The Boston Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL since the middle of December. On Sunday, they made a move to bolster their strong club before the trade deadline. They struck a deal with the New York Rangers to acquire All-Star forward Rick Nash. In return, the Bruins are going to give up Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, prospect defenseman Ryan Lindgren, a first-round pick in 2018 and a seventh-round pick in 2019.
It’s no surprise that the moves comes on the heels of a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. The Bruins and Maple Leafs have been jockeying for position in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots all season long, so they’re clearly trying to get themselves an edge, Nash is no longer the scorer he once was but at 33 years old, he’s not far removed from his prime. He had 18 goals and 10 assists for a New York Rangers team that was down in the dumps, losing 16 of their last 21 games, so it is fair to think his numbers can improve.
Don’t expect a huge change in the betting lines as Nash isn’t going to have that type of an impact. There are few players in the NHL who can single-handedly change a team’s Stanley Cup futures. Still, the Bruins are among the favorites and this will definitely help their cause.
Odds To Win The Eastern Conference
Tampa Bay Lightning +300
Boston Bruins +400
Toronto Maple Leafs +550
Washington Capitals +650
Pittsburgh Penguins +750
New Jersey Devils +1000
New York Rangers +1200
New York Islanders +1300
Philadelphia Flyers +1400
Odds courtesy of BetDSI Sportsbook.
The Maple Leafs, who beat the Bruins 4-3 in Toronto on Saturday night, also made a move. They acquired 35-year-old veteran Tomas Plekanec from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Kerby Rychel, Rinat Valiev and a 2018 second-round pick. He has just six goals and 24 points this season, which is definitely sluggish for a player who was once frequently in the 40-60 range. However, he is still a quality defensive forward and will likely slide in with the Maple Leafs checking lines. He should be a useful asset in the playoffs when the Leafs try to slow down the opposing teams top line. The Leafs have been one of the best offensive teams this season but rank 20th in goals allowed per game (2.77), so this acquisition should help them in that regard.
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