Gibson and Co. in need of bounce-back effort
Fans and pundits alike raised their eyebrows when the Bruins relieved coach Claude Julien of his duties on Feb. 7. Now, though, any and all apprehension seems to have disappeared.
Boston will attempt to win its fifth consecutive game under interim bench boss Bruce Cassidy this evening, with a 10:30 p.m. ET opening faceoff against Anaheim. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the B’s odds of -120 to take care of business on the road. Conversely, the Ducks enter the Honda Center as +100 underdogs.
Julien ultimately paid the price for the Bruins’ middling first half. Over the last two weeks, however, his former skaters are performing at an optimal level. Boston edged the Pacific Division-leading Sharks on Sunday, 2-1, moving into the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card slot.
On the flip side, Randy Carlyle’s club has dropped six of nine. Despite Ryan Getzlaf’s two-goal effort two nights ago, Anaheim suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of lowly Arizona. The offensively challenged Ducks feature no players among the league’s top 40 in points.
Such a sobering stat puts much added pressure on netminder John Gibson, but he’s only 3-4-0 in his past eight appearances. Frankly, we just can’t envision the B’s getting tripped up here. Bank on the visitors claiming a low-scoring affair.
WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BRUINS/DUCKS UNDER 5 GOALS