Capitals vs. Leafs Pick – NHL January 7th

If there was ever a time I suffered a bad beat on a PUSH it would be last night. Heading into the 3rd period the Hurricanes were up 1-0. By the end of the game the score was 3-2 Predators. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I didn’t win any money on that game. 90% of the time that bet will hit. Unfortunately the puck didn’t go our way in the final frame. We still received the initial investment back our bet so it could have been worse. An empty-netter by the Predators to end the game would have been a kick to the gut undoubtedly. I am still on a little run in the NHL and look for it to keep going tonight. The news of the day in the NHL yesterday was the sudden firing of Randy Carlyle in Toronto. The Leafs’ head coach got canned amid mixed opinions from their fans. It wasn’t the best of days in Toronto, as Phil Kessel didn’t help the situation any by calling a reporter an idiot. In other news Joffrey Lupul is tending to angry twitter messages from Leaf fans.

The Leafs seem to be in turmoil after dropping five of seven games on the road. The win streak they had that had them near the top of the Eastern Conference is a distant memory. Perhaps the firing of Carlyle will spark something underneath them, but the team is in reshuffle mode once again. It feels like it is the same story with the Leafs for the last decade. Shanahan was brought in to clean up this mess. We’ll see what he is made of in the next few months and in the off-season. As far as the on-ice product, who knows what this Toronto team is going to do next. It is unbelievable that a team that is one of the best in scoring in the league has so many issues. They welcome the Washington Capitals to the Air Canada Centre tonight.

Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Scoring goals and finding offense hasn’t been the problem with the Leafs. You just can’t be a team that ranks so highly in offense be floundering without a captain to steer the ship. What you get is inconsistent results and a head coach that gets fired. Note that the Leafs are averaging 3.18 goals per game. They’re only .8 behind the 1st place offense of the Tampa Bay Lightning. If the Leafs want to get better they will have to improve and be more consistent on the defensive end. Dion Phanuef is literally a pylon and in my opinion one of the worst captains the Leafs have had in decades. No energy, no drive, the absolute opposite of what you want out of a captain. Instead of rallying the team and get their heads up he just puts his down on the bench and envisions what he is going to do to Elisha Cuthbert after the game. To make matters worst, Phaneuf is 7th in the NHL in penalty minutes, which is about the only thing he ranks highly in. The Leafs are 25th in goals against, allowing an average of 3.02.

The Capitals come into Wednesday night scoring 2.92 goals per game, which amounts to the 10th best offense in the NHL. Two top 10 offenses will squaring off in this one tonight. It should result in an entertaining game. If the Leafs lose this game, get ready for the media circus in the Leafs’ locker room following the game. I don’t know if the Leafs are going to fight off adversity and win tonight against the Capitals, but there should be a healthy amount of goals in it. The last meeting this season flew above the total of 5.5, as the Leafs captured a 6-2 win in November. I expect more of the same. The bet in this game is the OVER 5.5.

Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-125) @ (Best Odds)

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.