The Devils will host the Bruins on Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The opening face-off will be at 3:05 PM ET, and it most likely will be the final game of the Devils Martin Brodeur’s illustrious NHL career. At the time of this writing there was no money line or posted total according to NHL betting odds. The main reason for no current betting odds revolves around the uncertainty of who Boston will rest in their regular season finale, in an otherwise meaningless game for the Bruins. Boston has won 12 of the last 14 meetings between these teams, including the last 4 at New Jersey. The teams have seen just 2 of their last 11 meetings go under the total, including none of the last 6 at New Jersey.
The Bruins closed out their regular season home schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The win enabled the Bruins to capture the President’s Trophy, which is rewarded annually to the team that earns the most points in the NHL regular season. It will be highly unlikely that we will see any of the Bruins key personnel participating in this matinee affair. The goal right now for Boston is to get the postseason with the healthiest lineup possible. I think I can safely say that we’ll see backup Chad Johnson between the pipes this afternoon. Johnson has done a terrific job in that role for the Bruins this season going 17-6 versus the money line in 23 starts, and Boston earned at least 1 point in 20 of those 23-games. Johnson has a stellar 2.07 GAA, a .926 save percentage, and has earned 2 shutouts.
There might not be a dry eye in the house at the conclusion of today’s game. The Devils long time goaltender and future Hall of Fame first ballot inductee Martin Brodeur will be most likely be in uniform for the last time, it what has been an absolutely magnificent career. Unfortunately the Devils won’t be part of the 2014 postseason. The playoffs has been a time in which Brodeur established himself as one of the best money goaltenders of the NHL modern era. Brodeur enters today 18-20 versus the money line in 38 starts this season with a 2.52 GAA, a .901 save percentage, and posted 2 shutouts. The 41-year old has certainly had far better seasons in his career, but still continued to perform at a high level, playing behind an average team at best. The Devils come into their regular season finale having dropped their last 3-games in a row.
I look for the Devils to put forth a strong effort in today’s game, if for anything else, out of sincere respect for their legendary teammate. The Bruins won’t be playing with a full deck today as I alluded to earlier in this article. Regardless of the price, my smallest of leans for my NHL picks goes to the home team playing with emotion.
Free Hockey Pick: Devils over the Bruins