NHL Hockey Betting: Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t done a bad job playing the Washington Capitals but they find themselves down 2 games to none to the Presidents’ Cup Champions. The series now shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4 and the Flyers are likely scratching their collective heads wondering what they have to do. They split four games with the Caps during the regular season winning once on the road and once at home. They actually hold an 8-7 series edge over the Caps during the past three seasons–even with the two losses in this series. They’ve won five of the last seven meetings at home but the team isn’t exactly brimming with confidence.

Washington, meanwhile, looks like a championship team. They haven’t played as well as they’re capable of but they’ve kept their cool and won games. There’s a lot of characteristics of title winning teams but ‘winning ugly’ is definitely one of the most significant. The Caps held Philadelphia to 19 shots in Game One as they won 2-0. The Flyers got plenty of shots in Game Two–42 total–but they couldn’t get past Braden Holtby who made 41 saves in a 4-1 victory. They’ve been great on the penalty kill allowing no goals in eight chances. They’ve been cashing in on their power play chances as well–after a 6-1 power play tally in Game One they hit on both chances in Game Two.

Statistically, the Caps have the numbers you’d expect from a legit championship contender. #2 in both goals scored per game and goals allowed per game is huge. When a team is scoring goals and not letting their opponent score they’re going to win a lot of hockey games. They also had the #5 power play and #3 penalty kill. They’ve got similar numbers in the postseason which is also significant. In fact, their postseason numbers are even better–after two games they’re #1 in goals allowed, penalty kill and power play and tied for second in goals scored.

Philadelphia will honor their late owner Ed Snider in a pregame ceremony. The kneejerk reaction is that these emotional motivational factors favor the home team but more often than not it leaves them emotionally drained before the game starts. The Capitals are all business and playing like a champion. Until that changes, we’ll back Washington.