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My last fade or follow worked out great as I went 2-0 and didn’t have to sweat the Lightning Moneyline or puck line. The Lightning pummeled the Islanders in an 8-0 victory. Tonight, we are looking at the other series and trying to figure out what’s going to happen. This series makes no sense. Nobody had the Canadiens making it to the Conference Finals, and they definitely didn’t see them potentially making it to the Finals in six games. Vegas was everybody’s pick to make it to the Finals, but will they get that opportunity or will Montreal send them home tonight?
Golden Knights (-142) vs. Canadiens (+120) 8:15 p.m. ET
Montreal has had the definition of a fairy tale run in these playoffs. They ended the season as the 4th seed in the North Division while only getting 59 points and only 4 points above the Flames for the final playoff spot. Nobody thought they stood any chance against Toronto; they beat them in seven games. Nobody believed in them against the Jets; they swept them in four games. People assumed that the North Division was very weak, and once they faced off against somebody in the West Division, they would stand no chance; they can win the series in six games and book their trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
On the flip side, Vegas looked like a juggernaut heading into the playoffs; they finished the season with 82 points and were tied with Colorado for the 1st seed in the West Division. However, the Wild pushed them to seven games. Colorado came out super hot against them, but the Knights took care of business in six games. They were the favorite to win against Montreal but are now fighting for their season. The public believes that the Knights will live to fight another day as 60% of the picks are on the Knights’ Moneyline.
The Canadiens are riding high after their 4-1 victory on Tuesday. Montreal at home in these playoffs is 4-3, compared to Vegas, which is 4-4 on the road. In their last five games, when Vegas travels to Montreal, they are 1-4. In a series-clinching game, the Canadiens have taken care of business. They defeated Toronto 3-1 in Game Seven and beat Winnipeg 3-2 in overtime in Game Four. The Golden Knights have had one win-or-go-home game, and that was Game Seven vs. the Wild, where Vegas won 6-2. Nobody has believed in Montreal, and in their last ten games as an underdog, the Canadiens are 8-2. When playing on one day of rest, they are 9-1.
The stats of the Knights and the stats of the Canadiens are not even close. Las Vegas has the stat advantage by a landslide. Las Vegas finished the season with a 1.05 SRS, 3.39 goals per game, 2.18 goals allowed, converted on 17.82% of their power plays, and successfully stopped 86.81% of their power-killing opportunities. Montreal, on the other hand, finished the season with a -0.14 SRS, 2.82 goals per game, allowed 2.95 goals a game, scored on 19.21% of their power plays and killed 78.49% of their power killing opportunities.
For Montreal, Tyler Toffoli has 14 points in these playoffs, and Nick Suzuki has had 13 points. For Vegas, William Karlsson has led them in points during the playoffs with 14 points. Carey Price is again starting tonight for Montreal, and he has stood on his head during these playoffs. He is averaging 2.02 goals per game with a .933 save percentage. For Las Vegas, it isn’t confirmed, but all reports are saying that Robin Lehner is starting. Lehner has only started one game in this series: Game Four, where he got the win, had 27 saves and allowed one goal with a .964 save percentage.
Everything tells me that I should pick the Golden Knights, but I can’t ignore the magical run Montreal is on. They are great at home, and what better way for them to punch their ticket for the Stanley Cup Finals than at home in Montreal. So I’m fading the public tonight and believing in the magic that is surrounding this team.
The pick: Canadiens +120