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Montreal Canadiens vs Columbus Blue Jackets prediction 10-26-23 NHL Picks

Montreal Canadiens (3-2-1) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2-1)
2023-10-26 19:00:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Montreal Canadiens -132 / Columbus Blue Jackets +106 --- Over/Under: 6.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Montreal Canadiens are facing off north of the border on Thursday. Both teams sit at a 3-2-1 record, but don’t let the identical stats fool you—each brings a unique set of challenges to the ice. Columbus is holding down the fourth spot in the Metropolitan Division, while Montreal is nestled at fifth in the Atlantic. With both teams hungry for victory, this Eastern Conference showdown is sure to please all NHL fans.

Blue Jackets Riding High But Not Invincible

The Columbus Blue Jackets are entering this contest with a mixed record, but their recent loss to the Anaheim Ducks in overtime stands exposed problems. The team managed 37 shots on goal but couldn’t find the back of the net when it mattered most. Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins had a strong outing, recording a 2.69 goals-against average (GAA) and a .913 save percentage. However, even his standout performance couldn’t snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Offensively, Boone Jenner has been the team’s go-to guy, with four goals and one assist to his name.

Despite their offense being relatively robust, the power play has been a sore spot, converting at a subpar rate of 14.3%. This inefficiency could become a significant handicap as they face off against Montreal, a team with a similar power-play percentage but a slightly more porous penalty kill. The Blue Jackets’ own penalty kill stands at a solid 85%. With Patrik Laine’s offensive firepower missing due to injury, the team must look to secondary scorers like Oliver Bjorkstrand and Jack Roslovic to step up.

Key trends also indicate some potential pitfalls for the Blue Jackets. Columbus  performance in back-to-back games has been less than stellar, with a record of 1-3 in the last four instances. This could be a red flag, especially considering the physical toll that games can take on players. Moreover, the Blue Jackets record against Atlantic Division teams last season was mediocre, at best. Given these trends, a win against Montreal could serve as a momentum builder for the team while a loss will drop them even lower in the standings.

Columbus Blue Jackets Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won five of the Blue Jackets’ last six games.
  • The Blue Jackets have covered the puck line in eight of their last nine games as underdogs against the Canadiens.
  • The Blue Jackets have lost the second period in seven of their last eight games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The ‘Over 1.5 Goals Period 3′ market has hit in each of the Blue Jackets’ last seven games after coming off overtime.

Canadiens: A Blend of Brilliance and Blunders

The Montreal Canadiens are still recovering from their recent 5-2 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, a game that highlighted several defensive lapses. Tyler Toffoli’s three goals for the Devils laid bare the vulnerabilities in Montreal’s defense. Montreal netminder Jake Allen boasts respectable stats with a 2.58 GAA and a .929 save percentage, but his efforts were not enough to thwart the Devils’ attack. Cole Caufield leads the team with three goals and three assists, making him the focal point of the Canadiens’ attacking unit.

However, the team’s special teams need work. The power play has been average, converting at just 16.7%, and the penalty kill is even more concerning at 75.8%. The Canadiens also have the dubious distinction of leading the league in penalty minutes with 113. Injuries have also hit the roster hard, with crucial players like David Savard and Kirby Dach on injured reserve. The lack of depth due to these injuries puts added pressure on Allen to keep the puck out of the net, and on Caufield to continue his scoring ways, while giving lesser experienced players more ice time.

Trends for the Canadiens are a mixed bag. Historically, they have performed well against Metropolitan Division teams, which bodes well for this matchup. However, their record in games following a loss has been inconsistent. Another trend to consider is Montreal’s home performance; last season, the Canadiens had a strong home record, which could give them the edge in this contest. 

Montreal Canadiens Team Facts

  • The Canadiens have lost three of their last four games as favorites following a home loss.
  • The road team has covered the puck line in five of the Canadiens’ last six games.
  • The Canadiens have won the second period in each of their last four games at Bell Centre following a loss.
  • The ‘Over 1.5 Goals Period 3’ market has hit in each of the last 12 games between the Blue Jackets and Canadiens.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Montreal Canadiens ranks 2nd in the league in penalty minutes this season (113).
  • The Montreal Canadiens ranks T28th in the league for shots against per game this season (35.2).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets ranks T1st in the league in short handed goals allowed this season (1).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets ranks T5th in the league for power play goals against this season (3).

David’s Pick – Montreal Canadiens (-132)

This is a tough call, but I’m leaning towards the Montreal Canadiens. Both teams have had problems thus far, but the Canadiens have the offensive upside and home-ice advantage. The Blue Jackets’ recent penalty woes could prove costly against a Canadiens team eager to improve power-play statistics. Elvis Merzlikins is a solid goaltender, but Jake Allen’s superior numbers give Montreal the edge in netminding. Given the Canadiens’ need to rebound from a recent loss and the Blue Jackets’ lackluster power play, I expect the Canadiens to pull off a win in what should be a closely contested battle.

Bill D's Free Pick: Montreal Canadiens (-132)

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Montreal Canadiens vs Columbus Blue Jackets prediction 10-26-23 NHL Picks

Montreal Canadiens (3-2-1) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2-1)
2023-10-26 19:00:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Montreal Canadiens -132 / Columbus Blue Jackets +106 --- Over/Under: 6.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Montreal Canadiens are facing off north of the border on Thursday. Both teams sit at a 3-2-1 record, but don’t let the identical stats fool you—each brings a unique set of challenges to the ice. Columbus is holding down the fourth spot in the Metropolitan Division, while Montreal is nestled at fifth in the Atlantic. With both teams hungry for victory, this Eastern Conference showdown is sure to please all NHL fans.

Blue Jackets Riding High But Not Invincible

The Columbus Blue Jackets are entering this contest with a mixed record, but their recent loss to the Anaheim Ducks in overtime stands exposed problems. The team managed 37 shots on goal but couldn’t find the back of the net when it mattered most. Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins had a strong outing, recording a 2.69 goals-against average (GAA) and a .913 save percentage. However, even his standout performance couldn’t snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Offensively, Boone Jenner has been the team’s go-to guy, with four goals and one assist to his name.

Despite their offense being relatively robust, the power play has been a sore spot, converting at a subpar rate of 14.3%. This inefficiency could become a significant handicap as they face off against Montreal, a team with a similar power-play percentage but a slightly more porous penalty kill. The Blue Jackets’ own penalty kill stands at a solid 85%. With Patrik Laine’s offensive firepower missing due to injury, the team must look to secondary scorers like Oliver Bjorkstrand and Jack Roslovic to step up.

Key trends also indicate some potential pitfalls for the Blue Jackets. Columbus  performance in back-to-back games has been less than stellar, with a record of 1-3 in the last four instances. This could be a red flag, especially considering the physical toll that games can take on players. Moreover, the Blue Jackets record against Atlantic Division teams last season was mediocre, at best. Given these trends, a win against Montreal could serve as a momentum builder for the team while a loss will drop them even lower in the standings.

Columbus Blue Jackets Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won five of the Blue Jackets’ last six games.
  • The Blue Jackets have covered the puck line in eight of their last nine games as underdogs against the Canadiens.
  • The Blue Jackets have lost the second period in seven of their last eight games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The ‘Over 1.5 Goals Period 3′ market has hit in each of the Blue Jackets’ last seven games after coming off overtime.

Canadiens: A Blend of Brilliance and Blunders

The Montreal Canadiens are still recovering from their recent 5-2 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, a game that highlighted several defensive lapses. Tyler Toffoli’s three goals for the Devils laid bare the vulnerabilities in Montreal’s defense. Montreal netminder Jake Allen boasts respectable stats with a 2.58 GAA and a .929 save percentage, but his efforts were not enough to thwart the Devils’ attack. Cole Caufield leads the team with three goals and three assists, making him the focal point of the Canadiens’ attacking unit.

However, the team’s special teams need work. The power play has been average, converting at just 16.7%, and the penalty kill is even more concerning at 75.8%. The Canadiens also have the dubious distinction of leading the league in penalty minutes with 113. Injuries have also hit the roster hard, with crucial players like David Savard and Kirby Dach on injured reserve. The lack of depth due to these injuries puts added pressure on Allen to keep the puck out of the net, and on Caufield to continue his scoring ways, while giving lesser experienced players more ice time.

Trends for the Canadiens are a mixed bag. Historically, they have performed well against Metropolitan Division teams, which bodes well for this matchup. However, their record in games following a loss has been inconsistent. Another trend to consider is Montreal’s home performance; last season, the Canadiens had a strong home record, which could give them the edge in this contest. 

Montreal Canadiens Team Facts

  • The Canadiens have lost three of their last four games as favorites following a home loss.
  • The road team has covered the puck line in five of the Canadiens’ last six games.
  • The Canadiens have won the second period in each of their last four games at Bell Centre following a loss.
  • The ‘Over 1.5 Goals Period 3’ market has hit in each of the last 12 games between the Blue Jackets and Canadiens.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Montreal Canadiens ranks 2nd in the league in penalty minutes this season (113).
  • The Montreal Canadiens ranks T28th in the league for shots against per game this season (35.2).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets ranks T1st in the league in short handed goals allowed this season (1).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets ranks T5th in the league for power play goals against this season (3).

David’s Pick – Montreal Canadiens (-132)

This is a tough call, but I’m leaning towards the Montreal Canadiens. Both teams have had problems thus far, but the Canadiens have the offensive upside and home-ice advantage. The Blue Jackets’ recent penalty woes could prove costly against a Canadiens team eager to improve power-play statistics. Elvis Merzlikins is a solid goaltender, but Jake Allen’s superior numbers give Montreal the edge in netminding. Given the Canadiens’ need to rebound from a recent loss and the Blue Jackets’ lackluster power play, I expect the Canadiens to pull off a win in what should be a closely contested battle.

Bill D's Free Pick: Montreal Canadiens (-132)

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