With the NHL returning on August 1st we may get playoffs after all.  The first nine days of the schedule will have 5-6 games per day.  Buckle up for some hockey action!  

Today we are taking a look at the Penguins vs Canadiens series.  Who will win this one you ask?

 

Offense

Ok, so there isn’t even a question here.  The Penguins offense is the superior unit.  From a statistical standpoint anyway.  Obviously you have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who has been outstanding for many years and consider this, even with Sidney’s 2 ish month injury this year he was still third in scoring on his team.  Malkin also had a great year ending the uncompleted NHL season with 74 points.  Additionally, Pittsburgh traded for Jason Zucker who had 12 points in the 15 games he has played with them so far.  Pittsburgh is 10th in goals per game average.  Not bad. 

What about Montreal’s offense?  They are certainly not as good as Pittsburg.  Not at the rate they got pucks in the net this season at least.  They sit 19th in goals per game average.  So the advantage is held by the Pens.

 

Backend

This is a little closer.  Pittsburgh is 12th in GAA whereas the Habs are again 19th.  The gap is lesser this time and another thing to consider is if Carey Price gets hot he could help his team out a lot.  Now the gap is still 7 places so the Penguins played better this year from a stat standpoint when it comes to keeping pucks out of their net.

 

Special Teams

Yes, Pittsburgh is also the better team here as well.  Their power-play unit was average and the PK unit was top ten.  Montreal is once again 19th in PK.  Their power play isn’t great either.  As mentioned about the other two, this is taken from a stat perspective.

 

Season Series

The Canadiens lost the season series 2 games to 1, however one of those losses came in overtime and their win was 4-1.  They lost the last game 4-1.  So it’s not like they just laid down and died during the season.  Montreal still lost though.

 

Prediction

     Basically, the Habs are the definition of mediocre as a team and on paper, Pittsburgh should win.  That being said, that’s exactly what I am predicting.  Keep in mind that upsets do happen but my prediction is Penguins over Canadiens in three games.