Defense has been the name of the game for the Boston Bruins when they have been successful this decade, but there are serious concerns heading into the postseason this time around. Two of Boston’s top defensemen, Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo, will be out for at least the opening salvo of the series and this team is so thin now that it had to sign 19-year old Charlie McAvoy to provide depth. However, because of the intricacies of the NHL playoff format, the Bruins don’t have to face one of the monsters in the Metropolitan Division, but instead get an inter-division foe in the Ottawa Senators.
Log on to BookMaker online for all the latest NHL puck-lines, totals, moneylines, and props. BookMaker Sportsbook provides the earliest NHL odds and is your one stop shop for all your betting needs. The Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins will clash with a trip to the Eastern Conference semis on the line. You can watch all the action on the NBC family of networks.
Stanley Cup Playoff Odds at BookMaker.eu
Boston Bruins -195
Ottawa Senators +166
Game 1: Boston at Ottawa (4/12, 7 p.m. ET, NHLN)
Game 2: Boston at Ottawa (4/15, 3 p.m. ET, NBC)
Game 3: Ottawa at Boston (4/17, 7 p.m. ET, CNBC)
Game 4: Ottawa at Boston (4/19, 7:30 p.m. ET, USA)
Game 5: Boston at Ottawa (If Necessary, 4/21, TBD)
Game 6: Ottawa at Boston (If Necessary, 4/23, TBD)
Game 7: Boston at Ottawa (If Necessary, 4/26, TBD)
Erik Karlsson was Ottawa’s leading scorer this season, but sat out the last few games with a heel injury. He has already come out and said he will be ready to play in the series opener and that’s great news for an Ottawa squad that is very offensively challenged. The Senators scored fewer goals this season than any other playoff team and only four players on the roster scored more than 50 points. He’ll need to tally some points for the Senators to advance.
Boston has to be getting sick of Brad Marchand’s antics. The talented forward was suspended for the last two games of the regular season after his stick found a Tampa Bay defenseman’s groin. It was the fourth team Marchand has been suspended for something dirty and Ottawa will be trying to get under his skin throughout the series. Marchand is immensely talented, scoring one shy of 40 goals this year, and Boston needs both he and David Pastrnak to lead the offense.
Ottawa has one of the worst power play units in the NHL, lighting the lamp on just 16.9 percent of its opportunities this season. That has meant a lot of chances are wasted as the Senators are also one of the best teams in the league at drawing penalties.
That unit will be trying to score against the team that was best on the penalty kill this season. Boston was able to nullify the man advantage of its opponent 85.7 percent of the time on the year, but it might be a bit tougher without two of its best defensemen. Although the Bruins still have Zdeno Chara, the veteran defenseman is now 40 and can’t be the rock that he used to be night in and night out. That gives Ottawa a real chance to create some offense.
Free NHL Series ATS Pick
With the injuries to Krug and Carlo, Boston shouldn’t be this large of a favorite. Although the Bruins have playoff experience, Bruce Cassidy is an unproven postseason coach and no one knows whether or not Marchand will blow up again. Craig Anderson has had a solid season in net for the Senators and he will be the reason that Ottawa upsets Boston and advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
NHL Playoff Series Odds: Senators win the series 4-2
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