The Guide to Wednesday

Kicking off the Cup Playoffs

Pittsburgh Penguins v. Columbus Blue Jackets (@PPG Paints Arena; Pittsburgh, PA)

The Pittsburgh Penguins coming off of a cup win last year show no signs of slowing down as they continued their dominance this season, especially at home.  Posting a (31-6-4) home record this season they trailed the Caps by one game in terms of best team at home.  With Columbus winning 16 straight games this season it is clear to see how good (but not great) they are as a team.  With a 16 game win streak there is no reason to not win the Presidents cup.  Coming into the playoffs Columbus has been shaky looking (3-5-2) in their last 10 and that is something that will not suffice when facing arguably the strongest offense in the league.  This Pittsburgh side will pump in goals.  Backed by 22 year old Matt Murray  – who stepped up big time in the cup last year – the Penguins will come out hot and win this one for the home town crowd. With a line like this its incredibly easy to double down on game 2 in worst case scenario.

PICK: Pittsburgh Penguins to win in regulation. (+105)

Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins


The Guide to Wednesday

Let’s get a streak going here heading into playoffs.

Washington Capitals v. New York Rangers (@Verizon Center; Washington, D.C.)

With 3 games left on the schedule for each team and playoffs on the horizon the Caps see themselves in a very familiar situation they were last year.  Caps get the chance to Clinch the President’s Trophy tonight at home for a second year in a row.  Vigneault’s recent announcement that the Rags will be resting players to fix some health issues heading into the post-season leaves the New York side without McDonagh, Nash, Zuccarello, Fast and “other defensemen”.  The Caps being the best team in the NHL, captained by Ovechkin (who I would consider the most competitive minded player in the NHL) see blood here.  Lundqvist will start tonight and has been (1-1-2) since his hip injury.  Caps are (8-1-1) in their last 10 comparing to the Rags abysmal (3-3-4).  Look for a strong minded and incredibly talented Capitals team backed by last years’ Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby to clinch tonight.

PICK: Washington Capitals to win in regulation. (-120)