks vs. Canadiens Betting Lines from Bovada.lv
Spread: Vancouver -1 ½ (+220)
Moneyline: Vancouver -128: Montreal +118
Over/Under: 5 ½ goals
*NHL ATS Matchup Report*
While the Canucks continue to ascend up the Western Conference standings, the Habs continue to flounder with a .500 record and in last place in the competitive Northeast Division.
Vancouver enters Thursday night’s game on quite a streak.
They have won seven of their last eight games and two straight by a combined score of 11-1.
The offense has been clicking as per usual and the goaltending has been absolutely spectacular for a Canucks team that is finally rounding into the form that saw them win the President’s trophy last season.
It is no surprise that Vancouver has elevated themselves once again to elite NHL status – Henrik Sedin has 6 points on his current six-game points streak, brother Daniel has 8 points including a hat trick on Tuesday during his current four-game stretch and Jannik Hansen has 4 goals on his current three-game goal streak.
Three lines are going strong for the Canucks making them extremely difficult to match up with. However, Daniel hasn’t scored in his last five versus the Canadiens.
It is unclear who will start in goal on Thursday – Roberto Luongo, just back from injury, took a puck to the neck on Tuesday and was forced to miss the game. (My $ is on him starting)
Cory Schneider is a more than adequate replacement however and may just be the hotter of the two.
After all Luongo is 0-3-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average in his last three against Montreal.
The Montreal Canadiens continue to sleepwalk through the season and have gone just 3-4-3 in their last 10 games overall – just two regulation wins in their last 10 games!
Tuesday’s loss to the woeful Blue Jackets was the culmination in a stretch that has Habs fans and players questioning the makeup of the team.
Like Vancouver, when Montreal isn’t winning, turmoil ensues!
The Canadiens have struggled to score goals to nobody’s surprise and it is not better exemplified by their issues on the power play. They have one goal in eight games on the power play (1 for 32) and are 11.8% on the season – good (or bad) for 27th in the NHL.
Andrei Kostitsyn has 4 points in his last four games while Mike Cammalleri has 3 points in his last three games – OK but not good enough for the offensively challenged Habs.
Carey Price will likely get the nod between the pipes for Montreal on Thursday – he allowed just two goals in the two games against Vancouver last season.
Dave’s Free Canucks Betting Predictions
Vancouver has won seven of their last eight games overall but are 0-4 in their last four games against the Canadiens, scoring just a total of four goals in those games.
Montreal is just 4-10 in their last 14 home games.
The Vancouver Canucks are officially back to the form that we all expected.
But their issues with Montreal combined with the injuries that they are dealing with give the Canadiens a slight edge in this one. Vancouver is due for a loss and Montreal is certainly due for a win on home ice.
Take the home underdog!
Pick: Montreal Canadiens +118
Here are a few interesting Props for Thursday’s game:
11. Dan Hamhuis Points
line = 0.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)
12. Henrik Sedin Shots on Goal
line = 2.5 Over (1.85) | Under (1.40)
13. Daniel Sedin Goals
line = 0.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
14. Ryan Kesler Goals
line = 0.5 Over (1.80) | Under (1.45)
15. Alex Burrows Shots on Goal
line = 3.5 Over (1.80) | Under (1.45)
16. Total Power Play Goals
line = 1.5 Over (1.70) | Under (1.55)
17. Montreal Goals
line = 2.5 Over (1.75) | Under (1.50)
18. Montreal Shots on Goal
line = 29.5 Over (1.60) | Under (1.60)