NHL betting battle brings Bruins to Philadelphia

By: Adam Markowitz | Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Claude Giroux is one of three Flyers with at least 11 goals scored.

The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers are have been battling each other for 44 years now. The two will meet in NHL betting action for the first time this season in the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday night (4 p.m. PT).

The B's are slumping, having lost four of their last five overall.  The distance between them and the Montreal Canadiens is starting to get a bit wider than they bargained for. Boston is five points back in the standings at this point, and with 26 points in 22 games, would just barely be in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference if the second season started today.

Tim Thomas has been fantastic in net all season long, posting an 11-2-1 record with a 1.56 GAA and .951 save percentage, but he badly needs some help from the men in front of him. The Bruins have only netted one goal in their last two games, and have had nine bagels in periods put on the board over the last four games, something that clearly will not cut it to beat the Flyers on Wednesday.

Both David Krejci and Jordan Caron are dealing with the flu right now and might be out of action all week. If that's the case, it will mean even more pressure on me like Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, who are first and second on the team respectively in points at 19 and 18.

The pessimist would say that the Flyers have lost two games in a row and have let the Pittsburgh Penguins back into a tie in the Atlantic Division after holding a commanding lead just a few weeks ago. The optimist would say that the only reason that happened is because the Pens have won seven straight and have played more games in that stretch than Philly has, and there is nothing to worry about for the Flyers, as they have taken at least one point from five in a row.

Though the offense sputtered over these last two games against the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils, the unit has largely done its job since getting shut out by the Canadiens back on November 16. Even with scoring just three goals in these two shootout losses, the Flyers are averaging an even 4.0 GPG since that point.

Brad Richards, the captain of the team, leads Philadelphia with 25 points, but he has been held to just one assist in his last three games without a goal. There aren't many teams that can say that they have three players in double digits for goals already this year, especially when you consider the fact that Richards isn't one of them.

Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter and Daniel Briere are all on pace for over 40 strikes this year, as they all have at least 11 goals on the season.

The Flyers have some great NHL trends in their corner in this one. They are 12-2 in their last 14 tries against teams from the Northeast Division, and they are 20-7 in their last 27 played at Wells Fargo Arena.

Last season, these two met in the playoffs, and that's when the Bruins collapsed after going up 3-0 in the series, only to lose in seven games thanks to three one goal losses. In fact, six of the seven games in that series were determined by a goal or fewer, and it would be a sin to think that there would be any other result than another very close encounter in this hockey betting bash on Wednesdsay.

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