Tuukka Rask

The Bruins and Blues have been battling over the past few weeks, but their bad blood will boil one last time tonight. Game 7 in Boston; what more could a hockey fan ask for?

The series has flip-flopped, aside from the Blues winning back-to-back games to go up 3-2, making it very difficult to predict the betting landscape. Ahead of the Stanley Cup Final culmination game, we’re going to make some sense of it. Here’s a look at the journey the odds have taken on the DK Sportsbook throughout the series:

Stanley Cup Final Odds Changes

– Opening Line: Bruins (-154), Blues (+130)
– After Game 1: Bruins (-303), Blues (+240)
– After Game 2: Bruins (-118), Blues (+100)
– After Game 3: Bruins (-333), Blues (+265)
– After Game 4: Bruins (-154), Blues (+130)
– After Game 5: Bruins (+240), Blues (-295)
– After Game 6: Bruins (-167), Blues (+143)

Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook

As we approach puck drop, it’s becoming clearer who the bettors believe will be Stanley Cup champion. The total handle (67% on Boston) and number of bets (58% on Boston) are leaning toward the Bruins. There’s no doubt Boston has been the favorite throughout a majority of the series. It took St. Louis two wins in a row and a 3-2 series lead to finally receive better odds than its opponent. And we can’t just chalk that up to the Bruins having home-ice advantage; both teams got two of their three victories on the road. This series can be boiled down to one thing: special teams.

I pointed out the Blues’ special teams weakness before the Stanley Cup Final started, but I didn’t think it would be this appalling. Coming into Game 1, St. Louis was 19.4% on the power play. In this series, it’s down to 5.5% on 18 opportunities. Those numbers wouldn’t be so bad if the Blues were effective on the penalty kill, but with the Bruins power play at 30.4%, we can see the issue. The two sides are tied on even strength goals at 13 a piece, so if the Blues can stay disciplined, all signs point to this coming down to the wire.

Conn Smythe Trophy Winner Favorites

– Tuukka Rask: Opening Line (-118), Current Odds (-225)
– Ryan O’Reilly: Opening Line (+1300), Current Odds (+300)
– Vladimir Tarasenko: Opening Line (+2500), Current Odds (+450)
– Jordan Binnington: Opening Line (+450), Current Odds (+650)
– Patrice Bergeron: Opening Line (+1500), Current Odds (+1150)

The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Final. Barring a major collapse from Tuukka Rask, it seems pretty clear the Boston goaltender will win it. Rask has been the definition of a brick wall throughout the entire postseason, with a .938 save percentage and a 1.93 goals against average on 722 shots faced. In the NHL’s long history, there has been only one time a goalie had a lower goals against average on at least as many shots faced. That goalie happened to also be Tuukka Rask in the 2012-13 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If the Bruins win, there’s no doubt in my mind Tuukka will be the MVP. If the Blues win scoring three goals or less, I still think he’ll be the MVP, even though he won’t care much at that point.

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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

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