The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins met in a spirited seven game series last year in which the Leafs rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force a seventh game before Boston put down the hammer in a 7-4 home win to save the series. This year the Leafs started off like gang busters but faded badly down the stretch. By contrast the Bruins got stronger as the season went on and have one of the top goaltending tandems in the NHL with Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Of great concern down the stretch was Toronto’s poor effort and sloppy play in most of their games.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins
Date and Time: Series Begins Thursday, April 11, 2019
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts and Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
NHL Betting Online Odds at Bookmaker.eu: Toronto Maple Leafs +137 vs. Boston Bruins -167
Lightning vs. Bruins TV Coverage: Check Listings
Based on regular season results and the respective performance of the two teams at the end of the schedule the Bruins will get a lot of public love at the start of the series. But should the Maple Leafs show competitiveness they could easily get a lot of live betting activity flowing their way as the NHL’s most popular team.
This best of seven series opens with games one and two at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m. ET with coverage on NBCSN and game two scheduled for Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. ET with coverage on NBC. Games three and four will be at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto with the first game on Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN followed by game four on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. ET with coverage on NBCSN. If necessary, Game five will be at Boston on April 19. Game six would be at Toronto on Sunday, April 21 while a game seven would be at Boston on Tuesday, April 23.
Toronto Maple Leafs Record and Metrics
The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped five of their last six to continue a disturbing pattern towards the end of the year that has turned off gamblers as far as their playoff possibilities. The Leafs finished 46-28-6-2 with only 37 of their 82 games going over the total. Toronto was 23-16-2 at home while going 23-12-4-2 on the road. Toronto finished fourth in the NHL for goal scoring and eighth for the power play. The Leafs were killed on the back end with marks of 20th for goals against and 18th for the penalty kill.
Boston Bruins Record and Metrics
Boston enters the playoffs with a record of 49-24-6-3 and 40-42 under the total. The Bruins were 29-9-2-1 at home while going 20-15-4-2 on the road. Boston finished 11th for goal scoring and third for the power play. On the back-end Boston was a dominant third for goals against while ranking 16th for the penalty kill.
Players to Watch
Last year’s big free agent signee John Tavares finished with 47 goals while Auston Matthews posted 37 goals for Toronto. Boston goaltenders Tuukka Rask (.912 save percentage, 4 shutouts) and Jaroslav Halak (.922 save percentage 5 shutouts) were difference makers this year. David Pastrnak led Boston with 38 goals while Brad Marchand added 36.
Head to Head
Boston has won four of their last five games against Toronto with just one of those five games going under the total.
Maple Leafs vs. Bruins Free Picks
Toronto certainly has the skill and offense to be competitive. But their back end and goaltending does not compare in this matchup. Boston is deeper, more complete and in better form.
NHL Live Betting Odds Picks: Boston Bruins
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