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Hockey Free Picks: Capitals vs. Canadiens

Written by Michael Gordon   
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:49

Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens PredictionsAt this point, the on line sports betting experts figure that the only team from the Southeast Division that will make the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs is the division winner. For a while there, it looked like the Winnipeg Jets would be able to sustain their success and hold onto the division lead. But the Jets have once again suffered from a lack of experience and an inability to close out games and win. Winnipeg has fallen to 13 points behind the Washington Capitals in the Southeast Division standings and that leaves Washington as the only Southeast team to make the playoffs.

The Montreal Canadiens are still locked in a desperate struggle against the Boston Bruins to see which team will win the Northeast Division. The sportsbook agents also figure that the Canadiens are much more interested in keeping the Bruins down than catching the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the conference. Montreal knows that a spot in the top three of the conference means at least one, and possibly two, playoff series with home ice advantage. When the Canadiens are playing well, there is nothing like home ice advantage in Montreal. It is when the Canadiens are not playing well that things get touchy with the fans.

 

Washington Capitals

The experts have watched the Washington Capitals put together quite a run over the past few weeks. In their last 10 games, the Capitals are 8-1-1 and the team is currently riding a seven-game winning streak. Washington has a couple of challenges before it goes to Montreal to play the Canadiens, but the Capitals have been able to overcome a lot just to get to this point. Alexander Ovechkin has finally found his scoring touch and goaltender Braden Holtby is starting to recapture that form he had in last year’s playoffs.

Montreal Canadiens

If you are betting on sports, then you know how demanding the fans in Montreal can be. The fans in Montreal feel as though the franchise owns the Stanley Cup and not having the Cup is akin to treason in Montreal. This season, the Canadiens are playing extremely well and have a strong defense heading into the playoffs. The question still remains as to whether or not goalie Carey Price will be able to handle the pressure of the playoffs but, to this point, Price has been a Vezina Trophy candidate all season long.

The Bottom Line

The Capitals have been winning at home and on the road during its recent streak and Washington has significantly improved its road record in recent weeks. The Canadiens have only five losses on home ice this season and Montreal has a habit of playing very aggressively on its own ice and is a solid online bet at home. But with Ovechkin on a hot streak and the Capitals playing well, Montreal may have more than it bargained for in the Washington Capitals.

My Pick: Washington Capitals

 
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