NHL Hockey Betting: Washington Capitals at Vancouver Canucks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Washington Capitals at Vancouver Canucks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Non-conference hockey action on the West Coast tonight as the Vancouver Canucks welcome the Washington Capitals to Rogers Arena. The Canucks are currently tied with the San Jose Sharks atop the NHL’s Pacific Division but most of their success has been on the road–they’re 3-0-0 away from home but just 0-1-2 in front of their fans. They’re coming off an overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night but losses to the feisty young Oilers aren’t the embarrassment that they used to be. Washington is 4-1-0 on the young season and just one point off the pace in the Metro Division. They’re coming off an easy win over the Calgary Flames in their last action.

The Capitals are looking good at the moment–they’re not doing anything out of the ordinary but are just playing good, solid hockey. Alex Ovechkin continues to be one of the most dangerous offensive players in the sport and the team is getting nice work on the defensive end from John Carlson. They’re also getting strong goaltending from Braden Holtby who took over as the league’s true ‘workhorse’ netminder last season. There’s nothing really compelling to what the Capitals are doing–they’re just going out, playing solid hockey and winning games. Initially, there were questions about the Capitals ability to ‘buy in’ to the system of coach Barry Trotz but they’ve done just that and the dividends are now evident.

The Canucks are something of a question mark. No one in Vancouver seems particularly concerned about them but they’re in a really dangerous position–they haven’t dropped far enough to consider a rebuilding effort as necessary. But at the same time it’s hard to see the same old faces–led by the Sedin Twins–as challenging seriously for a Western Conference title, let alone a Stanley Cup. One thing that could be a harbinger of problems to come was seen in the game against Edmonton–there were times when the Canucks looked very old and slow against the speedy young Oilers. This could have just been a one game issue but it could be a sign of things to come. For now, I’d rather back the surging Capitals.


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