Colorado Avalanche (1-3-1) at Montreal Canadiens (4-1-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 18, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens / Colorado Avalanche --- Over/Under:
The Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens will play Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
The Colorado Avalanche have gotten off to a rocky start on both sides of the ice, especially on the offensive end where they’re struggling to score. The Avalanche were shutout in the first two games of the season and are averaging just 1.4 goals per game in five contests. The Avalanche have lost 10 of their last 11 regular season games when scoring two or less goals. Nathan MacKinnon has three assists, Ryan O'Reilly has 15 shots on goal and Gabriel Landeskog has scored the teams only power play goal. To make matters worse for the Avalanche, Reto Berra is questionable with a head injury, leaving 22-year-old Calvin Pickard Colorado’s only healthy goalie at this point. The Colorado Avalanche are an experienced bunch that should turn things around but a matchup against Montreal isn’t ideal for a struggling squad.
The Montreal Canadiens are a solid 4-1 and hope to take advantage of some of these home games ahead. Montreal has picked up its offense lately by scoring 11 goals in its last three games, including two power play goals in their recent win over the Boston Bruins. Tomas Plekanec leads the Canadiens with four goals, Alexei Emelin has four assists and P.K. Subban has 14 shots on goal and has found the net once. The Montreal Canadiens have won 17 straight regular season games when scoring more than two goals. The concern for Montreal has to be the goaltending of Carey Price, who is 3-1 in his four starts but has allowed 14 goals in 111 shots faced. The Canadiens are ranked 26th in the league in goals against with an average of 3.6.
The Avalanche are 1-8 in their last 9 road games and 1-4 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest. The Canadiens are 7-3 in their last 10 home games and 4-1 in their last 5 overall. The home team is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
I'm not sure how anybody can back the Avalanche with the way they've been playing out of the gate. Give me the red hot Montreal Canadiens at home.