Yesterday was judgment day in the NHL. With the playoff picture set now, there are some teams who are celebrating their trip to the playoffs, while it’s the end of the road for others. We now know that the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings will be dancing in the playoffs. For the Boston Bruins, they’d rather forget about what transpired yesterday. All the Bruins needed to do was win, but they got the doors blown off them against an Ottawa Senators team that had nothing to play for. The Bruins had a sliver of hope, with their only chance hinging on the Flyers. If the Flyers lost yesterday and today, the Bruins would be in regardless. However, the Flyers got their win against the Penguins, and as such, the 2016 NHL playoffs are set. But before then, we have a couple of games on the schedule today, and then a few days off before the real season begins.
The Flyers won’t have an easy task in the first round, as they will be paired with the Washington Capitals. The Caps finish their season today against the Anaheim Ducks. Both teams played yesterday, with both coming out of Saturday victorious. There is nothing on the line for the Capitals or Ducks, but it could make for a nice conclusion to the regular season with a win against a good team. The Ducks rested some players yesterday and had to recall five players from the AHL to come up. I expect plenty of rest and no gambling taking place in this matchup today. If there is an injury to a marquee player heads are going to roll.
I give the Flyers a punchers chance at beating the Capitals. The struggles for the Caps in the playoffs have been well documented, and as we’ve come to find out, any team that makes it has an opportunity to win it all. Anaheim has felt the same way in the playoffs for the last decade. What was looking like it was going to be a hard season for the Ducks, they turned it around in the second-half and can end the season with a record of 45-25-11. The Capitals were the best team in the league and enter with 55 wins. Let’s wrap the regular season up on a high note and head into the playoffs with a win.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Washington Capitals NHL Pick
I’m going to be looking for energy in both of these final games on Sunday. In my opinion, I think everybody may have checked out yesterday. This is an excellent chance for the young guys to get some experience, who could be the only ones who are looking at this game as something. By all indications, Frederik Andersen is going to suit up and be the starter for the Ducks in net. Andersen has missed five games due to a concussion. The Ducks might have to call on him in the playoffs, so this is a nice opportunity for him to get some work in. Anaheim will look to finish 1st in goals against. They are currently 1st, allowing 2.32 goals per game, the Kings are at 2.33 goals against.
There is a side note in this game which is worth nothing. Braden Holtby tied the Washington Capitals wins record yesterday and will be searching for the record today. Ovechkin has been good this year, but the real MVP on this team may be Holtby. He has compiled a stellar record of 47-9-7, along with a 2.22 GAA and 3 shutouts. The Capitals are 3rd in goals against, allowing 2.35 goals per game. I expect a defensive effort today from both teams. Like I said, I don’t expect much team to reveal much. The Caps are going to have that extra push to get the record for Holtby, but at the end of the day, the Ducks and Capitals will probably be going through the motions on Sunday. The UNDER has gone 4-1 in their last five meetings. I expect something similar today.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (+115)