I released a trio of free NHL picks last night, but took a split and a minuscule units loss as one of my picks was unfortunately involved in a scary incident in Anaheim.
My loss came between the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers as I had the Jets to stay hot on the moneyline at -117 odds.
It was all Rangers throughout as they built a 2-0 lead after two periods and never looked back in what was a 4-1 final.
However, I bounced back a little later on in a pick involving the Avalanche on the puckline at -103 odds over the visiting Senators.
It’s rare to see puckline odds so short, but the Sens are ice-cold and the Avs are red-hot, so I took my chances and it worked out. The Senators fought hard as it was just 1-0 Colorado entering the third, but a third-period power play goal followed by an empty-netter gave the Avalanche a 3-0 win and us a winner on the puckline.
However, hockey took a backseat shortly thereafter. The Ducks and Blues were tied at 1-1 in the first period when Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed and suffered a cardiac event on the Blues’ bench.
There we a lengthy delay in the game at that point before the game was postponed all together.
Reports afterwards stated that Bouwmeester was alert and responsive when leaving the arena, but though go out to Jay and his family during a scary time in their lives.
All told, it was a 1-1 night that cost us 0.17 units, but we’ll put it behind us and move onto a three-game Wednesday night schedule!
Season Record: 93-81-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Canadiens vs. Bruins from the TD Garden in Boston!
Canadiens vs. Bruins Betting Odds
- Canadiens (+184)
- Bruins (-205)
- Canadiens +1.5 (-135)
- Bruins -1.5 (+115)
- Over 5.5 (-113)
- Under 5.5 (+102)
Canadiens vs. Bruins NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Canadiens enter this one tonight with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread as Hockey Reference is giving them just a 3.6% chance to quality for the postseason with Montreal sitting seven points back of the Maple Leafs for the third spot in the Atlantic Division while also having played one more game.
Nonetheless, it’s a rivalry matchup tonight in Boston where the Canadiens have played their best hockey this season – on the road.
Montreal’s struggles at home have been a big hindrance on their season as they’ve gone just 13-15-4 at the Bell Centre, but also 14-9-3 on the road where many of their stats are superior to their numbers on home ice while their road numbers rank among the best in the business.
The Canadiens enter this one ranked fifth with 3.38 goals per game on the road this season while their road power play sits first with a 27% clip away from home on the campaign.
Defensively, they’ve also been better on the road where they sit tied for 11th with an even 3.00 goals against per game and where their penalty kill still hasn’t been all that great with a 20th-ranked 77.6% mark on the season.
That defense took a huge blow recently, however, as all-world blueliner Shea Weber is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury at the moment and is without a timetable for a return.
The top-pairing blueliner was enjoying a huge season and his 24:18 of average ice time will be hard to replace on a Canadiens blueline that looks awfully thin without his name present.
Nonetheless, they’ll have to fight through that injury and perhaps their strong possession numbers can help in that cause in this one.
At 5v5 on the road, the Canadiens rank fourth with a 52.48% Corsi For%, fourth with a 51.33% Scoring Chances For% and third with a 51.44% High-Danger Chances For%.
They rank second with 33.4 shots per game on average on the road, so they’re finding ways to get pucks on goal on the road better than almost any other NHL team.
While the Canadiens are still big longshots to get into the postseason, the reason they still even have a chance is because of Carey Price.
Sure, Price endured some struggles earlier in the season that didn’t help their cause, but he’s been absolutely sensational since the calendar flipped to 2020.
In the month of January, Price turned in a 2.09 GAA and . 934 Sv% across 10 starts, but has upped those numbers to a 1.80 GAA and .940 Sv% in five starts in the month of February.
He’s also been better on the road this season, posting a 2.63 GAA and .921 Sv% across 20 starts away from home where he’s gone 12-6-2 on the season.
The Bruins rattled off a six-game win streak of late, but once again failed to take advantage of a favorable road matchup in Detroit on Sunday, dropping a 3-1 decision to the lowly Red Wings, interestingly their second loss in Detroit this season.
Nonetheless, the Bruins present a big challenge for that strong Habs road offense thanks to their stout ways on the back end.
Entering this one tonight, the Bruins rank fourth with just 2.30 goals against per game at home this season and are tied for seventh with an 85.9% mark on the penalty kill at home.
Over their last four games at the TD Garden, the Bruins have allowed just five goals total, good for just 1.25 goals against per game at home in that stretch.
Of course, the Bruins are no slouch on offense, either.
Boston sports the NHL’s 10th-ranked offense at home where they’ve averaged 3.37 goals per game on the season while their home power play has been elite to the tune of a 27% clip.
Before being stymied by the Red Wings with just one goal on Sunday, the Bruins averaged 3.50 goals per game during their six-game win streak.
Possession-wise, the Bruins are a real solid home team.
At 5v5 at home, the Bruins rank 12th with a 52.15% Corsi For%, 15th with a 52.29% Scoring Chances For% and 16th with a 53.42% High-Danger Chances For%.
Not the best rankings in the world, but the numbers themselves are solid.
Of course, with good defensive numbers comes good goaltending and the Bruins have received that in spades this season as the .923 Sv% they’ve received at home this season ranks them fourth in the league.
However, Tuukka Rask has been even better than that this season and he gets the starting nod for this one tonight.
Rask enters this matchup sporting a 2.14 GAA and .929 Sv% on the season across 32 starts, going 20-5-6 in the process.
He’s also undefeated in regulation at home with a 12-0-6 record, 2.07 GAA and .930 Sv% in 18 outings, and he too has been brilliant of late.
After turning in a 1.72 GAA and .951 Sv% in five January outings, Rask has been elite in February as well to the tune of a 1.35 GAA and .947 Sv% in three February starts.
Rask allowed one goal on 29 shots in a 3-1 win over the Habs in Boston on December 1st.
This matchup right here could be argued as the best rivalry in the league and these two teams always seem to play close games regardless of their respective positions in the standings, the Bruins’ 8-1 win in Montreal earlier this year aside, of course.
Over their last eight meetings, the game has been decided by two goals or less on five occasions and by one goal four occasions.
The under has also been dominant in recent history, going 8-2-0 over their last 10 head-to-head matchups and that’s where I’ll be looking tonight.
First, we have an elite goaltending matchup on our hands. Both goalies have been among the top five in the league since the calendar flipped to 2020 and both have home/road splits that favor this situation tonight.
For me, the Canadiens have been a good road offense but could very well struggle to produce in this one tonight. The Bruins are just so good defensively at home and dominant on the penalty kill at home as well.
Boston getting some offense going is concerning with Weber out of action, but when Carey Price is hot he carries this team on his shoulders. It’s certainly possible that Boston could generate plenty of shots and chances and Price could be right there to deny them.
The two teams will need to combine for six goals to get over this total, and given the level of goaltending on hand, I don’t see that happening tonight and I’ll take the under 5.5 at attractive odds in this one.