NBC features another fantastic showdown on the NHL betting odds in the playoffs, as the Boston Bruins look to build a 2-0 edge in the first round against the Washington Capitals.
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Had you told Head Coach Dale Hunter that his team was going to allow just one goal over the course of the whole first game against Boston on Thursday night, he certainly would be assuming that his team was up 1-0 in the series. However, that wasn’t the case, as his offense put forth a relatively terrible effort by amassing just 17 shots. Yes, this came against a Boston defense that has historically been one of the stingiest in the league, especially when it comes to blocking shots and keeping Tim Thomas relatively clean. However, in the postseason, 17 shots, especially in an overtime game, just isn’t going to cut it. The good news though, is that second-year man Braden Holtby had one of the best games of his career in defeat. The youngster pitched a shutout through the first three periods of action, but thanks to the transgressions of the offense, it wasn’t good enough. It is still up in the air whether it will be Holtby or Michal Neuvirth in Game 2 of this series, but either way, that net minder is going to be up against it for sure.
Boston didn’t exactly get off to the start in the playoffs that it would have hoped to get off to in defense of its Stanley Cup. However, along the road to the Cup, there are going to be games like that that just aren’t the prettiest in the world that have to be won. In the end, no one will ask how the Bruins won their 16 games if they are able to repeat as champs. Still, it is clear that the offense is going to have to do more than this, even just in this series. It is so easy for a favored team that is up 1-0 to fall asleep at the wheel and end up leaving home in a 1-1 position going on the road without home ice advantage any longer, and the Bruins are going to want to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Thomas had a relatively quiet game all things considered, and if he ends up in a spot where he only has to face an average of five or six shots per period, he and the B’s are going to have a great chance to take the commanding 2-0 lead going back to our nation’s capitol.
Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins Pick: Still, we think that Washington is going to have a shot in this one. We back the Caps at this very same price two nights ago and have zero remorse about doing so, and we are going to take them again, knowing that we truly do have the edge.
Free Hockey Pick: Washington Capitals +165
Aaron 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.