Free Hockey Picks: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens Game 4 Preview
- Updated: April 21, 2011
We’ve seen some tremendously odd things in NHL playoff betting action this year, but there hasn’t been a stranger series than the one between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. The road team has won all three games in this series to date, something that the B’s hope holds true again in Game 4 on Thursday night.
For two games, the Bruins were really able to do nothing to answer what the Habs were doing. Montreal was playing its game, and it was really using finesse to clinch up home ice advantage by winning two games in Beantown. However, Boston cut that deficit in half earlier this week with a 4-2 win in the Great White North in a game that really more resembled what we are used to seeing out of it. The Bruins were bumpers and grinders in the game, and they made a 3-0 lead stand up late on thanks to the solid goaltending of Tim Thomas. No, Thomas didn’t have the greatest game in the world, stopping 34-of-36 shots that he faced, but he was masterful late on in the second and for the entire third period, saving the last 21 shots that he faced in the game. This really could be just what the doctor ordered for Thomas to really get his act together, and if that happen, the Canadiens are in a heck of a lot of trouble when push comes to shove.
Montreal really has to settle down in this series. The defense really has played well, and this was the unit that really spurred the comeback from down 3-0 on Monday night. Holding Boston, a team that takes a tremendous amount of shots on a regular basis, down to just 24 shots for a full game is a very impressive feat, especially knowing that just six of those shots came in the third period that nearly proved to decide the game. The Habs are still the team with the home ice advantage in this series, and they were still a club that played significantly better hockey here at the Bell Centre than they did on the road. We’ve got a hard time imagining that they are going to win another game in Beantown, meaning this series would have to end in six games for the Canadiens to advance into Round 2. Carey Price really didn’t have a great postseason career before this year, but he is definitely making his time on the ice pay off this year. Price is 2-1 with a 1.34 GAA, one of the best amongst keepers in the playoffs to date.
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick: There’s just no way that Montreal is losing this game… right? Home ice advantage has to hold up at some point in this series, and knowing how poorly the Bruins played here at the Bell Centre this year, we have no choice, especially at basically pick ’em NHL odds to go with the Canadiens -105.
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