The New York Rangers have failed to inspire confidence for most of the 2018/19 campaign; David Quinn’s side are languishing near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. With the playoffs now more or less out of the equation, the Rangers could make major moves ahead of what will be a crucial 2019/20 season.
With the exception of Mika Zibanejad, New York’s roster have struggled in recent months – it is hardly surprising to see the Rangers in the bottom section of the Eastern Conference. It would take a brave man to back the hosts to emerge victorious here; the Madison Square Garden faithful probably won’t be expecting much.
Montreal are still in the mix to snatch a playoff berth but their position is precarious. After failing to take advantage of their games in hand on the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadiens find themselves seven points behind their compatriots. It is going to be very close indeed and it could go down to the final game of the regular campaign.
The Canadiens will travel to the Big Apple full of confidence after snagging an 8-1 road win over the Detroit Red Wings. With that in mind, it may prove prudent to side with the visitors again here. New York’s woes have been well documented and Montreal can make it back-to-back road wins this weekend.
Date: 1 March, 2019
Rangers Lacking Confidence And Quality In 2019
It is a bad time to be a New York Rangers fan. With the Islanders, their closest city rivals, sat at the top of the Metropolitan Division table, Quinn’s men will have to endure another year of no playoff hockey. This marks the second year in a row that the Rangers have missed out on the postseason and New York fans will be calling for change in the offseason.
Both goaltenders are averaging over 3.00 goals per game and that simply isn’t good enough at this level. The National Hockey League is unforgiving in nature and the Rangers have been found wanting in 2018/19. Given time, New York can rebuild and challenge for Stanley Cup glory but backing the Rangers to succeed would be foolish at this moment in time.
Canadiens On Verge Of Something Special
Watch this space, Montreal will NOT fall short again. The Canadiens have been one of the NHL’s “nearly” teams in recent times but this could finally be their year to make strides in the postseason. The 24-time Stanley Cup winners are still in the hunt to lift ice hockey’s top prize this year and Montreal will take some stopping if everything goes to plan.
At the time of writing, 888sport are going 22/25 for a Montreal win – a huge price considering the gulf in class. The Canadiens aren’t the most consistent team around but this is certainly a winnable game and the visitors will be buoyed by that 8-1 triumph over Detroit. Montreal will fancy their chances ahead of this one and it should be a thrilling contest.
This might not be the most exciting game of the season but it is of vital importance from a Montreal Canadiens perspective. Anything less than a win here could signal the end of their playoff aspirations and the road team will be looking to build on that Detroit demolition.
With the Rangers low on confidence and struggling for form, Montreal will be sensing a real chance to push on and claim a huge victory. We could see the Canadiens go all out for the win at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
TIP: Montreal Canadiens to win (22/25 with 888sport)
CORRECT SCORE: New York Rangers 1-4 Montreal Canadiens