Roster Stability & Offseason Moves make Jets +110 Our NHL Pick vs. Bruins

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, October 8, 2015 2:12 PM GMT

Our NHL handicapping professional previews Thursday’s game between the Jets vs. Bruins. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article which concludes with his NHL pick.

Jets to open season versus Bruins in “Bean Town”
Boston and Winnipeg square off in what will be the NHL season openers for both clubs. The opening faceoff at TD Garden in Boston is slated for 7:05 PM ET. According to current NHL odds, Boston is a -130 money line favorite and the total is 5.0. These teams met twice last season, and each club won a 2-1 game on home ice.

 

The Goaltenders
The Jets expected starter in goal is Ondrej Pavalec on Thursday. Pavalec went 22-28 against the money line in fifty starts for the Jets a season ago, and compiled a solid .917 save percentage. He performed especially well in twenty-five starts on the road, posting a superb .931 save percentage while earning 3 shutouts during those outings.

 

Unless something dramatic occurs between now and game time, Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes tonight for Boston. Rask made sixty-seven starts for the Bruins a season ago, and had a stellar .922 save percentage in addition to 4 shutouts. Rask performed especially well at home, going 22-13 versus the money line in thirty-five starts, and had a shiny .931 save percentage.

 

Bruins Key Injuries of Note
Zdeno Chara "?" Thursday vs. Winnipeg ( Upper Body )
Dennis Seidenberg out indefinitely ( Back )

Both of these defensemen were projected to be in the Bruins top defense pairing. Seidenberg will be out 4 to 6 weeks while Chara has practiced in each of the last two days, and Boston remains optimistic regarding his availability for tonight. The 38 year old Chara is coming off a disappointing season, and was hindered by a knee injury that left him less than 100% for most of the 2014-2015 campaign.

 

Tale of Two Teams in 2014-2015 Campaign
Stand up and raise your hand if you predicted the Winnipeg Jets to make the playoffs prior to the start of last season. If you did, then my hat goes off to you, and the accolades that come your way are well deserved. The Jets franchise epitomized mediocrity in their first four seasons since relocating to Winnipeg, and averaged a lackluster 84 points per year during that stretch. Putting that number into perspective, no team qualified for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with less than 97 points, and 13 of 16 teams that participated amassed 100 points or more. Well the Jets surprised many by finishing with 98 points, and qualified as a #7 seed in the Western Conference.

At the other end of the spectrum was Boston. The Bruins were picked by many at this time last year to be one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. As the season wore on it became clear they weren’t going to win the Atlantic Division, but the notion of them missing the playoffs didn’t seem like a realistic possibility. Then the unthinkable occurred, Ottawa went a spectacular 23-4-4 during their last 30 games, and Boston ended the year on a three game losing streak. As a result, the Bruins found themselves in an improbable position of being on the outside looking in.

 

Final Analysis
At this juncture, Winnipeg has more stability, and had less personnel movement than Boston did during the offseason. I’m going to have a small lean toward the road underdog in this game for one of my NHL picks on Thursday.

NHL Pick: Jets +110 at Bookmaker

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