The Washington Capitals flexed their muscles on a familiar rival last night, as they easily made it past the Penguins by a score of 3-1. Philipp Grubauer was fantastic in net, as he led the way for the Capitals on Sunday night. Grubauer has made some nice spot starts for the Caps this season, in a year that has seen Braden Holtby play fairly miserable hockey at times in net. At least for a guy of his calibre, we’ve seen far too many lapses on his part. It’s not going to work in the playoffs, and despite beating the Penguins yesterday, they are going to be at a major disadvantage with shaky goaltending.
The win did give them another Metropolitan championship, so it’s one less thing they must worry about over the final week of the season. They can relax a bit down the stretch, but maybe they should take this as an opportunity to address their defence, which has been anything but perfect. This goes back to poor play from Holtby, but others have to help him out as well.
I’m not so worried about the Capitals’ offence with Ovechkin and Oshie pathing the way. However, the playoffs are a time when defences step up. The Caps have become pretty well known for choking in the playoffs, and the fact that they’ve had issues on that end of the ice don’t evoke much confidence in them. The Capitals are not going to have as stressful of a week as the Blues, though. The Blues are currently looking for a way in the playoffs. At the moment, they’re a point out, behind the Avalanche by a point and the Kings by 2 points. They do have an extra game left, so we’ll see if they make the most of it. Head below for our free Capitals vs. Blues pick.
Washington Capitals vs. St. Louis Blues Pick
Motivation in this game should be in the Blues’ favour. If they aren’t more motivated to go out and earn a win tonight, then forget about the playoffs, they don’t deserve to be playing in the spring. The Capitals just beat the Penguins to win the division last night, and now they must fly to St. Louis for a meeting with a Blues team a point out of the playoffs. The Blues were looking great with six wins in a row, as they did a good job of getting back into playoff contention. However, it was a different story in their last two games in the desert. They lost to the Golden Knights in overtime, and then took a 6-0 beating against the Coyotes. The Coyotes have been playing better hockey of late, but it’s not a good look to get pounded by a team who have been playing at the back of the league.
The Blues have nevertheless been a good team at home, posting a record of 24-15-0. Carter Hutton looked awfully rusty, as he was taken care of fairly easily. Despite taking a loss against Vegas, Jake Allen has been playing better hockey lately. Allen was playing so well that Hutton wasn’t given a chance to start. In his previous four appearances, Allen hadn’t allowed more than 2 goals in a start. I like to believe the Blues should be able to handle a Capitals team who just clinched a division title last night. The price in this game will do a good job of trapping money on the Capitals.