NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Bruins vs. Blue Jackets (April 4)
Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak
- The Blue Jackets are home underdogs on Monday night against the Bruins.
- The Blue Jackets have been struggling lately, but is this the right spot to buy low on them?
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Bruins vs. Blue Jackets Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||+185|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Boston Bruins won the first battle in this home-and-home against the Columbus Blue Jackets by the score of 5-2 on Saturday in Boston.
Columbus will look to get revenge on its home ice when these two teams meet for the second time in three nights.
Boston has won both meetings between the two this season, and their Power Play has gone 66.6% in those combined games.
This is a massive game for the Bruins as they currently sit in a Wild Card playoff spot, two points back of third place in the Atlantic Division.
A Must Win for the Boston Bruins?
This time of year, whether it is a home or road game, good teams can’t play down to their opponent. The B’s have been playing a great stretch of hockey as they are 4-1-0 in their last five, and the offense is buzzing right now. They have scored 26 goals over the course of these five games, and the Blue Jackets are going to have a tough hard time slowing them down.
Erik Haula has been fitting in quite nicely as the second line center for the B’s with four goals and four assists in his last five games, playing on a line with two incredible wingers, Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. The Bruins’ top six forwards have been on fire, the first line especially, but Jake DeBrusk has excelled on the wing with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
As good as the offense has been for the B’s, the goaltending has been just as strong, even despite the off night against the Maple Leafs. Jeremy Swayman had a very strong bounce back game on Saturday when he stopped 22 of 24 shots that he faced.
Bruce Cassidy has been alternating his goaltenders, so Linus Ullmark might get the start in this one. Ullmark’s last start came on Thursday night against the Devils when he made 25 saves on 26 shots and helped his team to a 8-1 win. Both goalies have been incredible for the Bruins, so either option is a good one.
The Columbus Blue Jackets Trying To Avoid Seven Straight Losses
The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost six straight games coming into this one, and their goaltending has struggled. Elvis Merzlikins has started the team’s last five games, and in this span, he has allowed 18 goals. Even though Merzlikins hasn’t found a way to win lately, he is still the best option in goal.
The Blue Jackets are the third-worst defensive team in the NHL, currently allowing 3.74 Goals Against per game. Columbus hasn’t necessarily made Merzlikins’ job any easier. In Saturday’s game, the Bruins generated 40 Shots On Goal, which is somewhat typical as the Blue Jackets are the worst team in the NHL at preventing Scoring Chances with 13.00 allowed per game.
Not only are they the worst team in the league when it comes to chances against, but they are also the fifth-worst team in regards to generating offensive Scoring Chances, only averaging 9.43 per contest. During this six-game streak, the Blue Jackets have only scored a total of 13 goals.
If they’re going to have any chance at winning on Monday night, they need to keep the Bruins off the board because chances are that they will not score a ton of goals.
Bruins vs. Blue Jackets Pick
The Boston Bruins were dominant on Saturday, and I am expecting the exact same effort from them Monday night. The B’s don’t want to finish the season in a Wild Card spot, and it appears that they have flipped a switch by approaching every single game as if it was a playoff game.
I don’t see any possible scenario where the Blue Jackets would be the better team in this game. The Bruins have gotten the best of them in both outings this season, and with the way this team is playing right now, I have no doubt in my mind that Boston will win this one with ease.
The Bruins have the edge in goaltending, defense and offense. Expect them not only win but to also get the job done in regulation.
Pick: Boston Bruins to Win in Regulation -145