Bruins outlast Oilers for W
By: Emily Musella
The Boston Bruins travel to Edmonton to take on the Oilers tonight. For Boston, they have won 5 of their last 6 games with dominating performances over the Coyotes, Rangers and Canadiens. Meanwhile, the Oilers have won 4 of their last 6 with their defense taking over the last two games against the Hurricanes and Panthers. Both these teams are at the top in their division as the hockey season continues to sizzle up. Will the Bruins come away victorious tonight, or will the Oilers defend their home-ice? You know what time it is, the breakdown shakedown!
Money-Line: BOS -185, EDM +165
Puck-Line: BOS -1.5, EDM +1.5
Over/Under: Over 6
Puck-Drop: February 19th, 8:30 p.m. EST, Rogers Place
The Bruins continue to run their Atlantic Division as their closest competition remains to be the Tampa Bay Lightning. With an away record of 16-9-3 there is cause for some concern if the Boston team can outlast the Oilers. However, the Oilers are littered with injuries and the Bruins are relatively healthy with only Connor Clifton and Kevan Miller remaining sidelined. Can the Bruins top ranked defense lead their team to another W?
First let’s talk about the offense for the Boston team. As always, names like David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are highly-mentioned with obvious reasons…..they are the trio of doom for opposing teams to go up against. But what about emerging players like Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk? On the season so far, the pair has a combined 32 goals and 35 assists. If I were the Oilers I would watch out for the underrated players who have a tendency to sneak a goal or two past their opposing teams. Not to mention for total offense, the Bruins rank 7th in the league, right behind the Penguins.
Defensively, this is where the Bruins have always shined with players like Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci. With a top-ranked defense, they will need to showcase that against a 12th ranked Oilers offense. Big players to cover for the Bruins defense will be Leon Draisaitl who leads his team in goals with 34 on the season. Right behind him is Connor McDavid who will not play tonight.
Despite the laundry list of injuries the Oilers managed to capture 4 W’s in their last 6 games. With players like Josh Archibald, Kailer Yamamoto and Riley Sheehan stepping up to aid in their victories. Look for Draisaitl to notch a goal in this game as he continues to wreck opposing teams on the ice.
Offensively, the Oilers could use a spark at home and securing a W over the Bruins would go a long way. Taking on the top defense in the league is an extremely daunting task, but in recent games, the Oilers have gotten the best of the Bruins. In fact, the Oilers are one of the only teams the Bruins have yet to completely figure out this season. Could we be in for an OT thriller tonight?
Defensively, the Oilers rank 17th in the league giving up 3.10 goals per game to their opposition. Not to mention going up against hot scorers like David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand make things even more complicated. The only spot where both teams match closely on defense is the PP/PK where Boston is ranked 3rd and Edmonton 2nd. I think the biggest game-changer will be if the Oilers can hold Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk in check. I don’t see them stopping Marchand as he is due for a big game after going quiet the past couple games
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
I see this being a back and forth bloodbath as these two teams have important divisional implications on the line. Though the Bruins have endured recent struggles against the Oilers when on the road, I see them edging this one out for a 4-3 victory. The Bruins and Oilers are ready for an Atlantic vs Pacific divisional showdown, are you hockey fans?