Montreal Canadiens (34-22-7) at Anaheim Ducks (43-14-5)
|Date & Time||Wednesday March 5, 2014, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -186 / Montreal Canadiens +169 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Canadiens look to shake off a loss in Los Angeles in their last outing as they head to Anaheim to take on the league leading Ducks.
The Canadiens were one of the league’s hottest teams heading into the Sochi break and while they started off continuing their winning ways upon return they faltered against the Kings and remain eight points back of the Bruins for the division lead. Montreal sits in second spot in the Atlantic and are currently holding the Lightning and Maple Leafs at bay but with a number of games remaining in the regular season the jockeying will continue until the bitter end. Montreal may not have played their best game in Los Angeles but they didn’t play horribly and certainly had their chances and with a day’s rest here they should be ready for whatever the league leaders will throw at them although with the trade deadline happening it’ll be interesting to see exactly what pieces the Ducks and Canadiens still retain.
Anaheim has been on fire all season long and as mentioned sit on top of the league standings there are teams hot on their heels as the Blues, Blackhawks, and Penguins are all within striking distance in the President’s Trophy race. The Ducks made some moves yesterday as they shipped Dustin Penner to the Capitals, Viktor Fasth to the Oilers, as well as landing Stephane Robidas from the Stars but the rumor mill is turning and all points indicate that the Ducks cleared some cap room to acquire Thomas Vanek from the Islanders who is certainly one of the most coveted targets heading into today’s deadline. The Ducks have been remarkable all year especially on home ice but I really don’t like the line here even without Carey Price in goal for the Habs. I am not willing to suggest taking Montreal on the money line but with player’s likely switching destinations for the Ducks I think they could be a bit shorthanded leaving them open for a possible upset.