Signing Krug and Smith Helps Bruins NHL Odds
It could be argued that Boston had a successful 2013-14 season, tallying 117 points which awarded them their second President's Trophy in team history. That being said, years like that which don't result in a Stanley Cup win can be looked at as a failure. The B's were bounced out of the 2014 playoffs by archrival and the much lower seeded Montreal Canadiens, naturally leaving a bad taste in Boston's players mouths for the long offseason.
To be honest, there's not much that a team that led the NHL in scoring can do different in an offseason to improve. Boston may have taken the best approach – stand pat and try to do it again next year. Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara are all back, as are Torey Krug and Reilly Smith who signed one-year deals to answer the contract questions the Bruins had entering the 2014-15 NHL season.
Defensemen Torey Krug had been looking for a long-term deal, especially since he was so successful in his first full year in the NHL. Ultimately he settled on a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the cash-strapped Bruins. Krug accounted for 40 points last year, second among Bruins defensemen, making him a key component in navigating the Boston power play. If Krug plays up to his potential, the one year deal could actually make him more money in the long run as teams are more willing to shell out long term deals at a guy who proves he can consistently produce.
Like Krug, the 23-year-old Smith had hoped for a deal that provided him more financial stability, but ultimately settled on the same one-year, $1.4 million deal. Smith will likely play right wing on the Bruins' second line where he scored 51 points in his first full NHL season.
Even though Boston was prepared to go into the 2014-15 season without Krug and Smith, there's little doubt that the two players make the Bruins a much deeper and more talented team. Based on NHL odds, expect Boston to repeat their mastery in the Eastern Conference. They are favorites on the NHL lines with odds of +360, just ahead to the Pittsburgh Penguins who are +450. The Bruins aren't getting as much love in the big picture of NHL picks though. The Chicago Blackhawks are +700 to become the Stanley Cup champs, followed by Boston at +850 with the Los Angeles Kings close behind at +900.
Boston knows they've got work to do not only in the regular season, but once they make the playoffs again – at least they've got familiar faces along for the ride.
* Betting lines mentioned in this article are subject to change due to time sensitivity. Please visit the sports betting lines for up to date odds.
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