NHL Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Thursday, 25 October 2007 07:00
NHL Headline News

No place like home ice

The futures of the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are being dictated early this season by three of the NHL's budding talents.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews lead the improving Blackhawks (5-4-0) into Boston on Thursday night to meet Phil Kessel and the Bruins (5-3-0), who are looking to continue their strong play at home.

This is the first matchup of the Original Six franchises at Boston since 2003. Last season, the Bruins posted a 5-3 win in Chicago on Dec. 29 to snap a three-game skid in the series, and will be looking for back-to-back wins over the Blackhawks for the first time since Oct. 27, 1990-Feb. 9, 1991.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Boston -140 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 53% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago +130 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Though the Blackhawks dropped a 7-4 decision to Columbus on Tuesday, Kane and Toews continued to show why this franchise - which has played one playoff series in the last decade - appears to have turned a corner.

Kane, selected first overall in this season's NHL draft, had two goals and two assists for his third straight multipoint game, but still wasn't satisfied.

"I didn't play that well. I think I just got the bounces. Things kind of went my way," said Kane, who's tied with Toews for the lead among rookies with three goals.

Kane leads all rookies with 10 assists and 13 points, and could become the first Blackhawk to lead a rookie class in scoring since 1982-83 when Steve Larmer had 47 goals and 43 assists for 90 points.

Toews, who missed the first two games of the season with a broken finger, also scored in the loss to extend his point streak to seven games. The third overall pick in 2006 has four assists to go with his three tallies.

The Bruins took Kessel two spots after Toews was picked, and he came back from testicular cancer surgery to tally 11 goals and 18 assists in 70 games as a rookie last season. He got off to a quick start with three goals and two assists in his first four games, but has gone pointless in his last four.

Kessel did score the lone shootout goal to give Boston a 1-0 home win over the New York Rangers on Saturday. The Bruins' four-game winning streak, though, ended with a 6-1 loss at Montreal on Monday.

First-year Bruins goaltender Manny Fernandez was beaten twice for goals off faceoffs, and the veteran finished with just 14 saves. Dennis Wideman's goal early in the third period helped Boston avoid the shutout.

"I think we have said (all) along that this is a very humbling game," Boston coach Claude Julien told the team's official Web site. "Just when you think you are on top, you realize that you can come back down to Earth pretty quick."

Julien probably will go with Tim Thomas in goal for this game, though Fernandez has a more successful history against Chicago.

Thomas is 3-1-0 with a league-leading 1.26 goals-against average this season, and made 37 saves during last year's win over the Blackhawks in his only career appearance against them.

Fernandez has struggled since coming over in an offseason trade from Minnesota, posting a 2-2-0 record but with a GAA of nearly 4. Since March 2004, though, he's won each of his last seven starts against Chicago with a 1.94 GAA and one shutout.

The Bruins are looking for their first three-game home winning streak to start a season since 2001-02, when they won four in a row.

Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has a 2.85 GAA in 2007-08, but has alternated wins and losses en route to a 3-4-0 record. He's 0-4-0 with two ties and a 3.42 GAA in Boston since last winning there in October 1996.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from theSpread.com

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

 

NHL Team Pages

Top NHL Public Bets

View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NHL Futures

NHL TEAM CUP FINALS ODDS CURRENT
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 7/1
LOS ANGELES KINGS 9/1
BOSTON BRUINS 10/1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 12/1
ST LOUIS BLUES 12/1
ANAHEIM DUCKS 12/1
SAN JOSE SHARKS 14/1
NEW YORK RANGERS 16/1
MINNESOTA WILD 18/1
DALLAS STARS 18/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com