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Murph’s Power 5: Bruins Keep Rolling To The Top

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The Boston Bruins continue to prove the preseason NHL betting handicappers wrong as they’re challenging their historic 2022-23 regular season.

Here’s my latest Power 5:

1.) Boston Bruins (14-1-3, 31 pts)

The Boston Bruins slide into the top spot this week as they just keep finding ways to win or at least get a point. Since the last Power 5, the Bruins went 2-0-1 in three straight Atlantic Division matchups.

After losing 3-2 to their bitter rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, at the Bell Centre on Nov. 11, the Bruins hosted the Habs a week later on ‘Big Bad Bruins’ Era night as the team continued their series of era nights to celebrate their Centennial season. If you go to the best NHL betting sites and subscribe to their handicappers, you’ll hear the term ‘scheduled loss,’ and that’s exactly what last Saturday was for the Canadiens. It was clear from the get-go that the Bruins were out for revenge, and with legends like Bobby Orr at TD Garden for a Bruins-Habs tilt, the Bruins got their revenge in a dominant 5-2 win.

The Bruins then went on their Dad’s Trip in their annual two-game holiday trip through Florida, which began with a topsy-turvy 5-4 loss in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos tied the game for the Bolts with 4.8 ticks left in regulation, and Brandon Hagel won it 1:19 into overtime.

The Boston Bruins then went into what was clearly a revenge game for the Florida Panthers after the Bruins beat them 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 30, and more importantly, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy knocked Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson out of the game with a blatant headshot. McAvoy was suspended for four games, but the Panthers targeted him early and often. The Bruins answered the bell physically and on the scoreboard as they took advantage of their opponents’ fixation on McAvoy and won a statement game 3-1.

With Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman in the zone, the 2023-24 Boston Bruins seem to be far from letting up.

2.) Vegas Golden Knights (14-4-2, 30 pts)

The Vegas Golden Knights were close to dropping into the third slot here if they hadn’t salvaged their five-game road trip with a gritty 2-1 win over the Stars on Wednesday night in Dallas. The Knights had lost two straight coming into that game and were 1-2-1 on the trip, but rededication to their structure and, at the same time, their attack helped them return to Las Vegas second overall in the NHL as they welcome in the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.

3.) Los Angeles Kings (11-3-3, 25 pts)

Beware of the Los Angeles Kings! The 1-2-3 punch of Anze Kopitar-Pierre-Luc Dubois-Phillip Danault is dominating, and Cam Talbot is proving the critics wrong. That’s why the Kings are riding a three-game win streak into their rivalry game with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday afternoon and are now within striking distance of the Golden Knights and the Vancouver Canucks. If the Kings can add another bottom-four defenseman, this will be a team to reckon with all season.

4.) New York Rangers (13-3-1, 27 pts) 

Like the Golden Knights, the New York Rangers did not look like themselves lately. Since our last ranking here, they went 2-1-0, but in those first two games, they gave up nine goals, beating the New Jersey Devils 5-3 and then losing to the Dallas Stars 6-3. They finished the three-game stretch off with a more Rangers-like 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

5.) Winnipeg Jets (11-5-2, 24 pts)

The Washington Capitals deserve some props for being on a five-game wins streak right now, and so do the Vancouver Canucks; but if I’m doing some NHL betting on a Capitals-Winnipeg Jets game, I’m taking the best-kept secret in the NHL: the Jets, who are on a four-game win streak. Led by Kyle Connor, who is currently tied with Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews for the league lead in goals with 14 lamplighters, the Jets have become players in the Western Conference and Central Division race.

 

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