Matchup: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins
Date/Time: June 17th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Moneyline: Boston -126
After splitting the series in the Windy City, the Boston Bruins head back home and look to take a commanding lead over Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night. Game 3’s are traditionally huge and it’s no different for this series.
Chicago had the opportunity to take a dominating series lead Saturday night, but couldn’t pull out a second straight overtime win and lost control of home ice to the Bruins. The Blackhawks had one of the best offenses in the regular season and slotted in 14 goals in a 4-1 series win over the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals, but have struggled to match that offensive productivity against Boston. They needed a few seeing eye goals and fortunate deflections to secure a victory in Game 1, but couldn’t get the same luck to go their way last game. In situations like these, you need your captain to step up, and thus far C Jonathan Toews has failed to do so. Toews was second on the team with 48 points during the regular season, averaging a point a game in leading the Blackhawks to the best record in hockey. He has failed to show the same predilection for tickling the twine in the playoffs though, tallying just nine points so far in 19 games. Through two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, he has been held pointless, and this has to change if the Blackhawks have any hope of knocking off the Bruins.
The best thing to have in the playoffs is a hot goalie, and there has been no one hotter than G Tuukka Rask this postseason. Rask has been lights out after showing signs of vulnerability against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs, silently dispatching of the Rangers and Penguins like a well-trained assassin. Rask had some misfortune in Game 1, but showed why he has been the best goaltender this postseason in Game 2 stonewalling the Blackhawks and stopping 33 shots to get the Bruins out of Chicago with a big 2-1 OT win. C David Krejci has been a stud for the Bruins this postseason, with 23 points (9 G, 14 A) in 18 games but needs to get some help from his teammates. In particular, old veteran RW Jaromir Jagr has yet to tally a goal this postseason and has got to get it going for Boston.
It’s hard to go against a star goaltender when he’s locked in, and we’re not about to now. Rask has been too good this postseason and with the series back in Boston it’s hard to pass up the Bruins in this one at such a good price. Expect Rask to dominate and the Bruins to grind out a few goals to give Boston a 2-1 series lead.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Boston Bruins Game 3 Pick: Boston Bruins -126
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.