Who: Your Nation’s Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Where: Verizon Center
601 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
When: Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 7:00 pm
TampaBayLightning.com Gameday Preview
St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Tribune
WashingtonCaps.com Gameday Preview
Broadcast Information: Radio broadcast available on both team sites; no TV broadcast
2005-2006 Season Series: Washington 4-3-0-1, Tampa Bay 4-4-0-0
Last Game: 4/18 at Tampa Bay, Caps won 4-1
- TB Coach John Tortorella unveiled his genius plan to use both goalies in the season finale as a means of deciding which would be his #1 in the playoffs. The plan backfired as both goalies allowed 2 goals on low shot counts (Grahame, 14 saves on 16 shots; Burke, 10 saves on 12 shots).
- Brent Johnson closed out the season strong for the Caps, stopping 42 of 43 shots.
- Jeff Halpern posted 2 goals in the game, including a power play goal to open the scoring. This goal also featured an assist by Alex Ovechkin, his 106th and final point of the season.
- Famous last words: Tortorella commented after the loss that “[w]e’re getting ready for the playoffs...I’m not going to get too involved in this game.” Of course, a win would have moved Tampa Bay ahead of Montreal to clinch 7th place and a date with the Carolina Hurricanes; instead they drew 1st seed Ottawa and were soon ejected from the playoffs...
Things to watch for tonight:
- While the Bolts still have a number of unknowns on the roster for this first preseason tilt, the Caps appear to be playing with a roster that more closely resembles that of opening night. I would expect the majority of the changes made between now and then to be veterans returning from surgery (Zubrus, Clark, etc.). That’s right, fans – for once the Capitals will be the more experienced team on the ice!
- Look for Hanlon to shift the line combinations around throughout the game. We’ve got some interesting groups out there (does anyone else find the combo of Semin and Brashear as entertaining as I do?) but in all likelihood they are merely chemistry experiments.
- Ben Clymer will make his preseason debut on the back line for Hanlon’s Caps as all eyes will be on him to see if he can cut it as a top four d-man. Schultz will probably have to put together a spectacular showing to even be considered for a semi-permanent roster spot, but as a potential future blue liner for the Caps it’ll be fun to see how he does.
- Tampa Bay continues their game of “Wheel O’ Goaltenders” with their latest installment, newly-acquired netminder Marc Denis. Denis comes in with a lot of expectations and will probably need to meet or surpass them if the Lightning don’t want to be hitting the links in April.
Projected Lineup for the Caps
8 – Alex “the Gr8” Ovechkin, 16 – Brian “K.O.” Sutherby, 20 – Richard “No More Zed Head” Zednik
43 - Tomas “Like Butter” Fleischmann, 24 – Kris “Life’s a” Beech, 18 – Matt “Don’t Call Me Princess” Pettinger
28 – Alex “Missing Link” Semin, 21 – Brooks “What’s Not to” Laich, 87 – Donald “Lamborghini Man” Brashear
10 – Matt “The Peacemaker” Bradley, 22 – Rico “Suave” Fata, 14 – Eric “Who Says Life Isn’t” Fehr
2 – Brian “DC > Ottawa” Pothier, 26 – Shaone “Rising Star” Morrisonn
27 – Ben “The DC Diva” Clymer, 44 – Steve “I Heart NY” Eminger
52 – Mike “Babyface” Green, 55 – Jeff “Godzilla Jr” Schultz
Olie “The Captain” Kolzig
I’m welcome to suggestions for new nicknames – some of these are bad, I know!
Projected Lineup for the Boltheads
Sorry, no nicknames for opposition teams – they don’t deserve the respect!
(And I’m not that creative...)
4 - Vincent Lecavalier, 20 - Vaclav Prospal, 65 - Marek Kvapil
24 - Andreas Karlsson, 15 - Nikita Alexeev, 34 - Ryan Craig
9 - Eric Perrin, 14 - Norm Milley, 18 - Rob DiMaio
49 - Blair Jones, 36 - Mitch Fritz, 42 - Eric Healey
71 - Filip Kuba, 22 - Dan Boyle
3 - Doug Janik, 5 - Andy Delmore
37 - Matt Smaby, 44 - Nolan Pratt
30 - Marc Denis