The NHL Playoffs have kicked off with a bang, and a very big bang it was with the best team in all of hockey suffering a loss. The Tampa Bay Lightning went down in their home opener to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. What a shocker! Not that we didn’t think the Blue Jackets can’t play, they can indeed play, however, this one was a stunner, a shocker, and in Tampa to boot. The Islanders beat the Penguins in New York and the Blues beat the Jets in Winnipeg! It was a crazy, furious start to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but this is the NHL. One never knows what can happen but the one thing we do know; the underdogs ruled the season, and they ruled the first night of the playoffs.
Game: Toronto Maple Leafs (46-28-8, 36-46 ATS) at Boston Bruins (49-24-9, 41-41)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 11th, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Current Line: Boston -140 Total: 6
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, NESN, TVAS
Ok, we don’t believe the hype about the Maple Leafs backing into the playoffs, however, they certainly are not coming into the playoffs on a high-note with three consecutive losses. Of course, that’s not the best-case scenario to finish any season. They not only come in having lost three in a row, they have also lost four of the last five and one of the losses included Ottawa. The last three losses were a bit more respectable which came against Montreal, Tampa Bay, and Carolina.
The Bruins have also lost three of their last five which include Detroit and Florida. Here is the deal; they didn’t need to win, they knew their position in the playoffs and nothing else mattered, only rest. These two will be ready for tonight and this game will be fantastic. It will feature hard hitting, with both teams flying all-over the ice. Expect a high-scoring affair and one that will be fought with a furious pace.
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The Leafs are scoring 3.49 goals per game and allowing 3.04. The Bruins are scoring 3.13 goals per game and allowing 2.59. The Maple Leafs give up a pile of goals and they have all-season long.
The good news, they have Mitch Marner! The bad news, they must deal with Marchand and Pastrnak. The Leafs have their work cut out for them in this one, and in this series. The Bruins have had a stellar second half, the Maple Leafs… a C+. It certainly could have been better.
As much as we like the Bruins chances in the first game at home, in this one, we must stick to over the total of 6. These two will be ready and they hate each other. Expect great power play hockey from both sides and expect a barn burning thrill ride.
NHL Conference Quarterfinals Free Pick: Leafs at Bruins Over 6
Pick by Brad