It has been over eight months since the Montreal Canadiens shipped much-beloved defenseman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber. Since then, both Subban and Weber have easily slipped into their roles with their new teams and flourished. However, Thursday night will be the first time since that fateful trade that Subban will take to the ice at the Bell Centre.
Subban returns to his former home playing some of his best hockey of the season, as the d-man has tallied 10 points and a plus/minus rating of +5 in the past eight games. Those eight games have seen the Predators go 7-1-0 while averaging a ridiculous 4.75 goals per game.
Of course, it won’t be easy scoring on Habs goaltender Carey Price, who has been thriving at the Bell Centre. The all-star netminder has a 2.10 GAA and a .930 save percentage at home this season while recording all three of his shutouts in the City of Saints.
Price and the Canadiens have opened as a slight favorite, but bettors should keep an eye on the total. The Preds have gone OVER the closing total in each of their past 11 games thanks to their combination of explosive offense and lackluster defense.
NHL Trade Dud-Line
There is no doubt that this year’s NHL trade deadline was not expected to be a great one. But it’s hard to believe just how boring the entire day ended up. Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog stayed put in Colorado. Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan will still don a Coyotes jersey. Hell, the biggest trade of the day saw Thomas Vanek being traded for peanuts.
Canadian teams were active, but nothing mind-boggling happened. The Canadiens added a ridiculous number of gritty forwards. The Calgary Flames acquired Curtis Lazar from the Ottawa Senators after the 21-year-old’s vocal pleas to be shipped out of the nation’s capital. The Winnipeg Jets dealt Drew Stafford to Boston for a conditional sixth-round pick.
All in all, bettors probably shouldn’t expect much fallout from the trade deadline. Futures markets are unlikely to move considering the moves that were made, though the Washington Capitals will likely see a boost following their acquisition of Kevin Shattenkirk.
Loewen Out For Canada AT WBC
Adam Loewen has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic due to personal and professional reasons. Promising youngster Ryan Kellogg will replace the 32-year-old. Kellogg, a pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization, notched a 3.03 ERA and a 1.079 WHIP in 24 outings for single-A South Bend last season.
The Canadians have a tough road ahead at the WBC, as they have found themselves in the same group as both the Americans and Dominicans. They are undoubtedly a long shot to make it out of their group and are currently +5000 to win it all.