The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins are set to take to the ice in NHL betting action on Thursday night at the TD Garden against the Washington Capitals.
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It has been a heck of a year for the Capitals. Alexander Ovechkin had the worst year of his career with just 38 goals and 27 assists. Alexander Semin wasn’t all that much better with 21 goals and 33 assists. Nicklas Backstrom averaged over a point per game, but he spent half the season on the shelf injured. Tommy Vokoun, who was picked up to add some stability to the goalie position, ended up with just a 25-19-4 record with a 2.51 GAA. Now, he has a groin injury, and he could be out for this whole series, if not for the rest of the year. To make matters even worse, Michal Neuvirth, who is the future of this team in net in all likelihood, has a leg injury that could keep him out of this one as well. Braden Holtby is a goalie that has spent the mass majority of his career in the minors, and he only has 21 career starts, none of which have come in the postseason. Needless to say, this is a scary proposition going into the playoffs for any team, but especially for a team that doesn’t have a great history here in the postseason.
The Bruins were up and down this year as well. They went on a great tear early in the season, and they really looked as though they were going to run away from the rest of the field in the Eastern Conference. That being said, the only reason that they ended up with home ice advantage here in the East was because they played in such a weak Northeast Division. Tim Thomas showed his age down the stretch of the season, and there is a real question whether he has the ability to get the job done in the playoffs. This year though, the offense has done a better job. Really ever since the postseason last year, this unit has been consistent. There really aren’t all that many stars, but in the end, there are six players that have at least 50 points this year and five others with at least 32 points. That’s what has gotten Boston to this point, and that is going to be what has to carry this squad through the playoffs as well.
Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins Pick: Washington was the worst road team this year amongst teams that are in the postseason, but still, we think that it has a shot of winning this game. Getting a +165 price on a team with this much talent, even if Holtby is in net, is a wild price for a game this early in what could be a tight series.
Free Hockey Pick: Washington Capitals +165
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.