Every team enters the NHL season with hopes of going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, but as the season progresses, teams tend to change their goals quite dramatically. By the time we reach the late stages of the regular season, which is exactly where we are now, it really does all become about just making sure that you are in a position to actually make the playoffs. Anything outside of that, such as a division title, is nothing more than the icing on the cake.
The New York Islanders have an opportunity to have a little taste of that icing, as they are still in a position where winning the Metropolitan Division is not out of the question. They have some work to do if they are to get there and they have a tough one ahead of them on Thursday night. The Islanders will be on the road to face a Montreal Canadiens team who are fighting to get above the playoff line and into a Wild Card spot. The Canadiens are favored by 1 ½, with the O/U set at 5 ½.
Islanders vs Canadiens NHL Spread & Game Analysis
- When: Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 PM EST
- Where: Bell Centre, Montreal
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Spread: Montreal Canadiens -150 (Total 5)
Why bet on the New York Islanders?
The New York Islanders are still hanging around in the Metropolitan Division, but they are on a run of form that is not helping their cause all that much. The Islanders are sitting 3 games back of the Washington Capitals at the top, which is by no means an insurmountable gap, but they are also just 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Islanders have split their season series with Montreal thus far, with both of those earlier games being played at home. They will be on the road for this one, where they have gone a very respectable 20-12-3. When it comes to covering the spread, the Islanders are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings with Montreal. Overall, they have gone 18-17 ATS away from home this season.
- Goals: 2.82
- Shots: 28.30
- PP/PK Percentage: 15.12
- Goals: 2.44
- Shots: 30.77
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.40
Why bet on the Montreal Canadiens?
There are no two ways about it, the Montreal Canadiens need to win as many of their remaining 9 games as possible, as they are currently sitting below the playoff line, just a single point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets in the race for the Wild Card. Even though the Canadiens are just 5-5 in their last 10 games, they have been able to make up a little bit of ground on the Blue Jackets, who are going through a particularly rough patch of form at the moment.
If Montreal is to make it into the postseason, they are going to need to take advantage of their remaining home games. This is a team that has gone 20-12-4 in the Bell Centre, so they certainly have a shot. Montreal has a record of 20-16 ATS at home, but they are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 overall.
- Goals: 2.95
- Shots: 33.71
- PP/PK Percentage: 11.93
- Goals: 2.92
- Shots: 31.00
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.64
Islanders vs Canadiens NHL Betting Trends
- NY Islanders is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games
- NY Islanders is 14-7 SU in its last 21 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NY Islanders’s last 5 games
- Montreal is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing NY Islanders
- Montreal is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Montreal’s last 5 games at home
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Neither of these teams is playing particularly well right now, but both of them have a lot to play for, so this should be a good one. I think we are in for a low-scoring affair here, and I like the Islanders to get the win.
Score: New York Islanders 3 – Montreal Canadiens 1