The Boston Bruins continue their four game homestand as they battle their Eastern Conference rivals the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night at the Garden. When it comes to making your NHL picks on this match, are you willing to trust the Jets?
Boston Bruins (26-11-1)
The Boston Bruins
will be without the services of Brad Marchand as the pesky forward was
suspended for a dangerous clip on Vancouver’s Sami Salo in a wild rematch of
last year’s Stanley Cup finals. After
seven grueling games in which the heavily favored Canucks were outhustled and
outmuscled, the Bruins fought and clawed their way to the Cup. But Saturday matinees at home have
historically not been kind to the B’s and the curse continued as the Canucks
got a measure of revenge in a 4-3 victory that saw the referees blowing their
whistles to the tune of 107 penalty minutes.
shaking off their Stanley Cup hangover the Bruins have gone 23-5 since November
1st and doused the Calgary Flames 9-0 before Saturday’s melee in
Boston. Second year forward Tyler Seguin
has found his stride after a rather pedestrian rookie season and leads the team
with 16 goals, 37 points and the all important plus-minus category with a
+32. Due to Marchand’s absence, Seguin’s
role will take on even greater significance.
of the Bruins success has been defense and it’s no surprise they lead the
league with a 1.9 goals against average. Tim Thomas continues to be a rock between the pipes but his understudy
Tuukka Rask has been even more impressive. Though Thomas has a stellar 1.99 GAA to go along with a .938 save
percentage in 26 appearances, Rask has been given an increased workload by
coach Claude Julien and it has paid dividends. Rask leads the league with a micro 1.49 GAA and a sensational .949 save
percentage. Julien realizes he not only
has two starting goalies at his disposal but two All-Stars to boot.
Winnipeg Jets (20-16-5)
surfaced that the Winnipeg Jets big offensive defenseman Dustin Byfuglien would return
to the lineup in time to meet Boston but those rumors have recently been
squelched by coach Claude Noel who says Byfuglien won’t suit up until after
they wrap up their 4 game road swing tonight.
looked sloppy in two successive losses to the Montreal Canadiens (7-3) and the
Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0) but rebounded with a hotly contested 2-1 overtime
victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. Johnny Odua got the game winner for Winnipeg
who recorded only their third victory in 12 games.
Pavelec will probably be in net for the Jets Tuesday night and looking to build
on his impressive performance against the Sabres. However, Pavelec has struggled in Boston
where he is 0-4-0 with a 4.68 GAA in five appearances. In their first meeting of the year the Jets,
with Pavelec in net, bowed 4-2 against the Stanley Cup champs but only two
weeks later on December 6th he stymied the Bruins’ top ranked
offense when he turned aside 39 shots in a 2-1 victory at home.
It’s impossible to advise any NHL picks in favor of the Jets
even though the price tag is tempting. The
Bruins are currently -255 NHL odds favorites, while a play on the Jets will get you a
nifty return north of 2 to 1 on your money. However, Boston dominates Winnipeg in virtually every category.
Over their last 5 games Boston has averaged
4.4 goals while the Jets are stuck in neutral averaging only 1.8 goals per
game. Though Boston will miss Marchand
and the spark he brings, they will not lose because of it.
My Pick: Play
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