NHL Picks: Capitals to Send Flyers Playoffs Hopes Crashing to Earth

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

The Philadelphia Flyers are playing for their playoff lives everytime they hit the ice, and they might have found their match. Will they get by the best team for an NHL Pick?

The Philadelphia Flyers are tied with the Detroit Redwings for the last wild card card spot in the East with 87 points while owning a game in hand. If things stay the same the Flyers first round opponent would be these Washington Capitals who are by far the best team in the NHL according to my latest power rankings with Philadelphia ranking 16th.

It appears that all the money is coming in on the Flyers with the thought that the Capitals have nothing to play for.  Unfortunately, they do have something to play for and that's Braden Holtby who has 46 wins on the season, 2 wins shy of tying Martin Brodeur's record of 48. With seven games remaining the Capitals will have plenty of motivation while sending a message to their potential first round opponent. By the way, Alexander Ovechkin is seven goals short of a 50 goal season which certainly gives Barry Trotz some reason to play Ovi a reasonable amount of minutes.  

This a tricky spot for them because it's that time of year where Trotz would like to give his stars less ice time but he also has to watch out for complacency.  Seven games is a lot of time to just glide into the playoffs.  That's one of the reasons I have such a hard time backing teams that were so dominant in the regular season come playoff time because there will come a time where they will rest guys and then have to rekindle the fire.  I think this is way too early for the Caps to mail it in so I'm expecting a straight up effort in front of Holtby. The last thing you want to do as a coach is give your potential first round opponent hope that you can be beat. 

This seems like the classic 'Bet the team that needs a win situation' for most players which is lazy handicapping.  Can we really convince ourselves that even if Barry Trotz doesn't hand out as much ice time to his stars that the Capitals second unit guys aren't still better than the Flyers.  Philadelphia is 16th in regulation or overtime wins with 35 while the Caps lead the way with 50.  The line opened as the Capitals a -120 favorite and we've watched the public and 'Wise guys' pounded this down to -101 in some NBA Odds. Way too big of an overreaction to the situation. 

For trend bettors, their NHL Picks must continue to ride the Capitals who have been a profitable 42-15 over their last 57 games and 39-12 in their last 51 games against the Eastern Conference. 

The Flyers are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games but I'm still not convinced that they can do it in their own division.  Philadelphia has dropped seven of their last 10 inside the Metro. 

Unlike the last meeting the Capitals will cut down on their penalty minutes and glide past the Flyers to move Holtby closer to Marty.

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Free NHL Pick:  Capitals +101
Best Line Offered:  at 5Dimes


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