Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Washington at Tampa Bay

A battle for first place takes place in Tampa tonight as the Capitals stroll in to take on the Lightning. Both teams have played 43 games and have 55 points. After a long losing streak, the Capitals have turned it around and have only lost 1 time in regulation in the last 10 games.

The Capitals have returned a very similar team as last year but have not found the scoring touch they had last season. In 82 games, the Capitals averaged 3.88 goals a game last year and outscored their opponents by 85 goals, more than 1 goal a game. So far this season, they have averaged 2.93 goals a game and only outscored their opponents by 13 goals. Both stats aren't terrible, but when you look at Washington's 55 win season last year, they are not even close to reaching those numbers. Could the early playoff losses have shaken their confidence and swagger?

It also doesn't help when Alex Ovechkin is on pace for his fewest goals ever.

Tampa Bay has rebuilt their team in a few short years. It helps that throughout that process, they have kept Lecavalier and St. Louis. Add Steven Stamkos, who in our opinion will be talked about in the same vein as Crosby and Ovechkin in the next couple of years.

Both teams have a lot to prove and want to lay claim as the best in the Southeast division. We are going with Washington. They still have a lot to prove and the Capitals will bounce back after their 1-0 OT loss last week.

Pick: Washington +105

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