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Senators vs Bruins Betting Odds – Ottawa getting healthy, hot

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/22/2010 12:53:08 PM

NHL Odds: PickOttawa

The recent return of Daniel Alfredsson has the Senators are starting to look like the elite team they always thought they were. Add in a healthy Milan Michalek, who scored in his first game back on Thursday, and a fast recovering Jason Spezza, and Ottawa is poised to become a major player in the second half of the NHL season. Their online betting value rises with each returning superstar. Recent wins over Boston, New York and Chicago prove that these Senators are indeed the real deal. The Bruins, however, are simply treading water as the mid-season point approaches. Sometimes looking good, sometimes looking horrible, the Bruins definitely don’t look like the same team that finished first in the Eastern Conference last season. 

Senators vs Bruins betting odds:
Daniel Alfredsson, 4 goals and 4 assists in last four games
Mike Brodeur is 2-0 with 1.00 GAA, .969 save percentage and one shutout in last two starts
Tim Thomas v. Ottawa: 11-1-0 in last 12

One of the problems plaguing the Bruins as of late has been goaltending. The Bruins continue to toy with the hockey gods by trying to give equal playing time to Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. Although neither of them have been particularly horrible as of late, neither have been spectacular as well. And one cannot tempt the hockey gods with equal goaltending. A team must choose one to play more than the other; it’s the law of the ice.

Look at the numbers of each Bruins goalie since the New Year:
Rask: 0-5-0, 3.23 GAA, .893 S%
Thomas: 3-3-1, 3.23 GAA, .889 S%

Similar numbers, but not Stanley Cup winning goaltending.

The Senators have been blessed with an incredible run of timely goaltending exactly when they need it most. Starter Pascal Leclaire seems to be out with a different freak injury every week. First it was a broken jaw suffered when an errant puck hit him while he was sitting on the bench during a game. Now he’s out with a concussion after getting smacked in the head with a puck during practice.

Luckily for Ottawa, the duo of Brian Elliott and Mike “distant cousin of Martin” Brodeur have stepped up huge. Elliott has won three straight, while Broduer has won two, including a shutout. Great goaltending will always get you far in the NHL, as any NHL betting fan will tell you.  

The season series between these two turned out to be a slump buster for Ottawa. After Boston had won the first two meetings of the season, Thomas was riding on an eleven-game win streak against his Northeast Division rivals. The Sens broke out of that in a big way on January 18th, beating Thomas and the Bruins 5-1. Not only did the win vault Ottawa above Boston in the standings, a place where the Sens still reside today, they were finally able to beat the one goalie whom had had their number for years. One can never underestimate the power of a psychological win. The Sens now know they have the ability to beat Thomas, and Thomas knows that he has the chance to be beaten.

The Bruins have lost four of five. Four of those games have been decided by a single goal. The only one that wasn’t was a 5-1 loss to Ottawa on Monday. In Boston’s last four home games, they’ve only managed six goals. Sportsbook odds know Boston needs their top guns to start producing, especially at home. Milan Lucic has been borderline invisible since his return from injury, with only two points in his last seven games. Patrice Bergeron also has to be better; he has only three points in his last seven games.

The Senators are on a five-game winning streak. In that span they’ve outscored their opponents 18-6.

DON’S PICK: Eventually all hot-streaks come to an end, but it doesn’t look like Ottawa’s will be anytime soon. Everything is clicking at the right time and all of their injured players are starting to come back and contribute right away. The Bruins, however, seem closer and closer to being locked in a losing spiral that will eventually diminish their playoff hopes. The Sens are just too hot to pick against and the Bruins are too cold to pick for.

Senators vs Bruins Betting Pick: Ottawa

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