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NHL picks for playoff games and awards
Updated February 8, 2023
The action in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs continues to amaze us, as we’re seeing dazzling goals, big-time hits and some outstanding saves being delivered. This week, we’ve got some more big contests on the way for everyone to enjoy. In this piece, we have NHL picks for playoff games and awards that we know hockey fans are most definitely going to enjoy.
Washington is hoping to even things up with Boston in Game 4
What a Game 3 showdown we had between the Capitals and Bruins in Game 3 of their first-round series. In a double-overtime thriller on Wednesday night, the Bruins came away with an unreal 3-2 victory to take a 2-1 series lead. Now, the pressure is back on the Caps, and Washington is hoping to even things up with Boston in Game 4. Will they be able to do so?
This will surely be a tough challenge, as the game will be played at the infamous TD Garden in Boston. For the Bruins to have home-ice advantage here is really going to complicate things for Alexander Ovechkin and the rest of his Washington teammates. You already know folks at the Garden are going to be ready to do whatever it takes to try and help their team out.
Entering Game 4, Boston is the favorite to come away with a win. The Bruins hold -155 NHL odds to be victorious and take a 3-1 series lead. As for Washington, they know their backs will be against the wall. The Las Vegas sportsbooks have them as considerable underdogs, as they hold +135 odds. Washington will know they can’t afford to fall two-games back.
At the same time, going to the Garden and trying to down the Bruins is one of the most difficult tasks in the NHL, especially in the NHL playoffs. Bruins fans are a wild bunch and, again, they’ll want to rattle the Caps from start to finish. While Washington has what it takes to record an upset, we simply don’t think that will happen in this case. Boston is our pick for Game 4.
When will the series end between the Bruins and Capitals?
Following Wednesday’s result, folks out there are wondering when will the series end between the Bruins and Capitals? Well, there’s no doubt that Boston is the heavy favorite to win the series. With us taking them to win Game 4 as well, that would surely put them in the driver’s seat as they’d then hold a 3-1 advantage over Washington, making it seemingly impossible for a comeback.
However, Washington is simply too good to just lose three games in a row. Because of this, we think they have one more win in them this series, which we think could come in Game 5. With that being our pick, we also think that the Bruins will be able to seal the deal soon after that, and wrap things up the next time the two powerhouses face off against one another.
Currently, the NHL odds of when the series will end are as follows: Bruins in Game 5 (+190), Bruins in Game 6 (+190), Bruins in Game 7 (+450), Capitals in Game 7 (+500) and Capitals in Game 6 (+1200). Obviously, the odds of Washington turning this series around and advancing in the Stanley Cup playoffs aren’t great for a reason. The team is now a massive underdog and we’d highly recommend staying away from them.
For this series, it’s all going to come down to when Boston can put the finishing touches on things. Both Game 5 and Game 6 have the same odds at +190, while a Game 7 win for Boston checks in at +450. We don’t think Washington will end up making that far, which is why we’re rocking with a Game 6 finish in favor of the Boston Bruins as our pick. We say that with confidence.
Nathan MacKinnon is the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy
Early on in the postseason, Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon is the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, an honor given to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It really should be no surprise that MacKinnon is No. 1 on the list here seeing as Colorado is also the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Typically, someone on the Stanley Cup-winning team also takes home the Conn Smythe honors.
MacKinnon is in the middle of an incredible year for the Avalanche. The former No. 1 overall pick scored 20 goals and added 45 assists during the regular season to give him 65 points. That’s quite the accomplishment and one that Colorado fans loved seeing. Now, MacKinnon is hoping to stay at the top of his game throughout the playoffs, which of course would be bad news for the rest of the teams still in it.
MacKinnon holds +750 odds to win MVP, while Nikita Kucherov is +1100, Auston Matthews is +1100 and Marc-Andre Fleury is +1400. While odds of +750 aren’t great, MacKinnon sure is our pick here. What helps him out massively is that the Avalanche are indeed the top dogs to win the cup and they’re also our pick. Should they go on to win it all, MacKinnon will be the major reason for that. He’ll be the MVP.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.