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It’s Stanley Cup Or Bust For McAvoy, Bruins



Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins woke up on Sunday morning atop the Atlantic Division and trailing the New York Rangers by a point in the race for the Presidents Trophy.

If you partake in NHL Betting, it would probably be a good value bet to make on the Bruins winning a second-straight Presidents Trophy. Yes, the Presidents Trophy. The trophy that the Bruins had essentially locked up in early March last season en route to a record-breaking regular season finish with a franchise record 65 wins and 135 points. Yes, the same Presidents Trophy that they earned with a 100-point finish in the 2019-20 season that was halted by COVID on March 12, 2020, and resumed with the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in two bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. As the Boston Bruins found out in the Toronto bubble when the eventual 2020 Stanley Cup champions, Tampa Bay Lightning, bounced them in five games in the second round and in devastating fashion last April when the eighth-seeded Florida Panthers stunned the Bruins in seven games en route to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, the Presidents Trophy winner is all but a footnote.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be on division-winning teams and Presidents’ trophy-winning teams. It’s awesome, but no one remembers that,” Boston Bruins defenseman and alternate captain Charlie McAvoy said after he scored a goal in a 3-2 overtime win over the Panthers that pulled the Bruins five points ahead of their new top rival in the Atlantic Division.

“You’d give it back for a Cup. I’m not really concerned with that.”

Of course, the Bruins would love home advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but as the Panthers once again reminded everyone last spring, if you’re peaking at the right time when the real season begins, playoff seeding and home advantage don’t really matter. The Bruins’ win over the Panthers on Saturday came after a 4-2 road trip that saw the Bruins dominate two quality opponents, the Nashville Predators (3-0 win) and the Hurricanes (4-1 win) in the final two games.

“We’re just trying to put together our best team,” McAvoy explained in his post-game scrum on Saturday. “We’ve played a lot of good teams here recently. For us, it’s not so much about the opponent but ourselves. We’re trying to round into form. There’s a certain simplicity we have to play. It allows us to have success. At times, it might be boring, but it’s winning hockey. Getting the puck behind them, staying above them. Being opportunistic. Overall not beating ourselves.

There was a moment a couple of weeks ago looking at ourselves where we knew we’re beating ourselves and giving up things that we shouldn’t. It was something where we had to dig deep and say we’re going to play simple and play responsible. We’ve done it for a couple of weeks now, and we’ve seen some good results.”

NHL bettors should keep an eye on this Boston Bruins team because you can still get them with dark horse value to win the Eastern Conference and the Stanley Cup. It could be a low-risk/high-reward bet.

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