The Boston Bruins enter the NHL’s All-Star break this weekend sitting inside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and set as a +2000 wager on the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
With the Montreal Canadiens posting a 2-1 win over the visiting Arizona Coyotes as -220 favorites on Wednesday night, the Bruins find themselves in fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings but in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 27 wins and 59 points.
The Bruins remain on pace to finish the season with 98 points, likely more than enough to earn them a third straight trip to the NHL playoffs. However, Boston remains well off its 2017-18 pace of 112 points and is poised to pay out on -115 preseason odds at online betting sites to amass UNDER 101.5 points this season.
Despite falling short of expectations at the sportsbooks, the Bruins have demonstrated remarkable resilience while dealing with a rash of injuries during the first half of the schedule.
Boston eked out 10 victories during a 19-game stretch with Patrice Bergeron on the shelf, endured long stretches without the services of defensemen Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, and Torey Krug, and remains without goaltender Tuukka Rask, who entered the All-Star break nursing a concussion.
Veteran netminder Jaroslav Halak has been solid backing up Rask this season, going 13-9-2 with three shutouts in 26 appearances, and more of the same will be expected should Rask remain sidelined for an extended period. The Bruins also enjoy a favorable second-half schedule, with 17 of their final 33 contests coming against current non-playoff teams.
Boston has recorded just two wins in its past six outings, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, leaving the team trailing the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning by 17 points and facing long +1400 odds of claiming the Atlantic Division title. However, the Bruins can help their own cause with a strong start to the second half.
The team begins a crucial eight-game stretch featuring six home dates next Tuesday when the Winnipeg Jets arrive in town. Boston can pad the Eastern Conference’s second-best home record by improving its current home win streak over the Jets to three games and with victories in subsequent visits from the bottom-feeding Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings
However, with just 10 wins in 24 dates away from TD Garden this season, the Bruins will need to find ways to win on the road before embarking on a five-game western swing on Feb. 15 and closing out their schedule with 10 of their final 14 games on the road.