The opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs was devoid of an upset, but chances are that will not be the case among tonight four matchups, despite both top seeds being in action for the first time.
Both Washington and Dallas (see long form article I wrote here at sportsbookreview.com) appear safe tonight, but what about the other two contests? Yesterday I mentioned I was three-time hockey champion at Cappers Monitor in the past four years and on my official NHL picks there for the Stanley Cup last season, I was 20-12, 62.5 percent. Maintaining that percentage picking as many game as I will here the rest of the way is unlikely, but got off to nice 2-1 start yesterday and have three more choices against the NHL odds ready to go.
Washington players after openly talking about the lack of intensity down the stretch the last five weeks of the season, believe they have done enough and are ready to get the playoffs started and elevate their game the right way in spite of 11-10 SU mark the last quarter of season.
Philadelphia has not had that luxury and needed every point in 15-5-3 finish to secure last playoff spot in the East. Having split four games with the Capitals, the last three all one-goal outcomes, the Flyers do not fear Washington. Philly still prefers to be physical, which will be important for them in this series, but being the last team to embrace the rule changes which made speed imperative, the Flyers have finally caught up.
The Caps are large -230 favorites, but there is good chance none of the encounters will be easy for them against Philadelphia, but in the series lid-lifter, Washington has enough and moves to 21-5 having lost last contest.
Free Pick - Washington wins
Having perused around Al Gore’s invention, the internet, found the New York Islanders are a sexy pick to upset Florida in this series, but this is one hockey handicapper who is not on board, for the series or this contest.
The Islanders has health issues they are dealing with, including the top goalie Jaroslav Halak who is out. While New York has quality players who are in their prime, they lack the experience in too many areas.
The Panthers on the other hand are just as youthful and skillful, but have players like Jaromir Jagr and netminder Roberto Luongo, who have been through the playoff wars and enjoyed success.