Detroit Red Wings @ Montreal Canadiens Free NHL Pick 1/25/12
There is only one game left on the NHL betting schedule before the All Star Break takes place for the weekend, and it should be a tremendous battle in the Great White North, where the Montreal Canadiens will host the Detroit Red Wings.
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The Red Wings are going to go into the second half of the season with a lead in the Central Division, and they are also going to have the high point total in hockey. However, they would feel a heck of a lot better if they had a four-point cushion on the rest of the crowded field in the division than they would if they were just two points up. If there has been a problem this year for Detroit though, it has been playing on the road. There is no doubt that at home, the team is as good as it gets with a 20-2-1 mark on the campaign. This 13-13-0 record on the road is ugly though, and eventually, that is probably going to have to improve if the team is going to end up contending for the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings are riding another one of their fantastic winning streaks; this one spans seven straight games. The offense has been a bit of a disappointment, scoring more than three goals in just one game since January 3rd, but Jimmy Howard has made it stand up by proving why he is one of the best net minders in the game. With 30 wins and a 1.95 GAA already in his corner, Howard is manning the fifth ranked defense in hockey at 2.2 goals per game, and he is going to be strongly considered for the Vezina Trophy this year.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens are really struggling still, and there is a point that their season will truly ultimately end up being a waste. They only have 45 points through 48 games, leaving them 10 points off the pace of a slew of teams with 55 that are right on the cusp of the postseason. It’s not an impossible hill to climb, but the team really has to string a bunch of wins together in a hurry to get the job done. A season full of frustrating injuries was made worse two weeks ago when Brian Gionta tore his bicep, an injury that might cost him the rest of the year. The good news for this one is that Carey Price should be back in the lineup after suffering a laceration over the weekend, though the newly acquired Rene Bourque is still in doubt with the flu. Just as the Red Wings have struggled on the road this year, the Habs haven’t done well here at the Bell Centre for whatever reason. The team is just 8-9-7 at home this year, and those seven OT losses are truly killers.
Detroit Red Wings @ Montreal Canadiens Pick: The world is jumping on the Detroit bandwagon right now in this one, but we are still insistent that the Canadiens are as good as a lot of teams in the league. Had even four of those seven OT games swung the other way, we would be talking about a lot different Montreal squad. Back the Canadiens to get the job done and grab at least a tad bit of momentum going into the All Star break.
Free Hockey Pick: Montreal Canadiens
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