Golden Knights vs. Canadiens NHL Playoffs Game 6 Preview

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Golden Knights vs. Canadiens NHL Playoffs Game 6 Preview
Montreal Canadiens. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights gear up for game 5 and we bring you the best free betting tips to get you set for playoff hockey betting this week. The Montreal Canadiens will be keen to bounce back in game 5 of their semi-final series with the Vegas Golden Knights after they dropped game 4 in overtime at home.
The NHL odds though couldn’t be more discouraging as the Canadiens are being tipped as the quintessential longshot bet to mastermind the upset on the road. Do the bookies have it right? We preview this game and serve up choice NHL picks to consider.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 – 9:00 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena
All Odds for this Matchup

Canadiens Rue Missed Chances

The Montreal Canadiens allowed a crucial game 4 to slip through their fingers and now they’re left ruing missed chances in the 2-1 overtime loss on Sunday. Vegas head coach Pete Deboer made an unexpectedly bold decision by benching Marc-Andre Fleury for backup Robin Lehner in game 4 and his choice was validated in a big way as the Vegas Golden Knights triumphed thanks to the backup’s stellar play between the posts that kept the game within reach all the way through.
Lehner denied the Habs in spectacular fashion in the first period and aside from the lone goal in the second period he was virtually impenetrable.Having said that the Canadiens played a great game before their fans at the Arena Centre Bell. They got off to a fast start and pushed their agenda with determination. Vegas was clearly caught by surprise in the beginning before they composed themselves.
To be fair, had it not been for Lehner’s solid play – even stopping a breakaway chance that looked like a sure goal – the Habs might well have been in the ascendency when all was said and done. The game marked head coach Dominique Ducharme’s second absence after testing positive for coronavirus. The reins have gone to assistant coach Luke Richardson.
"I feel bad for the players who put a lot of effort in; we really played the right way, played real hard," Luke Richardson said. He also went on to talk about the missed chances in the game but praised his boys’ effort overall. "I thought we carried the play most of the night, so we're pretty happy with that and confident in the way we're playing. But it is a little disappointing anytime you lose in overtime."

Golden Knights Look to Capitalise

The Golden Knights really needed the win in game 4 in order to avoid sinking into a surprising 1-3 hole which few would have predicted at the start of this series. Opening semi-finals markets had this series firmly cornered with the Vegas Golden Knights across sports betting platforms, not to mention the Stanley Cup odds were favourable too.
Deboer’s decision to switch goalies for game 4 paid dividends and the Golden Knights certainly reaped the rewards as they won 2-1 in overtime. Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb tied the game 1-1 with 9:23 remaining in the third period, and forward Nicolas Roy won it for Vegas 1:18 into overtime.
Now that the bonhomie has faded somewhat, Deboer is faced with a tough decision for game 5. And that’s which goalie does he turn to for this pivotal game? He’s in the unenviable position of having to decide between two very good goalies – go for the one that got them to the semis or take another stab at the one that just salvaged game 4 a couple of days ago and potentially their season with it.
It’s a dilemma that won’t likely be shared until game time, not unlike the way they hid the goalie switch from the media and other probing eyes on Sunday. And for that reason – not knowing for certain which goalie is going to start for Vegas – it’s hard to be confident in the sky-high odds currently trading for Vegas. One has to bet 2.5 times the potential pay-out on the moneyline for Vegas to win, which doesn’t make for the most appealing betting value.

NHL Predictions and Picks

All told, the series is tied 2-2 as the Habs return to Nevada to face the Golden Knights in their rink at the T-Mobile Arena. According to multiple top sportsbooks, the Habs are no-hopers. The hallucinatory bet to pull off the upset. While the Golden Knights are the runaway faves, despite question marks hanging over the starting goalie.
Given how this series has progressed, the market would appear to be unfairly underestimating the Habs at the expense of the Golden Knights. They’ve never been in favour throughout the first four games of the series and yet it’s resting delicately on a 2-2 tie, so there must be value in backing the underdogs surely if they’ve defied the NHL odds before.
Moreover, whatever the decision Deboer makes regarding his netminder will be telling. If he returns back to Fleury, then it will be a clear sign to the team and all and sundry that he’s his guy. That game 4 was an opportunity for Fleury to reflect, refocus and recover from the debacle in game 3.
Should Deboer go to Lehner instead, then it would signal potentially a key switch between the posts that may well continue for the foreseeable. It would be an inadvertent vote of lack of confidence in Fleury, which ,might have residual impact on the team and their confidence.
It’s a dilemma to be sure and that makes this game more of a tossup than the NHL odds would imply. As such, the choice bet for this game is to back the Habs on the puckline. For those that are drawn to the value in backing the upset, the Habs are certainly worth a small tickle but don’t go betting the farm on it.
NHL Picks:
Montreal Canadiens +1.5 (-140) with Youwager (visit our Youwager Review)
 
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