The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs continues tonight with a potential elimination game on tap parlayed with Game 5 of an Eastern Division series knotted at 2-2. While these games have been anything but predictable, below, we’ll analyze two bets that we hope come to fruition.
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Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
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New York Islanders (+156) vs. Boston Bruins (-182)
These two teams continue to alternate wins after the Isles took Game 4 behind gutty performances from Mat Barzal and Semyon Varlamov.
After letting in a questionable overtime goal from a poor angle in Game 3, Varlamov rebounded with 28 saves on 29 shots to continue his strong postseason performance. The Russian netminder has posted a dominant .929 SV% and 1.6 GSAA in the first two rounds of the playoffs thus far.
In the home crease, Tuukka Rask has been even better for the Bruins in the playoffs, posting a .935 SV% and otherworldly 4.1 GSAA – although unreasonable Boston sports fans will inexplicably blame him for any shortcomings. Rinse and repeat.
Offensively, the Bruins’ “perfection line” and their power play – executing at a 32.1% clip this postseason, continue to drive play and keep them in games. Although the trio of Marchand, Pastrnak, and Bergeron had a lackluster performance in Game 4, I’m expecting this line and team to regain its scoring touch on home ice tonight.
Typically dominant in the faceoff circle, Bergeron went a mere 10-14 at the dot, and Pastrnak uncharacteristically missed a wide-empty net, ringing a one-timer off the post. Additionally, this line was -2 in scoring chances 5v5.
Considering they carry the load for this team 95% of the time, I expect a dominant performance from them tonight.
With the series tied, we would assume the play has been even throughout; but below, we’ll look beyond the surface and analyze the series metrics 5v5 from games one through four.
Number’s courtesy of Natural Stat Trick
CF%: 55.56 (BOS) 44.44 (NYI)
HDCF%: 56.06 (BOS) 43.94 (NYI)
SCF%: 56.68 (BOS) 44.32 (NYI)
xGF: 9.79 (BOS) 7.55 (NYI)
xGF%: 53.85 (BOS) 46.15 (NYI)
As displayed above, we can see that the Bruins hold a significant statistical advantage in every category.
Furthermore, we’ve seen the B’s have even stronger numbers at home with edges in CF%, xGF, and SCF%.
Returning to home ice after a relatively poor team and individual performance last time out, I’m expecting the B’s and their top line to return to form tonight. Laying (-186) is egregious, so we’ll knock the juice down and back them in regulation.
Betting Picks: Boston Bruins in regulation (-107) David Pastrnak to score (+105)
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