Nover’s View: Free Thursday Hockey Play

On May 6, 2021, in Free Picks, NHL, by Stephen

By Stephen Nover

Bruins minus 1 1/2 goals plus $1.10 (puck line) hosting Rangers 

You’ll excuse the Rangers if they take a pass on getting up for this game, their fourth in the last six days.

This is what’s happened to the Rangers during the past two days: team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton were fired. The Rangers had a rematch on Wednesday night against the Capitals, who defeated them, 6-3, this past Monday. The Rangers lost 4-2 to the Capitals on Wednesday, but that wasn’t the big story. Exacting a measure of revenge on the Capitals – mainly cheap artist Tom Wilson – was the major focus and motivation. Wilson caused a huge fight on Monday with a sucker punch and then injured Artemi Panarin, the Rangers’ star player and points leader, knocking him out for the rest of the season. 

The Rangers are far from a brawny, physical team. That’s not their style. They banded together, though, and went after the Capitals with fists flying right from the opening faceoff. The Rangers had to take matters into their own hands since the league failed to properly clamp down on Wilson’s constant thuggery. There were six fights within the first five minutes. It was a gutty display by the Rangers. They lost the game to a superior foe, but earned a satisfying self-respect for avenging a wrong.  

All of this factors into this matchup. The Rangers aren’t going to have anything left after last night. It’s not like they have anything to play for either since they are eliminated from playoff competition. New York is severely short-handed, too. It’s not just Panarin who is sidelined. Also injured are defensemen Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren along with forwards Chris Kreider, Brett Howden and Julien Gauthier. 

The Bruins have defeated the Rangers in eight of the last 10 meetings. The Bruins won’t lack motivation after blowing a lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to the lowly Devils two days ago.

Boston has won each of its last six home games with the last five of those victories all coming by 3 or more goals. 

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