In a clash of contrasting fortunes, the Montreal Canadiens and the Anaheim Ducks are set to face off. The Canadiens, currently struggling to find their form, will be eager to turn their season around. On the other hand, the Ducks have shown promise and will aim to continue their upward trajectory. With both teams seeking points, this game promises high-intensity action and a battle of wills. Here is our Canadiens vs Ducks Prediction.
Montreal's Uphill Battle
The Montreal Canadiens find themselves in a challenging spot as they approach this pivotal matchup. With a record of 7-9-2, they currently occupy the 8th position in the Atlantic Division, highlighting their struggles in the early stages of the 2023-2024 NHL season. In their recent outings, the Canadiens have experienced a rollercoaster of results, with victories over strong opponents offset by disappointing losses.
One of the key issues plaguing the Canadiens is their offensive production. They've managed to score just 51 goals so far this season, ranking them 23rd in the league. Cole Caufield leads the team with 5 goals, but the lack of consistent scoring threats has been evident. Their power play, operating at a decent 20%, has room for improvement, presenting an opportunity to boost their goal-scoring prowess.
Defensively, the Canadiens have allowed a concerning 64 goals, placing them 26th in the league in goals against. This porous defense has been a major factor contributing to their struggles. The penalty kill percentage of 74.4% is an area they need to address to prevent opponents from capitalizing on their penalties. In the crease, goaltender Sam Montembeault has shown promise with a 2.78 goals-against average (GAA) and a .908 save percentage (SV%), indicating his ability to keep the Canadiens competitive. However, he'll need more support from the defense to tighten up their defensive play.
Ducks on the Rise
The Anaheim Ducks head into this crucial matchup with a more optimistic outlook, boasting a 9-9 record in the 2023-2024 NHL season. Situated in the 5th spot in the Pacific Division, they have displayed steady progress and resilience in recent games. With three wins in their last five outings, the Ducks are gaining momentum.
Offensively, the Ducks have scored a total of 51 goals, which places them 23rd in the league. Frank Vatrano has been a standout player for Anaheim, leading the team with an impressive 12 goals. Ryan Strome's 12 assists have played a vital role in facilitating the team's scoring opportunities. Their power play, operating at 19.7%, has been effective in converting chances into goals.
Defensively, the Ducks have allowed 56 goals, ranking 17th in the league in goals against. Goaltender John Gibson has been a pillar of strength with a stellar 2.27 goals-against average (GAA) and a remarkable .926 save percentage (SV%). This solid goaltending has been instrumental in their competitive performances. The Ducks' penalty kill, operating at 81.7%, is another area where they've excelled, preventing opposing teams from gaining the upper hand during power plays.
The Ducks' balanced offensive and defensive play, combined with their goaltending prowess, give them a competitive edge in this matchup against the struggling Canadiens. Their consistency in recent performances bodes well for their prospects in the game.
David’s Pick - Anaheim Ducks -132
My pick for this game is the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have shown consistency in recent performances, particularly in goal-scoring and defense. John Gibson's stellar goaltending and their effective power play and penalty kill percentages make them a formidable force. Considering the Canadiens' recent struggles, the Ducks have a favorable outlook for this matchup. The pick of the Anaheim Ducks is well-founded in statistics and trends. The Ducks have displayed a balanced and effective style of play, with strong performances in both offense and defense. John Gibson's remarkable 2.27 GAA and .926 SV% demonstrate his ability to shut down opponents, giving Anaheim a defensive edge. Furthermore, the Ducks' power play, operating at 19.7%, provides them with an advantage when capitalizing on scoring opportunities, while their 81.7% penalty kill ensures they can weather opposing power plays effectively. In contrast, the Montreal Canadiens have struggled in multiple facets of their game, including offense, defense, and penalty kill. Their recent 7-9-2 record and a lack of offensive depth make them vulnerable against a well-rounded Ducks team.