The NHL is enjoying a league-wide offensive renaissance this season – but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the total for Thursday night’s Eastern Conference showdown between the New York Islanders and the host Montreal Canadiens. This game opened with a rock-bottom total of 5, due in large part to the quality netminding being provided by Islanders starter and Vezina Trophy candidate Robin Lehner, and Canadiens counterpart Carey Price.
Islanders vs Canadiens Betting Analysis
Montreal is the oddsmakers’ choice in this one despite having lost four of five overall while also dropping five consecutive games on one day of rest. But the Canadiens are 5-2 in their past seven as a home favourite, and have won 13 of the previous 18 meetings with the Islanders. The visitors are an impressive 6-2 in their previous eight games as a road underdog of between +110 and +150, and are 15-7 in their last 22 games on one day of rest.
From a totals standpoint, oddsmakers are really testing the commitment of bettors who have a plethora of under trends to choose from in this one. The Canadiens are an incredible 13-2-1 to the under in their previous 16 games when favoured at home, and are 6-0-2 to the under in their last eight against the Metropolitan Division. That matches up well with the Islanders, who have 21 unders and two pushes in their past 26 games against teams with winning records.
New York Islanders
While the Islanders certainly have the defence and goaltending to be a major problem for teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs, they’ll almost certainly need to work on their offence down the stretch. New York enters Thursday having scored just 12 goals over its previous six games, and have fallen to 21st overall in goals per game (2.77). That mark is even lower for the month (2.00), with Anders Lee accounting for five of their 20 goals so far in March.
The Canadiens find themselves in a similar predicament as they enter the day one point back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Montreal has scored more than three goals in just two of its previous eight games, a major reason why it’s just 3-5-0 SU over that span. Price, as expected, has received the bulk of the work in the final stretch of the season, and has allowed just six goals over his previous four games.