- Tuukka Rask’s .938 save percentage is the best in the playoffs
- The San Jose Sharks won the regular season series with St. Louis 2-1
- See the odds to advance in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals
After two exhilarating Game 7’s on back-to-back nights, the NHL playoffs is now down to the final four.
The Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks have opened as favorites in their respective series but are they the best bet? Let’s take a closer look at each conference final matchup:
Hurricanes vs Bruins Series Price
|Team||Hurricanes vs Bruins Odds at BetOnline|
*All odds taken May 9
Bruins Favored Over Hurricanes
The Bruins opened as -145 favorites to win this series and it’s not much of a surprise that the odds have moved further in their favor.
The Bruins are a playoff stalwart and have a roster full of postseason experience. The Hurricanes, for the most part, are new to this.
Bruins Have A Big Edge In Net
There’s no question that Boston has a huge edge in net in this series. Tuukka Rask’s .938 save percentage is the best in the playoffs. Petr Mrazek, who is banged up but should be ready for Game 1, is at .913, which is just 12th among starters.
Tuukka Rask in elimination/close-out games this postseason:
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) May 7, 2019
Mrazek has a career .888 save percentage against Boston, which is simply not going to cut it. Rask gave up five goals in his only meeting with Carolina this season, but even if you factor those numbers, he’s 9-4-3 against them with a 2.27 GAA and .928 save percentage.
Watch The First Periods
The first goal in these games is going to be crucial.
The Bruins have already scored 13 first-period goals but have only given up five themselves. The Canes have scored just six goals in the opening frame while giving up 13.
Tuukka Rask on missing McAvoy in Game 1: “We’re pretty comfortable with everyone in the lineup” pic.twitter.com/SPdRa88nEA
— NESN (@NESN) May 8, 2019
The Bruins are 41-9-5 when scoring the first goal this season (including playoffs), so the Hurricanes don’t want to fall behind.
Blues vs Sharks Series Price
|Team||Blues vs Sharks Odds at BetOnline|
|St. Louis Blues||+110|
|San Jose Sharks||-130|
Sharks Favored Over Blues
The San Jose Sharks have now survived back-to-back series, winning each in a deciding seventh game at home. Needless to say, home-ice advantage will be handy to have in the conference finals.
That’s one of the main reasons why they’re favored.
Regular Season Series Won’t Tell Us Much
The Sharks won two of the three meetings between the teams but it’s hard to gather much intel from those meetings.
The two teams split the early meetings as each team won 4-0. However, Aaron Dell started in net for San Jose in those contests and the Blues were bad early in the season.
49ers OL firing up Sharks fans by slamming beers pic.twitter.com/dwDf0GtSob
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) May 9, 2019
The Sharks did win in March but it was a 3-2 overtime game that was very close.
Sharks Have Far More Experience
It feels like experience will be the difference in this series. The Sharks are just loaded with it up and down the roster while the Blues are a young squad that’s new to this position.
The Blues weren’t at a disadvantage in this realm against Dallas in the last round but that should play a factor here.
— NHL (@NHL) May 9, 2019
Best Bets For Conference Finals
It just feels like Boston and San Jose will be the two teams in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Sharks have the edge in experience, scoring and home-ice advantage. As for the Bruins, they have the edge in experience, goaltending and home-ice advantage. I’d lay money on both favorites and expect each to advance.
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