Where Are Things Now?
Following the Game Three win, Boston has a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series. While the Islanders won five of eight regular-season matchups, the Bruins won the final three regular-season meetings. There were also three regular-season contests won in overtime or the shootout, so the Isles and Bruins are no stranger to extra hockey.
Despite being held off the scoresheet Thursday, David Pastrnak is tied for fourth among all postseason skaters in points (five goals, five assists). Brad Marchand is tied with Pastrnak for the team lead in goals, with two of Marchand’s five being overtime game-winners.
Tuukka Rask has also been excellent in the net, giving the Bruins every chance to advance. Among goaltenders with at least four games played this postseason, Rask ranks fourth in GAA (1.93) and in save percentage (.934).
As a team, the Bruins are allowing the third-fewest goals per game (2.13) in the playoffs while scoring the fourth-most (3.50). Having that kind of balance between offense, defense, and goaltending is excellent, and even more impressive when you consider that Boston lost Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara to free agency during the offseason.
Arguably the biggest factor for the Bruins has been their overall team health. While still dealing with injuries to Jakub Zboril (day-to-day, upper body) and Kevan Miller (out through at least Game Four, undisclosed), having their stars healthy, especially Charlie McAvoy, Patrice Bergeron, and Taylor Hall, is a great sign for Boston’s playoff hopes.
What Does Path to Cup Look Like?
If the Bruins advance past the Islanders, they would draw the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning series. While they did not play in the regular season, Boston is no stranger to either team in the playoffs.
Boston eliminated Carolina in both the 2019 and ’20 playoffs, going 8-1 against the Hurricanes in those two series. However, Tampa Bay eliminated the Bruins in ’18 and ‘20, with the Lightning winning each series 4-1.
Boston is currently listed by online sportsbooks at -550 to win the series against the Islanders; New York is +425. While Boston is undoubtedly the favorite to win the series, having more offensive firepower and slightly better goaltending with an even defense, getting the Bruins to win the series at -550 doesn’t provide the most favorable betting value.
Instead, it may be worth it to look at a futures bet on the Bruins to win the Cup. Boston has the second-best Cup odds at +325 (Colorado leads all teams at +110), and those odds will only favor the house as Boston keeps winning.