Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Bruins

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Boston Bruins
Where: Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
When: Tuesday, February 6, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Info: NC8, Sportstalk 980; NESN, WBZ 1030 AM

Media Notes:
Washington Post (See, I should totally work for the Caps...)
Washington Times
Boston Globe
Boston Herald

2006-07 Season Series: Caps 0-0-2, Bruins 2-0-0

2006-07 Standings: Caps 22-25-7, 51 points - 4th in division, 12th in conference; Bruins 23-24-4, 50 points - 5th in division, 13th in conference

Last Game: November 18 in Boston, Caps lost 3-2 in OT
- Once again the Caps failed to provide goal support to Brent Johnson, who made 36 saves including a brilliant save on a penalty shot to take the OT loss. The Caps did manage 29 shots on goal but were badly outshot in both the third period and overtime and were unable to take the lead against Tim Thomas and the B's.
- After falling behind early in the first period, the Caps tied it up on Jakub Klepis's first goal of the season.
- The end of the second period found the two teams still knotted at one, as each team traded penalties twice but failed to find the back of the net.
- Like so many games, this one again came down to specialty teams. The Caps took three consecutive penalties to start the third period, including a 45 second 2 man disadvantage that resulted in the Bruins' go-ahead goal. The Caps would respond in kind as Boston proceeded to take three consecutive penalties, also including a lengthy 5-on-3, when Ovechkin scored in the final second of the later penalty with just over 3 minutes remaining in regulation.
- Then came overtime. Bryan Muir was whistled for tripping at 1:48 of the overtime period and Boston countered with four forwards, leading to Glen Murray's game winning goal.
- This game was the second straight game against the Bruins that required an overtime or shootout, and the 4th in the last two seasons.

Things to Look for:
- Since the lockout, the Caps and Bruins have met 6 times - every single one of them has been a one goal game, and all but two have needed an overtime or shootout to decide the outcome. With the Caps coming in off of back to back one goal games and both teams struggling at about an equal pace, this could either be a close nail-biter...or another snoozefest.
- The Caps are currently 4th worst in the league in goals against, allowing an average of 3.41 per game. It's okay, though, because Boston is tied for dead last with Philly, allowing 3.71 goals per game.
- Special teams are clearly a deciding factor in so many games lately and they've told the tale of the last two games against the B's as well. So let's look at the numbers: the Caps are hovering around the middle of the pack in power play %, something that has sputtered lately but still sits at 17% effective; meanwhile the Bruins have shown some life in that area (no doubt with the assistance of the monolith Chara) and is ranked 7th overall at just under 20%. Penalty killing on the other hand has clearly bothered both teams, as the Caps and Bruins sit 19th and 20th, respectively.
- You know the feeling when you're having difficulty with something, you look next to you and see someone having a little more difficulty and you feel a bit better? That's kind of the way this season has gone for the Caps in regards to the Bruins. The Caps were at one point sniffing around the division lead, while Boston has yet to make a serious move up. They're separated by just one point, one position in the standings...both teams allow an above-average number of shots per game and are ranked 29th (Bruins) and 30th (Caps) overall in that category...neither team has had much success 5 on 5, let alone shorthanded or with the extra man. Yet when they meet, the result tends to be fairly exciting - I guess it's what happens when you don't have to play up or down to your opponent.
- We've got lots of promotions going on right now, so I'm hoping to see a pretty good crowd despite the weather...and the fact that it's a weeknight...and the fact that it's clearly not a battle between two heavyweights. If you're not going, you should - college kids get $21 tickets and a free pizza, kids tickets are $8, it's two-for-Tuesday night. Good deals all around. Or you could be like me and take advantage of the rarest of all deals - free tickets from the parents. (Thanks, guys!)
- I'm not sure if Hanlon will choose to make Clymer a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game or if Matt Bradley will be in the press box - since neither has produced all that much lately they could see a rotation starting. That is until the trade deadline, when potentially one or both (although I'm hoping neither) could be on the move.

Possible Lineup for the Caps
8-Alex "Goals Schmoals" Ovechkin, 9-Dainius "the Yapper" Zubrus, 17-Chris "the Gappy Cappy" Clark
28-Alexander "Dangle" Semin, 21-Brooks "Clark with Teeth" Laich, 14-Eric "the New Hotness" Fehr
18-Matt "No Goal" Pettinger, 15-Boyd "Shut Down" Gordon, 20-Richard "Butt Rockets" Zednik
87-Donald "Riding the Pine" Brashear, 16-Brian "Pop-Up" Sutherby, 10/27-Matt/Ben "Movable Parts" Bradley/Clymer

23-Milan "Revenge of the Jurc" Jurcina, 26-Shaone "Jurcy's Buddy" Morrisonn
6-Jamie "Turnover Sr." Heward, 52-Mike "Turnover Jr." Green
44-Steve "the Elevator" Eminger, 55-Jeff "Silent but Deadly" Schultz

35-Frederic "Johnny's Stand-In" Cassivi, 37-Olie "Icy Glare" Kolzig

Possible Lineup for the Bruins
11-P.J. Axelsson, 81-Phil Kessel, 37-Patrice "Bergeron
Brandon Bochenski, 91-Marc Savard, 27-Glen Murray
18-Mark Mowers, 20-Wayne Primeau, 22-Shean Donovan
13-Stanislav Chistov, 53-Jeremy Reich, 17-Peter Tenkrat

23-Paul Mara, 33-Zdeno Chara
6-Brad Stuart, 41-Andrew Alberts
25-Jason York, 38-Bobby Allen

30-Tim Thomas, 54-Hannu Toivonen

(I know, I know - slacker. If you'll recall, though, I never used to give the opposing team nicknames. Let's take a stroll down memory lane, then, shall we? Just for one day, I promise. If you feel so inclined, everyone is welcome to leave suggestions for
Bruins nicknames in the comments...)

1 comment:

hockeygirl said...

Well, the only one I can think of is "Crazy SD" for Donovan because that's what I called him when he was a Flame.