The Bruins have tasted defeat in their last two appearances. They dropped a 5-3 decision to the Capitals, a game in which the otherworldly play of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas got downright mortal until he was pulled in favor of tonight’s expected starter, Tuukka Rask. In their most recent game the Bruins fell in a shootout, 2-1.
(7-7-1 SU, -4.1 units) find themselves with a middling record, in the middle of
their divisional standings and in the middle of a goaltending controversy. If journeyman goaltender Brent Johnson’s name
says stage actor then Stanley Cup winner and starting goaltender Marc-Andre
Fleury’s name screams superstar. And
that’s pretty much the way it was supposed to go this year until Fleury forgot
his lines and Johnson suddenly began quoting Shakespeare. Johnson has been outstanding, sporting a
6-1-1 record with a nifty 1.62 goals against average while Fleury has been
slumping with a 1-6 record and a 3.54 GAA.
Injuries plague B’s superstars
center Marc Savard is still reeling from the devastating blow leveled by
Penguins left winger Matt Cooke last season.
Savard was carried off the ice and has been dealing with the effects of
a severe concussion ever since. David
Krejci was promoted to the top line and has performed admirably until he
sustained his own head injury last Saturday night in St. Louis. He will be on the shelf tonight and replaced
by another talented player, Patrice Bergeron, who missed almost the entire
2007-2008 campaign with a serious concussion of his own. JOFA, CCM, Bauer and any other company that
manufactures hockey helmets, are you listening?
Pen’s Crosby leads the way
Sidney Crosby is the feature attraction for the Penguins with 9 goals and 10
assists already on the young season. His
19 points trails only Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the top spot in the
NHL. The Penguins as a team have been
among the best in terms of scoring goals but their defense has suffered lapses
which have led to losses this year. They
will need Crosby and his crew to come fully armed tonight as the Bruins defense
has been stingy all year and their goaltending tandem of Thomas and Rask are
among the league’s best. It’s not often
when a team has back to back Vezina Trophy winners minding the nets.
both the Bruins and Penguins have played better on the road than in front of
their home crowd. Boston is taking to
the highway the way a group of frat brothers take to an open bar. They are 5-1-0 on the road while Pittsburgh
also enjoys touring the country with a 5-3-1 mark. However, at home, both teams get a bit too
relaxed and Pittsburgh is actually a sub .500 club with a 2-4-0 record at the
Who’s got the edge and what are the
NHL Betting Odds?
While Boston has the sturdier defense there isn’t a player on the ice who is more talented
than Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. But
even Crosby will need assistance as Boston’s blueliners do not allow teams to
pressure in their own zone. It must also
be noted that Boston has 2 aces in net while Pittsburgh has only one that is
currently playing like a starter, although time will tell if Brent Johnson will
return to form and Fleury will eventually win back the starting
assignment. For this game however, Rask
will be between the pipes for Boston and looked sharp in a losing effort last
time out. Johnson will get the nod for
Pittsburgh and look to continue his winning ways.
said, I find it difficult to lean one side or another. Pittsburgh is getting the edge as the home
team tonight as virtually all the sportsbooks are installing the Pens as -125
favorites. I will predict that
outstanding goaltending will rule the night and play Under 5 ½.