The Boston Bruins visit Capital One Arena in Washington DC, where they will take on the defending champion Washington Capitals. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 pm central. This is the opening of the season, so neither team has a record. However, Washington does have the Stanley Cup, so that automatically makes them the team to beat in the league. The Bruins also have a very talented, experienced roster as well. Washington is favored in this matchup: at -125.
Besides their dramatic Cup run, the Capitals also finished off last season with some impressive stats. Winger Alexander Ovechkin led the team last year with 87 points on 49 goals and 38 assists (Indicating that he was the primary goal scoring option for the team. Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov finished last season with 83 points, second on the team. His scoring was dramatically different that Ovechkin’s, as his points were 67% assists as opposed to Ovechkin’s 43%. Kuznetsov has been an integral part off the offense, especially related to the passing aspect.
In the number 3 scoring spot was center Nicklas Backstrom, who had 71 points on 21 goals and 50 assists. A defenseman, John Carlson, actually broke the top four in scoring. The United States Hockey League product finished last season with 68 points, nearly taking over the #3 spot. He had 15 goals but lit teams up by getting the puck in front of the net, netting 53 assists.
For the Bruins, Brad Marchand led the team in scoring. The Halifax native contributed 85 points on 34 goals and 51 assists. His balanced scoring has been extremely important to this team for years. David Pastrnak also eclipsed the great Bergeron in terms of scoring. He had 80 points and was also balanced in his scoring, with 35 goals and 45 assists.
The aforementioned Patrice Bergeron contributed 63 points, putting up 30 goals and 33 assists. Rounding out the top 4 is Torey Krug, who passed his way to near the top of the score sheet with 14 goals and 45 assists. Zdeno Chara is also an integral part of the Bruins team. 98.5, a local Boston radio station, had this to say about just how important the defenseman is:
“While everybody’s drooling over the body-obsessed 41-year-old playing in Foxboro, the Bruins have a similarly-dedicated 41-year-old of their own, and his name is Zdeno Chara. Still the No. 1 defenseman on Boston’s depth chart, Chara is coming off a year in which the Bruins attempted to limit their captain’s workload, with a Bruins career-low 22:54 of time on ice per night. The Bruins will continue to work towards that (he logs almost no power-play time on ice and the Bruins give him shifts off when leading big in the third period), but the schedule and B’s record will ultimately dictate how that works out. Here’s something to consider: Just two defenseman have logged at least 1,600 total minutes of time on ice in their Age-41 season — Chris Chelios in 2002-03 and Nicklas Lidstrom in 2011-12.”
Capitals Top Bruins
The Bruins are still good and still have the living legend Chara on their side. However, it is difficult to say whether anyone will stop the Capitals. The fact that no hockey has been played yet makes this particularly difficult. However, all signs seem to point toward another great season for the Caps. Bet on the Washington Capitals at -125.
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