November 17, 2016

NHL Hockey Betting: Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey Betting:  Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Until a few days ago the Washington Capitals looked to be heading into a slump. They’d won 5 straight and 6 of 7 but then dropped a 5-1 loss at Carolina and a 2-1 loss at Columbus. It was hard to tell in which direction the team was headed. That was before an absolute evisceration of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps looked unstoppable on Wednesday as they ripped Pittsburgh 7-1. Keeping in mind the concept of a ‘letdown spot’ that hits teams in every sport this looks like the Detroit Red Wings could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Wings have been struggling with only two wins in their last 9 games. They put together back to back wins late last week over Vancouver and Philly but have dropped two straight since (albeit to high level competition) losing to Montreal and Tampa Bay.

One game does not a season make but there’s not much to take out of the Capitals’ 7-1 win over Pittsburgh that isn’t a positive. The defense and goaltending shut down a very capable Penguins’ offense and the Capitals offense looked brutal led by T.J. Oshie. Detroit not only isn’t playing well but they’ve got a ton of injuries including Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Darren Helm and Thomas Vanek. The Capitals are pretty much injury free at this point and that’s not good news for the Eastern Conference–not to mention the Detroit Red Wings.

Over the past few years the head to head play has been very evenly matched. The Capitals won two of three matchups last year but since they ran roughshod over the entire NHL during the regular season it’s hard to take anything from that. The relative form of these teams might be a little bit misleading–the Capitals might not be as good as they looked in their blowout win over Pittsburgh and the Wings might not be as bad as they’ve looked of late. Even so, it’s hard to make a case for a banged up Red Wings side that has very mediocre statistical numbers in every phase of the game. We’ve seen the Capitals go on extended winning runs several times in the past few years and they could be ready to do that now.