Bruins vs. Flyers NHL Odds, Pick, Preview (November 20)
Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak.
- Boston ends a six-day break as it heads to Philadelphia.
- The Flyers have gotten off to a better-than-expected start but are +115 underdogs to the road Bruins.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Flyers vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After a puzzling six-day layoff just a month into the season, the Bruins take the Wells Fargo Center ice for the second time this season, looking to get retribution for a 6-3 defeat on October 20.
Philadelphia will look to trend towards a playoff berth out of the immensely competitive Metropolitan Division, as even a 5-3-2 mark over the Flyers’ last 10 still has them losing ground to all three teams in front of them in Carolina, Washington and New York.
This rivalry matchup offers two points which could be very crucial as the season wears on, specifically as both club’s could end up vying for wild-card spots out of the ultra-competitive Eastern Conference. Who can we expect to get the upper hand here?
Bruins Enter Game Well Rested
The Bruins have looked themselves through their first 13 contests, a much smaller sample than we have seen from most of the league so far.
They enter this one having rested since 5-2 weekend victories over the Devils and Canadiens, and after having watched Florida, Tampa and Toronto all continue their dominance over the league, combining for a 10-game win streak this week.
Bruce Cassidy’s bunch has again posted dominant underlying numbers, with a 56.29 xGF%, altogether good for tops in the league.
I think we know that the perfection line composed of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak is likely to dominate next to all competition, and that the Bruins’ very mobile group of excellent puck-moving defensemen will make it very tough for the opposition to generate much during 5-on-5 play.
So the questions for this Bruins team will be how much secondary scoring can it receive, looking to compete with the likes of Tampa, Florida and Toronto at the top of the division, and if the combination of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman can replicate the results seen in previous years from Tuuka Rask.
Altogether the positives have still greatly outweighed the negatives in the early going this season, although depth scoring has still been somewhat wanting, and the goaltending results have been average.
However, our friends at Moneypuck give the Bruins just a 74.2% shot at the playoffs for the time being, which goes as an interesting comment on how strong the Eastern Conference is, considering that Boston’s excellent analytics factor heavily into the weighting of the model’s win totals projection and that they are 8-5.
Ullmark has been confirmed as the Bruins starter for the contest, and he has posted a shaky .903 save percentage and -4.4 goals saved above expected (GSAx) over a small six-game sample size this season.
Flyers Have Upgraded Goalie Play
Philadelphia has been one the league’s pleasant surprises so far this season at 8-4-3, and in an interesting change of pace for Flyers fans, both Carter Hart and Martin Jones have been notably strong in net so far this season.
The play in front of them has been been markedly less sloppy altogether, but it is still clear that Hart is enjoying a bounce-back season so far, and that Martin Jones has been a very solid acquisition as the backup.
Philly does hold the league’s third worst xGA/60 altogether at 2.82 this season, which does seem a little harsh to my eye, but still it’s safe to say that with last season’s goaltending, the team would not be enjoying any kind of success yet again.
Altogether the Flyers hold the third worst xGF% at even strength at 46.34, with similar marks however you run the splits, and a powerplay sitting at just 14.9%.
So we may see continued regression to some extent for the Flyers, who will now go without a very solid two-way defender in Ryan Ellis for several weeks to boot.
As well Kevin Hayes remains day-to-day, and is questionable for Saturday’s contest, in a frustrating turn of events after scoring a very touching goal for his late brother Tuesday vs. Calgary.
Hart has stopped 93.2% of shots faced, with a GSAx mark of 12.1 over 11 games, while Jones has stopped 93.1% of shots with a GSAx of 4.3 over just four starts, and it is unclear who will start tomorrow.
Bruins vs. Flyers Pick
The Flyers’ start hasn’t exactly been a fluke, and another quality outing Thursday resulting in a 3-2 loss against the red-hot cup champions is another comment towards the group’s improved play, but it does appear some regression is due.
Boston still projects to be amongst the league’s very elite, skating a defensive core which is arguably the best in the entire league, and it has contributed greatly to the Bruins’ league-low 1.91 xGA/60 mark this season, a replicable mark when considering the talent on hand, and I think we will see them put together a sharp effort here.
Certainly stick with a standard unit here, as Boston’s six-day layoff is a concern and could lead to a slow start, but I like Boston’s chances to control play here. Altogether I see value in backing the B’s to get revenge on an early-season loss in Philly at -130.
As well, should Boston start slow and possibly get behind in the contest, I will be looking for in-play opportunities as the game wears on should the play trends towards Boston.
Pick: Boston Bruins Moneyline -135 (Play to -145)