Bruins - Canadiens Series Outlook

Bruins - Canadiens Series Outlook

Bruins - Canadiens Series Outlook
By Judd Hall

No. 1 Montreal Canadiens vs. No. 8 Boston Bruins

Series Price: Montreal -270, Boston +230

Series Format: Montreal, 2-2-1-1-1

Skinny:
It’s been almost two decades since the Canadiens came away with the Eastern Conference regular season title. Yet, they surprised everyone in racking up 104 points and the top seed in East. Montreal attributes this success to an offense that is second only to the Senators in terms of goals scored, which is currently at 257.

How good is the Habs’ offense this year? They’ve got seven skaters that have at least 50 points on the season. Alexei Kovalev, who was figured to be left for dead years back, has tallied 84 points…his best year since 2001, when he put up 95 points while with the Penguins.

All is not roses for Montreal though as Saku Koivu is laid up with a broken left foot. The current reports coming out of the Canadiens’ camp is he will not suit up at all during the postseason. That is 16 goals and 40 assists the Habs won’t be getting in the first round. Of course, they also went 3-1 without him in the lineup, so who knows. Montreal will be getting Mike Komisarek back in the lineup, which will help hunker down an already great defense.

Boston held on for dear life in the East before finally sliding into the eighth position. Considering the Bruins won just five of their final 14 regular season matches, they were downright lucky to make it in. I will give them the benefit of the doubt with being held together will nothing by string for Claude Julien.

The Bruins don’t have a lot of pop on the offensive side of the ice, possessing just three players with 50 points. Zdeno Chara is their best weapon in terms of getting a change of pace from the blue line, notching 34 helpers with a team-leading 114 penalty minutes. The B’s will get some much needed help with Patrice Bergeron being brought back into the mix in time for the playoffs. Bergeron has been out since the end of October after getting floored against the Flyers. He’s a solid pivot that can dish the puck out at a high level.

Gambling Notes: Out of any of the first round series, this has to be the most one-sided.

Montreal made its presence felt by dominating the Northeast Division with a 20-11-1 record…the best mark of any team within their own division.

The Canadiens teed off on Boston all year long, going 8-0 against their “Original Six” brethren. Bettors were able to take cash in with the ‘over’ making a 6-2 run in this head-to-head battle.

The Habs are on a 7-2 run at the Bell Centre right now, while Boston is 2-7 in its final nine road games in the regular season.

Outlook: This has to be the easiest series to play pick right now. Montreal has won seven of its last eight games, while the B’s can’t seem to buy a win.

It’s been a mismatch on the ice every time they’ve met this season.

Sportsbook.com has the Habs at 5/1 to sweep the series and I’m willing to make that wager.

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