Edmonton Oilers at Boston Bruins
NHL: Thursday, October 11, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, 7:00 PM ET
The 2018-19 NHL season continues with a clash between the Edmonton Oilers (7th in Pacific Division) and the Boston Bruins (2nd in Atlantic Division), and the hosts are the favorites to record the second home win of the campaign.
The Oilers are searching for the first win of the season
The Edmonton Oilers ended the last season in the 12th place in the Western Conference with 78 points and 263 goals conceded, only the Vancouver Canucks had a worse defensive record in the West. That defense didn’t improve, apparently, as the Oilers opened the new campaign with a 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on the road, allowing four goals in the second and third period. Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl scored goals for Edmonton and they also added an assist apiece, while Connor McDavid recorded a pair of dishes as well. McDavid led the NHL in points last year (108 points, 41 G and 67 A), Draisaitl had 70 points (25 G and 45 A), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 48 points (24 G and 24 A) were the Oilers’ top performers in the 2017-18 and should be closely monitored on this one.
Cam Talbot will start at the goal for the Oilers, and he had 31 wins and 31 losses in 67 games in the 2017-18 campaign. Talbot allowed 188 goals (3.02 per game) and recorded 2036 saves (.908 SV %) with just one shutout, the worst season of his career. Talbot is 0-1 as he faced 26 shots so far in the 2018-19 and allowed four goals (4.05 per game) with 22 saves (.846 SV %).
The Bruins are hoping to make a step forward and reach the Eastern Conference finals
The Boston Bruins finished the last season in the 2nd place in the Eastern Conference with 112 points, just one behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and the best defensive record in the East. Boston was stopped by the Lightning in five games in the Eastern Conference semis and they are looking to move a step further in their Stanley Cup quest. The Bruins lost the opening game of this season as the Washington Capitals destroyed them, 7-0, but they bounced back with a pair of victories over Buffalo and Ottawa. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak dominated with four points each in a 6-3 win over the Senators, while Charles McAvoy and Brad Marchand added three assists apiece. Marchand led the Bruins in points last year as he recorded 85 (34 G and 51 A); Pastrnak had 80 points (35 G 45 A), while Bergeron chipped in with 63 points (30 G 33 A). The Bruins’ offense is the 13th in the NHL with 3.3 goals per contest and they have the 5th best powerplay conversion (40%).
Jaroslav Halak is the starting goaltender for the Bruins, and he had 20 wins and 26 losses in 54 games in the 2017-18 season. Halak allowed 161 goals (3.19 per game) and recorded 1744 saves (.908 SV %) with one shutout. Halak is 1-0 as faced 50 shots so far in the 2018-19 and allowed two goals (1.30 per game) with 48 saves (.960 SV %).
- 20-8 in their last 28 games played on Thursday
- 19-7 in their last 26 games playing on two days rest
- 23-8 in their last 31 games played at home
- 1-4 in their last five games following a loss of three or more goals
- 0-4 in their last four games played on the road
- 21-46 in their last 67 games playing on three or more days rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston won 14 out of the previous 20 H2H encounters but Edmonton won six out of the last seven, while the Bruins were victorious in seven out of the past ten meetings at the TD Garden. The Oilers are 3-9-1 in the last 13 duels in Boston, while the Bruins scored ten goals in their last two games, so I expect their offense to prevail against the leaky Edmonton’s defense that allowed 2.97 goals per contest on the road in the 2017-18.
Prediction: Boston Bruins (-165)
Full-Game Total Pick
Four out of the last ten H2H duels produced more than six goals which is set as the total for this game, but considering the Oilers’ defensive struggles and Boston’s red-hot offense, it is hard to imagine under six goals here. Over is 13-4-4 in Bruins last 21 home games, while over is 4-0 in Oilers previous four vs. Eastern Conference opponents.
Prediction: Over 6 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Boston won the last two games after they had an identical 2-0 lead in the first period in both of those games, and although Edmonton was up after the opening period last time they met in the 2017-18, I am backing the Bruins to take control early on.
Prediction: Boston Bruins (-150)
Half-Time Side Pick
All three of Boston’s games so far produced two goals in the opening period, while that was the case in Edmonton’s only game this season, so I am going with another efficient first period here and over 1.5 goals.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (+100)