St. Louis Blues (0-0) at Boston Bruins (0-0)
NHL Hockey: Monday May 27th 2019 at 8:05 PM EDT (TD Garden)
Lines and Odds: Boston Bruins -147
FREE NHL Playoff PICKS Boston Bruins vs St. Louis Blues
Welcome to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, between the Western Conference champion St. Louis Blues and the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins. Both these teams truly deserve to be here. Back in early January, the Blues were last in the NHL, went on a long winning streak, and their great hockey carried into the playoffs. They flexed their muscle against the Winnipeg Jets, won the tight games against the Dallas Stars, and beat down the San Jose Sharks with the physical game. St. Louis had complete hockey wins in their last three games, and they will look to go all in against Boston. Meanwhile, the Bruins were great most of the season and they went on a massive run in the second half of the season, where they were getting points in almost every game. They kept moving up in the overall standings and they ended up with the second best record. In these playoffs, the Bruins just got by the Toronto Maple Leafs in a tight seven game series, did a mini comeback to get by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and they completely owned the Carolina Hurricanes with a four game sweep. Boston is well rested and ready to repeat what they did in 1970, which was sweeping the St. Louis Blues. Monday’s goalies are Jordan Binnington vs Tuukka Rask.
The Blues have nowhere to go but up as they approach the finish line of the season. St. Louis has already been through the lows and they have enjoyed the highs since. The Blues looked their best against a tough Sharks team and after being down 2-1 in that series, on a controversial hand pass call, they responded by winning the next three games, and outscoring San Jose 12-2. Jaden Schwartz came alive in this series and even had a hat trick in Game 5. Also, Vladimir Tarasenko did well in 5 on 5 play and of course played a key role on the power play. Finally, even though the defense did well at blocking shots, Jordan Binningtonhas key stops down the stretch to close this series out. Now the Blues will be facing another talented and well rested team. St. Louis has great defense and more physical play, but we shall see if they can slow down the Bruins fast, and dynamic scoring.
The Bruins will look to win their seventh Stanley Cup in franchise history. Boston will also try to join the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots as champions. If the Bruins win, they this will be the first time since 1930 something that a city has won three titles in the span of a year. Boston really is the sports capital of the USA with how successful their sports teams are. Anyway, the B’s are coming off an easy sweep of the Hurricanes and their confidence is through the roof. Brad Marchand had 2 goals and 3 assists in the series and caused havoc with his usual rat self. Patrice Bergeronhad 3 goals and 2 assists and played a big part in the close out of Game 4. Of course it takes an elite and streaking goaltender to make it to the Stanley Cup Final and Tuukka Rask has been just that. Rask has six games this postseason allowing one goal or less, and two of those games were shutouts. Boston has home ice in this series as well and they just need to keep doing the right things on the ice.
NHL Playoffs St. Louis Blues vs Boston Bruins
So, who will win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final? Game 1s are tough to judge anything on because teams are adjusting to the new opponent. If we compare the rosters and recent success, Boston has the edge. The Bruins have the better goaltender, consistent scoring, and well rested. Sometimes rest can be a bad thing and the Blues are going to be ready to fight. These teams split the regular season at one game apiece. Bruins won 5-2 and the Blues won 2-1 in a shootout victory. That 5-2 game had tons of depth scoring for Boston and you can expect the same in Game 1. Bruins win 3-1.
Pick: Boston Bruins -147