Islanders Step On the Caps En Route To Playoffs?
New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals – Tuesday March 26, 2013 7:00PM EST
The Washington Capitals are not really living up to the online betting expectations of betting experts and fans. When the Capitals made a mad rush to the playoffs last season and then performed above expectations, the hope was that the momentum would carry through to this year. Goaltender Braden Holtby proved to be a gem in the rough as the Capitals made an unexpected trip to the second round of the playoffs. But when this season unfolded, the Capitals could not deliver and now the team is hovering near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The New York Islanders set out to prove the sportsbook experts wrong by making a playoff run in this abbreviated season. The biggest change for the Islanders from last year to this year is the improvement in the play of goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. The Islanders have been searching for a reliable goaltender ever since Rick DiPietro signed his huge contract and then failed to live up to expectations. With Nabokov, the Islanders may finally have a goalie they can rely on and someone that can help the team to make the playoffs.
Why the Capitals Will Win
The Capitals had goaltender Braden Holtby and new head coach Adam Oates when the season started. But Holtby is turning out to be just like Semyon Varlamov in that he came on strong in the playoffs but then cannot follow up on that promise. The betting sites were hoping that the Washington Capitals team that knocked the Boston Bruins out of the playoffs last season would show up this year. But so far, the Capitals have not shown any of the motivation that helped to propel the team to become the surprise of last year’s playoffs.
Why the Islanders Will Win
The New York Islanders have been putting together a strong team of offensive talent for some time now. The missing piece was a steady goaltender and a defense that could clear the zone. The Islanders are still working on putting together a reliable defense, but it looks like the goaltending problems have been solved for now. The Islanders need to start putting together consecutive wins if it wants to leapfrog some of these teams and get into the Eastern Conference playoffs. A good place to start is against the struggling Washington Capitals.
The Bottom Line
The Islanders are a desperate hockey team that needs to take advantage of the opportunities it is given. At this point, the Washington Capitals represent an opportunity that the Islanders can use to rack up two desperately needed points. The Capitals can be surprising at times, but Washington does not have the weapons to keep this Islanders team down. It will be interesting to see how the Capitals react to New York’s persistent attack.
Pick: New York Islanders
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