Bruins vs. Stars Pick – NHL January 20th

Bruins’ fans have been able to breathe a little easier lately after their team has looked more like the Bruins and less like a team in disarray. It’s been a much needed run for Boston. They have started the first-half of the season off extremely slow, and were getting close to falling to the .500 mark. This a Bruins team that lost only lost 19 games a season ago where they went 54-19-9. Note that the Bruins are already at 16 losses on the year. So barring a miracle they’re going to eclipse their loss total months before they got there last season. In other words it is going to happen. It is a mystery that is difficult to pinpoint with the Bruins. They didn’t endure drastic changes to the roster, and they still have one of the best goalies in Tuukka Rask. However, regular season success does not always translate into a Stanley Cup. Just ask the Bruins of last season, and the LA Kings from their two Stanley Cup winning teams. The fact of the matter is I wouldn’t want to be a team that catches the Bruins in the playoffs, they are still a squad to look out for. Rask can easily catch fire and carry them a long ways.

Who knows maybe the Dallas can be the surprise team of this years playoffs. The Stars are going to have to make the playoffs first though, and then go out and find a defense. At 21-17-6-1 the Stars have an opportunity to earn a trip to the playoffs, but I am not entirely sure they are going to find a defense. If they actually had some resemblance of a defense this could be a team we are talking about competing for a Stanley Cup. You may gawk at that assertion, but they do have a young dynamic offense that can score the puck. The only thing holding them back is the putrid defense. Defense ultimately wins championships, so they will definitely need to address it in the offseason. The Bruins and Stars should make for a pretty entertaining game tonight, nevertheless.

Boston Bruins @ Dallas Stars

The Bruins are winners of 5 of their last 6 games. The only loss coming in their last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The most impressive notion of that win streak was who they were beating. Half of those games were against good teams, and a couple are the best in the league at the moment. The Bruins beat the Penguins, Lightning, and Rangers, the three worth mentioning anyway. Those are the type of games the Bruins have to win and games they should compete in. Last season wins against those abovementioned teams wouldn’t have garnered any attention, but given the way the Bruins have been playing for the majority of the season they are big wins. The 5 game winning streak moved them to 24-16-2-4, definitely a run that was needed. Boston was excelling on defense last season, but this year they’re 9th in the NHL in defense. Still good, but not a consistent top 5 unit like we witnessed then. Throughout that win streak they did start to do much better on defense. In five games they allowed only 6 goals, for an average of 1.2 goals allowed. If the Bruins can get back to playing consistent defense like that they’ll fly up the standings rather quickly.

Don’t expect the Stars to find any defensive mojo, at least not anytime soon. Dallas enters 28th in the NHL in goals against, ahead of just the abysmal Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres. And that’s what I mean, get a decent defense and the Stars will be a team that others take seriously. As it is now though, they are giving up way too many goals with 3.27 allowed per game. They are ranked 3rd in the league in scoring, but if the Bruins play like they have been of late it should be harder on them to find the net. Boston is playing great hockey and I think they should be able to take advantage of the Dallas defense. If Rask plays well they should win this one at even odds.

Pick – BRUINS TO WIN +100 (Best Odds)

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.