Thu 13/04/2017 - 12:36 EDT

    2017 NHL Playoff Picks: Washington Capitals vs Toronto Maple Leafs Series

    2017 NHL Playoff Picks: Washington Capitals vs Toronto Maple Leafs Series

    Washington vs Toronto 2017 NHL Playoff 2017

    My Team's Next MatchToronto Maple Leafs

    The Washington Capitals finished with yet another President's Trophy for the best record during the regular season but now it's time to reach their full potential in the playoffs. The Capitals have let down fans and bettors alike in year's past from a similar position, and many are backing off the Caps in future plays and the like. They open up the 2017 playoffs with a series they should win against the upstart Leafs, letting the Buds earn some valuable experience along the way.

    When you finish with the best record in the NHL, the weakenesses on your team are slim to none. Washington G Braden Holtby has evolved into one of the best in the world, and Washington is so talented and deep up front and on defense that rolling their four lines consistently at opponents should wear many of them down. 

    Toronto does have numerous weaknesses (giving up leads, lack of depth, youth) but it would serve them well to simply play to their strengths in this series. The Leafs are loaded with young scorers throughout their front-nine forwards and if they can blitz the Capitals with scoring chances and converting many of them, maybe they will put up more of a fight then the general consensus of "Washington in 5 games" we've heard all week. Personally, I think the Caps win in at least six games. 

    Washington vs Toronto NHL Playoff Schedule

    • Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m. – Toronto at Washington (CBC)
    • Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. – Toronto at Washington (CBC) 
    • Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m. – Washington at Toronto (CBC)
    • Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. – Washington at Toronto (CBC)
    • *Friday, April 21 at TBD – Toronto at Washington (TBD)
    • *Sunday, April 23 at TBD – Washington at Toronto (TBD)
    • *Tuesday, April 25 at TBD – Toronto at Washington (TBD)

    Washington vs Toronto Game 1 Prediction

    Washington vs Toronto Game 2 Prediction

    Washington vs Toronto Game 3 Prediction

    Washington vs Toronto Game 4 Prediction

    Washington vs Toronto Game 5 Prediction

    The Game: The Washington Capitals started Game 4 with their hair on fire, knowing that going down 3-1 would likely be disastrous. There is still plenty of room for improvement for the Caps after their 5-3 win to even up the series 2-2 - especially defensively - but they've turned this series into a best of three, with two of those three games in their own building. 

    Prediction: UNDER 5.5 GOALS (+110) at Sports Interaction

    A game like this is tough to bet on the side as there is very little value in laying the (-215) price on Washington ML, and although the -1.5 at (+145) is tempting, Game 4 was the first time in this series that we've not seen a game decided by a single goal. So it's on to the total tonight and in huge swing games like this, teams tend to play more defensive as they do not want defensive lapses to be the reason they are one loss away from a long summer. With the betting public riding the wave of goals in this series once again (over 85% of the bets on this total have come in on the 'over' once again), going against the grain in this spot could serve us quite well. That's especially when you consider that Washington is 5-1 to the 'under' in their last six at home, 4-1 to the 'under' off a win, and Toronto is 4-0 to the under after allowing 5+ goals. 

    Washington vs Toronto Game 6 Prediction

    The Game: The Washington Capitals grabbed control of this series for the first time since their Game 1 win with a 2-1 win in OT in Game 5 and now can get a bit of extra rest before the second round begins. Four of the five games in this series have gone to OT though so it's by no means been as easy for the Caps as basically the entire world thought, and winning that fourth and final game is typically the toughest. There is no doubt the young Maple Leafs will bring the fight to the Caps in Game 6, but with plenty of confidence back on their side, this Washington team should be able to put the dagger in Toronto's successful 2016-17 season tonight. 

    Prediction: WASHINGTON CAPITALS ML (-145) at Sports Interaction

    Things definitely haven't been easy for the Caps in this series, but now that they can smell the finish line they know they've got to put the hammer down and end it here. A very talented Pittsburgh Penguins team is resting and waiting for the winner of this series, and the extra day or two of rest the Caps can get prior to that series starting will be critical. Toronto has pushed the Caps and not backed down in any fashion, but after the Caps came in to Toronto in Game 4 and built an early 4-1 lead in a game they absolutely had to have, more of the same should be in store for Toronto in Game 6. 

    NHL Playoff Picks Tonight

    Whether Toronto falls tonight or forces a Game 7 to extend their season, there is no doubt this has been a highly successful year for the club. They are definitely on the fast track to becoming a perennial contender like the Caps have been for the last decade and the way the Leafs have played this entire series is something special for their growth process. But all Cinderella stories end at midnight and the clock will hit that for Toronto's series by the time the first round is complete.   

    Results / FixturesNHL

    Category : Sports News

    Tag : hockey , NHL , stanley cup , toronto maple leafs , washington capitals

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