Odds are against the Bruins in Finals


Odds are against the Bruins in Finals

By JoeHaggerty

VANCOUVER So it begins.With the Stanley Cup Finals between the Bruins and Canucks getting cranked up in earnest today, as the two teams practice at Rogers Arena in anticipation of Wednesday nights Game One, the odds are filtering their way out into the betting community.Here are a few courtesy of our friends at bodog.com with some interesting observations. Tim Thomas has the best odds of any Bruins player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at 4-to-1 odds, and Dennis Seidenberg isnt even among the potential names on the board even though hes been one of Bostons best players in the postseason. Otherwise, here are the Vegas betting odds (for discussion purposes only):Series Price
Vancouver Canucks -235
Boston Bruins 195

Exact Series Result
Boston Bruins 4-0 251
Boston Bruins 4-1 121
Boston Bruins 4-2 132
Boston Bruins 4-3 152
Vancouver Canucks 4-0 152
Vancouver Canucks 4-1 134
Vancouver Canucks 4-2 41
Vancouver Canucks 4-3 154

Total Games Played In Series
Over Games O 5 -175
Under Games U 5 145

Total Games Played In Series
4 61
5 94
6 21
7 21

Total Goals Scored in Series
OverUnder 30 Goals

Where Will the Series be Decided?
TD Garden, Boston 120
Rogers Arena, Vancouver -150

Total road wins
Over Games 2.5 -140
Under Games 2.5 110

2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Who will win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP?
Ryan Kesler 75
Tim Thomas 41
Henrik Sedin 61
Roberto Luongo 132
Nathan Horton 71
Daniel Sedin 91
Patrice Bergeron 141
David Krejci 151
Kevin Bieksa 251
Zdeno Chara 251
Field (Any Other Player) 141

Will a player from the losing team in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals be awarded the 2011 Conn Smyth Trophy?
Yes 151

Daniel Sedin Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Boston Bruins
Over Under 6

Henrik Sedin - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Boston Bruins
Over Under 6

Ryan Kesler - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Boston Bruins
Over Under 5

Alexandre Burrows - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Boston Bruins
Over Under 3.5

Roberto Luongo Goals against average in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Boston Bruins
Over Under 2.15

Roberto Luongo Save percentage in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Boston Bruins
Over Under 92

Who will score more goals in the Stanley Cup Finals for the Vancouver Canucks?
Daniel Sedin 75
Ryan Kesler 32
Alex Burrows 154
Henrik Sedin 92

Who will record more assists in the Stanley Cup Finals for the Vancouver Canucks?
Henrik Sedin 65
Daniel Sedin 74
Ryan Kesler 41
Christian Ehrhoff 174

David Krejci - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver Canucks Over Under 4.5

Milan Lucic - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver Canucks
Over Under 4

Patrice Bergeron - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver Canucks
Over Under 4

Zdeno Chara - Total Points in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver Canucks Over Under 3

Tim Thomas - Goals against average in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver Canucks
Over Under 2.35

Tim Thomas - Save percentage in the Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver Canucks
Over Under 92

Who will score more goals in the Stanley Cup Finals for the Boston Bruins?
Nathan Horton 1710
Milan Lucic 95
Patrice Bergeron 74
David Krejci 72

Who will record more shutouts during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals?
Roberto Luongo -130
Tim Thomas Even

Who will a better save percentage in the Series?
Roberto Luongo Even
Tim Thomas -130

Will Roberto Luongo be replaced as goaltender at any point during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals?
Yes 300
No -500

Will there be a 5 minute fighting major penalty called during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals?
Yes -250
No 195

How May Games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals will go to overtime?
Over 1.5 135
Under 1.5 -165

Will any game in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals go to double overtime?
Yes 275
No -350Now onto the links:
A great piece from the Toronto Star about Don Cherry and his eccentric lifestyle coupled with a bombastic personality. I definitely learned a few things about the man known as Grapes that I didnt previously know. Tony Gallagher from the Province in Vancouver has a serious problem with the 5 p.m. start times for home Canucks home games in the Stanley Cup Finals. Starting at 9 p.m. Eastern time doesnt really seem like a good idea at all, but maybe thats just me. Mark Recchi plans to end his career in style with a precious bottle of wine and perhaps a drink or two from the Cup. The Globe and Mail has all of the relevant info afterSaint John took home the Memorial Cup. A sad, sad story out of Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the people that really loved hockey, and tried their best to support the Thrashers and southern fried hockey. Winnipeg clearly deserves a hockey team, but I know some people that were left holding the bag in possibly the worst pro sports city in America. Chris Higgins credits his FDNY firefighting father, Bobby, for instilling him with the grit and toughness he regularly shows out on the ice for Vancouver. The Forks are ready to part with the knowledge that (insert team name here) will be headed back to Winnipeg next season, and bringing NHL hockey back to a Manitoba setting it never should have left. A good piece by ESPN.coms Pierre Lebrun on Jonathan Toews excitement that NHL hockey is coming back to Winnipeg after his Jets left him as a hockey-crazed kid in the Peg. An interesting piece by CTV.ca on the long range prospects of wooing Guy Boucher back to Montreal as head coach of the Habs some day down the line. It obviously wont be anytime soon, but this has to happen at some point, doesnt it? The Nassau County lawmakers are moving forward with a project to keep the Isles in New York after watching the Thrashers fly their coop in Atlanta.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

There’s been smoke for weeks signaling trade talks between the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche, and things are reportedly heating up with the Bruins potentially reaching a tipping point with their subpar play on the ice. According to Bleacher Report columnist Adrian Dater, things may be progressing between the two teams because the Bruins are beginning to entertain the idea of trading away 20-year-old top pairing rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Bruins Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jr. was expected to be out in Colorado scouting the Avalanche/Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, and perhaps getting a long look at players like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie among others.

The expectation is that 24-year-old Landeskog is in the middle of these trade discussions, and that he would be one of the players targeted by a Bruins team that could use more size on the wing, and more players that can put the puck in the net. Certainly Landeskog has done that in his brief NHL career after being a No. 2 overall pick, and has four 20-goal seasons on his resume prior to a disappointing, injury-plagued current season in Colorado.

The word around the league was that talks fizzled between the Bruins and Avs previously when Joe Sakic asked about the availability of the Colorado Springs native Carlo, and those discussions hit the same crunching roadblock that Winnipeg did in discussions with Boston about Jacob Trouba.

Perhaps that has changed in the last 24 hours after Cam Neely and Don Sweeney watched their Bruins completely no-show against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, on Monday afternoon. Now one would expect that Bruins management is getting desperate feeling that a third “Did Not Qualify” for the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in their future if they don’t make a bold, swift move to shake up their dazed hockey club.

But let’s not pull any punches here. The entire Bruins management group should be fired on the spot if they trade a 20-year-old, top pairing shutdown defenseman on an entry level contract like Carlo unless they are getting a bona fide superstar in return. Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak should all be young, untouchable assets for a Bruins organization that is years away from legitimately holding a chance at a Stanley Cup.

Landeskog is not a bona fide superstar. He’s a good player that’s topped out at 26 goals and 65 points in the NHL, but he’s also the Captain on a horrendous, underachieving Avalanche team over the last three years.

If the price were right for Landeskog it would make all the sense in the world for the Bruins to deal him, but it’s a giant honking red flag that Colorado is looking to unload a player like him that’s signed for a reasonable $5.5 million price tag over the next four seasons. Teams don’t trade young players like that with term unless there’s more to the story, and that’s something the Bruins would do well to consider before giving up a player that could be a top-4 shutdown defenseman in Boston for the next 10 years.

Teams like the Bruins that are in reloading mode also shouldn’t be trading 20-year-old players for 24-year-old players that have already cashed in on their second contract. That’s exactly how the Bruins can get right back into salary cap trouble, and do it with a team that’s producing far less than the Peter Chiarelli groups that were at least still making the playoffs.  

Certainly the Bruins have other young D-men like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon coming down the pipeline, but none of those defensemen are in the mold of a true shutdown D like the 6-foot-5 Carlo. With Zdeno Chara in the final few years of his career with the Black and Gold, the B’s are going to need Carlo to slide into that defensive stopper role given his size, strength, wing span and willingness to do the dirty work the D-zone.

That goes beyond the simple fact that rebuilding the back end with ALL of those young stud D-men is the best way to actually build the Bruins back up into a legitimate Eastern Conference power. 

It would be a giant mistake for the Bruins to ship away a player like Carlo with the hope Landeskog can put Boston over the hump for the playoffs this season, and perhaps ease some of the intense pressure currently weighing on Sweeney and Neely. That kind of desperate move smacks of doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and that’s one way to ensure that the Bruins will never escape the web of mediocrity that they’re currently caught in. 

Haggerty: From top to bottom, still no urgency from Bruins

Haggerty: From top to bottom, still no urgency from Bruins

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins pulled the worst of their no-shows on Monday afternoon in the 4-0 shutout loss to the Islanders.

It was a lethargic, mediocre start in the first period that devolved into the bottom dropping out on the Black and Gold when they allowed three unanswered goals in the second. Then, to top it all off, they showed zero urgency or push to make a comeback in the final period. 

It was “unacceptable” in the words of the Bruins players from beginning to end with careless, elementary mistakes in the defensive zone and absolutely zero sustained push in the offensive zone despite a deceiving 32 shots on net.

So, where was the urgency for a Bruins team that’s barely ahead of the Maple Leafs and Senators in the Atlantic Division despite having played six more games than each of those two?

Apparently the Bruins were feeling a little cocky after playing a solid five-game stretch where they’d gone 3-1-1 and taken down the Panthers, Blues and Flyers while elevating their level of play. Heart and soul team leader Patrice Bergeron admitted as much on Tuesday morning as the Bruins cancelled practice and turned their attention toward righting the ship Wednesday night in Detroit.

It was frankly a little stunning to hear Bergeron admit that his Bruins team thought they could win just by showing up on Monday afternoon, but that’s exactly what he copped to in something of an apologetic way.

Brad Marchand said Monday postgame that the Bruins “just weren’t ready [to play]” against the Islanders, and it sounded like his linemate agreed with him.

“It’s about realizing that you can’t take teams lightly, or take the foot off the gas pedal for a period, for a game, or whatever. It hurts us every time we do it, so we have to learn and realize that it just cannot happen. Teams are too good and the points are too valuable for us,” said Bergeron. “You never want to do that, but at the same time maybe it was something that happened because it was a terrible start, and to not respond when they scored the goals. Maybe that’s what happened yesterday.

“As much as you don’t want it to happen, maybe we thought it was going to be an easier game than it actually was against them.”

On the one hand, it’s somewhat shocking to hear that admission from a player that’s always played with full work ethic and an effort level that’s never been questioned. But Bergeron was also a minus-3 in the 4-0 loss and was every bit as guilty as everybody else up and down the roster for the team’s most pathetic loss of the season at a time when results are all that matter.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, though, because the lack of urgency on the bench is mirrored by the lack of urgency upstairs in the Bruins management office right now. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told the Boston Globe last week that he’s considering a move with the head coach along with a number of other things to spark a team treading water, but it doesn’t feel like a major move is on the horizon with this Bruins team.

Trade talks are still in the formative, discussion stages as GMs like Joe Sakic and John Chayka are overvaluing their players looking for a king’s ransom for guys like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata. While Claude Julien should be under the microscope with a team sleepwalking its way through perhaps a third season in a row without the playoffs, it also doesn’t feel like the Bruins are going to pull the trigger on that move until the offseason at the earliest.

This humble hockey writer still insists that this playoff-caliber Bruins team plays at times like a one that needs a swift kick in the backside. Perhaps Julien isn’t up for it after 10 long, successful years of battles with the same core group.   

So, what is there to do then besides make cosmetic moves like shipping underperforming Anton Khudobin down to Providence, or rearrange the deck chairs on a third and fourth line that it’s difficult to tell apart on most days in Boston?

If the Bruins front office wants to truly get to the bottom of their team’s lack of urgency on the ice, perhaps a look in the mirror might be in order. Because that same lack of urgency is playing out with a management group that’s watching their team sink into the Atlantic Division muck right now and seems gun-shy on making a move that could rattle cages.

“Right now where we are in the standings, we’ve got a lot of games to play but we’re still in a playoff spot,” said Julien. “We try and play with the expectations that we have, and that’s to do the best with what we’ve got. We’ve got a lot of new faces and we’re trying to build with what we’ve got here moving forward.”

Certainly nobody is talking about trading away their blue chip prospects like Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy, but there are veteran players on Boston’s current roster that aren’t cut out for battling into the postseason with a young team. It’s plain to see when a middling hockey team can’t find the inspiration to go out and take care of business against a bad Islanders group on a sleepy Monday afternoon just a month after they made the same mistake against the same team on home ice.

The Bruins showed in a five-game stretch leading up to the Islanders debacle that they should be held to a higher standard - that of a team that should qualify for the postseason. But one question arose again and again watching the poorest of poor efforts play out on Monday afternoon: why should the Bruins players show any feet-in-the-fire urgency on the ice when it doesn’t feel like there’s much feet-in-the-fire urgency from upper management to improve the flailing hockey club?

Until that organizational dynamic changes, it’s difficult to see things getting much better, or worse, for a Bruins team that looks destined for the mediocre middle once again this season.