The 2019 Stanley Cup Finals are set: will the Boston Bruins emerge victorious or can the St Louis Blues claim a first championship crown? On paper, the Bruins are favourites but this has all the makings of a competitive series and it could go right down to the wire.
Boston have a slight advantage in terms of rest time ahead of this year’s showpiece series. Having secured the Eastern Conference title after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0, the Bruins last played on May 17th – Boston will be fresh and ready to go ahead of Game 1 on Monday night.
On the other hand, St Louis needed an additional five days and two games to get past the San Jose Sharks. With almost a full week to prepare though, there should be no excuses regarding a lack of fatigue. The Blues will be primed to go to TD Garden and put up a good fight.
According to the latest NHL betting odds, the Bruins are valued at 4/6 to win the Stanley Cup crown. Boston have the experience at this level and that could prove decisive over the course of the next fortnight. Should St Louis take an early lead in the series though, the Bruins may start to get a little edgy…
The 6/5 available with Betfred for the Blues to claim a maiden title is well worth considering. Yes, they lack the big game experience but St Louis have already defied the odds to get this far – why can’t they do it again?
Boston Bruins Destined For Greatness?
The Bruins have now been involved in three Stanley Cup Finals series this decade; they won ice hockey’s ultimate prize in 2011 before falling short against the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2013. Boston supporters will be hoping for better luck this time around.
The TD Garden faithful have been spoilt in recent times, with Boston regularly competing at the business end of the playoffs. In 2018/19, the Bruins have gone 29-9-3 in front of their own fans and that makes the 4/6 with 888sport for a home win in Game 1 very appealing indeed.
Brad Marchand was in sublime form in the regular season, notching 100 points in just 79 games. The Bruins star has carried that form into the playoffs, scoring seven while assisting 11 for his teammates in 15 postseason matches. William Hill are offering 6/4 for Marchand to score in Game 1.
TIP: Brad Marchand to score in Game 1 (6/4 with William Hill)
St Louis Blues: Write Underdogs Off At Your Peril
Back against the Blues at your peril. St Louis will have the backing of neutrals in the 2018/19 Stanley Cup series and plenty of punters will fancy Craig Berube’s side at 7/5 to secure a shock Game 1 success. Winning on the road at Boston is never easy but St Louis have won on two of their last four visits to TD Garden.
With no real standout name on the St Louis statistics board, it may prove prudent to focus on Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko. His impact and influence in the final third of the ice could prove crucial in St Louis’ bid for glory this year. 2/1 for Tarasenko to get his name on the scoresheet is worth considering.
Expect the Blues to start quickly – after all, they will definitely have the edge in terms of match sharpness. Winning in Boston will immediately open up the series and a St Louis win is the best outcome for neutrals. Watch this space, it could be an absolute thriller on Monday night.
TIP: St Louis Blues to win the series (6/5 with Betfred)