Colorado Avalanche vs. Montreal Canadiens Free Prediction

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two clubs that split their season series (one game apiece) last year, the Colorado Avalanche and the Montreal Canadiens meet at Bell Centre in an East-West matchup. The opening face-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 23, and you are able to witness it live on Reseau Des Sports.

Colorado Avalanche at Montreal Canadiens Odds

Colorado is 27-19 straight up (SU) and has earned 11.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. 25 of its contests have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and just one has pushed. The Avs are 9-11 SU on the road in 2017-18.

Colorado has converted on 20.9 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s good enough for eighth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, it has the second-best penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off a whopping 84.8 percent of all penalties.

The Avs, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.3 times per game this season, and 3.6 per game over its last five games. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 28.5 saves per game with a .912 save percentage, Semyon Varlamov (14-12-2) has been the best option in goal for Colorado this year. If Colorado decides to rest him, however, head coach Jared Bednar might go with Jonathan Bernier (14-8-1 record, .920 save percentage, 2.58 goals against average).

The visiting Avalanche will be led by Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon has 59 points on 23 goals and 36 assists, and has recorded two or more points 18 times. Rantanen has 17 goals and 30 assists to his credit, and has logged a point in 29 games.

On the other side of the rink, Montreal is 19-28 straight up (SU) and has lost 12.6 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 26 of its matches have gone under the total, while 19 have gone over and just two have pushed. The team is 11-14 SU at home this year.

The Canadiens have converted on just 19.3 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Montreal players have been penalized 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Carey Price has denied 28.0 shots per game as the primary netminder in goal for the Canadiens. Price has 13 wins, 20 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit and has registered a mediocre 2.96 goals against average and a fairly-weak .908 save percentage this season.

The Habs will be led on offense by Max Pacioretty (15 goals, 14 assists).

Colorado Avalanche at Montreal Canadiens Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Canadiens, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Six of Montreal’s last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 1-5 overall in those games.
  • Colorado has allowed 2.9 goals per game overall this season, but has gotten that figure down 1.6 per match up over the teams 10-game winning streak.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could play a key role in tonight’s game. The Avalanche are 13-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-12 in games where they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Canadiens are 6-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 13-20 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Two of Montreal’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 2-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone under in three of Montreal’s last five games.
  • Montreal is ranked 31st this season with 13.2 giveaways per game. That figure has improved recently, however, as the teams averaged 10.7 giveaways over its last 10 games and 11.4 giveaways over its last five.
  • Colorado has averaged 7.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 6.2 giveaways per game (ranked fifth overall).
  • The Habs this season have handed the third-most hits in the NHL (25.2 per game), but the teams averaged 32.4 over their last five games as the home team.