NHL Picks: Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers 10/20/11
Both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals have underachieved over the course of the past few years in the playoffs, but these two are going to hope to continue in the right direction on Thursday night in NHL betting action early in the season.
Washington still hasn’t been beaten this year, and it really feels like it is just getting better and better with every passing games. The Capitals have scored at least three goals in all but one of their games this year, and as a result, they have the maximum 10 points and have only conceded a total of three points. The most recent game against the Florida Panthers was probably the most impressive all around performance of the year, as Tommy Vokoun was able to shut out his old team without any real problems. We’re still waiting to see when Alexander Ovechkin is going to show up. Ovie only has one goal and two assists on the year, which is a far cry from what we have come to expect from a man who feels like he can go off for 150 points in any given season. That being said, Nicklas Backstrom has six points and Alexander Semin has five, and as long as these types of players are stepping up to the plate and carrying the offense, Ovechkin’s prowess is just an added bonus.
The Flyers’ only setback was a 3-2 overtime loss at home against the Los Angeles Kings last week. Aside from that though, this offense has been tearing things up, averaging a league best 3.8 goals per game. Philly has only averaged 29.8 shots per game this year, which is something that we know is going to improve as the year progresses. Claude Giroux has seven points on the season to lead the team, and he is clearly making up for the fact that this team has had a bit of a shift in its mindset from years past. Of course, adding Ilya Bryzgalov has changed some things as well. The former Phoenix Coyote has a 1.99 GAA this year, and he already has three wins for his new team. There is no doubt who is going to be in net in the average night anymore, and there is also going to be no short hook and immediate booing when things start to go wrong. As a result, we’re going to see a lot more results like the 7-2 beating of the Ottawa Senators on the road on Tuesday, and a lot fewer of the frustrating results like we saw throughout the Eastern Conference Semifinals last year.
Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers Pick: This is the type of game that the Flyers need to win to keep their mojo going. If they are going to win the Eastern Conference, this is the team that they need to get past, and we think that Philadelphia will send a real message to the rest of the East and the rest of the NHL by taking down the Caps.
NHL Pick: Philadelphia Flyers
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