*10* NHL GAME OF THE WEEK (POWER SPORTS) ~ Won T.O.W. Wednesday!
Calgary vs. Washington,
02/01/2019 19:00 EDT,
Score: 3 - 4
Money Line: +109 Washington
10* Washington (7:05 ET): Getting a week off of work is never a bad thing (foreign to me though!), but for Calgary, they probably wished the All-Star Break came at a different time. Arguably the hottest team in the league heading into the Break, the Flames have won eight of their last nine games, the only loss coming in overtime. They lead not only the Pacific Division, but the entire Western Conference w/ 71 pts. The only team in the league w/ more points (and a better goal differential) is Tampa Bay. But you have to wonder if the Break might interfere w/ their "momentum" (hate that word). Last year, the team lost six straight after the All-Star Game.
Washington is just the opposite of Calgary in that they were glad to take some time off. They are currently on a season-worst seven-game slide and haven't won in three weeks. Prior to the current losing streak, the Capitals had not lost more than three games in a row at any point this season. Looking at the final scores of their recent games, it is not difficult to ascertain what has gone wrong here in the Nation's Capital. Over the L5 games, the Caps have surrendered an absolutely stunning 30 goals. They've given up six or more four times in that stretch. Another problem they have for tonight is that Alex Ovechkin won't be on the ice. He's suspended for his refusal to partake in the All-Star festivities.
Yes, these teams headed into the Break in the most opposite of ways possible. But I think the time off will have done the Caps some good. While they won't have Ovechkin, the team itself is still very good in spite of how it played in January. The goaltending is going to get better, if for no other reason than it can't get any worse. Calgary is one of the top scoring teams in the league, but their scoring drops by more than a full goal per game on the road (3.1) from what they average at home (4.3). As for Calgary's goaltending, Dave Rittich has really carried them. But can we really expect him to maintain a .944 save percentage away from home? His L4 starts showed some signs of "slippage" as his save percentage was down to .899. 10* Washington