Now that the Montreal Canadiens have stunned the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and grabbed a place in the Eastern Conference finals, the online sports betting world turns its attention to the other Easter Conference semifinal match-up that sees a scrambling Philadelphia Flyers team push their series against the Boston Bruins to a deciding game seven.
The NHL betting on the Flyers almost stopped when the regular season did. The Flyers were battling with the likes of Boston and Montreal to see who would grab the final few playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, and where everyone would finish. The Stanley Cup odds were 15 to 1 on Philly winning the Stanley Cup when the season started. Goalie injuries and inconsistent play pushed the Flyers to 30 to 1 by the time the playoffs started, which made them the least likely team to win the Cup of the remaining playoff participants.
In game five of this series, Philadelphia starting goaltender Brian Boucher injured his knee. As the city of Philadelphia held its collective breath a few things seemed to be lost. The first is that Boucher was not the starting goalie all of the regular season. He was brought in when Michael Leighton was hurt with a handful of games left in the regular season. Boucher played well and helped push the Flyers into the playoffs. When Boucher was hurt he was replaced by Michael Leighton, who then put in a 30 save performance in game six to push the series to a game seven.
The Flyers are better off in net now than they were when the series started. All of the Flyers Bruins betting was based on the play of Boucher, who has been brilliant in the playoffs but has been a journeyman most of his career. With Leighton in net, the Flyers have their man and the team rallied around him in game six.
The Flyers have clawed their way back in this series to force this game seven, and now with their regular starting goalie back in place it looks as though the Bruins could be in for a battle in game seven. The Bruins need to take the play to the Flyers and force the Flyers to make mistakes.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers 4-1
Grab discounted NHL jerseys and swag on Amazon.com by clicking here.
Check out NHL Greatest Moments on DVD by clicking here.
Order the NHL 10 video game by clicking here.