Last night’s picks went precisely as expected as I went a clean 3 for 3 and it was one heck of a profitable night.
I didn’t have to sweat it much, either. The first pick of the night was over before the sound of the first-period buzzer. The Buffalo Sabres put up five first-period tallies on the visiting New Jersey Devils and it was smooth sailing from there on out in an eventual 7-1 Buffalo win at -118 odds.
The second pick was much more stressful, however as I took the under 5.5 between the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings. It was 2-0 Islanders after one period and 3-1 Isles after two, putting my pick in jeopardy. However, there was just one third-period goal and a 4-1 Islanders win fell under the total at nice +101 odds.
Finally, it was a stress-free final winner on the evening between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues built a 2-0 first-period lead and didn’t look back from there in a 4-0 road win over the depleted Chicago Blackhawks at -125 odds.
It was a great night and I’ll look to make it two in a row on tonight’s 10-game NHL schedule!
Season Record: 35-29-1
Let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Hurricanes vs. Bruins from Boston!
Hurricanes vs. Bruins Betting Odds
- Hurricanes (+134)
- Bruins (-148)
- Hurricanes +1.5 (-184)
- Bruins -1.5 (+164)
- Over 6 (-105)
- Under 6 (-105)
Hurricanes vs. Bruins NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before getting into my final pick!
The Hurricanes endured a mild rough patch of late, dropping two in a row and three of five, although they got right back on track with a road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning as +125 underdogs on Saturday despite being outshot 38-24 in that contest.
It did, however, continue a stretch of winning away from home for a team that occupies the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Over their last six games on the road, the Hurricanes have gone 5-1-0, their lone loss in that time a 3-2 decision at the New York Rangers. As a result, their 8-5-0 record on the road is almost identical to their 8-5-1 mark at home.
While they were outshot heavily in Tampa, that’s certainly not a trend for this team. Rather, it’s usually the Hurricanes outshooting the opposition and controlling the possession game.
In fact, that Tampa game snapped a six-game streak of Carolina outshooting their opponents. They own a +5.0 average shot differential on the season, the fourth-best mark in the NHL. Of course, with that usually comes strong possession numbers and that’s certainly the case with these ‘Canes.
Carolina’s 55% Corsi For% at 5v5 this season is the best mark in the NHL and their 56.60% scoring chances for percentage (SCF%) is by far the best mark in the NHL. For good measure, their 55.51% high-danger chances for percentage (HDCF%) is the league’s third-best mark.
The numbers themselves aren’t quite as good on the road, but they’re still one of the best road possession teams in the league. Their 51.81% Corsi For% at 5v5 away from home ranks third, their 51.21% SCF% ranks fifth and their 48.48% HDCF% checks in at eighth.
The road offense and defense have cancelled each other out so far this season as they score 2.86 goals per game and allow that same 2.86 goals per game mark. Their 17.8% mark on the power play away from home is a quality 14th, but it’s their penalty killing that could give them a fighting chance against a dominant Bruins power play. Carolina’s 86.5% penalty kill on the road is the third-best mark in the NHL and that mark sits at 90.5% over their last six games on the road.
We aren’t sure who will get the nod in goal tonight for the ‘Canes as they’ve yet to name a starter, but it’s worth noting they have the league’s 11th-ranked save percentage on the road, although the presumed starter, Petr Mrazek, owns a shaly 3.24 GAA and .891 Sv%. Perhaps James Reimer will get another go in goal tonight after stymying the Lightning on Saturday while he owns an excellent 2.38 GAA and .923 Sv% in eight road appearances.
The NHL’s best team at the moment with just three regulation losses all season, the Bruins enter this one white-hot having won each of their last seven games while making things exceedingly difficult on the opposing offense.
The Bruins are the NHL’s top-ranked defense with 2.26 goals against per game on the season while their 2.07 goals against per game at home checks in at second.
Over their last four games, the Bruins have surrendered just five goals total and just one in three of those four games. However, there’s a couple trends I’ve had my eye on with this team.
For one, they’re consistently being outshot. Over their last eight games, the Bruins have been outshot five times. Furthermore, they’ve been outshot three times in their last four.
Secondly, they have trailed in the third period in four of their last five games and not against the best of teams in the form of the Wild, Senators, Rangers and Canadiens. All but the Senators game were on home ice, as well.
In other words, the Bruins have flirted with danger. Their defense and goaltending has held them in the games and they’ve found ways to win, but aside from a blowout win in Montreal four of their last six wins have been by just one goal.
The Bruins are the NHL’s best home team with a cool 11-0-4 record at the TD Garden, but their home possession and advanced numbers don’t come close to supporting such a dominant record.
The Bruins rank 18th with a 51.31% Corsi For% at 5v5 at home this season. They rank 21st with a 50.45% SCF% at 5v5 at home and all the way down to 25th with a 50.49% HDCF% at 55 at home.
Why such dominant home success, you ask? Look towards their 34% home power play (2nd), 87% home penalty kill (8th) and top-ranked .936 Sv% from their goaltenders at home.
However, the Hurricanes catch a little break in that Jaroslav Halak, not Tuukka Rask, is getting the nod in this one tonight. Halak has been real good with a 2.35 GAA and .930 Sv% on the season and a 2.32 GAA and .932 Sv% at home. Still, Rask owns a 1.86 GAA and .938 Sv% at home, so the ‘Canes are still getting the more favorable goaltending matchup here.
The Bruins have been deadly on offense and on the power play at home this season and their goaltending has been lights out. However, if there is a defense that can contain the Bruins’ dominant top line as well as their high-octane power play, the Hurricanes are a good candidate to do so.
I like the fact that Carolina’s road penalty kill is so strong to help negate that Bruins power play. Their penalty kill is 90.9% over their last 10 games.
The Hurricanes hold the possession advantage here and the fact that the Bruins have flirted with so much danger and their recent tendency to play – and win – one-goal games is concerning to me. They may be undefeated at home, but sooner or later those weak possession numbers and unsustainable one-goal game record is going to come back to bite them.
I view this as a good opportunity to take a notable road underdog, even if it’s against the best team in the NHL at the moment.
Give me the road warrior Hurricanes to perhaps hand the Bruins their first regulation loss at home tonight, or at least their fifth home loss overall.