The Ottawa Senators and Erik Karlsson were expected to part ways at the deadline. However, much to the chagrin of both parties, a deal couldn’t be worked out. The Sens have been looking for a potential suitor, but at the same time, they’re not going to ship him out for a bag of pucks. It reminds me a lot like what happened in Denver with Matt Duchene. Duchene wanted out of town, so did the Avalanche, but they weren’t going to just get rid of him to get rid of him. The Avs were a little more patient than many people thought, and they ultimately ended up dealing him to the Senators. It took a while longer than first anticipated, but Duchene eventually got what he wanted. With Karlsson, it’s probably going to be the same scenario. In the meantime, Karlsson will try and play the role of good teammate.
For at least one player on the Capitals, we know they are none too pleased at the moment. Alexander Ovechkin was probably the most outspoken player about not being able to play in the Olympics, and sure enough, the Russians won the Gold Medal but Ovechkin was not a part of it. He may say he’s happy, however, he has to be grinding his gears away from the cameras. If the NHL went to the Games, Russia would have probably choked again, so he has that to reassure himself. Ovechkin still has another chance to win the biggest prize in all of hockey, the Stanley Cup. That quest has been filled with multiple failures, just like trying to win a Gold Medal. We’ll see what unfolds tonight against the Senators. Head below for our free Senators vs. Capitals pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals Pick
Mike Condon is expected to get the start in net tonight for the Sens. He hasn’t been used much this season, as Craig Anderson has carried the load. Anderson hasn’t been at his best, after carrying the Senators a year ago, but Condon has been bad in relief. Condon enters with a 3.31 GAA and 0.901 save percentage. There’s a reason why the Senators keep going back to Anderson, because Condon doesn’t offer much help.
The Sens are allowing 3.44 goals per game for 30th in the NHL. So, no one is really getting the job done, whether it’s the goaltending or defence. And with an Erik Karlsson who isn’t motivated in Ottawa, it’s leading to a mess of a year for the Sens. In their last ten games, they’ve allowed 3.9 goals per game, while scoring 3.4 per.
The Senators take on a Capitals squad who are 10th in the league with 3.05 goals per game. We’re accustomed to seeing a top-5 offence, but even more surprising, has been the play of the Washington defence. It hasn’t been the best look for them, as they rank 20th in the NHL, allowing 2.98 goals per game. Additionally, in their last ten games, the Caps have surrendered 3.5 goals per game. For Braden Holtby, that used to be unheard of for him.
However, with the Senators struggling as much as they are on defence, I don’t see it mattering much. The Senators are a putrid 7-17-2 on the road this year, and it shouldn’t get any better in D.C. against the Capitals tonight. The idea of a 5-2 or 4-2 Capitals win doesn’t look too far out of reach, and with the price the puck-line is getting, it’s worth making a play on.
PICK: CAPITALS -1.5 (+160)