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Game 7 Capitals Canadiens Picks – Capitals Will Solve Halak

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/27/2010 1:47:49 PM

Montreal Canadiens @ Washington Capitals

Canadiens Capitals Odds:  Capitals -310

The Washington Capitals are a huge favorite in the sportsbook for Game 7 of their first round NHL playoff series with the Montreal Canadiens but NHL betting fans know that those odds are not indicative of how the series has played out.

The Canadiens have had the Capitals number so far this series and while it looked like the Capitals could skate to an easy 4-0 series sweep, or even a 4-1 series win after losing Game 1 but winning the next three, the reality has proven to be very different.

The difference maker has been goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who has shutdown the Capitals over the last two games. After the Capitals scored at least five goals in Games 2-4, Halak has stopped 90 of 92 shots in Games 5 and 6 and stymied all of their top goal scorers.

The biggest surprise has to be the Capitals power play. They are just 1-for-30 on the series after being the top-ranked power play in the NHL throughout the regular season.

On the flip side, while sports betting cappers have seen the Habs goalie stand on his head, goaltending continues to be a lingering problem for the Capitals. First Jose Theodore let the team down and he was quickly swapped for Semyon Varlamov. But now it appears that Varlamov is struggling as he let in two very soft goals in Game 6 to give the Canadiens control of the game.

Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau has a decision to make for Game 7, although it’s fairly clear that whichever one he makes won’t necessarily be a good one.

The Canadiens are going to do what they normally do in Game 7. The first 10 minutes will be about hanging around and avoiding any type of deficit. Then they’ll turn up the pressure a little bit and hope to get a soft goal to get the lead.

If the Canadiens play with the lead again, they could very win this series. But don’t expect it to happen.

The Capitals goal scoring is among the best in the NHL – if not the best – and so is their power play. While Halak has been amazing, he is not the reincarnation of Patrick Roy and he’s not going to be able to take the Canadiens to the next round by himself.

Look for the Caps to get a confidence boost with the first goal in Game 7 and that will settle their nerves and the crowd. It seems like with Halak, the sooner you get to him, the better. If they don’t score in the first period, they are really going to start feeling the heat and they’ll likely fall.

But the Caps have the experience, they have the weapons and they have home ice advantage. Adding all of those things up should get them the critical win.

Game 7 Pick: Capitals

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