Did you think the bold predictions would stop with the regular season?
You were wrong, my friends!
The Washington Capitals start their quest for the Stanley Cup on Thursday with Game 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CSN).
Here are three bold predictions for the game.
1. Washington will be outshot in the first period
I am expecting this game to start out similarly to what we saw in the Columbus-Pittsburgh game on Wednesday. An inexperienced Blue Jackets team came out swinging and outshot the Penguins 16-3 in Pittsburgh. I don’t anticipate this one being that lopsided, but I will not be surprised to see a young Toronto team chomping at the bit to come out and play a strong first period. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they scored first either.
2. Alex Ovechkin will score
Ovechkin isn’t playing around this season. He knows what’s at stake and he wants to win a Cup. He already is nearly a point-per-game producer in the postseason. Add in the fact that he is playing against a shaky Maple Leafs defense, he will find a way to get on the board.
3. Washington will give up two or fewer power plays
If you were looking for a weakness to this Caps team, penalties are it. No team in the NHL has taken more penalties since Jan. 1 than Washington. Toronto boasts the second-best power play in the league. Staying out of the box will be a focus for the Caps and, luckily for them, the refs tend to swallow the whistles in the postseason. Washington won’t spend much time in the box in Game 1.
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