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Canadiens are Cruising Under the Guidance of Claude

Just when it looked like the Canadiens’ 2016-17 window was closed, they were handed a gift-wrapped Claude Julien to replace Michel Therrien and the former Bruins bench boss has gone on to coach the Habs to a renewed confidence as well as a 7-2-0 record since taking over.

During this run, the Canadiens have earned $100 straight-up bettors a profit of $466.94 and have rewarded UNDER bettors with an O/U record of 1-7-1.

Winners of their last six, Claude and the Canadiens will take on Calgary at the Saddledome Thursday with the Flames going for their eighth win in a row. Both teams’ surges up the standings have been heavily goaltender-related but Carey Price has been playing like the one who won the 2014-15 Hart, Vezina and Ted Lindsay trophies since the coaching change and owns a .951 save percentage as well as a 1.38 goals-against average in his eight starts under Julien’s guidance.

Calgary’s streak heading into this matchup makes it tough to blindly bet the Habs on the road but the Flames have been giving up a ton of shots during their current homestand (32.67 per game) and the Canadiens have outshot their opponents by an average of seven per game over the course of their last three games. Additionally, they should have Alexander Radulov back in the fold for this one and he'll be a sight for sore eyes as he leads the Canadiens in assists this year.

Despite what Montreal fans will tell you, their team has been finding the back of the net fairly often during Julien’s young tenure and they’re 10th in the league in goals per game since the trade deadline. With Carey Price playing out of his mind and Montreal committing to a defense-first approach that’s limiting the number of pucks their superstar goalie sees, I like the Habs on Thursday and I also like the UNDER.

Possibly one of the biggest factors in the firing of Therrien was the frustration felt toward him by the team leaders, Max Pacioretty and Carey Price. It’s clear there was something to that rumor as the Habs captain has eight points in his last nine games and we’ve already talked about what Pricer has been doing.

Those two guys are by far the most influential on the team’s success and when they’re happy and performing, so is the team.

Montreal has a six-game homestand starting March 19 during which the team can lock up the Atlantic Division. If you’re thinking of making a futures bet on the Habs, now is probably the time to do it.

Here’s a better look at the Canadiens’ last nine games with Julien calling the shots.

Canadiens' Games Since Julien Took Over
DateAwayHomeAway ScoreHome ScoreMoneylineClosing TotalOU Result
March 7CanadiensCanucks21-1525.0U
March 4CanadiensRangers41+1295.0P
March 2PredatorsCanadiens12-1225.0U
Feb 28Blue JacketsCanadiens01+1015.0U
Feb 27CanadiensDevils43-1335.0O
Feb 25CanadiensMaple Leafs32+1045.5U
Feb 23IslandersCanadiens30-1655.5U
Feb 21CanadiensRangers32+1105.5U
Feb 18JetsCanadiens31-1695.5U