Bruins Predictions: What to Expect in the Opening Month

Bruins Predictions: What to Expect in the Opening Month

by October 1, 2018 0 comments

The season is fast approaching, The Boston Bruins opening night in Washington, D.C. against the Capitals is a mere few days away. Lineups are coming together, the final preseason games are being played over this weekend and players are making their last steps of recovery from last season’s injuries. Everyone’s favorite preseason activity (especially in Boston) is making predictions as to how the team will fare throughout the season, so let’s take it month-by-month as the season progresses. This will be a series so check back at the beginning of each month for a new batch of predictions.

In October the Bruins have quite a bit of travel ahead of them. They’ll be on the road for seven games throughout the month and at TD Garden for the other five. They open the season on a back-to-back and will play another one a couple weeks later. Of the twelve games in October, the Bruins will play divisional opponents five times, other Eastern Conference teams on three different occasions and Western Conference teams also three times. Here’s the breakdown and predictions week by week.

Week One: October 3 – 6

As previously mentioned, the Bruins open up regular season play against the Washington Capitals on the road on the NHL’s inaugural night of the season. Unfortunately for Bruins fans puck drop will come quite a bit after the labeled 7:30 start time due to the Capitals’ Stanley Cup banner raising and celebration. The Bruins will have to take advantage of any potential “Cup Hangover” to sneak out of Washington with a win. The Capitals have been a thorn in the Bruins side over the last half-decade or so since Braden Holtby’s ascension to starting goaltender. Both teams will come out of the gates hard and fast, but Holtby’s strong goaltending and Alex Ovechkin’s scoring touch will best the B’s in extra time in a tight, hard-fought contest. Final prediction:

Washington – 3, Boston – 2 (OT)

After Washington, the boys in Black and Gold will hop onto a plane to Buffalo to face first-round pick Rasmus Dahlin and the Sabres. While the Sabres have improved, they’re still nowhere near the level of the Bruins or even a playoff team. Patrice Bergeron and his linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak will put on a clinic in the offensive zone while Jaroslav Halak will put in a solid performance in net for his first game as a Bruin.

Final prediction: Buffalo – 1, Boston – 4

Record after week one: 1-0-1, 3 points

Week Two: October 7 – 13

Finally the TD Garden and Boston faithful will get to see their beloved Bruins don those beautiful home sweaters as they suit up for the home opener on Columbus Day, October 8th, at 1 p.m. against the Ottawa Senators. Tuukka Rask will undoubtedly get the start but Bruce Cassidy could put a shooter tutor in the net and the Bruins would still manage to rout the dumpster fire that is currently the Erik Karlsson-less Senators. Scoring will come from both the veterans and the young guys, especially defenseman Charlie McAvoy and wingers Jake DeBrusk and Ryan Donato.

Final Prediction: Boston – 6, Ottawa – 1

The Bruins will continue what is the first home stand of the season against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday the 11th. It’s unclear what to expect from the Oilers after the last few seasons being quite a roller coaster. Despite the immense talent in the Oilers’ lineup, the Bruins’ leadership and experience from the likes of Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and David Krejci will put them ahead in the third period. Rask will shut the door, and the Bruins will have a bit of a roll early on.

Final Prediction: Boston – 4, Edmonton – 2

To close out the homestand the Bruins will face a divisional rival in the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, October 13th. They may have bested the Bruins in overtime a couple times in the preseason but that means absolutely squat. Detroit is in a similar, yet not nearly as bad a position as Ottawa, and the Bruins will extend their winning streak to four games behind a quick shutout performance from Tuukka Rask.

Final Prediction: Boston – 3, Detroit – 0

Record after week two: 4-0-1, 9 points

Week Three: October 14 – 20

The third week of the season will mark the first of two west coast road trips for the Bruins. The first of these is through western Canada to face the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks. The Flames are a bubble team who won’t make it easy, but the Bruins shouldn’t have too many problems opening up the trip with a close win.

Final Prediction: Calgary – 1, Boston – 2

The second and final game against Edmonton this season will go differently than the first. The Bruins will be just off the plane from a scrappy win in Calgary and as teams usually do on the second half of a back-to-back, will fail to secure the victory. Halak will be in net for his second start. It won’t be a blowout by any means, but Edmonton will put an end to the Bruins early season five-game winning streak.

Final Prediction: Edmonton – 3, Boston – 2

To end the trip the Bruins will be back on the ice that they hoisted the Stanley Cup on for the first time in 39-years back in 2011. They’ve had their fair share of struggles in Vancouver since then, but will bounce back strongly from the loss in Edmonton to once again assert Boston’s hockey dominance over Vancouver.

Final Prediction: Vancouver – 1, Boston – 5

Record after week three: 6-1-1, 13 points

The rest of the month: October 21 – 31

The Bruins will close out the month of October with two road games split by a two-game homestand. The first on the road will be in Ottawa, likely with Halak backstopping the Bruins to a strong win over a bad team in a very empty building.

Final Prediction: Ottawa – 0, Boston – 4

Heading back to Causeway the Bruins will have a solid, playoff-worthy opponent waiting for them in the Philadelphia Flyers. It’ll be their strongest competition since opening the season against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. The Broad Street Bullies may have a terrifying mascot in Gritty, but he won’t be able to push the Flyers past the Bruins in what will be another overtime win courtesy of Brad Marchand.

Final Prediction: Boston – 4, Philadelphia – 3 (OT)

On Saturday the 27th a familiar foe, the Montreal Canadiens will make their way into Boston with a lot of unfamiliar faces. The rivalry will return, but will it really? There is very little history remaining at all on Montreal’s side from the brutal contests between them and Boston from 2008-2014 aside from goaltender Carey Price. Rask will boost his confidence against the Habs at home with a strong two-goal performance with the offense giving him plenty of room to breathe.

Final Prediction: Boston – 5, Montreal – 2

To close out the month the Bruins will be in North Carolina to take on the Hurricanes, a team that nobody really knows where they’ll end up at the end of the season. Halak will likely get another start and put in another solid performance while Pastrnak lights it up in the offensive zone for no less than a two-goal performance.

Final Prediction: Carolina – 2, Boston – 4

Record at the end of the month: 10-1-1, 21 points

If these predictions are anything to go by or even remotely close to accurate, the Bruins should find themselves at the top of the division, and maybe even the conference or entire NHL at October’s close. The strong schedule that the Bruins open the year with will be fleeting, as their competition will get stronger and stronger throughout the season. It’ll be in their best interests to rack up the points and take advantage of the terrible teams they’ll face early on (Ottawa, Detroit, Montreal).

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