VAN - S.J
Another extremely even matchup. The relevant facts, as I see them:
- S.J probably has the better powerplay - they generate a ridiculous number of shots
- VAN very likely has the better goaltender
- VAN has home ice advantage
- Both teams are about equally good at controlling the play at EV
- VAN is missing a key forward
Van in 7.
BOS – T.B
At first glance, Boston seems like the obvious pick here. But the (Patrice) Bergeron injury complicates things. The latest reports indicate that he has yet to resume skating since the incident, so from that it seems as though he might not play at all. That would be a huge loss, as he's probably their best forward, at least by my reckoning.
The issue is whether the Bergeron injury is enough to tip the balance in Tampa Bay's favor. I don't think that it is. Based on regular season play, I have the Bruins as a 61% favorite. While the Bergeron injury necessitates a downward adjusted of that figure, I don't think the loss is profound enough to render the Bruins underdogs. This is supported by the fact that the oddsmakers - who certainly take such things into account - still have Boston as about a 56% favorite.
BOS in 7.