Bouncing Back From Losses The Story For NHL Canadian Teams
Ottawa's Struggles Continue
It was another 5-2 defeat last night for the Ottawa Senators as this team has now lost five in a row. Ottawa hasn't scored more than two goals in any one of those defeats and they've given up at least three, so something has to change soon if they want to get back on track. All five of these losses have come since they returned to North America after their two-game sweep of Colorado in Sweden, as it clearly looks like travelling overseas completely screwed up this team's routine.
Tonight they are back at home and hosting an Islanders team that has won five of six overall. This is really just a brief stop at home in between a long stretch of road games, as they've just finished playing three contests as the visitors, and then head out for a seven-game trip after tonight. Spots like this are always tough to back the home side, let alone one like Ottawa who is really struggling right now.
Carey Price Returns For Montreal
Goaltender Carey Price makes his long awaited return between the pipes for Montreal tonight after weeks of a plethora of rumors regarding his prolonged absence. Those rumors were anywhere from legitimate to the borderline absurd, but with the Habs in need of stringing together multiple wins very soon, they are hoping that Price's return to the lineup can be the spark that this team needs to get going.
Having Price between the pipes at home instantly makes Montreal a huge favorite tonight (-180ish) against a Buffalo Sabres team that played last night. Montreal was the only Canadian team that didn't play on Friday so the Habs have that going for them as well, but with this being Price's first time in the net in over a month, laying that kind of juice on a struggling team is not something I'm really rushing to do.
Can Winnipeg Keep It Rolling?
While the majority of Canadian NHL teams have dealt with their fair share of struggles during the first two months of the year, the Winnipeg Jets just continue to find ways to win games. The Jets beat Anaheim 4-1 on Friday night to win thier sixth game in their last seven, and at 14-5-3-0 SU, they've got the fewest losses of any Canadian team this year. Their three-game trek through Southern California concludes in San Jose with the Sharks having lost four of their last five overall.
Despite the recent struggles, the Sharks are still a very dangerous team in this league - especially at home - and this won't be an easy game to put in the win column for the Jets. But with the way Winnipeg has played for an extended period of time now, as +120ish underdogs, the price may be too good to ignore. However, I wouldn't expect the Jets to keep on the pace they've established, so if you are going to back the Jets on the ML tonight, perhaps proceeding with a bit of caution is the way to go.
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