Jets and Bruins Gearing up For a Stanley Cup Run
Two of the Stanley Cup favorites will clash this Thursday in Winnipeg where the Boston Bruins face the Jets. There’s no way Boston will catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division, so they’re focused on maintaining second spot. That means home ice advantage over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Jets have a slight one-point lead over the Nashville Predators for first in the Central Division. Not only will this game preview a potential Stanley Cup Final series, it may also have significant implications in the NHL standings.
The Bruins have gone 7-2-1 over their last 10 games, BUT they’ve dropped two straight heading into Thursday’s matchup. Most recently, Boston fell 7-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in an uncharacteristically high-scoring game. Boston prides itself on team defense, so they’ll look to resolve some of those breakdowns against the Jets.
Winnipeg has also dropped their last two games. They have hit a bit of a rough stretch in recent weeks. They’re 4-6-0 in their last 10 games. Equally poor play by the Predators have allowed them a reprieve. They could have dropped from first in their division. Look for big bounce back games from both teams.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
After gaining at least one point in 19 consecutive games, the Boston Bruins have suffered consecutive regulation losses. Ending a three-game road trip on a high note tonight would be ideal. The Bruins cut a four-goal deficit to one Tuesday at Columbus before falling 7-4. It was a game that emphasized Boston has to play with the same edge as teams fighting for a playoff spot and positioning. With three weeks remaining in the regular season it is a must if they want to go into the postseason with any momentum.
The Jets mode right now is frustration, as the Central Division leaders fell to 6-9-2 in their past 17 games after Tuesday’s 5-4 home loss to San Jose. It was a game in which the Sharks scored the game winner with five seconds left in regulation. Winnipeg is struggling on the defensive end, surrendering four goals or more eight times in a 17-game span.
The Bruins are 42-19-9 on the season. Forward Brad Marchand fueled the second-period surge Tuesday with two goals. That gives him 14 points, six goals, during an eight-game point streak. Center Patrice Bergeron has nine points, with five goals, in his past eight games. After finishing with a goal and an assist Tuesday, he moved within one point of 800 for his career. Boston ranks third in the NHL in goals allowed per game at 2.53. They struggled Tuesday as Tuukka Rask gave up five goals on 24 shots before being pulled. Bergeron has scored three shorthanded goals in the past five games, including his first-period tally Tuesday.
The Jets are 40-25-4 on the season. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has allowed 30 goals in his past eight games He has gone 2-5-0 in that span with an .894 save percentage. The Jets remain without injured defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey. Forward Patrik Laine has 10 points, four goals, in his past 10 games. It was a needed shot in the arm after he recorded just six points, with two goals, in his previous 26 contests. The Jets are in the midst of a difficult schedule, facing Calgary (second in the Western Conference in points) Saturday. F Kyle Connor scored his 27th goal of the season Tuesday after leading all rookies in 20187-18 with 31.
PREDICTION: Jets 4, Bruins 3
NHL Betting Odds & Trends
|Boston is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Boston is 13-3 SU in its last 16 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Boston’s last 10 games|
|Boston is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games on the road|
|Boston is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Winnipeg|
|Boston is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Winnipeg|
|Boston is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Winnipeg|
|The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Boston’s last 12 games when playing on the road against Winnipeg|
|Winnipeg is 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games|
|Winnipeg is 4-8 SU in its last 12 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Winnipeg’s last 6 games|
|Winnipeg is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home|
|Winnipeg is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Winnipeg’s last 6 games at home|
|Winnipeg is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Boston|
|Winnipeg is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Boston|
|Winnipeg is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Boston|
|The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Winnipeg’s last 12 games when playing at home against Boston|
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