NHL picks: 4 best bets for Canadiens v Golden Knights Game 2
Our NHL expert has picked out his four best bets for Game 2 between the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night.
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Vegas Golden Knights (-1.5)
The Golden Knights withstood an early onslaught from the Canadiens to take over Game 1 and eventually pull away from the series underdogs. It was a reminder of just how good Vegas can be when they are on their game. Marc-Andre Fleury was sensational and the offense as a whole was clicking in the second and third periods.
With the Golden Knights so heavily favored, the puck line looks like the better play to get some more value out of the series. I wanted to see how the first game would go and what struck me most about the game is that Carey Price was his usual excellent self and even as he made save after save, it still wasn’t good enough to keep Montreal in the game.
On top of that, the presence of Jeff Petry on Montreal’s blue line was sorely missed. There’s just no one that can adequately replace his minutes, especially against a team with the depth that Vegas has.
I can’t see Montreal coming away with any wins in Vegas in this series and as a result, I like the Golden Knights’ chances of putting up some multi-goal wins in front of the raucous crowd at T-Mobile Arena.
Under 5.5 total goals
With Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price in net for each team, goals are going to be tough to come by throughout the series. Fleury was sharp and Price looked outstanding in Game 1. They kept it just under five goals in that first game and I think we’re going to see much the same.
What will be most interesting to watch in Game 2 is how the coaches make their adjustments. Pete DeBoer is an excellent tactician who tends to find ways to get his team to really slow down the opposition. So, I’d expect Vegas to have both a better start and a more consistent effort period-to-period, which will make it even tougher for Montreal to score.
Shea Theodore to score 1+ points
Theodore had a goal and an assist in Game 1 as the Vegas defenseman played a significant role in the scoring attack. Theodore is one of those guys that can go in and out of a series a little bit in terms of his offensive prowess, but he was dominant against Montreal in that first look at the Habs.
Vegas is clearly using their defensemen to pick up some slack for them offensively and Montreal’s style has left them a little exposed in terms of defending the opposing team’s offensive blueliners. Theodore had such a huge impact on Game 1 that it’s hard to see that not continuing, though I’m going a little more conservative in picking him to score just one point.
Under 58.5 total shots on goals
There were 59 shots in the first game and as I noted earlier, I think Vegas is going to make shots even tougher to come by. They were on their heels a little bit early and I don’t anticipate Montreal will do anything that surprises them in Game 2. So, my expectation is that Vegas is going to be better at shot suppression in this next contest.
On top of that, Montreal has a better idea of what they’re dealing with and likely will make some adjustments of their own to keep shots to a minimum. They have to find ways to defend the Vegas attack more effectively and as they showed against both Toronto and Winnipeg, they can do a decent job of at least slowing the opposition down.
It’s a much tougher task this time around, but I think it will be enough to keep the shot count a bit lower in Game 2.
BOOSTED DOUBLE: Vegas to win & Shea Theodore to score 1+ points
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