NHL Odds & Pick for Stars vs. Bruins: Will Boston Win Season Opener? (Oct. 16)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Bruins standout Brad Marchand.
- Boston finally begins its season, welcoming Dallas to town on Saturday night.
- The Stars are 1-0 after an overtime victory on Thursday over the Rangers to begin the season.
- Grant White breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Stars vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Boston Bruins are one of the last teams to start the NHL season, playing their first game five nights into the campaign. They’ll have to crack the Dallas Stars’ defensive shell Saturday if they want to start on the right foot.
For the first time in nine years, the Bruins’ season starts without Tuukka Rask between the pipes. Rask spent the past 14 seasons with the Bruins’ organization, but remains unsigned after offseason hip surgery. It’s unclear whether Rask will re-sign with the Bruins, paving the way for the Jeremy Swayman era in Boston.
Swayman came out of nowhere last season, stopping 94.5% of shots over 10 games for 1.6 goals saved above average. There might have been significant changes in net for this season, but the team ahead of Swayman remains largely intact.
The Bruins return most of their roster from last season, including trade-deadline acquisition Taylor Hall, who signed a four-year deal to stay with the club. That spells trouble for the Stars, as the Bruins put up otherworldly metrics after acquiring Hall.
Boston finished the season, putting up an expected goals for percentage above 60.0% in 12 of their final 17 games. In total, the Bruins had a 62.0% expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five with Hall in the lineup, with seven of those games coming with Swayman between the pipes. Rask may be gone, but we can’t discount the Bruins.
The Stars opened the season with a 2-1 overtime win over the New York Rangers, but the advanced metrics support they were lucky to steal those points. Dallas finished the game with a 40.6% Corsi rating at five-on-five, getting outshot and out-chanced in scoring opportunities.
As is typically the case, the Stars were tidy in their own end, limiting the Rangers to eight high-danger chances at five-on-five.
Dallas lost John Klingberg and Braden Holtby to injuries in their game of the season, which will impact goalie usage. The Stars are playing the first night of a back-to-back, with Sunday’s game coming across the continent, with a game in Ottawa.
It’s unlikely Anton Khudobin plays both games, considering the travel and short turn-around (evening to an afternoon game in the Eastern time zone). That means Ben Bishop could be recalled if Holtby isn’t cleared to play.
The Stars will put up better metrics at home, but they are not a team to sell the farm defensively for a few extra opportunities. They’ll face resistance from the Bruins and should have a hard time solving Swayman.
Stars vs. Bruins Picks
The Stars aren’t a team to blow you out of the water offensively, and the Bruins are content to play a conservative style of game. That should lead to a low-scoring Saturday night affair between these teams.
There’s value in taking the Bruins to cover the puckline at a modest -180 range in a tightly contested game such as this.
However, we’re going exotic with our pick and betting that this one gets sorted out in overtime or a shootout.
Picks: Regulation Draw +330 | Total Under 5.5 Goals (-135)