Through two games, the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Finals has been a real nail-biter. The Chicago Blackhawks won a triple-overtime thriller in the first game. But the Boston Bruins were able to even the series thanks to a Brandon Bollig goal during overtime in Game 2.
It’ll be interesting to see if things remain this close as we head to Boston for Game 3 of the NHL Finals. GTBets.eu has the Bruins favored on the betting line, as you can see below:
Chicago +1.5 (-290)
Boston -1.5 (+245)
This is definitely a conundrum since Boston needs to win by two or more goals for a successful wager, but bettors stand to win $145 in profit ($245 total) for every $100 wagered. Many people might find Chicago an attractive bet in Game 3 since they’re being spotted 1.5 points. However, you’re also risking $290 to earn $100 in profit, which could be risky since the Blackhawks are in unfriendly territory.
Assuming you’re looking for some analysis on tonight’s game, which airs at 8:00pm EST, you can take a look at our thoughts below.
Expect Another Close One
If the first two games of this series are any indication, you can expect another tight contest. Now this isn’t to say that Game 3 won’t eventually be decided by two goals; but you can expect it to remain tied or within one goal for the bulk of the contest.
Of course, for the game to stay close, we think Chicago needs to weather the storm in the first period. Boston will have an emotional boost since they are playing their first 2013 NHL Finals game at home. And the TD Bank Garden crowd will no doubt be going crazy in the beginning. But with how well Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has been playing in the playoffs, don’t expect Chicago to get overwhelmed early.
Will Boston’s Four-Line Attack Return?
One of the Bruins’ biggest strengths throughout the 2013 NHL Playoffs has been their vaunted four-line attack. This is a really deep team that’s used four lines to wear down and, at times, dominate opponents. But with such tight contests against Chicago, we’ve really only seen Boston employ a three-line attack.
Many people are wondering whether the Bruins will go back to four lines again in an attempt to keep everybody rested and playing at full capacity. As for our thoughts on the matter, Boston may be better off just sticking with three lines for the remainder of this series. The point of playing four lines is to keep your team healthy throughout a long regular season. And since there are just 3-5 games left for Boston, they’ll likely continue putting their best players on the ice again and again.
Can Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews get going Again?
Both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were instrumental in the latter half of the Western Conference Finals against the L.A. Kings. However, they’ve been extremely quiet in the Stanley Cup Finals after combining for 1 point. If Chicago is going to win in Boston, it’s very important that they get Kane and Toews going. These two need to provide Patrick Sharp with some support on offense and get the puck past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
Of course, this is going to be a lot easier said than done because Boston has the best penalty-killing team in the NHL. So the series could ultimately come down to how well Chicago’s big guns do against the Bruins on the power play. This is strength vs. strength, so it’s difficult to predict who’ll emerge victorious.