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Washington Capitals Odds - Goals galore, but defense still holds them back

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/14/2012 10:57:52 AM
hockey linesThe mere mention of the Washington Capitals odds can make a hockey betting fan’s heart race; the Caps are undoubtedly among the league’s most exciting teams, blessed with several offensive superstars. We know the Caps will win plenty of games, but can they evolve into a truly elite team this season?

Washington Capitals Odds: Caps are exciting but flawed among the contenders

  • Ovechkin, Green are the league’s best offensive players at their positions
  • Defense lacks depth, size and overall talent
  • Simeon Varlamov looks like Washington’s goalie of the future—and the present

Washington Capitals odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
If you consider scoring paramount to your sports betting picks, the Caps are your team. Alexander Ovechkin, the best offensive player on the planet, leads the Caps’ high-octane attack. He can do anything—stickhandle through defenders, explode guys with heavy hits on the forecheck and unleash laser-quick shots from almost any angle. What makes the Caps so dangerous now is that Ovie is by no means a one-man show on offense.

Brash, creative Mike Green is a scoring dynamo on the blueline and his 31 goals in 68 games highlighted one of the best offensive seasons by a defender in the last 15 years. Alexander Semin is a less-physical Ovechkin with a sniper’s release; Nicklas Backstrom is a prototypical playmaking center who can set up his Russian wingers all night and is only 22 years old.

Washington Capitals odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
The Caps have room for betonline improvement on the back end. Green is an exciting player but his risk-taking sometimes leaves him out of position on defense; after him, Washington’s blueline is a ragtag bunch that isn’t overly physical or offensively gifted. Guys like Tom Poti and Brian Pothier are just sort of…there. For Washington to contend, they’ll need someone else to emerge—internally via prospects like Karl Alzner or externally via trade.

Washington Capitals odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING
Netminding remains a question mark for the Caps but it’s sturdier than it was a year ago. If Jose Theodore gets his starting job back, he’ll have a much shorter leash; Simeon Varlamov showed real poise and athleticism in the playoffs last year and seems destined to become a bona fide NHL starter.

Washington Capitals odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS
The Caps’ power play is a sight to behold; its mark of 25.2 per cent last season was second only to Detroit’s and one of the highest numbers of the last 20 years. With so many trigger men—Ovechkin, Semin, Green—the Caps can beat opponents in many different ways. Somebody always gets open. The Caps penalty kill was mediocre last year but could see minor improvement thanks to one of my favorite free-agent signings of the offseason: Mike Knuble. The underrated winger plays in all situations with all types of players and can improve the penalty kill if he’s placed in that role.

Washington Capitals odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
The Capitals led the second tier of contenders last season and should do the same in 2008-09. They’re never out of a game thanks to their potent offense and they matured in the playoffs last season, but they’re not nearly as complete as Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago or Detroit. Until they improve defensively, they won’t win the Stanley Cup.

Keep reading the Betting Edge for online betting tips and previews galore and check out our sportsbook for full Washington Capitals odds.

Who better to offer great sports betting and hockey tips than a native Canadian? Like any good Canuck, Don Melrose eats, sleeps, breathes and bets hockey, making him the perfect NHL handicapper. Thoughts or questions?



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