NHL Betting Preview (Feb 24): Bruins vs. Canucks Odds

It doesn’t get much better than number one in the East vs. number one in the West. Two of the NHL’s finest will collide in an epic battle — and a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals — when the Boston Bruins visit the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Can the Canucks break their slump in time for what could be an early Stanley Cup Final preview?

Bet on Bruins vs. Canucks

BOS -105
VAN -115

There is a lot of ground to cover before the puck drops at Rogers Arena. Let’s take a look at how both teams got here, what their lineups could look like going into Saturday, and which of the various bets you should be giving a long look.

Bruins vs. Canucks odds

Bruins Moneyline Odds-105
Canucks Moneyline Odds-115
Puck Line oddsBruins +1.5 (-260), Canucks -1.5 (+210)
Total Goals line6.0 goals (over -105, under -115)
Time/DateFeb. 24, 8:15 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet Pacific
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Bruins (34-12-12 SU, 29-28 ATS, 28-29 o/u)

On the whole, the Bruins have been progressing steadily as if nothing has changed. Despite losing Patrice Bergeron to retirement, the Bruins are top in not only the Atlantic Division but the Eastern Conference as a whole. It certainly helps that David Pastrnak is fourth in the league in scoring with 82 points.

The dynamic duo of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman in net has helped, too. The Bruins have given up the sixth-fewest goals in the league (156) and are fifth in goals against per game (2.69). The defence has been strong this year, though injuries are currently challenging the team’s depth.

When looking at the Bruins’ win/loss record, the number that jumps out is their 12 overtime/shootout losses. One plausible explanation for this is that, besides Pastrnak, they’re a little light on firepower, and can struggle to score under pressure. Only Brad Marchand (26) and Charlie Coyle (20) have more than 16 goals, though they do have a total of nine skaters with double-digits in goals.

This may be the best incarnation of a team effort the Bruins have had in a while. They have a deep lineup, even if they don’t have the kind of elite scoring after Pastrnak that they have had in the past. With their experience, defence, and a strong pair of netminders, the Bruins are threatening to go deep in this year’s playoffs.

About the Canucks (37-16-6 SU, 35-24 ATS, 35-22-2 o/u)

What a difference a year makes. With largely the same roster, the Canucks finished sixth in the Pacific Division a year ago with a 38-37-7 record. Talk to any Canucks fan, and they’d tell you their franchise was one of the biggest disappointments in the NHL.

Right now, though, they’re the best in the West. They have the most points in the NHL (tied with the Bruins) and hold a whopping 10-point lead on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific. They have struggled of late (4-5-1 in their last 10) but have built such a lead that they can suffer comfortably through stretches like this, although they’ll be anxious to right the ship sooner than later.

Of course, it helps to have three of the top 12 scorers in the league. J.T. Miller leads the team with 76 points, Elias Pettersson is just behind him with 73, and Quinn Hughes leads all defencemen in the NHL with 69 points. Adding a player like Elias Lindholm will only bolster an already potent attack, particularly the top six.

Defensively, there is a lot to like about the Canucks. Hughes and Fillip Hronek (42 points) provide the offence, Nikita Zadorov provides a bashing physical presence, Ian Cole delivers a veteran presence, and there is enough balance to see just why the Canucks have been so dominant.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a potential Vezina Trophy candidate in net in Thatcher Demko. He is tied for the league lead in wins (30), is fifth in save percentage (.917), ninth in goals against average (2.48), and is tied for second with five shutouts. With those stats, Demko is a real difference-maker, and a key to this team when the offence isn’t blowing the doors off.

Last Matchup

The two last faced off a few weeks ago, on February 8 in Boston. That night, it was all Bruins from the start. Marchand kicked off the scoring just 32 seconds into the game to give the Bruins the lead, and they never looked back. Danton Heinen would make it 2-0 by the end of the period and both Pavel Zacha and Morgan Geekie would each add one to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead going into the final frame. That would be all she wrote, giving the Bruins the decisive win over the NHL-leading Canucks.

Projected Lineups

Today’s Boston Bruins LinesToday’s Vancouver Canucks Lines
Forwards
Jake Debrusk – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen
James van Riemsdyk – Morgan Geekie – Anthony Richard
Trent Frederic – Jesper Boqvist – Jakub Lauko

Defence
Parker Wotherspoon – Charlie McAvoy
Mason Lohrei – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Kevin Shattenkirk

Starting In Goal
Linus Ullmark
16-6-5, 2.72 GAA, 0.914 SV%
Forwards
Nils Hoglander – Elias Pettersson – Elias Lindholm
Arshdeep Bains – J.T. Miller – Brock Boeser
Pius Suter – Teddy Blueger – Conor Garland
Sam Lafferty – Nils Aman – Ilya Mikheyev

Defence
Quinn Hughes – Filip Hronek
Ian Cole – Tyler Myers
Nikita Zadorov – Noah Juulsen

Starting In Goal
Thatcher Demko
30-12-1, 2.48 GAA, .917%

Despite their success, the Bruins still don’t quite look like the Bruins of old. Their depth down the middle has proven to be adequate this year but it is far from the strength that it has been in years past. Losing a Hall of Fame centre like Patrice Bergeron is a tough pill to swallow, though, so to some extent, it’s to be expected.

The Canucks, meanwhile, are deep at both ends of the ice and their top six may be the best in the NHL. Demko is also playing the best hockey of his career and could be up for a Vezina Trophy nomination by season’s end.

J.T. Miller (VAN) to score a point

-245

Key Injuries

The Bruins are looking a little thin on the back end of late. Matt Grzelcyk, who has been playing alongside McAvoy, is out with an undisclosed injury. Likewise, Hampus Lindholm has hit the injured reserve and there is no telling when he might be back.

For the Canucks, the biggest pieces have remained healthy. With that being said, Center Dakota Joshua and defenceman Carson Soucy are both on injured reserve, and winger Phillip Di Giuseppe is also out for the time being.

  • Despite being one of the best teams in the NHL against the puck line, it has been a struggle for the Canucks of late. They have failed to cover in their last four, all losses. Their current four-game losing streak is their longest of the season.
  • The Bruins have been as cold as can be when it comes to the puck line. They have been 3-6 against the puck line in their previous nine, going 3-3-3 overall in that stretch.
  • Despite their failures in the win department, the Canucks have still been managing to find the over more often than not. They are 5-3-0 when it comes to the over lately, hitting the mark in three of their last four games.
  • J.T. Miller, despite being sixth in the NHL in scoring with 76 points, typically has his points prop set at 0.5 points. He has been on fire of late, registering a point in four of five (including four points in a 10-7 loss to the Minnesota Wild).
  • Pastrnak’s points prop is set at 1.5 points. He hit the mark against Edmonton on Feb. 21, his first multi-point game since Feb. 13 against Tampa (one in five games).
  • Hughes leads the NHL in points (69) and assists (57) among defensemen. After a stretch of seven games with at least one point from Jan. 15 to Feb. 6, Hughes has points in just four of nine games since.

Wagers To Consider

  • Both teams have not been quite themselves on defence lately. Meanwhile, the Canucks, especially, have been prolific when it comes to hitting the over. Come Saturday night, the Canucks will be riled up, playing in front of a home crowd that isn’t forgetting 2011 anytime soon. After being shut out in Boston, they’ll be out for blood. Take the over (6.0, -105).
  • J.T. Miller is quietly having his best-ever season and leading arguably the most explosive attack in the league. He should be good for at least one point (-245) in this one, making this a very useful selection to add to your parlay, or to bet on its own.
  • The Canucks might be cold against the puck line of late, but they are among the best in the NHL this season. History this season dictates that they are likely to get back on the right track by covering the 1.5-goal puck line (+210).

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