Featured Video from Scott Reichel
We have ourselves an Eastern Conference matchup as the Boston Bruins travel close to the NJ Devils. The Bruins are 3rd in the NHL with a record of 12-3-5. Boston is 1st in the Atlantic Division by 3 points. The NJ Devils are in 26th in the NHL, as they sit 7-8-4. The Devils are in 7th in the Metropolitan division. Both of these teams are searching for points. For Boston, they want to keep control of the Atlantic, while NJ needs to start climbing up in their division.
Boston Bruins Road Woes ContinueThe Bruins have been having a stellar year thus far. However, their away record has not been quite as good. The B's are 5-3-1 on the road this year. They are barely over .500 on the road but when they play in Boston, 7-0-4. The Bruins have been able to find success when it comes to scoring goals on the road, averaging 3.22 goals per game (9th in the NHL). Brad Marchand continues to lead this Boston squad to victory, as he has notched 32 points in just 20 games. However as we have seen this season, the Bruins rely too heavily on their top line, with a lack of production befalling lines 2-4.
Boston is 12th in the NHL with 3 goals allowed per game when on the road. Brandon Carlo is having a down year compared to last year's career year. Carlo has not been able to find his touch, only notching 7 points in 20 games. The Boston skaters have not done a good job clearing out screens or controlling the neutral zone. Luckily Tuukka Rask is having another amazing year, saving 93% of shots faced. The B's are also giving Jaroslav Halak considerable playing time and he is doing just as well, saving 92% of shots faced. These two goalies, whoever plays, will be the difference-maker in this one.
New Jersey Devils Need To Climb Up The MetropolitanThe Devils are struggling this season with a hame record of 3-3-4. The Devils have not been able to keep other teams away from the back of the net, ranking 31st in the NHL with 3.50 goals per game allowed. Cory Schneider has been seeing some playing time going 0-4-1 in 5 starts this season, however, he is getting sent down to the AHL because of his performance. MacKenzie Blackwood has been playing better, with a 90 save percentage. Blackwood is 7-4-3 in his starts however he needs to step up at times because the Devils have allowed only 27 shots per game at home, 5th in the NHL.
#NJDevils coach Hynes on the assignment of Schneider to the AHL (if he clears):— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) November 18, 2019
"The way the schedule comes now, we didn't see him getting into a lot of games in the next few weeks. If you're not going to have an opportunity to play, it's hard to get the game reps you need." pic.twitter.com/5zh3jcZ47A
NJ has been better at scoring goals, netting 3.30 goals per game (17th best in the NHL). Taylor Hall continues to shine as he leads this NJ squad with 17 points through 19 games. The Devils have had a well-balanced spread of goalscoring throughout their team this season. Unfortunately, PK Subban has not been able to net many points as he only has 5 points in 19 games. This is a big dropoff from last year and the Devils must be frustrated by this. Hopefully, the other defensemen can step up and cover for Subban's terrible play this season, proving how the media can overhype a player before they are ready for it.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Devils on the Puckline in this matchup. This game is going to be close, so take the points in this game. The Devils could straight up win this game, so the +1.5 is a gift. The Bruins rely too heavily on their top line, and the Devils can come up with a gameplan to naturalize them. If you can take away the Boston top 3, then you can easily win the game. The Devils are going to need MacKenzie Blackwood to have a brilliant performance if they want to stonewall Brad Marchand.
The Devils have taken points in 7 of their 10 home games this season. There is a 70% chance based on recent trends, so I like the Puckline in this Eastern Conference matchup.
Prediction: NJ Devils +1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Go for the Under in this matchup. The Bruins and the Devils can score goals from all areas of the ice, however, both teams have goalies playing at an elite level. Tuukka Rask is having another elite year for Boston, and once again is a big reason why they are near the top of the NHL. Rask's glove has improved since last year, but most importantly his blocker saves have been producing fewer rebounds than last year. This has led to much easier clear outs for the Bruins defensemen. On the other hand, the Devils have Blackwood making saves left and right, just waiting for the Devils' offense to turn it up. Look for both goalies to bring the heat in this one.
Prediction: Under 6.5 -115