NHL OddsOnline Sports Betting Overview

Many people who bet on March Madness have also been keeping tabs on the race for the NHL playoffs. No matter how the sportsbook promo experts do the math, the New Jersey Devils’ amazing second-half of the season run will come up short as far as a playoff spot goes. But the betting services know that the New Jersey players are all playing for spots on next year’s team and, if next year’s team is anything like this team was, then the Devils will be a Stanley Cup force next season.

The Boston Bruins are hovering around that first-place slot in the Northeastern Division. Right now, the Bruins hold on to the top spot in the division by one point over the Montreal Canadiens. But the Canadiens are surging and the Bruins need wins to stay ahead in the race. With team captain Zdeno Chara going down to a leg injury in the last Bruins’ game, things do not look good for the team from Bean Town.

New Jersey Devils

On December 23, 2010, the New Jersey Devils were dead last in the NHL with only nine wins out of more than 30 games. That is the day that former Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire took over as this season’s interim head coach. Ever since then, the Devils have made the long and difficult climb into playoff contention putting together winning streaks of eight and nine games at a time. The Devils are 7-3-0 in the last 10 games and seven points out of a playoff spot. It does not look like the Devils will have enough time to get themselves into the playoffs, but they can make life miserable for the Bruins as the Devils try to keep right on winning.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games and trying desperately to hold off the Montreal Canadiens for the Northeast Division lead. But the Bruins are starting to show signs of trouble that is very similar to last season. Even though he has had a Vezina-caliber season, goaltender Tim Thomas is not playing well lately. The Bruins would like to turn to Tuukka Rask, as they did last season, but Rask has been unstable lately. Thomas was pulled in the Bruins loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rask was put in goal. But when the Leafs scored on Rask’s seventh shot against, the young goalie exploded on his defense and Thomas was put back in net. Things are coming a bit unhinged in Boston.

The Bottom Line

The New Jersey Devils are a disciplined hockey machine right now, and the Boston Bruins are not. The Bruins need to get themselves under control or they may find themselves with a first-round playoff exit this year. But this game is one that will slip away from the Bruins and show the New Jersey fans that there is a lot to look forward to for next season.

BSNblog Free Pick: New Jersey Devils

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