Friday, November 17, 2006

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Canes

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Where: Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
When: Friday, November 17, 2006, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Info: Comcast Sportsnet, WTNT-570 AM; FSN, Hurricanes Radio Network

Media Notes:

Game Notes in PDF
Raleigh News & Observer
Washington Post
Washington Times

I found this on the News & Observer site and found it...bizarre. See for yourself (warning - this is a cartoon with sound): Peter Karmanos & Ric Flair

2006-2007 Season Series - Caps 1-1-0, Canes 1-1-0
2006-2007 Standings - Caps 8-5-5, 21 points - 3rd in division, 7th in conference; Canes 10-7-3, 23 points - 2nd in division, 6th in conference

Last Game: Nov. 9, 2006 in Carolina, Caps lost 5-0
- The Caps were actually in this one until the third period thanks to continued strong goaltending from Brent Johnson. Johnny faced 39 shots on the night, including 17 in the third period when the wheels basically came off. No fault of Johnny's, though - the Caps really hung him out to dry at the end.
- Once again a slow start made the hole a little deeper for the Caps to crawl out of - they mustered only 3 shots in the first period and fell behind just over 5 minutes into the game, giving the Canes all they would need to even the season series.
- Erik Cole taught the Caps a lesson in going to the net, as he scored 3 times (3 different ways, might I add) including the game winner early in the first.
- Truer words were never spoken: after the game, Hanlon commented that "[it] is a lot better for us to lose this game 5-0 than for (Johnson) to make four more incredible saves and walk out of here kidding ourselves that it was a 1-0 hockey game..." I'd say it was better too - their next game they came out flying against a very talented Ranger team and put together a convincing 3-1 win.

Things to Look for:
- After a preseason that saw the Caps taking penalty after penalty, Glen Hanlon stated that the goal was to average no more than 6 penalties a game. Just more proof that Hanlon is a little bit psychic - the Caps have been whistled 7+ times during 6 different games. Their record for those 6 games? 1 win, 5 losses. The Caps must must must stay out of the penalty box. I'm running out of ways to say it.
- Carolina has a very potent offense - they have several lines that can score on you and the Caps have seen it firsthand over the last two seasons. Defense has to be solid from every single player. No lazy passes, no giving up on a fight along the boards, no letting Carolina set up in front of the net. When they take the body they also have to then control the puck, something they still seem to have a problem with. This of course would apply to any game, but apparently it needs to be said.
- Zednik and Zubrus are probable for tonight's game, but apparently Chris Clark is indefinite after getting a high stick in the mouth Wednesday night. It'll be good to have Zednik back, but I'm nervous about the outcome if Clark and/or Zubie sit it out - we all saw what happened when our top line was broken up opening night.
- Tonight's game needs to be about revenge - I know that sounds awful, but the Caps need to learn how to take their embarassment from one game and turn it around the next game. They were spanked in their second meeting with the Canes and last night they lost again in a shootout to a Bruins team that is bringing up the rear in the Northeast Division. Plus, let's not forget Tim Gleason's knee on knee against Ovie at the home opener.

Projected Lineup for the Caps
8-Alex "Mama's Boy" Ovechkin, 9-Dainius "All-Star" Zubrus, 17-Chris "Jekyll and Hyde" Clark
28-Alex “2.0” Semin, 38-Jakub “Fancy Hands” Klepis, 18-Matt “Shortie” Pettinger
10-Matt “Enrique” Bradley, 16-Brian “the Pivot” Sutherby, 27-Ben “the Glory” Clymer
43-Tomas “Like Butter” Fleischmann, 15-Boyd “Flash” Gordon, 87-Donald “Piano Man” Brashear

2-Brian “the Helper” Pothier, 26-Shaone “Shortcut” Morrisonn
6-Jamie “Journeyman” Heward, 52-Mike “Babyface” Green
4-John “the NHLer” Erskine, 44-Steve “Jim” Eminger

1-Brent “Get the Led Out” Johnson, 37-Olie “the Captain” Kolzig

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

6-Bret “Mr. Yamaguchi” Hedican, 22-Mike “Fro Boy” Commodore
2-Glen “Walkers and Dentures” Wesley, 48-Anton “How Much Wood Could a” Babchuk
28-Andrew Hutchinson, 45-David Tanabe

30-Cam “the Overworked” Ward, 47-John “the Benchwarmer” Grahame

We got ourselves the makings, folks - stay tuned for another thrilling Southeast Showdown in the Phone Booth!

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