Of all the major sports played in North America, it can be argued that the NHL has the most brutal schedule of all. 82 games in a sport that thrives on physical contact is a grind that only the toughest can survive. A great early start to the season is not always an indicator of prolonged success, which is something that the Montreal Canadiens found out the hard way this season. They were far and away the best team in the league in the opening couple of months, but injuries and a seeming total loss of confidence soon saw them take a huge drop in the standings. They have been replaced by the Washington Capitals as the best team in the NHL, and this is a group that looks as though they can go all the way. It should be a good one on Wednesday night when these two hook up, so be sure to head on over to review the latest NHL betting odds to get your wagers on before the puck drops on this one.
Canadiens vs Capitals NHL Lines Preview
When: Wednesday, February 24
Where: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
TV: TSN at 7 PM EST
Radio: CKGM and WFED
Live Stream: TSN Live
NHL Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Montreal Canadiens
There was a time, not so very long ago, when the Canadiens (28-27-5) were 14 games above .500. A look at their current record gives you an idea of just how far they have fallen in a relatively short period of time. They now find themselves 7 points out of the final Wild Card spot, and unless things change dramatically over the next month or so, they will miss the playoffs. If there is one positive to look at heading into this one, it’s that Montreal have posted an 11-8-2 record against teams from the Metropolitan Division this season. The downside to that is that they have lost both previous meetings against the Capitals, although both were very tight, low-scoring games. The Canadiens are averaging 2.6 GPG, and are giving up 2.7 GPG.
Why bet on the Washington Capitals
I have said countless times before that regular season success is no guarantee of success in the post-season, but the Washington Capitals (44-10-4) look like a team built to achieve both. They are about as balanced as it gets, and finally have a defense to match the offensive power they have flashed during the Alex Ovechkin era. The Capitals come into this one on a 4-game winning streak, and are on a run that has seen them win 9 of their last 10 games. They are as close to unbeatable on home ice as it gets, and they have also managed to post an excellent 16-4-0 record against teams from the Atlantic Division this season Washington are averaging 3.3 GPG, and are giving up 2.3 GPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Both meetings between these two teams this season have ended in wins for the Capitals. There was ab average of 4.5 goals scored in both of those games, but I think we will see a few more on Wednesday night as the Cap make it 3 in a row over the Canadiens.