Jaroslav Halak and Torey Krug celebrate after winning Game 3 of their series against the Hurricanes. Photo from @bostonnewsnow (Twitter).
- Jaroslav Halak is the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 goalie heading into Monday’s Game 4 (8pm ET) against the Carolina Hurricanes
- With six points in six games, Boston second liner David Krejci has probably been the Bruins’ best player
- See the odds and betting analysis in the story below
As the Boston Bruins take a 2-1 series lead into Monday’s Game 4 against the Carolina Hurricanes, they could be thinking that No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask did the Bruins a favor by leaving the team.
Away from his wife and three young children, Rask’s heart wasn’t into trying to win a Stanley Cup during a pandemic. Rask’s play was below his standards. He had an .899 save percentage in his first two games against Carolina, well below his career .926 playoff save percentage.
Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes Game 4 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Puckline||Total Odds at DraftKings|
|Boston Bruins||-110||-1.5 (+245)||O 5(-133)|
|Carolina Hurricanes||-109||+1.5 (-303)||U 5 (+110)|
Odds as of August 15
Enter Jaroslav Halak, who played impressively in Boston’s 3-1 win against Carolina in Game 3. Halak isn’t your usual backup. He was 18-6-6 this season. The Bruins rallied around Halak. They played Game 3 like they are back in control of the series and their fate.
Before Game 3, the Hurricanes were slight favorites at -109 and they remain favored going into Game 4, although it is closer.
Losing Svechnikov Could Hurt ‘Canes Badly
If Andrei Svechnikov is out of action because of an injury, his loss could undermine the Hurricanes’ offense more than David Pastrnak’s injury is hurting the Bruins’ offense.
Pastrnak scored 48 goals this season and Svechnikov posted 24. But Svechnikov is a budding young star and the Hurricanes feed off his energy.
Svechnikov had to be helped off the ice, after injuring his leg during a tussle in front of the net with Boston’s Zdeno Chara. After Game 3, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said he didn’t have an update on Svechnikov, but admitted the video “looked bad.”
Svechnikov is hurting after getting tangled with Chara, gets helped off the ice #LetsGoCanes pic.twitter.com/ZgyBhm4mYK
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) August 15, 2020
Should Hurricanes Switch to James Reimer in Net?
The Hurricanes have lost twice to the Bruins in this series and Petr Mrazek was in net both times. Meanwhile, James Reimer is 2-0 since the restart, including a win against the Bruins.
Mrazek is not the reason why the Hurricanes are trailing in the series. But giving Reimer the net for Game 4 would likely give the Hurricanes a boost. Reimer boasts a 1.50 goals-against average to go with a .959 save percentage.
Reimer is playing confidently. Considering the Hurricanes are now 1-6 against the Bruins over the past two playoffs, they could use another layer of confidence in the lineup.
Eddie Olyczyk says he doesn’t like Hurricanes switching from Reimer back to Mrazek.
I mention this because he also said to break up Carolina first line after Game 1, they did & it worked in Game 2.#EddieOKnows
— Matt Kalman (@MattKalman) August 15, 2020
Hurricanes Need More Out of Vincent Trocheck
Trocheck is valuable because he contributes more than offense. He’s a committed checker, and he usually wins more faceoffs than he loses.
But the Hurricanes need more offense out of him. After six playoff games, Trocheck has no goals and one assist. If Svechnikov is gone, the Hurricanes will need the Trocheck, who scored 31 goals in 2017-18. Trocheck has been a solid performer, but the Hurricanes need him to be exceptional. He has the skill to score more.
Vinny Trocheck filthy dangle.
You gotta retire now, Carlo.
I don’t make the rules. #TakeWarning pic.twitter.com/fK2XEEhutn
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) August 14, 2020
Bruins Look Like Solid Bet
The only worry about taking the Bruins is that Pastrnak’s status is still unknown. After looking ordinary in the round-robin games, the Bruins are starting to look more like the NHL’s most consistent team in the regular season.
Halak and the Bruins got the job done in Game Three, but how far can they go without Rask? https://t.co/H95EKdXhM3
— Pro Hockey Rumors (@prohockeyrumors) August 15, 2020
Rask’s decision to go leave the team is probably best for the team and player in the long run. The Bruins players knew that Rask’s heart wasn’t in the playoffs. He was concerned about his young family. Rask’s teammates probably felt bad for him knowing how much he was struggling about his decision
Now with Halak owning the net, the Bruins are acting like themselves. That’s not good news for the Hurricanes. Don’t kid yourself: this team could go far without Rask. Halak is a quality performer.
Game 4 pick: Bruins (-110)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.