The Boston Bruins have yet to solve the New York Islanders in 2021.
Winless in five tries, the B’s will aim to avoid another loss to the Isles on Thursday night at TD Garden. Good news is likely on the way, however, as all signs point to goalie Tuukka Rask returning to the Boston net.
“(Tuukka) should be ready, assuming there’s no setbacks from today,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “He should be ready to go. Hopefully we play well in front of him and he gets back in a rhythm.”
Rask has missed 17 of his team’s last 18 games and ironically enough, he sustained an injury against the Islanders in his last start. I believe Rask’s return will spark the room and Boston’s collective compete level will be very high. The B’s have been hearing for weeks about how they can’t beat the Islanders. Enough is enough.
New York’s dominance in the season series makes it very affordable for you to bet on the Bruins at home. The B’s usually are in the -160 to -180 moneyline range when they’re skating on Causeway Street. Thursday night’s price is Boston -120, which is very cost effective.
As far as total bets go, Boston (24-15-1) and New York (25-16-1) are two of the best “Under” teams in the National Hockey League. Bookmakers are far from dumb, so that’s why this total opened at 5o-40.
A standard hockey goal total is either 5.5 or 6, so setting the number at 5 tells you exactly what oddsmakers expect in the goal department. I lean “Under,” but it’s so tough at 5 because there is literally no margin for error. It’s unfortunate if the game gets to 2-2, because it’s impossible to win an Under 5 bet at that point. The best you could do is tie the 5.
I really loved the way Taylor Hall carried the puck Tuesday night and I thought Mike Reilly was very noticeable on both ends of the ice. The Bruins have much more depth after the acquisitions and this bolstered bunch definitely senses the need for urgency. I expect to see a motivated group.
Let’s take advantage of this cheap moneyline price and back the good guys to put one in the left column and bank the two points.
RECORD: (28-21, +5.2)
Predict the Game returns to NESN on Thursday night. Our first question goes live at 6:30 p.m. ET on “Bruins Face-off Live” and throughout the night, you’ll see predictive hockey questions to answer on our broadcast. The participant who scores the most points during the B’s-Isles game will win an autographed Charlie Coyle reverse retro sweater.
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