New York Islanders (31-37-11) at Montreal Canadiens (45-27-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 10, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -240 / New York Islanders +217 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Canadiens look to shake off a tough loss on the road in Chicago last night as they return home to host the New York Islanders.
The Islanders were expected to be playoff contenders this season after slipping into hockey’s second season last year and giving the Penguins a scare but unfortunately for them they are back to their old ways and will not be going to the playoffs this year. New York made some moves in the early going that made a bunch of people scratch their heads and ultimately the deal for Thomas Vanek which yielded very low in return at the trade deadline has been the summary of the season for Long Island hockey fans. The John Tavares injury made matters worse but at that point the Isles were pretty well out of contention so holding the team’s best player out for the rest of the year seems like the best move and here’s to hoping he has a full and speedy recovery so hockey fans can continue to bask in his skillset. The team heads to Montreal on Thursday night looking to play spoiler against the playoff bound Canadiens who dropped an overtime decision in Chicago last night.
The Canadiens will be the only team from Nort of the border who will be competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs and for good reason as they’re certainly the best shot to bring the Cup to Canada this season which has been absent since Montreal won the league title in 1993. Montreal has had a special season from Max Pacioretty who has broken out as one of the game’s premier goal scorers and the addition of former Islanders and Sabres forward Vanek, who has been the subject of scrutiny over the last season and a half has really flourished with his new line mate. Montreal to me is a team that has a great shot at pulling off not only a first round series victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning but pose a threat to upend the Boston Bruins in the second round and emerge as Atlantic division champions. Montreal did drop a tough game last night but will get Carey Price back between the pipes in this one and with home ice still on the line I think the Canadiens make a statement to the rest of the Eastern Conference.