The Tuesday schedule (2/26/13) features an odd lineup with a bunch favorites in situations where they are laying lots of pucking juice.
With NHL odds makers asking us to lay more than -150 with teams like Minnesota, New York, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and San Jose makes me very nervous. This is one of those nights in the NHL Vegas cleans up with a lot of over priced teams ending the night with a loss.
I’ve been in the handicapping game for over 4 years and I’ve seen these kind of nights way too often. So, let’s take a look at one game that does stand out at me that’s a pretty decent underdog to take a shot with.
CAROLINA HURRICANES @ WASHINGTON CAPITALS – GAME TIME 7:00 PM EST
The Washington Capitals are one of the worst teams in the NHL and I’m not sure they should be laying this kind of juice (-135) even at home. After all, the Caps have lost three of their last four at home. On the flip side, Carolina has won three of their last four on the road.
Old friends Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin planned to get together for dinner Monday night, ahead of the Washington Capitals’ big game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
It’s safe to say Troy Brouwer would not be joining them.
Brouwer took a few shots at Semin’s work ethic after Monday’s practice, reviving the reputation that dogged the talented but enigmatic Russian’s seven seasons in Washington.
It’s not the first time a Capital has come out and said this about Semin, but in my opinion, he wasn’t the problem in Washington all them years. If anything, Brouwer went ahead and started a rivalry between the two Southeastern division teams.
For good measure, Brouwer also said the Capitals had a “very lackadaisical” culture under former coach Bruce Boudreau. The streak of candor highlighted an eventful day of news good and bad that comes just as Ovechkin and the Capitals are finding themselves with a chance to ride some momentum and get out of last place.
That’s a typical Capitals player right there. One good weekend in the winning column – finally – and they think they can start talking like their in the top 5 by taking shots at ex players and coaches. Wonder how long Brouwer was waiting to come out with his opinion? Waiting for the “right” winning moment, I guess.
Last I checked – today – the Capitals are last in their division (6 points out of first) and tied for last in the Eastern Conference (6 points out of 8th place).
This could therefore be a make-or-break week in Washington. A regulation win on Tuesday would pull the Capitals within four points of the first-place Hurricanes (9-7-1). There’s also a road game against the division-contending Winnipeg Jets sandwiched around a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Which makes the return of Semin all the more compelling. He’s playing well for the Hurricanes – his 14 points would tie Ovechkin for second on the team if he were still with the Capitals – and Ovechkin said his fellow Russian “will want to show up and tell them it was a mistake” for Washington to let him go.
The Carolina Hurricanes are 6-3-1 on the road while the Washington Capitals are just 4-5-0 at home this season.
In their last 7 the Capitals are 3-3-0 home and the Hurricanes are 5-1-1 on the road.
Carolina Hurricanes – Cam Ward (6-5-1 .898 SV% 3.16 GAA)
Washington Capitals – Braden Holtby (5-6-0 .896 SV% 3.37 GAA)
I find it very hard to lay the -135 juice on the Washington Capitals tonight. Between their downfall this season and Troy Brouwer’s comments yesterday I see this as a loss for the Caps. They have been playing better and the power play is finally clicking, I’ll give them that.
In order for the Hurricanes to win this game, they will have to stay out of the penalty box and get strong goaltending out of Cam Ward. His numbers should be a lot better this season. The Canes are still without Jeff Skinner but I expect Alex Semin to step it up tonight proving to Washington they made a mistake letting him go.
Take the Hurricanes and the +122 odds in this divisional match-up. They have been hot as of late and I expect it to stay that way tonight.
Carolina Hurricanes +122 ($100)
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