Vancouver Canucks @ Boston Bruins Free NHL Pick 1/7/12
The Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins haven’t renewed ties since the Stanley Cup Finals. However, they will do so on Saturday in Beantown, and it should be a war considering the fact that they are, without a shadow of a doubt, the two hottest teams in NHL betting action in their respective conferences.
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The Canucks really turned it on around November 6th, when they were able to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 in a rematch from last year’s first round of the playoffs. Since that point, the offense has been remarkable, and both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo have been on point. The team has stormed to the front of the Northwest Division, in part because of its own success and in part because of the failures of the Minnesota Wild. As you would expect, the Sedin brothers are really making some noise once again this year. Henrik Sedin has 10 goals and 38 assists on the campaign, while Daniel Sedin has 18 goals and 28 assists. Ryan Kesler is finally starting to get back in the fold as well with his 10 goals and 19 helpers, and he is one of the seven other members of the team that have at least 22 points on the season. When you look at Vancouver’s core stats, you have to be impressed. The team ranks No. 4 in scoring (3.2 GPG) and No. 8 in goals allowed (2.3 GPG), and on special teams, the Canucks rank No. 1 in power play (23.6%) and No. 7 in penalty killing (86.3%).
And then there are the Bruins, who are the epitome of hot at the moment. They have only been beaten four times since November 1st, and in the process, they have posted some of the most impressive victories of the year… They beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-0 on 11/5, the New York Islanders 6-0 on 11/9, the Philadelphia Flyers 6-0 on 12/17, the Florida Panthers 8-0 on 12/23, the New Jersey Devils 6-1 on Wednesday, and the very next night, they beat the Calgary Flames 9-0. Tim Thomas has 17 wins, while Tuukka Rask has nine victories and a league best 1.49 GAA. The offense is averaging 3.6 goals per game, No. 1 in the league, and it is holding teams to 1.8 goals per game, also No. 1 in the league. The power play is converting on 19.7 percent of its chances (#7) and the penalty kill is good for 87.7 percent of a kill rate (#4).
Vancouver Canucks @ Boston Bruins Pick: It truly is remarkable how well the Bruins have played of late, and it seems as though every big time challenge that they face, they pass and pass more impressively than the last big time challenge. This is probably the biggest challenge of the year, and again, we have no real reason to think that the B’s are going to slow down. We might have to lay around -200 to do so, but we just don’t have a reason to back anyone but Boston right now.
Free Hockey Pick: Boston Bruins
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