Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks 12/22/23

Canadiens vs. Blackhawks 12/22/23 NHL Latest Picks, Tips, and Analysis

Montreal Canadiens (14-13-4) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (10-20-1)


Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks 12/22/23 – The NHL regular season brings an intriguing matchup on Friday, as the Montreal Canadiens, standing at 14-13-4, face off against the struggling Chicago Blackhawks with a 10-20-1 record. This game, set to take place at the United Center at 8:30 PM ET and broadcasted on ESPN+, is a compelling clash of two teams with contrasting fortunes this season. For those seeking the best NHL free predictions, this game offers a blend of predictability and potential surprises.


The Canadiens have shown a modest offensive output this season, led by Nick Suzuki’s 26 points including 8 goals and 18 assists as their primary creative force. Cole Caufield and Mike Matheson provide additional offensive threats; their performance will be crucial against Chicago Blackhawks defense whose performance has been subpar this season reflected in their record.


On the other side of things are the Chicago Blackhawks, who despite having a less favorable record possess some offensive talents to watch out for. Center Connor Bedard stands out with 26 points to his name including 12 goals and 14 assists. Other contributors such as Philipp Kurashev and Jason Dickinson add unpredictability to their play which should allow for scoring opportunities against Montreal Canadiens’ defense.


Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks Game Info


When: Friday, December 22, 2023, at 8:30 PM ET
Where: United Center
Stream: NHL.TV


Goaltender Sam Montembeault vs. Goaltender Petr Mrazek


Canadiens netminder Sam Montembeault has posted respectable numbers this season. He is 7-4-2 with a .911 save percentage in 14 starts. He tends to play better on the road, registering a 6-2-1 record away from Montreal. He has allowed two or fewer goals in three of his last four road games. Montembeault moves well in the crease and tracks the puck effectively against rush chances. His rebound control could use some work, but he mitigates that deficiency by quickly recovering to make secondary saves. The Canadiens defense limits quality scoring chances in front of him. If Montembeault continues to see a clean line of sight on perimeter shots, he should thrive against this Blackhawks offense.


Veteran Petr Mrazek has struggled mightily between the pipes for Chicago this season. Through 20 starts, Mrazek is 8-10-0 with an .910 save percentage and 3.04 goals against average. Mrazek’s lateral mobility has sharply declined, preventing him from moving efficiently in the crease. He has also lost his ability to effectively track screened shots, causing bad rebounds and gaps for opponents to shoot at. Unless Mrazek suddenly regains past form, expect the Canadiens to pepper him with shots and light the lamp early and often.


NHL Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD


The betting odds are yet to be determined, but they are expected to reflect the Canadiens’ slightly better season performance. However, bettors should keep an eye on the odds for potential value, especially considering the unpredictability inherent in such matchups.


Montreal Canadiens Betting Trends


The Canadiens have played well against the spread lately, going 3-2 ATS in their last five contests. Montreal is an impressive 9-4 ATS on the road this season. The totals have gone over in two of the Canadiens’ previous five outings. When playing on the road, the over is 10-8 in Montreal’s last 18 games.


Chicago Blackhawks Betting Trends


The Blackhawks have matched Montreal’s 3-2 ATS record over the past five games. However, Chicago has struggled against the number at home, posting a 6-10 ATS mark. The totals have gone over in three of the Blackhawks’ last five matchups. That number jumps to six overs in Chicago’s previous 15 contests at the United Center.


Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks 12/22/23 Betting Picks


Considering the teams’ recent performances and trends, the Canadiens seem to have a slight edge, particularly given their better road game record. However, the Blackhawks’ recent form suggests they could pose a challenge, especially at home.


In terms of paid picks and analysis, while the Canadiens might be the safer bet, the Blackhawks could offer value as underdogs, particularly in over/under bets. Prop bets focusing on individual performances, like those of Suzuki and Bedard, could also be intriguing options.


Free Pick and Prediction: Montreal Canadiens 4, Chicago Blackhawks 2


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