NHL Picks: Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes 10/12/11
The Bruins haven’t gotten off to the strongest start of the season, as they are just 1-2-0 to show for their three games of work. The offense has slacked off tremendously, scoring just one goal in the two losses combined, though it did account for a huge four goals against the team that it took down the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, it’s off on the road for the first time this year, with stops in Raleigh and Chicago before coming back home to start next week. Tim Thomas, last year’s top goaltender in the postseason and in the regular season, is going to be back in the pipes on Wednesday night. He was held out of the lineup in favor of Tuukka Rask in Monday’s surprising 1-0 loss to the lowly Colorado Avalanche. Thomas and the defense have played well in these first three games, allowing a total of just four goals. Offensively, Rich Peverley is leading the way with a pair of goals, while Brad Marchand (1 goal, 2 assists) and Tyler Seguin (3 assists) have three points to show for their three games of work.
This is an important game for the psyche of the Hurricanes. This is a season in which there are high hopes for making the postseason, but it hasn’t been a fantastic start to say the least. The team has been beaten in all three of its games thus far on the campaign, and it only has a point from a road game at the Washington Capitals to show for those defeats. Unlike Boston, the offense hasn’t been a brutal problem. Jeff Skinner already has five points on the season, and he has had his hands in on five of the team’s six goals. That being said, Cam Ward and Brian Boucher is having a slew of problems in net. The two have combined to concede a tremendous 12 goals, and the team has allowed 13 in total. Defending at a disadvantage has been a huge, huge problem. Teams are converting on a whopping 31.2 percent of their power play chances this year, and the end result has been just an onslaught of goals allowed.
Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes Pick: Boston played well on the road last year, especially in the postseason, and we tend to think that getting away from the pressures built up from playing at home will help out tremendously. Don’t be shocked if the Stanley Cup champs finally play their part, as they’ll take down the Hurricanes and their slumping defense.
NHL Pick: Boston Bruins