The Washington Capitals are up north in Quebec for a meeting with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. After this trip to Montreal, the Capitals will return home to play the Dallas Stars on Saturday. That will kickstart a nice five-game homestand for the Capitals. They’ve been okay thus far this season, just okay. On the heels of a summer long party after winning the Stanley Cup, the Caps haven’t fired out of the gates in the early stages of the season.
They will likely eventually break out of it and put a nice run together. After all, it’s only the 1st of November with a lot of hockey left to be played. Alexander Ovechkin spent the entire summer partying, along with others, so it isn’t much of a surprise that they haven’t been firing on all cylinders at this point. With that said, Ovi has still scored 8 goals and 6 assists. The Caps had to take the Flames to a shootout to earn a 4-3 win in their last matchup. The Flames aren’t a bad team, so it’s a good win for Washington.
A bad loss was their game prior to that, which resulted in a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are a tough team to get a read on. Connor McDavid is a fantastic player, we know that much. However, the direction the team is going in is kind of a mystery this season. The Capitals will take on a Canadiens team who has been getting by on their speed. They have deceptive speed that has taken some teams off-guard this year. It shouldn’t by any surprise at this point for opponents. The Canadiens enter at 6-3-1, but coming off a 4-1 loss to the Stars on Tuesday. Head below for our free Capitals vs. Canadiens pick.
Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens Pick
A win over the Capitals would be a nice way for the Habs to respond after falling the other day. The Stars just took a terrible loss to the Red Wings, so they came prepared to play. Montreal didn’t have an answer and had to settle for a 4-1 loss. However, the Canadiens are still in a much better spot than many people predicted. We’ve only played about a month of hockey, but the Habs have been one of the surprise teams of the opening stretch in the NHL.
The offence has surprisingly been effective and Max Domi has looked much more comfortable as a member of the Canadiens. The Canadiens are averaging 3 goals per game, and have scored 7 goals in their last two games against the Capitals.
Braden Holtby has gotten off to a less than stellar start for the Caps in net. Holtby owns a 3.41 GAA and 0.88 save percentage for what isn’t the best stuff he’s put on display in his career. Washington has been slow defensively, as they’ve given up 3.6 goals per game, 24th in the NHL. It doesn’t help that Brooks Orpik will be absent in Montreal.
Youngsters Madison Bowey and Christian Djoo will team up on the blueline for this one with Orpik ruled out. News which the Canadiens will happily welcome. When the Capitals get some rest, the OVER seems to clock in at a higher rate. In their last sixteen games on three days rest, the OVER has gone 13-2-1. Their defence has been shaky and without Orpik it’s especially on a wobbly foundation. I would look towards a play on the OVER in Montreal between the Capitals and Canadiens.