Ending the NHL season with the best record in the league is always a fantastic achievement, but the reality is that it means very little in the grand scheme of things. Ask the average hockey fan who won the President’s Trophy over the past five years or so and you will likely find that most are hard pressed to remember who won it last season. Ask those same fans who won the Stanley Cup, and most will be able to tell you the answer. The reality of the situation is that winning the President’s Trophy has proven to be a bit of a curse. The last 6 teams who won it failed to win the Stanley Cup, proving that regular season domination is no guarantee of playoff success. Teams do still need to go for it in the regular season, though, as landing the #1 seed means home ice advantage through the playoffs. The Boston Bruins are on pace to land that spot, but they have a tough couple of days ahead of them, starting on Wednesday night with a road game in Edmonton. The Bruins are favored by 1 ½, with the goal total set at 6.
When: Wednesday, February 19 at 8:30 PM EST
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton
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Why bet on the Boston Bruins
Regardless of how things play out in the postseason, it has been fun to watch the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning go head to head for the best record in the league. Right now, it is the Bruins who have their noses in front, but staying there is going to be tough given how hot the Lightning have been this past month or so. This is not to suggest that Boston have not been great, as they most certainly have. They will head to Alberta having won 3 in a row and 9 of their last 10 games, so they are certainly on fire. In road games this season, the Bruins are 16-9-3, but overall, they have been particularly dominant versus teams from the Western Conference, going 15-3-3 in those games.
Why bet on the Edmonton Oilers
While the Edmonton Oilers are still within reach of the #1 spot in the Western Conference, their main focus at the moment is on staying at the top of the Pacific Division. That is a task that is going to be easier said than done when you consider that there is just 2 points separating the top 5 teams in the division. All 5 of those teams are in a playoff spot right now, but the race is so tight that a few losses in a row could mean falling below the playoff line. The good news for the Oilers in that they are playing well at the moment, winning 2 in a row and going 6-3-1 in their last 10. They are 15-9-4 at home and 16-7-2 versus teams from the Eastern Conference.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
A trip through Alberta is never an easy one for any team, but the Bruins are paying some fabulous hockey right now, so I would expect them to get off to a winning start. I am taking the Bruins to win and cover here.
Boston Bruins 4 Edmonton Oilers 2