Welcome back to NHL season, folks! Coming off a season in which they had a 3-2 lead on the Hurricanes in the opening round of the postseason, the Washington Capitals could not hold on. This was after they finally ended the DC Sports curse with their Stanley Cup title in 2017. They are still rocking with most of their top guys and will be looking to keep it rolling. The hope for them will be that this year resembles 2017 a lot more than 2018.
What a season it was for the St. Louis Blues last year, winning it all for the first time in franchise history and bringing a title back to the city of St. Louis. They did this despite a very poor start before getting hot enough to qualify for the playoffs later in the year. Craig Berube went 38-19-6 a season ago and will be trying to take the team to a second straight title. They start that quest in search of a win against the champs from two years ago.
The moneyline for the Capitals is at -106, while it is set at -118 for the Blues. The over/under is set at 5.5 goals for the season opener.
Caps Looking For A Reset
The Capitals won it all two years ago, then proceeded to blow a 3-2 first-round series lead against the Hurricanes a season ago. Alex Ovechkin is not going to play forever, so for his sake, they have to turn it around and play better. Their first line is very impressive with Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson joining Ovechkin, top-notch scorers and defensemen. With TJ Oshie on that second line, they always have threats to put the puck in the net. This is a team with a lot of scoring options that will be looking to get it done.
Braden Holtby made 58 starts and went 32-19-7 a year ago, while Phoenix Cooley was 16-7-1 in 24 starts. Holtby will come in as the starter, but it would not be a surprise to see a little Cooley throughout the season.
Trying To Repeat
Craig Berube’s team was a serious force to be reckoned with for the second half of the year into the playoffs, and now the plan will be to bring St. Louis a second straight title. Their top three point-scorers from last season, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko, are all returning to try and keep the scoring going for the squad. They are solid on defense with Justin Faulk and Alex Pietrangelo. If they can keep up well and start the year strong, anything can happen.
Jake Allen started 45 games in net, going 19-17-9. Jordan Binnington was 24-5-1 in his 30 starts. And they went 2-6 with Chad Johnson out there. That’s why Binnington won the job.
Blues Start With A Win
Make sure you bet on St. Louis, as it will come up with the win. A goal from O’Reilly will lift the Blues to the W.
Free Play: STL -118