PLEASE welcome Canada based Chris Nicol to WLB. He’ll be covering the NHL for us and his first column is here.
Winnipeg Jets @ Washington Capitals | Thursday 00:00
Despite winning on Monday (1-0 v Edmonton Oilers) the Washington Capitals still disappointed as their star forwards failed to register any points and instead had to rely on goaltender Braden Holtby to stop all 33 shots on goals from the Oilers to record his first shutout of the season.
Holtby leads goalies in Wins (along with NY Rangers Henrik Lundqvist), with 12 to his name, and lies in second with a highly impressive GAA of 1.88 behind only Lundqvist’s 1.74.
At the other end of the ice lies Michael Hutchinson who impressed early in the season in rotation with Ondredj Pavelec but is now number 1 following Pavalec’s injury which is due to keep him out for a few weeks.
I suspect this could be a difficult night for the keeper and I can’t see past the Caps putting at least three past him as half the teams he has faced have done.
Holtby on the other hand has only conceded three or more in a quarter of his games this season and it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him register back to back shutouts. That’s 8/1 with Paddy Power.
With Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetzov in their side I can’t see the Caps not lighting the lamp a few times tonight and handing the Jets their sixth straight road defeat.
Should Blake Wheeler and Brian Little show up for the Jets then they could make a game of it but I’m cynical about them putting four beyond Holtby. They’ll need a big performance from Michael Hutchinson for that to happen and that’s certainly no cert.
Winnipeg Jets @ Washington Capitals – Washington Capitals To Win Race To 3 Goals (Evens Bet365)
Winnipeg Jets @ Washington Capitals – Washington Capitals -2.5 (10/3 Skybet)
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