Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Canes

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Where: RBC Center
1400 Edwards Mill Road
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
When: Thursday, November 9, 2006, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Information: Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 AM; FSN, Hurricanes Radio Network

Media Notes:
Washington Post
Washington Times
Raleigh News & Observer 1
Raleigh News & Observer 2

Blogger Roundup:
Bleatings from a Caps Nut
Japers' Rink
The Peerless Prognosticator
Caps' Message Boards - Gameday Thread

2006-2007 Season Series: Caps 1-0-0, Canes 0-1-0

2006-2007 Overall Records: Caps 6-4-4, 16 points - 3rd in division, 7th in conference; Canes 7-6-3, 17 points - 2nd in division, 6th in conference

Last Game: October 7 in Washington, Caps won 5-2
- For those of you who read my
postgame "analysis" from the last game, no, I was not high. At least not from anything illegal or artificial - this was pure, natural, unfiltered happiness caused by witnessing a home-opener win against our division rivals. I swear. To recap - it was okay, I guess...

- Tim Gleason, the author of that cheap shot knee-on-knee hit on Ovie last game, will likely not be dressed tonight - he's listed as day-to-day with some injury or another, so retribution will have to wait until next time. Don't worry, I have a feeling we'll see the champs a few more times this season.
- The two teams combined for 18 penalties in the last game (8 for the Caps, 10 for the Canes) - the Caps were able to cash in on 2 opportunities, the Canes on 1 of their own.

Things to Look For:
- These teams are really closely matched right now, so it should be an entertaining game. Here's how the numbers break down:
- Points: Carolina - 17 (2nd in the division); Washington 16 (3rd in the division)
- Goals per Game: Caps - 3.36 (8th in NHL); Canes - 3.12 (12th in NHL)
- Goals Against: Caps - 3.21 (21st in NHL); Canes - 3.38 (25th in NHL)
- Power Play: Caps - 17.8% (14th); Canes - 15.8% (17th)
- Penalty Killing: Canes - 84.4% (12th); Caps - 83.5% (16th)
- The really big difference between these 2 clubs - shots on goal. The Caps are still wallowing at the bottom of the league in both shots for, 24th with an average of 27.7/game, and shots against, dead last with 35.8. Meanwhile, Carolina is at 11th and 12th, respectively.
- The rash of Capitals penalties in the first meeting between the Caps and Canes was problematic, but the Caps have chiseled away at their time in the sin bin of late and have taken only 23 minor penalties in their last five games for an average just under 5 a game. That's down from 61 minors in their first 9 games, an average of almost 7 per game. Carolina, on the other hand, has taken the third most penalties in the league - they've gone shorthanded 35 times in their last five games and have taken 10 penalties in a single game 4 times already this year. No wonder their PK is so good - lots of practice.
- The Caps and Canes will get reacquainted again a week from tomorrow when the Hurricanes come calling on Verizon Center. As we all know, two games close together between division rivals can start to get a little chippy, especially if yet another Hurricane decides to take a knee-on-knee run on Ovie (anyone remember Brind'Amour's hit on Ovie last year?) After next Friday they won't see each other again until the end of January, so I'd expect some fireworks over the next week. No sense in letting the steam settle for two months - might as well release it now, right?
- The Caps will be looking to build on the momentum from Monday night's huge come from behind, OT win against the Senators and start stringing together some wins.
- So far the Caps are 2-2-2 against division rivals, which is good but not great - they've got to win these "4 point" games in regulation, especially as they get further into the season. For a little perspective - Carolina went 18-11-3-0 against the Southeast Division last season...and now they all have shiny new rings.

Projected Lineup for the Caps
8-Alex “Brad Pitt” Ovechkin, 9-Dainius “Hot Hands” Zubrus, 17-Chris “Jekyll & Hyde” Clark
43-Tomas “Like Butter” Fleischmann, 38-Jakub “Soul Patch” Klepis, 18-Matt “Don’t Call Me Princess” Pettinger
10-Matt “The Glue” Bradley, 16-Brian “The Guts” Sutherby, 27-Ben “The Glory” Clymer
28-Alex “2.0” Semin, 15-Boyd “Flash” Gordon, 87-Donald “Piano Man” Brashear

2-Brian “Take That, Canada!” Pothier, 26-Shaone “9-Iron” Morrisonn
6-Jamie “Journeyman” Heward (or a Hershey blueliner TBD), 52-Mike “Fauxhawk” Green
44-Steve “Jim” Eminger, 47-Bryan “The Reinstated” Muir

1-Brent “The Savior” Johnson, 37-Olie “The Other Captain” Kolzig

Projected Lineup for the Hurricanes
24-Scott “Southern Hockey Rocks!” Walker, 12-Eric “The First” Staal, 11-Justin Williams
26-Erik Cole, 17-Rod “Broken Nose” Brind’Amour, 13-Ray “Caps-Killer” Whitney
16-Andrew “Cheryl” Ladd, 25-Eric Belanger, 27-Craig Adams
59-Chad LaRose, 14-Kevyn Adams, 19-Trevor Letowski

6-Bret “Mr. Yamaguchi” Hedican, 22-Mike “Bathrobe Boy” Commodore
7-Niclas Wallin, 48-Anton Babchuk
2-Glen Wesley, 28-Andrew Hutchinson

30-Cam Ward, 47-John Grahame

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty good view from those cheap seats--they should take you on the road!