The Boston Bruins welcome the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston. Vegas are still going through a transition period, as they get accustomed to a new system under Peter DeBoer. So far with DeBoer at the helm, the Golden Knights have been up and down. Have we seen much of a change versus Gerard Gallant? No, it really looks like the same team that has had their positives and negatives throughout the season.
We need to give DeBoer much larger of a sample size before we overreact to anything, though. Fans will of course get overly excited over what is happening in a single snapshot over a week or two, but it’s not ideal. However, what I will say is that the team hasn’t really been given a jolt with the DeBoer hiring, at least immediately.
The Golden Knights were winners in DeBoer’s debut against the Ottawa Senators. In fact, they scored on the first shift and it was a tremendous opening stanza for DeBoer with the Knights. It translated into a 4-2 win, though this was over one of the worst teams in the NHL. In his second game as head coach, the Golden Knights pulled off an incredible comeback to tie the game up at 4 goals apiece late.
They scored two goals with less than two minutes on the clock to set up overtime, where they would lose 5-4. A point out of the deal isn’t too terrible, though. They were less than two minutes away from getting nothing and losing 4-2. And that’s all there is report in the DeBoer era thus far. He will not make his home debut until February 8th against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Vegas are in the midst of a long eight-game road trip. Six of their next seven games will be at home following this stretch, though. The Golden Knights are going to have to take advantage of that home-ice advantage at T-Mobile Arena. A strong push is going to be necessary for the Knights to reach the playoffs. Anything less and pundits are going to jump all over of the franchise for firing Gallant. If they have success, though, they’ll look like geniuses.
The Bruins are coming off a blown game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. With a three-goal lead going into the 3rd period, the Penguins scored four unanswered to shock the Bruins. All the Bruins had to do is play their game and they would have gotten the sweep in the home-and-home. That certainly wasn’t the case for 20 minutes, though. With one win in their last four outings, there will be some pressure on them to play a sharp contest this evening. Tuukka Rask will be unavailable again as he tends to a concussion. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Bruins pick.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Boston Bruins Betting Odds:
Golden Knights vs. Bruins Prediction:
For the Golden Knights to find success down the stretch, they’re going to need Marc-Andre Fleury to step it up. It doesn’t matter who is behind the bench. If Fleury continues to play less than his A+ game, then the Golden Knights are going to continue to struggle. He’s let in some awfully soft goals lately, and that’s going to have to change.
Fleury has been one of the hottest and coldest goaltenders throughout his career, so perhaps he turns on the heat at the perfect time in February and March. Fleury owns a 2.85 GAA and 0.906 save percentage, which is well below his career numbers. Over the course of his career, Fleury has posted a 2.57 GAA and 0.913 save percentage. Get back in that range, and the Golden Knights are going to be in a much better position going forward.
As a result, the Golden Knights have struggled in the defensive zone, and no, it goes beyond Fleury as well. The Knights have surrendered 3.04 goals per game in 2019-20, and in their last ten games that number goes up to 3.3 goals a game. Near the start of the season they were playing a really solid game defensively, but that’s going to the wayside most recently. The Golden Knights have allowed at least 4 goals in six of their last eight games.
The Bruins have been much better off at TD Garden this season. They’ve been one of the best home teams in the NHL, as they sport a record of 16-2-9. Boston have notched an average of 3.33 goals per game at home, while allowing 2.65 goals in the defensive zone. This is a Bruins team who have dominated the Golden Knights since their inception. The Bruins are on a four-game winning streak against the Golden Knights, and have won four of five meetings.
Vegas is going to be short-handed with a notable player on the injury report. William Karlsson will miss tonight and will use the All-Star break to recover from an upper-body injury. Fortunately it doesn’t appear to be a long-term thing, but his absence hurts for tonight in Boston. Cody Glass will continue to sit out and is not going to be available tonight as well. Paul Stastny, who took a puck to the mouth and lost teeth in the process against Montreal, will likely be okay to go, though. Nevertheless, the Bruins look like a good bounce-back candidate on Tuesday night following a disaster on Sunday afternoon.