Montreal Canadiens (30-16-8) at Colorado Avalanche (14-33-2)
|Date & Time||Tuesday February 7, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche +158 / Montreal Canadiens -175 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Montreal Canadiens look to shake out of their ugly losing ways as they take on the league’s worst team in the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
The Canadiens have hit a bump in the road as the second half of the schedule is under way and with the Atlantic division starting to heat up they have lost their grip on a commanding lead and will have to sharpen up down the stretch if they’re going to take top spot. Montreal has had issues scoring this season and have had a handful of injuries to deal with and while their defense and goaltending have been strong as usual they need to sort out their forward group and may have a first person audition tonight for Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. Montreal has dropped four of their last five on the road and four of their last five overall and are coming off a shootout loss on Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers. Carey Price is expected to be back in the cage after a night off and he will face off against Calvin Pickard who has taken over as the Avs’ number one option.
The Avalanche have been abysmal this season and could be in line for another first overall draft pick in the offseason as they have been a head scratcher as they have some very nice pieces but haven’t been able to put it together. The Avs are rumored to have both Duchene and former first overall pick Nathan Mackinnon on the trade block and the Canadiens have long been linked to the former as he would slide right into a top six role with Montreal and provide them with some offensive swagger while giving Duchene a change of scenery he seems like he needs. Pickard has been thrown into starter’s role after Semyon Varlamov was sidelined after surgery and he is not in a spot to succeed as they are a team rebuilding and are looking towards the future.
The Canadiens are 1-5 in their last six when playing on one day’s rest and 4-0 in their last four Tuesday games while the Avalanche are 2-5 in their last seven against the Atlantic and 2-10 in their last 12 playing on two day’s rest. Montreal needs to get a win and with Price back in they should but the line here is chalky so the best bet is on the total and this one should stay well under the number.