A scarce card tonight in the NHL with only two games going off Wednesday night. The Ottawa Senators play the hot Washington Capitals in Washington, and then in Boston the Penguins and Bruins clash. The Bruins appear to be trending up, with the Penguins playing some of the worst hockey we have seen since before Sidney Crosby came onto the scene. Crosby has undoubtedly had a rough year and is being overlooked for younger faces such as Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin of the Stars. It almost looks like he’s washed up a little bit and tired, but I will reserve my opinion for another couple of months. Two months is going to get here rather quickly, so time to pick it up Sid. It’s not like he has been bad, but he just hasn’t been very Crosby like. The dominating playmaker hasn’t been see too often. Crosby has scored 6 goals and 13 assists. To put things in perspective Jamie Benn has 20 goals and 21 assists.
Thus far the Phil Kessel experiment doesn’t seem to be working out in Pittsburgh. The Leafs were just happy to get rid of the guy and there doesn’t appear to be any chemistry with him on the team. In Toronto they had the same problem with Kessel. The Penguins at 15-11-1 are still alive and well. But there doesn’t seem to be much confidence in the Pens. I think what it will take is Crosby to start heating up. He heats up, the confidence will begin to come back. However, the Pens will have to get back on track without the services of starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He is out indefinitely with a concussion. Jeff Zatkoff and prospect Matt Murray will share time in net while Fleury is on the mend. And oh yeah, the Penguins just traded veteran Rob Scuderi to the Blackhawks.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins NHL Pick
The Penguins starting goaltender hasn’t been confirmed for this evening. Rumor has it the recently called up Matt Murray might get the call. Born in 1994, Murray is a young guy that looks even younger than he is. This would be his first start at the NHL level. Conversely, Zatkoff has had four appearances for a 2-1-1 record and 2.43 GAA. Not too bad, but I think the Penguins are going to miss Fleury rather quickly here. The offense will have to make up for it, they haven’t been a factor for the most part this season. Weird how the Penguins and Lightning were recently two of the best offenses in the NHL the past few seasons. Both are now near the back. The Pens are 25th in the NHL with 2.31 goals scored per game.
In another odd instance, the Bruins have been known for having the best defense in the league. Not the case this season, as they have allowed 2.72 goals per game which is 20th. However, the offense has been playing well, averaging 3.17 goals per game, trailing only the Dallas Stars. The defense has also been improving for the Bruins. I don’t trust Zatkoff or Murray in net tonight for the Pens against one of the best offenses in the league. Not enough for me to fall in love with the Bruins at a price of -150 or so, but there could be a case for the OVER in this matchup.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-125)