The Boston Bruins enter a particularly important stretch of games. They have lost three straight games and find themselves in a spot where they haven’t been in a long time. Typically the Bruins have made quick work of teams in the regular season, but this has been a tricky schedule for them thus far. They should make the playoffs, however they cannot let a three game skid turn into a long win-less run. This is why this week is particularly important for the Bruins. Let it turn into that and Boston will suddenly be looking from the outside in at the playoffs. They have had to deal with some injuries this season and have yet to really get into a comfortable groove. I predicted in an earlier article that they were going to find their way through the second half of the season with success. These last few games haven’t made me feel confident regarding their ability to do that. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of time to go in the season, and they may very well turn it up. They meet the Flames tonight who they have considerable success against.
The Flames have just been enjoying their rise back to relevancy this season, as not many people had them pegged as a 31-22-2-1 team. You are going to be hard pressed, even from Flame fans, to find someone that had them having this good of a season. I don’t see the Flames as a threat to scare teams in the playoffs, but this is a definite step in the right direction for this franchise. A franchise that is trying to move on from the Jerome Iginla error and look for a new identity. The Flames have definitely given their fans something to look forward to watching on the ice. We will see what they do tonight against the Bruins who are desperate for a win.
Boston Bruins @ Calgary Flames
As I alluded to, the Bruins have a favorable history against the Flames. In fact, the Bruins have won five straight over the Flames, and in those five games outscored them by a margin of 21-2. I haven’t seen a spread like that where one team has thoroughly dominated the other so easily. Yeah the Bruins have been good in this time frame and the Flames have been lousy for the most part, but that is a head turning statistic for sure. Lately and for the greater part of the season, the Bruins haven’t been playing Bruins’ defense. In their last two games they allowed 5 goals each, and are now allowing an average of 2.47 goals per game. That puts them as the 8th best team in the NHL. Now there a lot of teams in this league that would love to be 8th in defensive efficiency, but the Bruins are regularly in the top 3 in that department. They aren’t used to being this porous on the defensive side of things. Their offense is scoring 2.58 goals, which is pretty standard for them, but again, the defense has just been average, leading to an average record for them.
Beyond anything, the biggest surprise for the Flames has been their offense. They are scoring at a clip of 2.84 goals per game, which positions them as the 11th best offense in the NHL. They parlay their offense with a good defense as well, one that comes in at 10th in goals against per game. They have a legitimate shot at beating the Bruins tonight finally. However, a 19 goal margin in only five games is hard to ignore. The Bruins have simply had their number. Getting a short price on a team with a trend like this against their opponents is something I can’t ignore.
Pick – BRUINS TO WIN -104 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)