Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Where: Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
When: Friday, December 8, 2006, 7:00 pm
Broadcast Information: NC8, WTNT 570 AM; FSW, 830 AM
Orange County Register
Olie for President!
Olie clues in the rest of the league
Let's start the hype...
Ovie's shoulders get a rest
2005-06 Season Series: Caps 1-0-0, Ducks 0-0-1
2006-07 Standings: Caps 12-9-6, 30 points - 3rd in division, 10th in conference; Ducks 21-3-6, 48 points - 1st in division, 1st in conference, 1st in league
Last Game: January 13 in Anaheim, Caps won 3-2 in OT
- There's no way to describe this game without simply calling it the Alexander Ovechkin show. Ovie scored all three goals to earn his first career hat trick in dramatic style, capping off the hat and the win with an overtime marker.
- The win snapped a 6-game losing streak for the Caps and started a 4-game winning streak (hmm...sounds familiar). Up until this game, the Caps had won only 1 of their last 9 and 3 of their last 13. That's not to mention that this game was only the Caps' 5th win on the road to that point.
- The rest of the game was, as I recall, relatively uninteresting and in the grand scheme of things unimportant...but maybe that's because the next game would be against Phoenix, and we all remember what happened that night. It figures, the only guy who could overshadow Ovechkin would be...Ovechkin.
- Famous last words from Hanlon: "He keeps on doing stuff like this," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "Just when I thought I've seen it all, he does something else." My thoughts exactly.
- Both teams played disciplined, tight hockey for the majority of the game - all the scoring took place in the second period, as the two teams alternated goals, and the they combined for only 5 penalties total.
- Jeff Friesen returned to the Caps lineup against his former team and proceeded to do...absolutely nothing. Attaboy, Jeff.
- Odd factoid of the night: the Ducks had lost the last four times they played on Friday the 13th, dating to a 5-4 victory over the Capitals in December 1996 at Anaheim.
Things to Look for:
- I'm not going to lie, this game has me even more scared than the Buffalo game. For one thing, the Ducks are nice and rested for tonight's game, a change of pace from the last 4 games. For another, their defense is much stronger - stalwart veterans Pronger and Niedermayer head up a very young, feisty bunch of d-men. The Caps will have to keep up the offensive pressure that they've developed during this little win streak to crack that blue line.
- The Ducks have won 3 straight and are looking for, get this, their first 4-game win streak of the season. They've won 21 games and have yet to string together 4 in a row; at least we know they're human. Update: Apparently I made this up, not sure where I saw it...disregard and see the comments from a nice, helpful Ducks fan :)
- It looks like Hanlon may have struck upon a lineup that works for almost everyone, at least for now - the Semin-Beech-Pettinger line and the newly created Laich-Gordon-Bradley line have both chipped in some offense and given teams more to worry about than just the top trio. Speaking of which, I'd put money on seeing Ovie wearing a Pronger-cape all night long - I'm going out on a limb and saying there's your matchup to watch, folks.
- I'm not even going to try and compare the numbers for each team - let's just say that the Ducks are in the top 10 in every single category recorded by the NHL, and the majority of those rankings are top 4 or 5. That's not to say that the Caps are last in the league or anything, but they're average across the board; that's an improvement, but will it be enough to stop the Ducks? (Boy, no matter how you say their name it's just not scary, is it? Except to me, but I'm afraid of ducks...)
- What gives me a bit of confidence in the Caps ability to at least make a game of it is that every game in this little streak has been better than the one before, and they're starting to do the little things well - positioning themselves well (for the most part) defensively, crashing the opponents' nets, clearing the puck more efficiently and working the transition game. All the things that separate your mediocre teams from your good teams, your good teams from your great.
- A lot of the guys on both these teams will probably remember each other well- Hershey and Portland clashed in last year's Calder Cup playoffs, and both clubs have a large presence on their parent team rosters this season.
- Barra Brava in the Phone Booth! I don't even completely understand what that means except that they're supposed to be loud, and they, like, sing and stuff. I'm not much of a soccer fan. I'll be the judge of how loud they are based on what I can hear through the TV - that's right, as much as I love a good soccer hooligan, especially at a hockey game, I'll be watching from the safety of my couch. On a Friday night. Like the super-cool person I am. But let's face it, if I had a life what would you skim over while you should be working? Anyways, If any of you out there make it to the game, drop me a comment or an e-mail to let me know just how brava those barra were...er...or how barra those brava were?
I don't know, I took French in high school.
On with the...
8-Alex "the Mad Hatter" Ovechkin, 9-Dainius "On the Mend" Zubrus, 17-Chris "Alex" Clark
28-Alex "Pop Fly" Semin, 24-Kris "Life's a" Beech, 18-Matt "Prince" Pettinger
87-Donald "the Rookie-Fighter" Brashear, 16-Brian "the Snakebitten" Sutherby, 27-Ben "Heart of Gold" Clymer
21-Brooks "We Like" Laich, 15-Boyd "the Underrated" Gordon, 10-Matt "Top Shelf" Bradley
2-Brian "Point Shot" Pothier, 26-Shaone "the De-Gonchared" Morrisonn
4-John "Wanna Dance?" Erskine, 44-Steve "I Heart Erskine" Eminger
47-Bryan "Shy and D" Muir, 52-Mike "Sin Bin" Green
1-Brent "Heeeeere's Johnny!" Johnson, 37-Olie "the Unsurprised" Kolzig
Projected Lineup for the Ducks
14-Chris "Rocky Ra" Kunitz, 19-Andy "Ronald" McDonald, 8-Teemu "the Finnish Brad Pitt" Selanne
17-Dustin "the Knick-Knacks" Penner, 22-Todd "the Merchant" Marchant, 38-Ryan "Cross the River" Shannon
32-Travis "Lawn" Moen, 26-Samuel "Screech" Pahlsson, 44-Rob "the Other" Niedermayer
16-George "Ten Shots Over" Parros, 15-Ryan "My Nickname Jokes Rarely" Getzlaf, 10-Corey "the Teen Idol" Perry
21-Sean "Rosie" O’Donnell, 25-Chris "Two-" Pronger "Attack"
23-Francois "Tres Chic, Tres" Beauchemin, 27-Scott "Kickin' All-Star Booty" Niedermayer
33-Joe "to the Zoo to See" DiPenta, 37-Shane "Shane! Come Back!" O’Brien
1-Dunham, 39-DiPietro...um...nope. Sorry Vogel, those are the Isles goalies.
(Everyone's allowed a mistake now and then. Just don't let it happen again.)
Let's try that again -
31-Michael "Over the" Wall, 35-Jean-Sebastian "Does a Little Irish" Giguere