NHL Hockey Betting: New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey Betting:  New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

Metropolitan Division action on Thursday night as the Washington Capitals host the New York Islanders. The Capitals ran away from the rest of the league during the 2015-2016 regular season but so far are just another team in the pack. The Capitals have 28 points which is tied for third place in the division at 13-6-2. They’ve not exactly been tearing it up of late with a 5-4-1 record in their last ten games. The Islanders have been underachieving off of their 100 point pace of a year ago. That being said, they’re definitely not ‘out of it’ and if anything are a validation of how tough life is in the NHL. For example–once you get past the top two teams in each division (the NY Rangers in the Metro, the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic) the remaining 14 teams in Eastern Conference are separated by a combined nine points. The Islanders are 4-4-2 in their last ten but enter this contest having won two straight.

The Isles have injury issues on defense but the Capitals are without T.J. Oshie indefinitely and he’s a tough guy to replace. Both starting goaltenders are expected to go here with the Islanders starting Jaroslav Halak and the Capitals going with defending Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby. Halak is having a substandard season so far (3-6-4 with a 3.08 goals against average and a 0.904 save percentage) while Holtby is his usual excellent self (10-5-1, 2.18 GAA, 9.920 save percentage). The Islanders are in a second of back to back games coming off a win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Washington lost 4-2 at Toronto on Saturday and have been idle since then. Not sure which situation is more advantageous–in theory, a rested team gets the edge but particularly in hockey there’s such a thing as getting too much rest.

Washington won the only matchup so far this season taking a 2-1 home victory on 10/15/16. They took 3 of 4 games last season and have won 7 of the last 9 head to head at home. Caps are 7-2 +4.4 units against opponents with losing records while the Isles are 2-0 -7.1 units against opponents with winning records. New York is definitely a talented team and if they can get things heading in the right direction they can be dangerous. At any rate, they sure look undervalued here.