Saturday, February 03, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Penguins

: Your Nation's Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Where: Mellon Arena
66 Mario Lemieux Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
When: Saturday, February 3, 1:00 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, WTEM 980 AM; FSN, 105.9 AM

Media Notes:
Washington Post
Washington Times
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (I get the feeling we're being overlooked...)
Presenting the Kansas City, er, Barbecuers?

2006-07 Season Series: Caps 0-0-1, Penguins 1-0-0

2006-07 Standings (Oh, this one's going to hurt): Caps 21-24-7, 49 points - 5th in division, 13th in conference; Penguins 25-17-8, 58 points - 2nd in division, 6th in conference

Last Game: December 11 in Washington, Caps lost 5-4 in SO
- The Caps jumped out to a great start in this one, scoring two quick goals a little over 5 minutes in. The initial tally was a Kris Beech power play goal against his former team, which was followed by Chris Clark's first of the night just 45 seconds later
- Through the first 20 minutes, the Caps outshot the Pens 17-8 and carried a 2-0 lead into the second period.
- Clark added another goal to his growing point total, his second of the night and his third point of the night
- After the Caps' 4th goal...umm...I don't really know what happened. Must have blocked it out. Did the Caps win? Oh, wait, no, I know - the game was erased from the books forever. We're actually not supposed to talk about it ever again. Oops.

Things to Look for:
- For the love of god - if the Caps don't win, I swear I'll do something drastic. I'll...I'll watch football. Don't even think I'm kidding - I'm just crazy enough to do it.
- In order to win, the Caps have got to play Caps hockey. That means forechecking. That means good penalty killing and better power play output. We'll need goals from Semin and/or Ovechkin with some additional scoring from the other three lines. Olie has to be huge in net. And please, please, please, avoid that pass from behind the net that first finds an open man in the slot, and then the back of the net.

- Olie has to be solid at least, because there's no way he's getting pulled. With Johnny injured, backing him up is Darren Machesney...of the ECHL. I'm sure Darren will someday be a very good goaltender, but I don't think anyone wants him in there facing the likes of Crosby and Malkin.
- They may be further apart in the standings and there may be a discrepancy in the points, but these two teams played to a shootout last game and are pretty evenly matched down the line. I'd like to see a good, evenly matched game - barring that, a Caps blowout of the Pens will do in a pinch.
- Today marks the debut of Milan Jurcina, the newest Capital (poor guy) and yet another young defenseman. The word is that he'll probably play with Mo since the two were a defensive pair back in Providence, which is good. It's hard enough for a new player to adjust to a new team; at the very least he'll have a familiar partner on the blueline. He's apparently got a wicked shot, so I'd expect to see him get some power play time to relieve someone like Semin...who should never be on the blue line. Ever.
- The CBS line did a good job Thursday of creating some energy and scoring chances. Since the sum of all three players' goal totals just barely cracks double digits, it may be time for them to turn that energy into actual goals.
- Ovechkin has points in 13 straight - I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that the streak gets extended to 14. And if he happens to get a hat trick and 5 assists (all primary) in the process, so be it.
- The Penguins come into this game with just one loss in overtime in their last 8 and a 5 game winning streak. Let's see that little streak end, shall we?

Possible Lineup for the Caps
8-Alex "the Streaker" Ovechkin, 9-Dainius "Finally Hits the Net" Zubrus, 17-Chris "Gappy" Clark
28-Alexander "Outdekes Even Himself" Semin, 21-Brooks "Clark's Stunt Double" Laich, 14-Eric "Finally Ready" Fehr
18-Matt "Princess" Pettinger, 15-Boyd "Killer" Gordon, 20-Richard "Healthy Groin" Zednik
87-Donald "Sidney Crosby's Worst Nightmare" Brashear, 16-Brian "Pop-Up" Sutherby, 27-Ben "Holy S**T, -14!" Clymer

23-Milan "The New Kid in Town" Jurcina, 26-Shaone "Jurcina's Buddy" Morrisonn
44-Steve "Ebbs and Tides" Eminger, 55-Jeff "the Tower" Schultz
3-Lawrence "Larry" Nycholat, 52-Mike "Turnover" Green

31-Darren "the Traveling Callup" Machesney*, 37-Olie "Hey Linesman, Go Fetch!" Kolzig

*Vogel reports Johnson has a body, I guess that's opposed to an out of body injury, right?

Possible Lineup for the Penguins
12-Ryan "Home" Malone, 87-Sidney "Canadian Diving Team Captain" Crosby, 8-Mark "The Old Man and the Sidney" Recchi
11-Jordan "The Lesser" Staal, 71-Evgeni "Snaggle Tooth" Malkin, 7-Michel "Faux Leather" Ouellet
16-Erik "the Red" Christensen, 25-Maxime Talbot, 20-Colby "the Goon" Armstrong
37-Jarko "Laich's Punching Bag" Ruutu, 18-Dominic "Say No" Moore, 26-Ronald "McDonald" Petrovicky

3-Mark "No Thanks, I've Already" Eaton, 55-Sergei "Woop Woop Woop" Gonchar
19-Ryan "Britney Spears" Whitney, 44-Brooks Orpik
5-Robert "Peter" Scuderi, 32-Alain "Thicke" Nasreddine

29-Marc-Andre "Flaming Yellow Five-Hole" Fleury, 41-Jocelyn Thibault "Steak"


Netsrak said...

Sure, Machesney isn't going to get any playing time... but heck, maybe if Hanlon threw him out there, the rest of the team might play with some heart for a change. (Remember Matt Yeats at the end of the '03-'04 season? Okay, so Yeats went 1-3, but he certainly didn't embarrass himself by any stretch.)

By the way, I'm extremely disappointed that today's nicknames did not feature Daren "Kenny" Machesney.

CapsChick said...

I try not to take all my cues from Locker...that would be wrong.

For many reasons.

hockeygirl said...

44-Brooks "Toothpick" Orpik?

And thanks again for holding my hand last night!