NHL Picks: Play Bruins To Take Road Win vs. Devils

Bruce Webster

Friday, January 8, 2016 2:34 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 2:34 PM UTC

The Boston Bruins enter this game off a hard fought 3-2 loss, while the New Jersey Devils enter off a tough 2-1 loss at Montreal, who will be our NHL pick in this matchup?

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NHL Pick: Bruins -115
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek


Bruins Continue to Struggle on Offense
The Boston Bruins put up seven goal on Ottawa a few games ago, but in their other six of their last seven they have totaled just nine goals. Their last game was at home vs Washington and Breden Holby and they put up just two goals in the 3-2 loss. Really no shame in struggling vs Holtby, but still the Bruins are showing that there are chinks in that offensive armor of late.  Scoring in the loss to Washington was Loui Eriksson, which was his 14th and Patrice Bergeron, who notched his 15th of the year. Despite their recent offensive woes the Bruins are still ranked 3rd in scoring at 13.1 gpg and tops in power play conversions, converting on 28.4% of their chances.

Taking the loss in the game was Tuukka Rask, who has now lost four of his last five starts after he had won five in a row. Rask should get the start here as well and he is 14-14 with a 2.53 GA on the year, including 7-4 with a 1.85 GAA on the road, while vs the Devils in his career he has gone 4-4 with a 1.51 GAA. At the defensive end of the ice the Bruins check in at 20th in goals allowed, giving up 2.7 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on just 17.9% of their chances, which is good for 8th in the league. Boston still has below average goaltending, so they really need that offense to pick it back up or they could struggle in the 2nd half of the year.


Another Poor Offensive Display by the Devils
If the New Jersey Devils miss the playoffs this year it will be because of their pathetic offense that had another poor showing in their 2-1 loss to Montreal on Wednesday night. New Jersey is last in the league in shots taken and they could muster just 20 shots in the game vs Montreal. They turned those 20 shots into just one goal, which was scored by Adam Henrique, which was his 14th goal of the year, but just his first in his last 11 games. The Devils have now scored just 18 total goals in their last 10 games and that now just them at 28th in the league in scoring overall. 

The one who should be upset about the lack of offense is Cory Schneider, who had another solid game, but was also saddled with yet another tough loss. Schneider is now just 17-17 on the year, despite the fact that he has a very solid 2.06 GAA. He should get the start in this one and is also just 7-10 with a 2.09 GAA at home, while vs the Bruins in his career he has gone 1-4 with a 2.57 GAA. The Devils are a strong defensive team that has allowed just 2.3 gpg, which is 4th in the league, while allowing teams to convert on just 17.1% of their power play chances, which is 7th. Let's review the latest trends & NHL odds before:


Boston Trends
38-15 in their last 53 vs. the Metropolitan
11-5 in their last 16 road games

New Jersey Trends
16-33 in their last 49 vs. a team with a winning record
1-4 in their last 5 games playing on one day’s rest


Betting Analysis
I will take a shot with Boston here as the NHL pick. They have won five of the last six games in New Jersey and while their offense has struggled I see them as having a better shot at getting their offense turned around before the Devils do. Boston should take this one in a tight game.

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