Senators at Canadiens – NHL Pick for November 29th

by Cameron Dorrett
on November 29, 2017
Ottawa Senators (+1.5)
VS
Montreal Canadiens (-1.5)
Total: 5.5

After a giant slate of games in the NHL on Tuesday evening, the league focuses in on a few key matchups for Rivalry Night on Wednesday. There are only four games to place your wagers on so it’s easy to take some time and think about your bets. To help with the process, I’m going to take a look at another all Canadian matchup out East with a surprising amount at stake already for both teams in this young season.

The Montreal Canadiens visit Canada’s capital for a date with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night and there’s certainly no love lost between either of these teams. Montreal has started off the season with a brutal stretch, but have shown signs of life as of late with two straight wins. They’re now carrying a .500 record over their last ten games with a 4-4-2 mark which at least suggests they’re beginning to trend in the right direction.

Montreal’s biggest problem this season has been…well..everything. They rank 30th in offense, 25th in defense and have been dealing with aging stars and injuries. There is some good news for the Habs though, and it comes in net where they desperately need it. Carey Price has long been considered the best goalie, but some health concerns at the start of the year eventually forced him to miss some games. Since his return to the lineup, he’s earned a ridiculous save percentage of .986 over his last two games. He’s also dominant against Ottawa in his career with a 20-8-4 record and will be looking to continue his winning ways on Wednesday night.

As strong as Price has looked since his ten-game absence, the Canadiens still need to score. That’s where Max Pacioretty comes in. Montreal’s captain has fallen under a ton of scrutiny lately for his inability to generate offense. He has just one point over his last five games (an assist) but at least it came in his most recent contest. If he can find his scoring touch again then Montreal will be primed to go on a run.

Standing in their way are the struggling Ottawa Senators. The Sens have lost six straight games and are now a point behind the Canadiens in the standings. While Ottawa ranks 12th in offense, they’ve found it difficult to stop anyone in their own end. They rank a dismal 27th in defense on the season and are allowing a brutal 3.36 goals a game. Over their six-game losing streak, they’ve given up 21 goals and will need to find a way to stop the bleeding fast against a Montreal team that has suddenly found some momentum.

While Craig Anderson was one of the feel-good stories of the year last season after turning in an amazing year while his wife battled cancer, he hasn’t been his usual self so far this season. His save percentage is under .900 and he hasn’t won a game since November 11th. Luckily for Anderson and the rest of his Ottawa teammates, Montreal carries one of the worst offenses in the league into this matchup.

This Senators team carries too much talent on defense and in net to let the Canadiens get the best of them in this rivalry matchup. Ottawa is paying an awesome +130 on the road and their losing streak is bound to stop eventually. Erik Karlsson is too strong of a player to be shut down forever and his desire to win will rise to the top on a night his team desperately needs a victory. Ride this one out and grab the Senators on the moneyline.

Pick: Ottawa on the Moneyline at +130.
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