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.
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.
The 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
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
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
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.