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Betting On Islanders Bruins – Boston Handles Pesky New York At Home

Posted by Don Melrose on 2/28/2012 3:05:15 PM
betting on islanders bruins

Sports betting players are well aware of the Boston-New York rivalry that permeates every sport, and we’ll get another edition on Saturday afternoon as the Islanders kick off the day’s NHL action in Boston, where the Bruins are banged up, but they still have what it takes to put away the Isles.

What: NHL Betting
When: Saturday, March 3rd, 1:00 PM ET
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
Pick: Boston Bruins

Why Bet On New York Islanders (26-28-8, 60 points)

The Islanders fell 5-2 on Sunday in Ottawa, and this week’s action sees them on the road at Washington, Philadelphia and finally in Boston, so it’s going to be a long week for them. The loss in Ottawa was typical of the Islanders, who are 27th in the league in goals scored and 24th in goals against; it is surprising that they’re only two games below .500. But everyone knows the Islanders are building for the future and they have a decent foundation led by John Tavares, who has improved immensely on the defensive end of the ice. Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo have to do that before they move to the next level as they are a combined -34 and that simply isn’t good enough on a team that doesn’t score many goals. There were rumors that goalie Evgeni Nabokov would be moved on Deadline Day, but no deals came to pass and he is still on Long Island.

Center Josh Bailey (back) had missed two games in a row heading into this week’s games, while defenseman Dylan Reese (knee) is still a couple weeks away, as is Steve Staios (lower body), and if the Islanders are going to make a serious push for the playoffs, they need all hands on deck. Even then, it may not be enough for the Islanders to get there this year, but more seasoning never hurt anyone and they should be taking this stretch run as a learning experience for down the line.

Why Bet On Boston Bruins (37-20-3, 77 points)

The defending Stanley Cup champions from Boston should still be considered an NHL betting favorite to go back-to-back, even though they have been all over the place since the All-Star break. The Bruins defeated the Senators 5-3 on Saturday night in Ottawa and they’ll be going for their ninth win in a row over the Senators on Tuesday night in Boston before welcoming New Jersey and the Islanders to TD Banknorth Garden. It’s hard to put a finger on what happened to the Bruins, although some are wondering if goalie Tim Thomas’ refusal to go to the White House over All-Star weekend had something to do with it. The Bruins just don’t look like the juggernaut that rolled to the Cup last season, but they showed against the Senators that they can turn it on and can be a handful in all facets of the game. They have the firepower to hang with anyone in the league (second in goals scored), they can keep pucks out of their net (fourth in goals allowed) and everyone knows that the Bruins aren’t going to be pushed around by anyone. It’s just a matter of getting everyone on the same page as we come down the stretch because when they are, Boston is still the best team in the Eastern Conference.

However, that is going to be much more difficult as the Bruins have some injuries to deal with. Nathan Horton (concussion) hasn’t played in over a month and no one knows when he’ll be back. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk (concussion) was knocked out of Saturday’s Ottawa game, so keep an eye on his status, as well as fellow blueliner Joe Corvo (upper body). Rich Peverly (knee) is out 4-6 weeks, and Shawn Thornton (flu) missed the Ottawa game as well. The Bruins managed to stay healthy last season, but they aren’t receiving the same luck this season and it makes it a little more difficult to defend your crown when you don’t have a full locker room.

How It Will Play Out

Regardless of their injury problems, the Bruins will be favored at home over the Islanders, who are 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five trips to Boston with three of the five going over the posted total. The Bruins are 18-10-2 at home this season, while the Islanders are 12-14-3 on the road, which is a little surprising given that, well, New York just isn’t a very good team.

Boston will take care of business and beat the teams they are expected to beat, especially at home, and even with all the injury woes, they still have more than enough talent to beat the Islanders, who will have to punch above their weight to hang with the champs. Go with Boston in your online betting picks on Saturday.

Islanders Bruins Betting Pick: Boston Bruins

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