Montreal Canadiens (28-24-11) at Winnipeg Jets (34-23-3)
Both of these teams were the lower seed in their last series and now face off in Game 1 of the North Division Finals. This game can be seen on NBCSN.
The Jets are the slight home betting favorite in this game posted at -120 with the Canadiens at +100 and a total of 5.5 goals.
The Canadiens scored a big upset in the first round of the playoffs eliminating the division’s top-seed in the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games. they had a big comeback in the series, as they were down 3-1 winning the last three games to advance.
While it took Montreal all seven games to win their playoff series the Jets swept the Edmonton Oilers in four games. They came up big in the clutch, as in the last three games they won in overtime in each one.
The Jets were 6-3 against the Canadiens this season but lost the last time facing them.
The underdog has won the last four games between these teams.
Big Time Comeback
The Canadiens roared back from a 3-1 deficit in the last series against the Maple Leafs outscoring them 10-6. Montreal won three of the four games in the series on the road.
Carey Price (12-7-5 2.64 GAA regular season) started every game in goal and had a solid 2.24 GAA. He only gave up three goals in the last two games of the season and he will get the call for Game 1 of this series.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi led Montreal with three goals in the last series and scored big ones in Game’s 5 and 6 which both went to overtime. Four other players had two goals in the series including Tyler Toffoli, who led the team with five points and also led in that category in the regular season.
The Canadiens hope their offense keeps producing, as in the last three games they totaled 10 goals while only scoring four goals in the first four games. for the regular season the club had issues scoring the puck averaging 2.77 goals per game but the last time they faced the Jets on May 1st in Montreal they scored five goals.
Get Out the Broom
The Jets swept the favored Edmonton Oilers in their last series and closed it out in style beating them in a 3-overtime thriller in the last game.
The Montreal defense will have to deal with a Winnipeg attack that scored four goals in three of the four games in their last series.
Connor Hellebuyck (24-17-3 2.58 GAA) started every game in the last series and had a more than solid GAA of 1.60. However, in the first two games he only gave up one goal while giving up seven in the last two games.
Four different players scored two goals in the last series including Blake Wheeler, who also had three assists. He had a goal and two assists in the last two games of the series where Winnipeg totaled nine goals.
The Canadiens are only 6-15 in their last 21 games following a win and will face a Jets’ team that has won their last six games and their last four home games. However, they have lost five of their last six games as a favorite and lost their last five games as a playoff favorite.
The Jets have had a lot longer to rest to get ready for this Game 1 after sweeping their last series. I think they will come out on fire on home ice and take it to the Canadiens early and often. They have scored nine goals in their last two games and I look for their offense to be on point again. They will play pretty good defense as well, but the offense will be the main reason they win this Game 1.
PICK: Jets -120