Matchup: Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Date/Time: June 12th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Moneyline: Chicago -145
The champions of the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins are set to take on the champions of the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals, a series that starts on Wednesday night at the United Center.
The B’s had an extra day off to prepare for this series, and they were shocking winners of the Eastern Conference this year. Things really looked to be going wrong for Boston over the course of the last two games of the regular season when the team choked away the Northeast Division title. Alas, even out of the No. 4 hole, the club fought as hard as it could have. The Toronto Maple Leafs were up 4-1 in the third period of Game 7 in the opening round of the playoffs, but the Bruins would not be denied. They stormed back from three goals down to win that game in overtime, and they ultimately have outscored their opponents 32-12 since that point, going 9-1 in those 10 games. The Boston defense just put together a flat out awesome series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, holding them to just a total of two goals in the entire four games (plus two overtime periods). G Tuukka Rask had a stunning save percentage of .985 in the series against one of the best offensive teams that we have seen assembled in quite some time in this league.
Chicago though, has arguably been the best team in hockey all season long. The club came out of the gates with 24 consecutive games without a regulation loss, and save for Games 2-4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings, they have been a dominating team. In fact, Chicago has only been beaten twice otherwise in these entire playoffs, once in overtime by the Minnesota Wild, and once in stunning fashion by the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals. G Corey Crawford very quietly has had a sub-2.00 GAA for the entire regular season and now again in the playoffs, and seemingly the only thing that most care about is the fact that the team is doing so well in spite of the fact that C Jonathan Toews only has one goal in the whole playoffs. RW Bryan Bickell has been a star, though, as he has eight goals and has really led the team in crucial spots over the course of this entire postseason.
The Bruins probably aren’t the better of the two teams in this series, but we are very aware that they probably weren’t the better of the two teams in the previous series against Pittsburgh either. That said, this is a nice, cheap price on the Blackhawks, who have only dropped one game at home in this entire postseason. Chicago should take Game 1 and set the tone for an awesome Stanley Cup Finals.
Boston Bruins @ Chicago Blackhawks Game 1 Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -145
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.