SPORTS: NHL HOCKEY BETTING- NEW JERSEY DEVILS AT BOSTON BRUINS

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[Sports]

Two struggling Eastern Conference teams will do battle at the TD Garden on Thursday night as the Boston Bruins host the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils’ struggles were somewhat expected though the team has failed to meet even this lower standard this season.  That cost head coach Pete DeBoer his job though most observers are of the opinion that his performance was not the issue.  The Devils haven’t come ‘roaring back to life’ since the change but they are 2-2 in their last four games which comes on the heels of a brutal 5-16 run.  Boston’s problems were decidedly unexpected—particularly by the overly demanding Boston sports fanbase.  The Bruins were expected to contend for the Eastern Conference title but have been somewhere between bad and mediocre for most of the campaign.

The Devils are still a team in transition and there’s a sense that the remainder of this season will be more about evaluating talent than winning games. That applies not only to the player roster but to the coaching staff as well.  New Jersey didn’t name an interim head coach as is the usual practice; instead the team will be coached by the triumvirate of Adam Oates, Scott Stevens and general manager Lou Lamoriello. 

There have been several attempts at rationalizing this unusual arrangement but the real reason behind it is obvious—Oates and Stevens are good teachers and well respected coaches but neither are a clear cut answer for a long term head coach.  That’s why Lamoriello is there—he’ll get to audition both coaches close up at the same time he evaluates the playing talent.  In addition, there’s a matter of logistics in hiring a new coach.  There will be a much deeper field of candidates in the off season so there’s no rush to name a permanent replacement.

The Boston Bruins have been a disappointment this year and now they’ve been put ‘on notice’ by new CEO Charlie Jacobs.  Jacobs made emphatically clear that no one on the team is ‘untouchable’ given their current form: "I'd say without question this has been a very disappointing year. It's unacceptable the way this team has performed given the amount of time, money and effort that's been spent on this team. To see it deliver the way it has is unacceptable."

Boston’s problem has more to do with the construction of the team than the way they’ve played. There’s just not enough offensive playmakers to remain competitive in an increasingly tough Eastern Conference.  In the short term, however, they should have plenty to beat the Devils. If you are interested in betting, CarbonSportsbook has good lines on this game.

BET NEW JERSEY DEVILS -185 OVER WASHINGTON CAPITALS

 

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