Stanley Cup Finals 2019 – Will Blues Hold Down Bruins?
2019 NHL Stanley Cup Odds
NHL Stanley Cup Game Five Odds
- Boston -140
- St. Louis +120
- Boston -1.5 +215
- St. Louis +1.5 -260
- Over 5.5 – +110
- Under 5.5 – -130
2019 Stanley Cup Winner Odds
- Boston Bruins – -150
- St. Louis Blues – +130
Stanley Cup odds have fluctuated from game to game, with the Boston Bruins as favorites to win the championships. Game one started with a flurry by the St. Louis Blues, who shot ahead to a 2-0 lead.
Boston weren’t fazed, storming back with four unanswered goals to emerge victorious. Sean Kuraly continued his superb playoffs as a vital fourth liner, scoring the game winner and sparking the comeback with an assist.
Boston’s speed facilitated the comeback, an advantage which the Blues curtailed by dialing up the physical intensity in game two. St. Louis threw bodies at the Bruins early and often, but Charlie Coyle kicked off scoring with a power play strike within the first five minutes of the match.
Boston and St. Louis traded goals, but the Blues dominated play, sending 37 shots on goal compared to 23 for the Bruins.
During a playoffs filled with unlikely heroes, Carl Gunnarsson is one of the least likely overtime heroes on either team. This didn’t prevent him from rifling a one-timer past an excellent Tuukka Rask for the game winner, preventing Boston from winning the first two games of the series.
St. Louis accomplished the split they were after.
All of this joy disintegrated in game three. Despite a rapturous pre-game ceremony for the first Stanley Cup finals game in St. Louis in 49 years, the Blues skated out of the dressing room flat. Slow legs forced the Blues to take penalties, helping the Bruins establish a quick 2-0 lead.
Sean Kuraly snuck a puck past Binnington with only ten seconds left to create a 3-0 lead for Boston.
Coach Craig Berube committed a rare error, challenging the goal based on a missed offside call. After close consideration, the goal stood, and St. Louis were assessed a minor penalty.
The Bruins scored another power play goal in less than a minute, clinching the game for all intents and purposes. Boston didn’t let up, scoring four power play goals en route to a 7-2 blowout in Missouri to regain home advantage.
St. Louis were much more composed during pivotal game four, catching Boston off guard with an O’Reilly goal in the first minute of the game. When Boston went on the power play because of a delay of game penalty, the Blues finally killed a penalty.
Unfortunately for St. Louis, the Bruins took advantage of the Blues horrible power play by scoring a short handed goal. Despite this setback, St. Louis pushed back with another Ryan O’Reilly strike in the latter half of the third period.
An essential game four win tied the series at two before returning to Boston – the first time the St. Louis Blues won a Stanley Cup finals game on home ice in franchise history.
2019 Stanley Cup – Game Five Preview
The grind of the playoffs has taken a physical toll on the Bruins, especially their backline. Zdeno Chara was the latest to fall after being struck in the face with a puck, returning with a full face shield and riding the pine. Matt Grzelcyk is dealing with a concussion, Kevan Miller’s still day-to-day while Charlie McAvoy’s probably playing on one and a half legs.
There’s little doubt that Patrice Bergeron has been on the limp, especially after a tough outing in game two. These and other ailments have piled up over the playoffs, while St. Louis has been relatively healthy throughout the run. The NHL playoffs are one of the most brutal marathons in pro sports, with attrition of healthy bodies a legitimate concern.
For St. Louis, the most concerning issue is the massive disparity between special teams. Boston owns the best power play in the playoffs, scoring more than one goal for every three power play opportunities. The B’s also score on the Blues power play, revealing their deep dysfunction with the man advantage.
It’s difficult to understand how the Blues can dominate five-on-five but falter with the advantage, perhaps adopting the personality of coach Berube a bit too closely. Considering Craig’s pedigree as a grinder, St. Louis’ inability to kill penalties seems a bit more difficult to understand.
The Bruins nearly stole game four, despite a giving up 38 shots to the Blues while taking more penalties. Expect coach Cassidy to take his turn complaining about the officiating in an attempt to get an edge in game five.
Boston will leverage home advantage and superior special teams into a close home victory for game five. The Bruins have been here before, so they’ll be able to bounce back with a win, despite being banged up.
Pick – Boston Bruins
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup
- Boston Bruins -150
- St. Louis Blues +130
The Boston Bruins remain favorites to win the Stanley Cup in 2019. In spite of a tough loss in game four, Boston still owns home advantage as the series turns into a best of three.
Expect this series to go the distance, with home advantage and special teams as the decisive advantage for the Bruins.
Pick – Boston Bruins in seven.
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