Restless Bruins Are Our Sharp NHL Pick To Overtake Blackhawks

Dana Lane

Thursday, March 3, 2016 7:04 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 3, 2016 7:04 PM UTC

The Blackhawks are playing their 2nd game off the heels of a big, 5-2, road win at Detroit last night. They take on the Bruins who have had two days to prepare. Get a breakdown of my NHL pick. 

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins
According to most betting sites, the moves the Boston Bruins made at the trade deadline barely made an impression on the NHL odds boards to win the Stanley Cup but if you look deeper the moves were just what Boston needed.

The big name, to potentially get moved, was Loui Eriksson but Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney, was driving a tough bargain causing Eriksson to stay in Boston. Sweeney also knows that the potential of Chris Kelley being a Bruin next year is minimal, freeing up 3 million in cap space aiding them in their efforts to re-sign Erikkson who has 48 points in 64 games whille supporting a sparkling +13. Advantage Boston.

They also brought in Lee Stempniak who has been taking line rushes with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, that's the number one line by the way. Many thought he would be a fourth liner but his 41 points in 63 games and a +3 suggest he will be more effective on their top line. He's a quick veteran with a sneaky wrist shot. I look for his numbers to improve with his 9th different team. Stempniak's arrival will dramatically cut down the ice time for Brett Connolly who was bumped to the fourth line. I'm not sure Connolly is a fourth liner but the decision to give Stempniak more playing time was the right call. 

Connolly is now paired with Landon Ferraro and rookie Noel Acciari which appears to be a demotion but, in fact, gives them the ability to have four lines to put the puck in the net. 

John-Michael Liles is going to provide defensive depth. He's a little undersized but he should should be more effective alongside Adam McQuaid on their second defensive pairing. He also played on the penalty kill against Calgary, Tuesday, logging the third most special teams play among Bruin defensemen. Point is the Bruins made quality moves at the deadline and tonight those moves will be onfull display against the Blackhawks.  


Betting Analysis
I'm not happy when most teams come out and say they give their best effort in their previous game but sometimes when you're a good team it's a fact. It's easy to understand how the Bruins could overlook Calgary in anticipation of their match-up with Chicago. 

The Blackhawks will have another new edition tonight when Dale Weise joins the line-up after working out his visa issues. 

I've always have had a lot of confidence in Claude Julien's ability to prepare his team both mentally and physically. The Bruins are a well conditioned team, leaving no idication that we should lay off of them on one full days rest. In their last 14 games, with one days rest, Boston has won 11 of those match-ups and have won four of their last five against the Western Conference. My NHL pick is to side with Bruins on this way. @DanaLaneSports

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Free NHL Pick: Boston Bruins -1.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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