The Boston Bruins are on a roll after winning six straight, and they plan to continue this pattern with another win over the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are clearly taking cues from Charlie Sheen because they are just plain flat out “winning”.  The Bruins returned from their epic (another Sheenism) sojourn through the Great white North with a 6-0 record.  That was their best road trip in almost 40 years when the Big Bad Bruins did it in ‘71-‘72 and brought home the Stanley Cup led by the legendary Number 4, Bobby Orr. 

Boston BruinsThe B’s were welcomed home like conquering heroes after slaying all the dragons north of the border.  They rewarded their fans with a 2-1 home ice victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.  The Pittsburgh Penguins on the other hand have been mired in a shame spiral.  They have lost 6 of their last seven, 8 of their last 10, and 10 of their last thirteen. 

Although they have been losing in bunches it should be noted that they have been dropping them in heartbreaking fashion.  Of their last 6 losses, five have been by one goal and four of those games came in overtime or in the shootout session. 

The Boston Bruins (38-19-7) have been on a tear and new arrivals, Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley have integrated seamlessly, almost as though they have been wearing the spoked B since the season started.  The results have been impressive and the Bruins are now currently on a 7 game winning streak and within shouting distance of number one Eastern Conference seed, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Coach Claude Julien has been making all the right moves and when he realized starting netminder Tim Thomas, a rock between the pipes all season long, began to look mortal he called upon backup Tuukka Rask.  Julien has put his faith in Rask and it has been rewarded. 

The young Finn has been in net for 4 of the Bruins seven wins during their current winning streak and Tim Thomas has looked refreshed, reenergized and has clearly regained his Vezina Trophy form in his three game winning performances during the current streak.  Thomas has turned aside 82 of 85 shots in those three games, compiling a sterling 1.00 goals against average. 

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsubrugh Penguins (37-21-8) lost yet another nail biter last night, this time to the red hot New Jersey Devils.  Once again, in overtime, the Pens watched another game slip away in a 2-1 defeat and fell further down the Eastern Conference standings.  The Penguins are clearly reeling without the services of All-World center Sidney Crosby who has been sidelined with concussion like symptoms. 

In addition, talented Russian center Evgeni Malkin is lost for the rest of the season with knee ligament tears and it is evident the Pens have some very real concerns that are now manifesting into losses on the road and at home. 

We all know the Bruins will eventually lose a game and it should be noted they have an unusual propensity for doing so on Saturday home games this season.  They are 1-8 this year when they play in front of the home crowd on a Saturday.  Weird, right?  It just so happens the Penguins defeated them 3-2 on January 15th of this year and wonder of all wonders, the game was on, you guessed it, a Saturday. 

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was in the net that day and led the way with 44 saves.  Fleury has won his last two starts in Boston and will probably be going today.  However, while we know that all good things must come to an end, it is hard to imagine that two teams streaking in opposite directions will result in any other outcome but the obvious. 

Boston has been dreadful on Saturdays at home and Fleury has been a brick wall in his last two at the Garden.  But while Pittsburgh was losing another nail biter last night to the Devils, Boston was resting. 

Pittsburgh is closing out a 5 game road trip tonight in which they have lost 3 of four thus far.  They will board a plane to the Steel City immediately after the game and put this sad trip in their rear view mirror.  The Bruins meanwhile, will be basking in the afterglow of their 8th win in as many games. 

NHL bettors would be smart to listen to the NHL odds makers, and take Boston in this one.