The Stanley Cup Finals are set to begin Monday night, and it will be the Boston Bruins hosting the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the series. The Bruins will be back on the ice after a long layoff since the Eastern Conference Final. St. Louis will be making its first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1970. Don’t expect much goal scoring in this series featuring two great defensive teams.
Boston had no trouble with the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. The Bruins swept the Hurricanes in four games and will have home-ice advantage in this series. St. Louis overcame a controversial call in Game 3 to eliminate the San Jose Sharks in six games in the Western Conference Final. The Blues will have plenty of momentum, but the Bruins are -150 over St. Louis in Game 1.
Rask Carrying Boston
The hero for the Bruins throughout this playoff run has been goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask has plenty of Stanley Cup Playoff experience but might be playing the best of his career. He has allowed just 1.84 goals against so far in the playoffs and has stopped 94 percent of the shots he has faced. The Bruins don’t allow many goals as a team, and Rask is a big reason for that.
Left winger Brad Marchand has been doing the heavy lifting for the Bruins’ offense, but he has gotten plenty of help. Marchand leads the Bruins with 11 assists and 18 points during the playoffs and tallied 100 points during the regular season. Center Patrice Bergeron leads the team with eight goals, and the Bruins have six players with at least 10 points. Boston knows how to generate offense when they need to.
Schwartz, Tarasenko Can Really Score
Speaking of offense, the Blues have been getting plenty of it of late. St. Louis scored 10 goals in their final two wins over the San Jose Sharks, and a pair of veterans are leading the way. Jaden Schwartz has been the main star for the Blues, leading the team with 12 goals and 16 points. Right winger Vladimir Tarasenko was quiet early on in the postseason, but now has eight goals to go along with five assists. St. Louis doesn’t have as much firepower as the Bruins, but their offense has been rolling of late.
The Blues have put rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington in net for every game this postseason, and he continues to get better. Binnington allowed just three total goals in the final three games of the Western Conference Final and is giving up just 2.36 goals against. The Blues have done a great job in front of their rookie, but he has stopped close to 92 percent of shots against him.
Bruins Take Series Opener
Even though the Blues come into this game with a ton of momentum, it isn’t going to help them in this one. The Boston Bruins should be well-rested, and they are going to shake off the rust in a hurry. Tuukka Rask is on top of his game in net, and he will shut down the Blues’ hot offense. Bet the Boston Bruins -150 over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.