Daily Sports Pick ’Em 1/21 — Back Canadiens Against the Canucks
After a thrilling shootout ending on Wednesday, the Canucks and Canadiens are set to square off again at Rogers Arena Thursday.
The Canadiens are in the midst of a six-game road trip to begin their season and are off to a 2–0–2 start. The Canadiens swept the Oilers last week before dropping a high-scoring matchup to Vancouver last night.
Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser each scored two goals to lead the way for Vancouver in a 6–5 victory. The Canucks are 2–3 after snapping a three-game losing streak in their first home contest. The win took Vancouver out of the cellar of the North Division.
Vancouver was finally able to break their power play woes Wednesday after missing out on their first 15 opportunities this season. The Canucks capitalized on three of their six opportunities Wednesday after Montreal committed many uncharacteristic penalties.
Montreal still managed to outshoot Vancouver 36–28 and got a hat trick from Tyler Toffoli. Prior to last night, Carey Price was 7–0–1 in his last eight matchups against Vancouver. Price saved 82 percent of his shots last night and has struggled to start the season.
Montreal holds a significant analytical advantage against a Vancouver team that is conceding the highest amount of goals in the North Division. Montreal held a significant advantage in 5-on-5 Wednesday, posting a 1.99 Expected Goals For (xGF) compared to 1.52 for Vancouver.
Jake Allen is expected to get the start for the second time this season tonight. This should give another boost to the Habs as Carey has been hit-miss since last season. If the Canadiens can avoid penalties and get another strong goalkeeping effort from Allen, the Canadiens will come away with a victory.
PICK: Montreal -135