Canadiens at Flyers Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 4/3/2013
The NHL's trade deadline is Wednesday, and you can probably only count maybe 6-8 teams who are 100 percent sellers and not buyers. Some teams are selling not because they are out of the playoff race but want a head start on getting under next year's salary cap, which drops from around $70 million to $64 million
The Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers both figure to be active on the phones into Wednesday. The Habs already had one of the best trades of the season in acquiring Michael Ryder from Dallas for Erik Cole (who has stunk with the Stars). However, Montreal probably isn't done. Two names had been mentioned prominently as Canadiens trade targets: the Stars' Jaromir Jagr and Sharks' Ryane Clowe.
Jagr, a lock Hall of Famer, is off the market after being dealt to Boston on Tuesday in what has to disappoint the Habs. Even at 41, Jagr is still an offensive force with 12 goals and 14 assists. He would definitely have helped Montreal close the gap on Pittsburgh a bit, but the Bruins were almost desperate to get him after losing out on Jarome Iginla to the Penguins. The Stars are one of the big sellers at the deadline and may not be done even though they also traded Derek Roy on Tuesday to Vancouver.
San Jose also is a seller even though it is sixth in the West. The Sharks are dumping payroll and impending free agents (like Clowe) and already have dealt the likes of Douglas Murray and Michal Handzus. Clowe followed them out of town as well late Tuesday, heading to the New York Rangers, a team the Flyers are trying to catch. Clowe was highly in demand around the league even though he has one fewer goal than Devils netminder Martin Brodeur. But Clowe's a brute and will help open up space for New York's scorers. So Montreal and Philly will have to keep looking.
The Flyers did make one recent minor trade, trading forward Harry Zolnierczyk to the Ducks in exchange for 27-year-old enforcer Jay Rosehill. The Flyers need a tough guy to protect Giroux after Tom Sestito was waived and Jody Shelley underwent hip surgery earlier this season. Rosehill has 18 fights in 72 career NHL games and 94 fights over parts of eight seasons in the AHL.
Canadiens at Flyers Betting Story Lines
Philadelphia might have been a seller at the deadline if not for a two-game winning streak -- prior to that the team had lost eight of 10. The Flyers are No. 12 in the East entering Tuesday but just four points out of the No. 8 spot. They haven't missed the playoffs since 2007. Philly enters off a 5-4 overtime win over Washington on Sunday. Kimmo Timonen tied the game with 9.5 seconds left in regulation, and Ruslan Fedotenko scored 1:34 into overtime to win it. Timonen tied a career-high with four points, also tying a season high for any defenseman.
However, the win was costly. Forward Max Talbot scored a first-period goal but went down late in the second period what would prove to be a broken left leg. Thus, he's done for the rest of the regular season at least. Talbot had five goals and five assists and was plus-2 after posting career highs last season with 19 goals and 15 assists.
Montreal has won three straight and continues to lead the Northeast Division and is five points behind the Penguins for the most points in the East -- a gap that could be made up now that Pens star Sidney Crosby is out with a broken jaw. The Canadiens' P.K. Subban was the NHL's second star of March, leading all defensemen with 18 points (seven goals) and all players with 11 power-play points (four goals). Subban continued his stellar play in April with an assist in Monday's 4-1 win over Carolina. He is tied for the NHL lead among defensemen with 28 points and leads by a wide margin with 10 goals. His seven March goals were the most by any Montreal defenseman in any month since February 1994. Subban's blueline partner Andrei Markov leads the league's defensemen with seven power-play goals and had one Monday. Subban, Markov and Timonen are tied for the most power-play assists with 13.
Canadiens at Flyers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, the Canadiens have been opened at -126 and the Flyers +114 with the total at 5.5. The Canadiens are 18-17-0 “over/under” (11-6 on road) and have won six of their past eight as a favorite. The Flyers are 17-16-2 O/U (9-9 at home) and have won one of their past three as an underdog.
Montreal is 6-1 in its past seven road games. The Habs are 6-2 in their past eight after a win. They are 3-13 in their last 16 games when their opponent scores five goals or more in their previous game. The Flyers are 3-8 in their past 11 after a win. They are 0-4 in their past four games when their opponent allows two goals or fewer in their previous game. The under is 5-0 in Montreal's past five after a win. The over is 8-1-1 in Philly's past 10 after scoring five goals or more in their previous game. Montreal has lost its past seven in Philadelphia.
Canadiens at Flyers Picks and Betting Predictions
This is the second of three meetings. On Feb. 16 in Montreal, the Habs won, 4-1. Backup goalie Peter Budaj got the start over an ill Carey Price in net. Brian Boucher started in place of Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers in goal. Both starters should play in this one, although it's the first of a back-to-back for each team. It's essentially a must-win for the Flyers because their next three are on the road, while the Habs have more wiggle room. Thus take Philadelphia and the under.
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