Even if the Stanley Cup Playoffs is notorious for featuring a rougher and tougher brand of hockey, that doesn’t exclude plenty of goal scoring. Sure, coaches preach defense and referees blow the whistle as flaky as March weather on the Atlantic Coast.
But something about the Boston Bruins-New York Islanders rivalry produces plenty of drama and plenty of fireworks. Game 5 should follow in the trend of the goal-scoring frenzy of the first two games, though the Canadian matchup that follows may be more tepid this Monday.
Islanders at Bruins: Scoring is Fun
Totals: Over 5 (-125), Under 5 (+105)
Average Goals Per Game: 5.5
The last two games in Boston have yielded 14 goals in total yet the online betting totals remain the same here. Statistically, these two games have been outliers as the Bruins and Islanders remain two of the stiffest defensive teams around.
In fact, 22 of the Islanders’ 33 road games have gone under. But every time they visit the TD Garden, at least five goals are scored (except for one game). The expected goals totaled 8.89 on 5-on-5 and 11.86 overall.
Maybe it’s the raucous Bruins fans, but Boston’s 3.50 goals rank fifth overall in the league and its power play has a 28.6 percent success rate. As long as the totals stay at five, bet on the over and watch the goals keep coming.
Pick: Over 5 (-125)
Jets at Canadiens: Keep It Down
Totals: Over 5½ (+110), Under 5½ (-130)
Average Goals Per Game: 5
There’s been a lot of scoring between the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens but that’s mostly been a one-way thing. Game 3’s six-goal extravaganza shouldn’t repeat here as the Canadiens continue to shut the door on the gassed Jets.
Expect a bounce-back performance from Winnipeg goaltender Hellebuyck, who is averaging a 93.1 save percentage (SV%) in the playoffs despite allowing four goals in two of his last three games against Montreal. The last three times Hellebuyck had an SV% below 90, he came back with a stellar performance: two shutouts and a 97.5 SV%.
What everyone wanted in the 2nd round:
Connor McDavid vs Auston Matthews
What they’ll get:
Connor Hellebuyck vs Carey Price😌 pic.twitter.com/35ulQ69ff9
— ×~☽ ℳ𝓲𝓼𝓼𝓸 ☾~BLM~🇵🇸 (@missosoupe) June 1, 2021
Even with the Jets’ defense beginning to show its lack of depth, goaltending should once again be the difference-maker here. Price has been unbeatable and a stronger performance from Hellebuyck will keep the scoring low.
Pick: Under 5½ (-130)
Pick: And the Totals are …
On paper, the under 10½-goal totals should be steamed on the NHL betting lines. But given how much scoring has been happening in both series, we can expect at least one of the two games to feature enough scoring to carry the totals to hit 11 goals.
The money is on the first game, Boston versus New York, producing another inordinate amount of goals. The Bruins become a significantly better offense at home and the Islanders have found ways to pot in a couple from their own end.
In Montreal, the Jets and Canadiens would be hard-pressed to repeat the six goals they had. But the shoddy Jets’ defense plus constant penalties should still yield some goals even if both goaltenders are on top of their game.