The Boston Bruins have enjoyed their holiday break, and they are set to once again make another march on the Stanley Cup playoffs. They’re back in NHL betting action on Wednesday night when they face off with the New Jersey Devils.
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In spite of the fact that the Bruins were beaten on the NHL betting odds by the Dallas Stars in their final game of 2011, there is no way that we can take anything away from the calendar year that they had. Boston was able to win the Stanley Cup in the summer, and after a bit of a rocky start to the season, it all of a sudden went on a tear the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite some time. Now, all that the team has is the top rated offense and the top rated defense in the game, and if that keeps up, obviously, there are going to be a lot of teams that are scratching their heads as to how to knock these guys out of the postseason. We are sure that it is going to be Tim Thomas in net on Wednesday night, but even if it were Tuukka Rask, we would have all of the confidence in the world in either net minder. These two goalies are combining to allow 1.9 goals per game on the season, and that is just a mind-numbing stat this late in the season.
The Devils are starting to get sneaky, as they are really starting to look a lot like the team that we were expecting them to be last season before they fell on their face. Ilya Kovulchuk, after a disappointing year and a half, is finally starting to prove to be worthwhile for Jersey, and the offense is starting to at least remotely get it together. Sure, 2.6 goals per game isn’t going to cut it in the postseason, as it only leaves the Devils ranked No. 21 in hockey. However, just as we saw in some stretches last season, New Jersey has the ability to put up a lot of goals in a hurry, though it isn’t nearly consistent enough as of yet. It still ranks No. 26 in shots per game and just No. 27 on the power play. The good news though, is that the defense is only conceding 27.8 shots per game, No. 4 in the league. Just as it is remarkable that the Bruins are allowing under two goals per game, it is equally impressive that teams are only scoring on 8.6 percent of their power plays through the first half of the season against these Devils.
Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils Pick: The Devils might be in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, but they are right there with some of the best teams in the league and should be well on their way to the playoffs. They can make a big time statement on Wednesday if they can take down the Bruins, and we think that there is a real possibility that that is how things play out.
Free Hockey Pick: New Jersey Devils
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.