Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick – Game 3 August 16, 2020
We will be looking at the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens pick for tonight’s NHL play of the day. The Philadelphia Flyers have been living a charmed hockey life for an extended period of time.
Philadelphia had been one of the hottest teams in the NHL dating back to before the pandemic temporarily halted the season. The Flyers had a phenomenal 13-1 record in their last 14 games prior to Game 2 of this series against the Montreal Canadiens. What followed was the worst game that Philadelphia has played in months and quite possibly their worst game of the entire season.
The Flyers were dominated, outplayed, and outhustled by the Canadiens in a 5-0 shutout victory in Game 2 which evened up this series at one game apiece. Philadelphia was not sharp from the very beginning losing puck battles all over the ice and spending most of the 1st Period in the penalty box which led to a fast 2-0 start for the Habs and things never really got any better for them after that.
Montreal stepped up after losing Game 1 as well as their head coach Claude Julien who had to be hospitalized after Game 1 because of chest pains which led to Kirk Muller taking over as the head coach in the interim while Julien recuperates. Montreal definitely found some added emotion, intensity, and inspiration in Game 2 playing a complete 60-minute effort in playing hard for their head coach who had to leave the team due to those health issues.
Montreal putting the “power” back in their power play
The Montreal Canadiens had a truly horrific power play for the majority of the season and it continued in the qualifying round against the Pittsburgh Penguins even though the Habs advanced in that series. Montreal was 0-for-12 against Pittsburgh but the Canadiens have finally gotten their struggling power play going in the first two games of this series against Philadelphia connecting at 3-for-7 on the power play so far in this series including a pair of goals with the man advantage in the Game 2 win.
The puck movement and player movement in the offensive zone was much better than it’s been for much of the season when the Habs power play would constantly fail to produce in key situations when they needed it to. Montreal’s play at even strength has been very good during this NHL restart but if they can continue to produce with the power play, it will be a big benefit for the Canadiens and their chances of making a very deep playoff run.
The Montreal power play became a focal plotline after Game 2 when Kirk Muller sent the Montreal #1 power-play unit on the ice toward the end of the 3rd Period in a 5-0 blowout game which didn’t sit well with Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault who was quoted as saying “We embarrassed ourselves enough in that game. I don’t think we needed to get embarrassed more, so I’m going to make sure we’re very aware of that next game.”
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick
Nobody expected this series to be a quick one. I was fairly certain with Montreal off a loss in Game 1 and especially after their head coach had to be taken to the hospital that they would have an emotionally charged up and strong performance in Game 2 of this series and the Habs delivered it with a resounding 5-0 shutout win.
However, their opponent is a very good hockey team and coming off one of their worst performances of the season and the Philadelphia Flyers have established themselves as a character team all season when coming off a bad game. The stats and numbers don’t lie. Philadelphia is a fantastic and undefeated 8-0 in their last 8 games following a loss and that dates all the way back to January which is when the Flyers really got their season rolling.
Game 2 was the perfect spot and situation for the Canadiens to respond and play a great game and now I believe tonight in Game 3, it’s the Flyers turn to respond after getting their collective butts kicked in the previous game. I also expect the Flyers to get a big-time performance in net from Carter Hart who was pulled in the Game 2 loss although the end result of that game was not at all his fault. I’ve got no problem laying the moderate price here around -130 with the Philadelphia Flyers to bounce back strong and get the victory tonight in Game 3 of this series.