Montreal have slipped down the Atlantic Division standings over the last couple of weeks, winning just three of their previous 10 National Hockey League games. To be fair, three of their most recent fixtures have ended in an overtime loss – luck has not been on their side so far in 2018/19.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are four points off the top of the Metropolitan Division. Most NHL fans expected New York to struggle this year but the Rangers have defied the odds, making themselves competitive in most encounters. With six wins in their last 10 games, they are the in-form team ahead of this clash.
With no divisional implications, this one should be entertaining – it could be quite an open and expansive affair. The Canadiens will fancy their chances on home ice but the Rangers are full of confidence right now and that should make for a fantastic game.
Canadiens Cannot Put A Run Of Form Together
It has been a case of one step forward, two steps backward for Montreal in 2018/19. The Canadiens faithful have been left frustrated after an inconsistent run – fortune has played a part but Montreal haven’t managed to take their chances at times this year.
Max Domi has 26 points in 25 appearances and he has been Montreal’s knight in shining armour in recent months. The Canadiens will need him to be on top form here to stand any chance of securing a huge victory. Watch this space, Domi could be primed for a huge weekend…
Montreal are in desperate need of a confidence boosting win and the Canadiens will be looking for a dominant triumph here. With the green light to go for the jugular, the hosts may run riot in the first period – and that could set the tone for the rest of the contest.
Rangers Rebuilding Project Underway
New York are on the verge of something special and Rangers fans will be hoping for another huge win. Travelling north of the border is never easy but the Rangers have the confidence, momentum and of course talent to give Montreal a close game.
This is the ideal opportunity for New York to send out a statement of intent as they look to challenge for the divisional crown. The Metropolitan title is well within reach this year if the Rangers can maintain their current form throughout the remainder of the season. Shipping goals is perhaps their only weakness – they have a minus four goal differential ahead of this trip to Montreal.
The Rangers have struggled to inspire confidence on the road so far this year and this may be a stretch too far for the visitors. New York fans will be optimistic rather than expectant and it would be foolish to make too many concrete predictions surrounding a Rangers win this week.
On paper, the New York Rangers may be favoured but home advantage is huge in the NHL and the Montreal Canadiens can prosper. The Canadian outfit have struggled at times this year but this is a winnable fixture – the Atlantic Division is tougher than the Metropolitan and the Rangers may fall short if Montreal go for the jugular from the start of the first period.
TIP: Montreal Canadiens to win
CORRECT SCORE: Montreal Canadiens 3-2 New York Rangers (AOT)