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  • NHL Free Pick | Jets at Canadiens

    Winnipeg’s second round playoff series with Montreal got underway Wednesday night.
    There were more surprises from the Canadiens as Eric Schaal and Jesperi Kotkaniemi
    scored early goals and Montreal cruised to a 5-3 Game 1 victory.
    The two teams will meet on Sunday in Montreal in Game 3 after Game 2 in Winnipeg on
    Friday night. The Jets are still favored in Game 2 and with a win Friday should be
    favored on Sunday.


    Game: Winnipeg Jets (34-24-3) at Montreal Canadiens (29-24-11)
    When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, June 6, 2021
    Where: The Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Current Line: OFF Total: OFF
    TV Coverage: NBCSN
    Winnipeg is still favored to win the series over Montreal. The Jets were given -130 odds
    to win the series and advance to the semifinals. Then, they ran into the streaking
    Canadiens in Game 1.
    Montreal was down three games to one in its first round series with Toronto before
    winning three straight to upset the Maple Leafs. Toronto had essentially dominated the
    North Division and went 7-3 against Montreal during the regular season.
    The problem was that the Canadiens suffered through some periods of injuries and
    coupled with the NHL’s condensed schedule, they just had no time to recuperate.
    Eventually, Montreal got healthier, just in time to knock Toronto out of the playoffs.
    Goalie Carey Price has been here before and he’s been very good over the last several
    games. He stopped 27 shots in Game 1 against the Jets. Price has a 2.33 goals against
    average and a save percentage of .928 in this year’s postseason.
    Our last article was a Reds at Cubs free pick, go see how we did.
    While Price is a key, so are the metrics. Do the Habs have enough to go to the 2021
    Stanley Cup?
    Montreal has a higher high-danger conversion rate than Winnipeg as well
    as a higher expected goal share.
    In layman’s terms, expected goals is a statistic used to determine whether or not a team
    is capable of continuing to create scoring opportunities.
    An expected goals rate (xG%) of over 50 percent is considered good because a team is
    creating most of its scoring chances. A score below 50 percent is a sign that a team is
    struggling to control play.*
    Montreal’s xG% is 53.1. Winnipeg’s is 46.9. That was evident in Game 1. With the series
    heading back to Montreal, the Canadiens will add in the advantage of playing on their
    home ice. It won’t be a huge advantage, but it’s always nice to play at home. The
    Canadiens staved off elimination in Round 1 in their last home game. Expect them to
    play well at the Bell Centre on Sunday.

    Also expect Winnipeg to be a slight favorite. In Game 1, Montreal was given +130 odds
    to win. The early lines on Game 2 find the Canadiens anywhere from +105 to -105.
    Expect something similar on Sunday with the game total likely to be set at 5.5.*
    Montreal is playing very well right now and while Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck won the
    Vezina Trophy last year and has been solid again in 2021, he might not be a match for
    the Canadiens offense. They did beat him for five goals in Game 1.*
    If you can get Montreal as a plus-money underdog, jump on it quickly. Play the
    Canadiens to -110.

    NHL Free Pick: MONTREAL
    This article was originally published in blog: NHL Free Pick | Jets at Canadiens started by Sonny
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