NHL Picks: Bruins vs. Flyers Series Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 4/29/2011
Think the Boston Bruins want to dish out a little payback to the Philadelphia Flyers in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series that begins Saturday? I’m sure you remember what happened when these two met in the same round of the playoffs last season. The Bruins built a 3-0 series lead before allowing the Flyers to tie the series at three. In Game 7, Boston went up 3-0 in the first period, but Philly still rallied back to win. The B's became just the third NHL team to blow a 3-0 series lead and lose that series.
How The Teams Enter
Both teams were stretched to seventh games this week against teams that appeared inferior on paper (and obviously in seeding). The second-seeded Flyers actually faced two elimination games against No. 7 Buffalo. Philly won 5-4 in overtime in Buffalo down 3-2 in the series on Sunday. Then on Tuesday the game wasn’t ever really in doubt with the Flyers taking a 5-2 victory. In typical Flyers fashion, they used three goalies in that Sabres series. It looks like they will ride with Brian Boucher now. He was the Game 1 backup, won Games 2 and 6 in relief, and was the starter for all of Game 7.
As for Boston, the third-seeded Bruins managed to lose the first two games of their series at home to Montreal before taking three straight (Boston was 0-26 in series after falling behind 0-2). In Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime win in Boston in Game 7, Nathan Horton scored his second overtime goal of the postseason at 5:43 of the extra period. Horton endured seven NHL seasons without the playoffs as a Florida Panther before being traded to the Boston Bruins last June. He is just the fifth player in the last 15 postseasons to score two OT goals within the same series. The Boston media was speculating that coach Claude Julien’s and GM Peter Chiarelli’s jobs were on the line if the B’s had lost Game 7. Instead the franchise got its first Game 7 win since 1994.
Bruins-Flyers Betting Storylines
Boston did get a bit of a break on Thursday in that defenseman Andrew Ference, who had two assists in Game 7, wasn’t suspended for a hit on Montreal forward Jeff Halpern on Wednesday. Halpern and Ference collided on a turnover in the Bruins defensive zone, and Ference's shoulder hit Halpern's head, dropping the Canadiens forward to the ice. With all of the cracking down on head shots, it’s a minor upset Ference didn’t get at least a game.
When the Bruins lost to the Flyers last spring, Boston goalie Tim Thomas served as the team's backup to Tuukka Rask. Now Thomas is the unquestioned starter – he made 34 saves in Game 7 against the Habs. Thomas started all four games against Philly this season, with Boston winning three of them and Thomas posting a 1.96 GAA. Boucher started three of the games for Philly, getting that one win on Dec. 10. Boston won both of its visits to the Wells Fargo Center, including a 2-1 victory in the teams' last meeting on March 27. Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk led the Flyers with four points in the regular-season matchups, while David Krejci led Boston with four points.
Philadelphia certainly has the advantage in forward depth (16 5-on-5 goals vs. Buffalo), meaning Boston will have to be much better on the power play than it was vs. Montreal. In fact, Boston became the first team to win a seven-game series without scoring a power-play goal (0-for-21). Then again, the Flyers became the first team since 1988 to win a playoff series in which it started three goaltenders, and you have to favor Boston in net.
Bruins-Flyers Series Odds
The opening series line has both clubs at -110; Saturday’s Game 1 line has Philly as a -130 home favorite with the total at 5.5.
NHL Picks: Bruins-Flyers Predictions
To me the key here is the health of Philly forward Jeff Carter, who led the Flyers with 36 goals in the regular season. He missed the last three playoff games because of a knee injury, but is getting closer to returning to the lineup. The team won’t yet say whether he will be ready for Game 1. However, Philly got a huge boost in the final two games of the Sabres series with the return of All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger from a broken right hand. Pronger led the Flyers with five blocked shots Tuesday. The extra day of rest and the fact Game 1 is in Philly means you have to go with the Flyers in that one. And take Philly in the series as well. Thomas has owned Philly this year, but he was just OK for the most part vs. Montreal and Philly has many more weapons.
Vegas Sports Informer has stayed hot in the playoffs and has continued his mastery over the NHL Odds and his Hockey Picks are on an 18-8 run heading into Thursday’s action. He has helped $100 bettors make more than $3,000 during that time. His hockey handicapping will continue to rack up profits all during the playoffs right up until the Stanley Cup.. Click Here to buy picks.
Most Recent Hockey Handicapping
- 9 NHL Hockey Handicapping Tips from 9 Different Expert Hockey Handicappers
- 2021 North Division Predictions
- 2021 NHL Central Division Predictions
- 2021 NHL East Division Predictions
- 2021 NHL West Division Predictions
- 2021 NHL Hockey Picks Special
- 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Predictions with Futures Odds
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Series Odds and Expert Predictions
- New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes NHL Series Odds and Expert Predictions
- NHL All-Star Game Predictions and Expert Betting Picks