Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Stars

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Dallas Stars
Where: Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
When: Thursday, November 30, 2006, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, WTEM-980 AM; FSNSW, WBAP-AM 820

Media Notes:
WashingtonCaps.com (Not up at the time of this post...)
DallasStars.com (Ditto...)
NHL.com
NHL.com Shows Green the Love
WashingtonPost.com
Dallas Morning News (Nice and balanced, by the way)

2005-06 Season Series: Caps 0-1-0, Stars 1-0-0

2006-07 Standings: Caps 9-9-6, 24 points - 4th in division, 13th in conference; Stars 16-7-0, 32 points - 3rd in division, 5th in conference

Last Game: January 12 in Dallas, Caps lost 4-1
- Dallas would get all the offense they would need to finish off the Caps in the first ten minutes, extending the Caps' winless streak to 6 (0-4-2...gee, those numbers look familiar)
- With the loss to the Stars, Washington fell to 4-13-1 on the road. Wow.
- Defenseman Janne Niinimaa played 17 minutes in his first game as a Star - he was acquired from the New York Islanders in exchange for, wait for it...John Erskine. See how I tie everything together here on GDP?
- The Capitals' lone tally came from, who else, Alex Ovechkin. It was his 27th on the year, which incidentally was 17 more goals than anyone else on the team at that point.
- Despite adding an assist, Olie felt he didn't do enough to help his team win. I guess making saves usually comes in handy, too, but what about the Art Ross trophy??
- Nothing like a dose of the worst road team in the league to cure what ails you, huh? Coming into this game, Dallas had gone 4 games without scoring in the first period, although they had bounced back by outscoring opponents 15-3 in the other 2 frames. That streak ended with their 3 markers in the first period. On top of that, Turco had been struggling lately, being pulled in 2 consecutive starts until he faced the DC slump-busters.
- Cue ominous music...here: before falling to Dallas, Olie was 1-4-3 in his last eight games overall and was 0-8-1 with a 3.45 goals-against average and .868 save percentage against Dallas lifetime.

Things to Look for:
- I'm never sure how this will play out, but once again the Caps are coming into tonight's game from a day off after Tuesday's win in Tampa. Meanwhile Dallas is flying straight from Chicago after having the misfortune of running into a team with a brand new coach, losing 2-1. I would say the Caps should have energy and jump, but that never seems to work - they almost seem to play better in back-to-back games. Let's just hope they can remember that feeling...wait, what was it again? Oh, yeah - winning.
- The Stars' record is pretty scary at a glance, but it was a lot scarier earlier in the season. Dallas is 5-6 in their last 11 games, including their second straight loss to Chicago last night.
- Semin's return to the lineup Tuesday night also marked his return to the scoresheet, as he busted through a 12-game goal drought to earn his 9th goal. I really think Beech helps Semin elevate his game a bit, and the two of them seem to have good chemistry with Pettinger. I'd expect to see them continue to factor in to more scoring should they be rewarded with more ice time.
- The other 4 teams in the Southeast Division all have dates with the Northeast Division tonight, meaning for the first time in a while none of the Southeast teams are playing one another - should they all fall (ha!) and should the Caps win (HA!), they'll pick up some ground on the rest of the division. Kind of a 'duh' note, but what can I say...I'm a 'duh' kind of girl.
- Dallas has beaten the Caps in 5 straight meetings - the last time the Caps were victorious was back in March of 2001. Having said that, this has been a year that has gone against history, so I'm feeling pretty good about this streak coming to an end as well.
- Donald Brashear makes his return after a 3-game suspension - could mayhem and carnage be far behind? Uh...probably not. It's Dallas - we don't see them again until at least 2008.
- As previously noted, Jeff Halpern makes his return to the Verizon Center - seriously guys, lets make him feel welcome. Poor guy's going to get completely beaten by Ovechkin...
- Dallas currently has 4 players of Finnish descent on their roster, the most in the league; Philadelphia and Chicago tie for 2nd with 3 each. Just more useless knowledge that's all part of the package here in the Cheap Seats.


Vogel was traveling up to Hershey last night so I am taking my first stab at creating projected lineups. Take them with a grain of salt.

Also, back by (somewhat) popular demand, I give you...nicknames! Yay.

Projected Lineup for the Caps
Forwards:
8-Alex "Empty Netter" Ovechkin, Dainius "Write-In" Zubrus, Chris "Hannibal Lecter" Clark
28-Alex "I Was Hooked/Tripped/Held...I Swear!" Semin, Kris "Life's a" Beech, 18-Matt "the Sprawler" Pettinger
27-Ben "Slimer" Clymer, 16-Brian "K.O." Sutherby, 10-Matt "Enrique" Bradley
87-Donald "the Instigator" Brashear, 15-Boyd "Shortie" Gordon, 20-Richard "Yup, Back to the 4th Line" Zednik

Defensemen:
2-Brian "the Capital Capital" Pothier, 26-Shaone "Olie's Sh*t List" Morrisonn
6-Jamie "Healthy Scratch" Heward, 52-Mike "Turnover" Green
4-John "I Don't Brake for Midgets" Erskine, 44-Steve "I Heart Erskine" Eminger

Goaltenders:
1-Brent "Heeere's Johnny" Johnson, 37-Olie "Bring on the Shots" Kolzig

Projected Lineup for the Stars
Forwards:
21-Loui "Louie, Oh No, We Gotta Go" Eriksson, 9-Mike "Vote for Me" Modano, 26-Jere "Close the Door, You're" Lehtinen "Flies"
77-Matthew "$%@#!-ing" Barnaby, 11-Jeff "Homeward Bound" Halpern, 27-Patrik Stefan
14-Stu Barnes, 15-Niklas "Larry" Hagman, 88-Eric "Fra-gi-lay" Lindros
36-Jussi "I Was Only" Jokinen, 63-Mike "Soccer Dive" Ribeiro, 20-Antti "Vegetables, I Like" Miettinen

Defensemen:
5-Darryl "Pay the Baby" Sydor, 56-Sergei "Big Bad Mole" Zubov
3-Stephane "Terry Cloth" Robidas, 43-Phillippe "the Butcher" Boucher
42-Jon Klemm, 44-Jaroslav "A La" Modry

Goaltenders:
35-Marty "Leftover Thanksgiving" Turco, 41-Mike "I Have a Boring Name" Smith

So there you have it - I stayed up late to finish these, I want to see the love out there...

...actually I don't really care. I think they're funny and that's all that matters.

4 comments:

Netsrak said...

Yay for nicknames! They've been adapted into the game day thread on the official boards.

Hey, guess what the Dallas Stars have? Ice Girls. ;)

FS said...

44-Jaroslav "A La" Modry


Heh. That's funny.

CapsChick said...

I was going to pretend the Ice Girls didn't exist in hopes they would go away, but no such luck...blech.

Finny said...

oh capschick... I realize this has nothing whatsoever to do with your game against the stars tonight (good luck, btw, I can't stand the Stars!), but I want to say that I am eagerly anticipating seeing the Ducks against Alex-O soon... and Alex S too, but you know, I haven't laid eyes on ovechkin yet, and I can't hardly wait!

Ick. Dallas Ice Girls. I can't even stand the Ducks' Power Players. Maybe I *am* jealous?

Lemme think about that one... and... Nope, not jealous.