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How To Bet Capitals Rangers - Can The Improbable Hero Of The Playoffs Continue To Shine?

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/4/2012 6:31:45 PM

The 2012 NHL Playoffs have been the showcase for many surprising players, but nobody has captured the spotlight quite like Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby.

East First Round, Game 5: Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers – Monday, May 7
Sports betting line: N/A
Why Washington Will Win

When you place a bet on an NHL playoff series after looking at any of several sports betting sites, there will come a time when you have to acknowledge the power and durability of the "magic carpet ride factor," that rare but real dynamic in which a player who slipped under the radar over the course of the regular season comes onto the scene in the playoffs and befuddles the opposition. Studying the rise of Braden Holtby, the Washington Capitals' emergent net minder, is a lot like studying a young pitcher who gets called up late in a regular baseball season and has success because hitters haven't seen him pitch very often. Hitters are confounded by a release point they haven't seen. They're thrown off balance by a man who doesn't have a well-developed history or the scouting report to match.

Hitters find it hard to formulate a precise and coherent plan of attack. They might figure him out the following year, but not in the present moment. This is what the New York Rangers are coming to terms with in their series against Holtby and the Capitals. Holtby doesn't have a well-developed scouting report because he was the Caps' third-string goalie this past regular season. He sat on the bench behind the top two goalies on the team, but when each goalie suffered an injury before the playoffs, Holtby was the only choice. He outlasted and outplayed Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in round one of the playoffs, and now he's playing New York superstar Henrik Lundqvist on very even terms in round two.

Holtby currently has the stage presence and mental toughness to carry his team to the Stanley Cup Finals. There's no reason to think that after enduring and winning a Game 7 on the road in the first round of the postseason, Holtby will suddenly wilt in Game 5 of a second-round series. This kid is legitimate, and he'll answer the call for head coach Dale Hunter.

Why New York Will Win

The people who are studying this contest will calmly point out that as you assess your latest attempt to bet on sports, the Rangers have the knowledge that they've already survived a seven-game grind in the first round against the Ottawa Senators. New York was really shaky in Games 3 through 5 (and the first 25 minutes of Game 6) against Ottawa, but now that the top seed in the Eastern Conference has steered clear of that challenge, it should be much more trusting in its own ability to persevere and thrive in tight situations. Lundqvist is a rock in goal, and the Rangers know that this is their best chance to win the Stanley Cup since 1994.New York will embrace this moment and figure out Braden Holtby.

Who Will Win?

While Holtby is the real deal, the Rangers have an equally good goaltender plus a level of stamina that Washington will find hard to match.New York will dig out a 2-1 win in this contest. It should be a thriller.

NHL Betting Pick: New York Rangers

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