Tonight Game 5 between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins will take the series to another level. The Bruins come flying into this matchup winning the past two games on their home ice and doing it convincingly. Boston won Game 3 by seven goals and earned a 4-0 win in Game 4. It's going to be a bit of a change for television coverage from the prior two games. NBC will carry the game live beginning at 8 p.m.
Lines for tonight
Vancouver Canucks -170 ML (Wager $170 to win $100)
Boston Burins +150 ML (Wager $100 to win $150)
Total — 5 (-125 OVER, +105 UNDER)
Vancouver, for lack of sugar-coating it, has been outplayed badly in the past two games. They have been out-hustled, out-worked and out-classed. Roberto Luongo has not been consistent at all in the previous two games and he's lucky to be able to start Game 5 inbetween the pipes. If Vancouver has ever had a game that could be considered as "must-win" I think tonight is the night. While it doesn't necessarily mean the game will be the last at home for the Canucks, it definitely has the potential to be the final game in Vancouver tonight. The only way Henrik Sedin and the boys make that a potential positive is to win tonight. Will this series go to a seventh game? It's very possible, especially the way Boston has played at home the past two games. I think Vancouver has put themselves in a position tonight where a victory could put a massive amount of pressure on the Bruins.
Tim Thomas is the biggest reason the Bruins are in the position they are in. Vancouver is the most lethal offensive team in hockey and Thomas has been brilliant for Boston the entire series, not just Games 3 and 4. Thomas has given up just five goals in four games to Vancouver and has stopped a total of 141 shots in that time period. To say the Canucks are struggling offensively is one thing, but they are averaging nearly 36 shots per game in this series. I think that makes it safe to say Thomas and the Bruins' defensemen have been doing a damn good job of determining why this series is tied at 2-2. Canucks' defensman Kevin Bieksa doesn't believe in Thomas. "I think we're giving Thomas too much respect," Bieksa said. "He's
leaky. Pucks go through him. We've seen it all year. We just need to put
more pucks on him." Hmm. That's why he's stopped all but four of 145 shots so far? Maybe Bieksa said this because he needs to sell himself on the idea.
So, what happens?
Vancouver this post season has been dominant at home, going 9-3 in their games in British Columbia. Pretty good in my opinion. Boston, on the other hand, is just 5-5 on the road in the playoffs including dropping the first two game in the NHL Finals. Vancouver is in a great position here tonight to take a 3-2 series lead and I think they get it done. However, with the price as high as it is (-170 and higher) I'm not sure it's a very good value bet.
Here are some closing number: 73% of the bets coming in are currently on Boston. The total is at just 5 goals and there are 56% on the over. The Canucks, in my opinion, are going to win a low-scoring contest and take that 3-2 series lead.
Official play: UNDER 5 goals (+105)