Friday, October 27, 2006

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Canucks

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks
Where: GM Place
800 Griffiths Way
Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1 Canada
When: Friday, October 27th, 2006, 10:00 pm PDT

Media Notes:
Washington Times
Vancouver Sun
Ovie Love 2
Ovie Love 3
Luongo Love

2005-2006 Series: N/A

Last Game: January 31, 2004 in Washington, Caps lose 6-1
- Vancouver scored 4 power play goals on their way to a 6-1 rout the last time these two teams tangled. The special teams’ shootout was a repeat performance of their last meeting the year before, when the Canucks went 5-for-10 with the extra man in a 6-0 win.
- The Caps mustered a measly 16 shots on goal compared to the 40 shots that peppered Kolzig...okay, so nothing new there.
- Eminger was recalled from Portland to replace Jason Doig, who was serving a 2-game suspension for kneeing Carolina's Kevyn Adams. On the other side of the glass, Caps' owner Ted Leonsis was serving a suspension of his own after a brief tussle with a fan. What can I say? We're a feisty team from top to bottom!

Things to Watch For:
- Try to ignore the
almost gleeful article on about Luongo's record against the Caps - let's just say it ain't pretty. In fact, it's downright ugly. Anyone at the 5-0 shellacking back in February knows exactly how ugly, especially considering the Caps had 44 shots on goal in that game. Water under the bridge, though...right? Right???
- All three Caps wins have come with them scoring at least 5 goals and the Caps are 2nd in the league in average goals per game, so offense doesn’t seem to be a problem. The addition of a second scoring line should help the odds against Luongo, as well. I’d like to see them fire everything at the net, with guys in front of Luongo to chip in the ugly goal here or there. I seem to recall the majority of the shots in those games last season were from the perimeter – we just made him look good.
- Special teams have been very good of late – it’s time to break the Canucks 9 for 17 power play streak over the last two seasons and get some of our own with the extra man.
- Pettinger played well Wednesday night despite being used sparingly as a precaution. I expect to see him log more minutes tonight and maybe get a goal...or two.
- Ovechkin should avoid blocking shots tonight, particularly those coming from his own teammates. I have a feeling Morrisonn had
a bit of a scare Wednesday night...
- Semin’s point streak continues. Need I say more?

As It Stands:
- Alexander Semin is 4th in the league in goals with 8 and is in the top 20 in scoring with 12 points overall.
- The Caps are 14th in the league in power play, going 8 for 47 for 17% effectiveness overall (20% at home)
- When scoring first, the Caps are 3-0-2; they are tied for 3rd for the most first period goals with 12
- With a win tonight, Olie Kolzig would tie Hall of Famer Ken Dryden for 33rd overall with 258.
- The Caps rank 11th in the league in +/- with an overall team rating of +3
- Kris Beech is 6th in the league in faceoff percentage with 57.8%
- Brian Pothier is 4th among defensemen in assists and 11th in points with 8
- The Caps have played fewer games, 8, than 12 of the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and are still only a point or two away from cracking the top 8. To put it into perspective: the Caps have played 8 games and earned 9 points; Florida has played 12 games, the most in the league, and has earned 11 points. In other words, it's early and no one knows anything.

Projected Lineups:
Washington Capitals
8-Alex “Shards of Glass” Ovechkin, 9-Dainius “Ansel Adams” Zubrus, 17-Chris “Luongo-Killer” Clark
28-Alex “2.0” Semin, 38-Jakub “Movin’ On Up” Klepis, 20-Richard “The Forechecker” Zednik
22-Rico “SuavĂ©” Fata, 16-Brian “K.O.” Sutherby, 10-Matt “Empty Netter” Bradley
87-Donald “Piano Man” Brashear, 24-Kris “Life’s a” Beech, 18-Matt “Don’t Call Me Princess” Pettinger

2-Brian “The Capital Capital” Pothier, 26-Shaone “Fore!” Morrisonn
27-Ben “The DC Diva” Clymer, 44-Steve “Jim” Eminger
6-Jamie “Journeyman” Heward, 52-Mike “Ovie” Green

1-Brent “Heeere’s Johnny!” Johnson, 37-Olie “The Other Captain” Kolzig

Vancouver Canucks

19-Markus Naslund, 7-Brendan Morrison, 38-Jan Bulis
22-Daniel Sedin, 33-Henrik Sedin, 9-Taylor Pyatt
34-Matt Cooke, 17-Ryan Kesler, 25-Josh Green
14-Alexandre Burrows, 32-Marc Chouinard, 16-Trevor Linden

2-Mattias Ohlund, 3-Kevin Bieksa
5-Lukas Krajicek, 18-Rory Fitzpatrick
4-Luc Bourdon, 6-Sami Salo

1-Roberto Luongo, 35-Dany Sabourin

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