It goes without saying that you need to proceed NHL betting for the rest of the regular season with a word of caution. There are teams that have mailed it in and are already in offseason mode. Others are gearing up for the playoffs, and some are just looking to make the playoffs. Scenarios abound, which you need to pay attention to before putting money down. Personally, I pull my bets back to below average units before the playoffs begin. Tonight in Washington we have a picture which includes a team just going through the motions waiting for the season to end, while the Capitals are looking forward for the playoffs to begin. There has to be a feeling of uneasiness in the Capital organization. They have been favorites in the playoffs before and have exited with nothing more than excuses. Alexander Ovechkin needs to win that Stanley Cup to add to his resume. Without it, this season will feel just a bit hollow.
Ovechkin will be up against his countryman, Sergei Bobrovsky, in net tonight against the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets had something good going, closing in on .500, but it feels like they’ve given up as the season gets close to the end. They are calendar watching. When you’re focusing more on how many games are left, the same with time left on a game clock, nothing good comes from it. The Jackets have gone 3-7 in their last ten games. Note that this all came, when the Blue Jackets were at home for seven of their last ten games.
This isn’t the time for the Capitals to take time off before the playoffs start. They need to head into the postseason with a head of steam, and confidence. Time and time again teams will lay off before the playoffs, and then when it’s time to kick it back up, they are never able to find that gear again. Besides, if the Capitals falter the next two weeks, people are going to be rolling their eyes saying this is going to be the same old Capitals. There should be no doubts, though, that this is a very good team. The Caps own a record of 53-16-5. But it would certainly be all for nothing if they don’t win the Stanley Cup. They get what looks like a tune-up tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Washington Capitals NHL Pick
The Capitals have been on the road for seven of their last ten games, so it was nice to get home last outing. However, the Capitals looked helpless against the Blues, getting beat for a 4-0 final. The Blues are one of the streakiest teams in the league. Which Blues team is going to show up in the playoffs should be their moto. The recent results for the Blue Jackets pretty well mimics what we were witnessing early in the season. The defense is back to getting torched, and there is an element of effort in my opinion. Columbus has allowed at least 3 goals in nine of ten games. They have allowed an average of 3.40 goals over their last ten games. The Blue Jackets are second last in goals allowed per game in the league, so it’s pretty familiar for them.
The Columbus offense has scored 2 goals per game in their last ten. Not the best formula allowing that many goals, and scoring only 2 a game. But like I said, I think the Blue Jackets have mailed it in and are just counting the days down to the end of the season. Statistically, the Capitals and Blue Jackets are polar opposites. The Caps are 2nd in the league in scoring, averaging 3.08 goals per game. They are also 2nd defensively, allowing 2.34 goals a game. The Capitals are 28-7-2 at home, compared to 13-21-2 on the road for Columbus. Additionally, the Blue Jackets are 1-5 against the Capitals in Washington. Washington is also 11-1 after a loss of 3 goals or more in their previous outing, they lost 4-0 to the Blues. This looks like a nice opportunity for the Capitals to tee off on the Blue Jackets and get the confidence back after getting dispatched fairly easily against the Blues. Too much juice on the ML but the PL is worth a look.
PICK: CAPITALS -1.5 (+125)