The Washington Capitals come back after falling to their rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, on Wednesday night. It had to be the most disappointing loss the Capitals have had up to this point, but still hold a solid record of 6-2. The Caps will more than welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to tonight, a team that got off to an 0-8 start before winning their last two. I don’t expect the Jackets to make some miraculous turn around and be a playoff team because of John Tortorella. They will certainly improve, but there is a lot of work for Tortorella ahead of him to get something going of substance going in Ohio. Despite the loss to the Penguins, the Capitals are a good spot with six wins this season. However, things can change quickly and they could be at .500 before we know. A win over the Caps tonight on the road would go a long way for the Blue Jackets. Just confidence alone from a win over a team like the Caps would be a nice sign.
Even though the Washington Capitals have gotten off to a pretty good start, they could win 90% of the rest of their games, and if they falter in the playoffs again then it will be for nothing. Ovechkin already has the choker label and it wouldn’t be lifted if they don’t reach the Stanley Cup for another year. They were 1 game away from beating the Rangers last season in the postseason, but ultimately fell in 7 games. The Rangers had a similar fate in the Stanley Cup Finals. Once again it looks like the Caps are going to have a successful 2015 in the regular season, but it remains to be seen if they can do anything in the playoffs. Nevertheless, Ovechkin has gotten off to a fast start with 5 goals and 4 assists. He also has a solid +/- of +4. He’ll look to stay hot Friday night against the Blue Jackets. Find my NHL pick below.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Washington Capitals Pick
The Capitals have gotten these kind of seasons out of Ovechkin plenty of times before, but it hasn’t resulted in any championships. There comes a time where you just think that he is never going to and I can’t dispute that given his history. But it isn’t his fault really, he can only do so much, so I can’t say he is the choker. The offense has been hot other than the dud they laid against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 3-1 loss. Despite the loss, the Capitals are averaging 3.75 goals per game, which is still impressive. They scored 24 goals in five games before the lax play against the Pens. You can’t expect the Capitals to be that good on offense all the time, so there isn’t any cause for concern after the Pens game.
The Columbus Blue Jackets could be a firing range for the Capitals, if they decide to show up tonight. And after losing to the Penguins in their last outing, I think they come out and look motivated to forget about that one. The Blue Jackets are statistically last in the NHL in total team defense. They have allowed a whopping 4.10 goals per game. They shut down one of the worst offenses in the league, the New Jersey Devils, but that was the first time they held any team to less than 3 goals. I took the Avalanche in the game that the Blue Jackets earned their first win, tonight I see the Capitals winning. However, the price is too steep for me. Consequently, I am going to take a look at the OVER between the Blue Jackets and Capitals.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)