Slumping Habs Host Atlantic-Leading Bruins
The Montreal Canadiens Face the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night at home as they are in the middle of their worst losing streak of the season. They’ve dropped four-straight games and face no easy task when they welcome their division rivals to town. None of the four losses was as painful as Saturday night’s defeat to the New York Rangers. The Habs were Up 4-0 in the second period. They stopped battling and watched their lead slip away, ultimately losing 6-5 in regulation. You can be sure the Canadiens will be focused for the Bruins at the Bell Centre.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), TSN2, RDS (Montreal); LINE: Bruins -115; O/U: 6 Over -115.
If they’re going to win against the first-place Bruins, Montreal is going to need to figure out their defensive coverage. They’ve allowed four or more goals in three of their last four games. The squad has also left their goaltenders out to dry in the process. This recent slump has caused the Canadiens to slip to third in the division, and eight points behind Boston.
“When you lose four in a row, you’re going to be frustrated,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien told the media. “We’ve picked up two out of a possible eight points. We know where we are in the standings, and we want to stay there and be among the best teams.”
The Bruins are on the opposite side of the spectrum. They’ve won three straight games and lead the NHL in goal differential at +23. That tremendous differential is largely due to the Bruin’s tremendous defense. The D has allowed the fourth-fewest goals against this season, with 60 . The Boston Bruins hoped to have turned the corner on the injury front. Not so as that hope turned to misery as one of their top stars experience a setback. The Bruins will be without four-time Selke Trophy recipient Patrice Bergeron tonight.
Bergeron didn’t look the worse for wear after collecting four assists in Boston’s 5-4 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Coach Bruce Cassidy has elected to play it safe with the 34-year-old forward. “We just want to make sure when he’s in the lineup he’s not going to put himself at further risk,” Cassidy told reporters Monday. “So the medical staff will stay on top of it and we’ll go from there.” Boston has won three in a row and is 4-0-1 its last five contests.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Atlantic leading Bruins are 15-3-5 on the season. David Krejci has 14 points in his last 12 games. He has four goals and 10 assists. He skated in Bergeron’s place in Monday’s practice alongside Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “I think (there’s) a little more pressure defensively when (he’s) out,” Marchand said of Bergeron. “You realize how good he is at both ends of the rink, what he does to shut down other team’s top lines. He’s obviously a huge hole for our team to fill, but we just have to rely on the next guy in the lineup and collectively be really good.” Marchand has been pretty good in his own right. The pesky 31-year-old was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday. He got the award after collecting three goals, four assists and a plus-6 rating over a five-day stretch.
The Canadiens are 11-7-5 on the season. Saturday’s setback didn’t sit well with Tomas Tatar. It bothered him so much so that he wanted to return to the ice to right a perceived wrong. “I just wanted to come here and work on it. The day off, when you mess up like that, you’re happy with a little break from hockey, but it’s kind of eating you alive,” Tatar told reporters Monday. Tatar leads the team in assists with 13 and points with 20. He scored and set up a goal in Montreal’s 5-4 win over Boston on Nov. 5th.
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The Dart Throw: Canadiens 3, Bruins 2
Bruins vs Canadiens Trends
- Trend Under is 4-1-1 in Canadiens last 6 games as a home favorite of -201 or greater. Hit % 80.00% (6) O/U 1|4 Push 1 W/L
- Under is 11-5-2 in Canadiens last 18 games as a favorite of -110 to -150. 68.80% (18) 5|11 2
- Under is 6-1-1 in Canadiens last 8 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150. 85.70% (8) 1|6 1
- Over is 4-1 in Canadiens last 5 games a home underdog of +151 to +200. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Trend Under is 8-1 in Bruins last 9 games as a road underdog of +201 or greater. Hit % 88.90% (9) O/U 1|8 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 7-3 in Bruins last 10 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. 70.00% (10) 7|3 0
- Under is 15-5-2 in Bruins last 22 games as a road favorite of -151 to -200. 75.00% (22) 5|15 2
- Under is 8-2 in Bruins last 10 games as an underdog of +201 or greater. 80.00% (10) 4|1 2
Bruins vs Habs Meetings Trends
- Trend Under is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings. Hit % 87.50% (8) O/U 1|7 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 5-2-2 in the last 9 meetings in Montreal. 71.40% (9) 2|5 2
- Bruins are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Montreal. 83.30% (6) 0 5|1
- Bruins are 8-3 in the last 11 meetings. 72.70% (11) 0 8|3
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