The Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins meet for the first time this season. Their previous meeting resulted in a 4-3 win for the Flyers in overtime last April. The Bruins had an impressive regular season, finishing with a record of 50-20-12, but their journey came to an end when the Tampa Bay Lightning derailed them in five games. Boston won the first game and then it was all Tampa from there. Over in Philadelphia, the Flyers were stopped by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first-round.
As wide open as the NHL is, it’s way too early to say one thing or the other about both of these teams. The Bruins are clearly the better team, but they have a huge mountain to climb to overtake some other teams in the Eastern Conference. They would be favourites over the Flyers in a seven-game series. However, it’s going to be tough to put them ahead of some others in the conference.
Rask got a much needed quality start in the Bruins last outing. He was falling out of favour with Bruins’ fans already, but Rask was on point against the Senators. The Sens sent 39 shots his way and he sent back 38 in a 4-1 victory for the Bruins on the road. He’ll have to keep it up, though, because his numbers are still off despite the nice start.
Jaroslav Halak has been serviceable and if Rask continued to struggle, he was ready to jump into a more prominent role. However, at least for now, Rask has quieted some nerves in Boston. The Flyers are still searching for Brian Elliott to step up and take over games. Head below for our free Flyers vs. Bruins pick.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins Pick
With the productive showing for Rask, he brought his GAA down to 3.38 and his save percentage to 0.901. I certainly have more faith in Rask than Elliott figuring it out. Due to Michal Neuvirth working back from an injury, the Flyers don’t have another solid behind Elliott to help out. Calvin Pickard doesn’t appear like he has the ability to perform at this level of play.
He owns a 4.73 GAA and 0.833 save percentage, while Elliott enters tonight with a 3.59 GAA and 0.882 save percentage. Pick your poison but the Flyers have to ride with Elliott. Although, he has been doing more time complaining about the NHL making goaltender equipment smaller than stopping pucks. He says it’s because he’s getting injured, but if he was performing well we probably don’t hear from him.
The Flyers have allowed 4.11 goals per game thus far in 2018-19. The defence and goaltending let in 4 or more goals in three of their last four games. If they’re going to make it back to the postseason, the Flyers are going to have to clean these errors up because it’s happening far too often. This team also hates playing in Boston for whatever reason. The Bruins are a solid team at home, but the Flyers are a team that they have rolled over at TD Garden. They’ve gone 9-1 in their last ten meetings in Boston, as well as 21-7 in their previous 28 dates overall. The Bruins should be able to add another win to this trend, and at a nice price on the puck line, it’s worth a bet in Boston.