Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Leafs

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Where: Air Canada Centre
40 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2X2 Canada
When: Saturday, December 23, 2006, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, SportsTalk 980; CBC Hockey Night in Canada, 640 AM

Media Notes:
Washington Post
Washington Times
Toronto Star
Toronto Sun
Globe and Mail

2006-07 Standings: Caps 15-12-7, 37 points - 3rd in division, 8th in conference; Maple Leafs 16-15-5, 37 points - 3rd in division, 9th in conference

2006-07 Season Series: Caps 0-1-0, Maple Leafs 1-0-0

Last Game: November 24 in Washington, Caps lost 7-1
- The petulant two year old inside of me is speaking up: I'm not recapping this game and you can't make me. I was there, I saw it live, and it was far too painful the first time around...

Things to Look for:
- Both Toronto and Washington come into tonight's game with injury-depleted lineups. The Caps are without forwards Matt Bradley and Richard Zednik, both recovering from surgery, and defensemen Bryan Muir and John Erskine, both out with foot fractures. Morrisonn will not make the trip to Toronto with the team, so another Hershey callup is pending. The Leafs are missing Michael Peca, who injured his knee in last night's loss to the Blackhawks. Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov continue to be sidelined by shoulder and ankle injuries respectively, and Kyle Wellwood is day-to-day with an injured hip flexor.
- And the similarities continue - both teams are coming off of two straight losses, one on Tuesday (although the Leafs got beat 7-3 by the Panthers...that's gotta hurt) and one last night. Both are mired in the traffic jam that is the Eastern Conference, holding steady at 37 points and battling it out for that coveted 8th spot.
- The Caps and the Leafs both played their backups last night, so tonight's match should feature starters Olie Kolzig and Andrew Raycroft. Neither goalie has been particularly solid lately - Kolzig surrendered 5 goals in Tuesday's loss to the Lightning, while Raycroft was yanked after allowing 6 goals on 26 shots against the Panthers.
- Are you seeing where I'm going with all of this? Injuries, losing streaks, inconsistent goaltending, rosters full of AHLers - this should be a real barn burner...

With the injuries to both teams, call-ups and line reconfigurations aren't out of the question, so take these with a grain of salt...

Possible Lineup for the Caps
8-Alex "Heads Up" Ovechkin, 9-Dainius "Swing and a Miss" Zubrus, 17-Chris "I'm Your Captain, Yeah Yeah Yeah" Clark
28-Alex "2.0" Semin, 24-Kris "Life's a" Beech, 18-Matt "Princess" Pettinger
87-Donald "the Instigator" Brashear, 16-Brian "Any Day Now" Sutherby, 27-Ben "Please Don't Put Me on D" Clymer
15-Boyd "Killer" Gordon, 21-Brooks "Fast and Feisty" Laich, 38-Jakub "Back in the Saddle" Klepis

2-Brian "Point Shot" Pothier, 44-Steve "I Miss Erskine" Eminger
6-Jamie "Scarface" Heward, 52-Mike "Babyface" Green
??-Lawrence "the Callup" Nycholat, 55-Jeff "the Tower" Schultz

1-Brent "Johnny on the Spot" Johnson, 37-Olie "Saving the Good Game for TO" Kolzig

Possible Lineup for the Leafs
33-Bates "Motel" Battaglia, 13-Mats "Caps Killer" Sundin, 92-Jeff O'Neill "Before Zod"
21-John "Fireman" Pohl, 14-Matt "Center" Stajan, 10-Alex "Clean and Pri" Steen
18-Chad "Buzz" Kilger, Insert AHLer here, 16-Darcy "Mother" Tucker
9-Alexander "the New Ponikarovsky" Suglobov, 46-Ben "the New Wellwood" Ondrus

15-Tomas "the Push-Up King" Kaberle, 24-Bryan "Overrated" McCabe
7-Ian White "with Fear", 25-Hal "on Wheels" Gill
8-Carlo Colaiacovo, 31-Pavel "Rubiks" Kubina
3-Wade "the Amazing Tattooed Man" Belak

1-Andrew "Lara" Raycroft, 30-Jean-Sebastian "Penguins Reject" Aubin


Jordi said...

I always die laughing over Darcy "Mother" Tucker. Pretty please crush the Leafs!

CapsChick said...

That's my personal favorite, too, and so fitting... :)

I would loooove for the Caps to just completely destroy the Leafs tonight.