This Thursday the LA Kings continue their tour of Canada when they travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens.
The Kings shut out the Calgary Flames on Saturday, when for the first time this season, they won a game during regulation, all their other wins were either in overtime or penalties. They will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs today before moving on to Montreal to play against the Eastern Atlantic division leaders, after which they will complete their Canadian tour by playing in Ottawa and Winnipeg over the weekend.
This has been a rocky start for the LA team, as of today they are 6-6, with 28 goals for and 32 goals against for a differential of -4, which does not put them in an optimal position when playing the Canadiens.
Montreal however, is up to a fiery start and are trying their best to remain calm about it, they are currently 10-1-1 with 39 goal for and 28 goals against for an impressive +11 goal differential. Fans however, are worried that the team will falter and lose the lead like so many times before, including last season when they were 9-0-0 at the beginning of the season only to miss the playoffs. On Monday, the Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien tried to calm those anxious fans during a news conference, he did acknowledge that there were some things that needed work, but as of right he is happy with his teamís performance.
One of the things that has fans uneasy is that the Canadiens defense has been giving up too many shots on goal recently. This is certainly one of the things that Therrien and his team need to work on, if they continue to allow these shots, luck will turn on them real fast, real soon.
The Kings showed a much-improved offense in Saturdayís game, when Jeff Carter and Devin Setoguchi scored goals 45 seconds apart, while the Kings goalie Peter Budaj made 24 saves and recording his 12th shutout career game. Then again, they were playing a very young team who showed the signs of inexperience on which the LA Kings capitalized on; but it wonít be easy against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
The Habs goalie Carey Price made 34 saves contributing to the slim win of 5-4 on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, this win was a must to try and recover against the horrific loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, in case you missed it, the Habs lost 10-0Ö ouch!
That loss on Friday, was a wakeup call for the Montreal Canadiens, and it put in evidence those things that the team must work on, they struggled on Saturday but managed to prevail, they will be counting on the Kings unsavory away record this season of 1-4-0 to help them get another win and put those fan fears to rest.
The hockey betting lines are not currently up, as the game is on Thursday and they may be additional injuries added after todayís games, but look for www.AceSportsbook.com to be the first ones with a solid line.
My pick in this game is Montreal, they have the home field advantage where they are 7-0-0 against the Kings who have underperformed on the road this year.