Bruins to Continue Their Western Conference Domination

Dana Lane

Thursday, October 26, 2017 6:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 6:56 PM UTC

The San Jose Sharks (4-4-0) travel to Beantown to take on the Boston Bruins (3-3-1) at the TD Garden on Thursday night, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]Free NHL Pick: Bruins -110Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins

Yes, the Sharks are coming off an impressive 4-1 road win against the New York Rangers on Monday as their top players made an impact: Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns combined for 5 points along with a +6 combined plus/minus. The top guys are not the problem for me; it’s the Sharks' depth that I have reservations about. The Sharks, who are ranked 21st in scoring, are getting very little production from their second line. Tomas Hertl has just two goals and linemate Melker Karlsson has two points total. If Couture wasn’t carrying the line with his 1.25 PPG, the Sharkswould be ranked far worse scoring-wise. Even Thornton, who is usually very reliable defensively, has started the season off with a -7.

There is something out of sync with the Sharks, and I don’t make a habit backing teams that haven’t shown any reason to count on them. You might say: Wait a minute, didn’t you back the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday’s edition of the "Ice Guys"? Yes, but Montreal (38 SOG/gm, ranked 1st) is getting to the net and creating chances, while San Jose isn’t even close to being in that category (18th SOG 31.3).

Saturday, the Boston Bruins allowed the Buffalo Sabres to claw back from a 4-1 deficit to steal a 5-4 overtime win. The Bruins have a bunch of injuries to deal with, but their biggest injury is to their confidence and maybe their team moxie. They were embarrassed by a bad Sabres team. That said, if there is anything left in the tank it will be on display today.

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask hasn’t played since dropping a 3-1 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights 11 days ago due to a concussion. He should be rested and chomping at the bit to improve on his 1-3 record. The former Vezina Trophy winner has is better than his .882 save percentage and 3.30 goals against.

The Bruins have been without defenseman Kevan Miller due to a hand injuury, but he is also expected to return. You know how I feel about betting teams with guys returning, but when it’s a defenseman I always feel as if their impact will be less unpredictable than with a winger who hasn’t had game time experience with his line-mates in a few days or weeks.

From a trend perspective, the Bruins have beaten Western Conference teams in 14 of their last 19 attempts and are on a run of nine of 12 against the Pacific. The Sharks have dropped five of their last six coming off a win. Go grab the Bruins to cash tonight.

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