NHL Betting – Bruins Roar into Winter Classic vs MTL
Sascha P.No comments
This year’s NHL Winter Classic features a classic Original Six battle between the Boston Bruins (20-12-4, 44 pts) and Montreal Canadiens (21-15-3, 45 pts) from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (Jan. 1 at 1:00 PM Eastern).
When the NHL slated the Bruins and Habs to square off in arguably the marquee event of the league’s regular season, they were probably hoping to hype the game as a showdown between the big bad Bruins and reigning MVP Carey Price. But Price has been sidelined with a knee injury since late November and the Habs will, once again, have to go with Massachusetts native Mike Condon (10-9-3, .904 SV%) between the pipes.
Condon has made 25 starts in place of Price this year and got off to a rip-roaring start, winning his first four and six of seven. But things have gone off the rails for both him and the team lately. Condon lost seven straight starts before finally stemming the tide against the Lightning last Monday (4-3, SO).
The team couldn’t build any sort of momentum, though, falling 3-1 to Florida the next night. The Habs’ recent slump has seen them fall from first overall in the NHL to second in the Atlantic division, just one point ahead of the Bruins (who have three games in hand).
The Bruins have written a very different script to their season. They got off to a sluggish start, but have been coming on of late, going 6-3-1 in their last ten. That includes a 7-3 shredding of the Senators last time out. Left winger Jimmy Hayes notched his first career hat-trick in the lopsided win.
Counter-intuitively, head coach Claude Julien will be hoping that the Winter Classic feels like a road game to his team. The Bruins are just a .500 club at home (9-9-2) but a remarkable 11-3-2 on the road.
Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for Boston. The big Finn has been decent, but not sensational, this year, going 14-9-2 with a .918 save percentage.
If you’re looking to bet the Winter Classic, Boston is the play. There’s not a ton of value in the moneyline (-145), but these teams are headed in opposite directions and there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue.
Pick: Boston (-145).