The NHL Stanley Cup Finals begin on Monday, May 27th 2019. The Boston Bruins won the Eastern Conference and the St. Louis Blues won the Western Conference.
This is the fourth Stanley Cup appearance in Blues history, although it’ll be the first time since 1970 when they were swept by the Bobby Orr-led Bruins. Who can forget the overtime goal by Orr to win the series? It’s arguably the most memorable goal ever scored in the NHL.
Boston will be playing in their 20th Stanley Cup Finals. They last won the Cup in 2011 in seven games against the Canucks and their last Cup appearance was in 2013 when they lost to Chicago in six.
2019 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Series Odds – Live NHL Stanley Cup Odds
Boston Bruins -155 vs. St. Louis Blues +135
The Bruins come into the finals as small favorites against the Blues. The Bruins struggled in the first round against the Maple Leafs (7 Games), but they improved against the Blue Jackets (6 Games) and then swept the Hurricanes (4 Games) in the Eastern Conference Finals and have been resting since.
St. Louis have eliminated the Jets (6 Games), Stars (7 Games) and Sharks (6 Games). In the last three games of the Western Conference Finals, the Blues outscored the Sharks 12-2. The Blues have been strong defensively throughout the playoffs, but now the offense is starting to roll too.
2019 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Predictions
Both teams are strong defensively and like to play the body. This will be a hard-hitting series and I expect the series to go back and forth. I give the edge on defense to the Blues, as they have been a lot more involved offensively. The Blues six starting defensemen have scored six goals and added 37 assists. Boston’s defense have scored seven goals, but only tallied 27 assists.
The goalie edge goes to the Bruins, though. Tuukka Rask is 12-5 with a 1.84 GAA and .942 SV%, while the rookie Jordan Binnington is 12-7 with a 2.37 GAA and .914 SV%. Both goalies have been shown consistency throughout the playoffs and I don’t expect either goalie to falter this series.
The key to the Blues winning this series will be shutting down the Bruins top line. Patrice Bergeron (8 Goals + 5 Assists), Brad Marchand (7 Goals + 11 Assists) and David Pastrnak (7 Goals + 8 Assists) have scored 38.6% of the Bruins goals throughout the playoffs.
St. Louis also needs to continue getting offensive contributions from all four lines. Jaden Schwartz has surprised everyone by exploding for 12 goals and 4 assists in 19 games. However, it’s the depth that teams have struggled with. The four Blues centers, Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak and Oskar Sundqvist, have combined to score 14 goals and 25 assists in the playoffs.
The Blues also need to shutdown the Bruins power play. Boston rank 1st in the playoffs on the PP (34%), while the Blues rank 11th in penalty killing (78%) during the playoffs.
I’m betting on the Blues to win the Stanley Cup at +135 odds. Everything is falling into place for the Blues and they’ll be able to win the first Stanley Cup in team history.