Friday, March 09, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Hurricanes

Who: Your Nation’s Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Where: Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
When: Friday, March 9, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, WTNT 570 AM; FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network

Media Notes:
Washington Post
Washington Times
Raleigh News-Observer

2006-07 Season Series: Caps 3-3-0, Hurricanes 3-3-0

2006-07 Standings: Caps 24-31-12, 60 points – 5th in division, 14th in conference; Hurricanes 33-28-7, 73 points – 3rd in division, 9th in conference

Last Game: January 27 in Washington, Caps won 7-3
- Remember what it felt like when the Caps won? Remember that joy of taking a lead and holding onto it? If you’re like me, But it happened, I checked, and it was not even two months ago. Really!
- This was just one of those nights where the Caps had everything going for them. They had a raucous home crowd. They had Olie being Olie. They had balanced scoring. They had effective specialty teams. In short they had, wait for it...a HOCKEY team.
- Goals from Semin (2, both unassisted), Ovechkin (also unassisted), Fehr (his first NHL goal), Beech, Clark (PP) and Laich (SHG) – now that’s what I call balanced scoring.
- The Caps were badly outshot and never managed more than 8 shots of their own in a period...and they won 7-3. Go figure.
- Jeff Schultz finished with a +4 on the night. That’s better than about 90% of the team...for the entire season.
- Brind’amour had no points and was a -2. Whitney had no points and was a -1. Cole...scored. Well, 2 out of 3 Caps killers cooled ain’t bad, right?

Things to Look for:
- This game marks the return of Chris Clark and Boyd Gordon. So I think it’s safe to say the penalty killing just improved by leaps and bounds without them even stepping on the ice.
- Carolina comes into this game having dropped three of their last four and suddenly on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. It’s okay, though, because there’s nothing like a meeting with the Caps to snap you right back into it.
- Having said that, for whatever reason the Caps seem to bring their ‘A’ game against the Champs. Some of their best performances this season have come against Carolina. Of course, that was back when they used to win occasionally, so who knows what we’ll see on the ice tonight.
- These are two well-rested teams, with the Canes coming in off a four day break and the Caps getting a few days off to lick their wounds after the Toronto game. Still, with the Hurricanes battling for a playoff spot, I don’t think the Caps can expect any rust – they’ll need to jump out early and take control.
- All 6 of the meetings between these two teams has ended with the winning team scoring at least 4 goals and the losing team never scoring more than 3. The winning team has never won with less than a 3 goal cushion. Fascinating. So the question becomes this: which team is going to explode, and which will implode? Two guesses on who the incredible imploding team will be, and one of them isn’t Carolina.
- I’m being negative, I know it. Happy thought, happy thought...hmmmm...oh, I know. I get to be up close to the horror, hanging in the rich people seats tonight thanks to another brilliant Caps marketing ploy that suckered me in. What can I say, I’m a masochist. But then, aren’t we all?

I’m going to get in trouble again, but no nicknames today. I’m getting too old to wait up for Vogel and I’m not even going to attempt to figure out the lines on my own. Plus I’m feeling kind of...meh. I’ll be more excited as the clock ticks closer to gametime, and if I can tear myself away from work for a while later on I might take a stab at it – stop by around 1 or 2 this afternoon and see if I can swing it.

If not, check the archives. We’ve played the ‘Canes 6 times already. I’m sure at least a couple of my nicknames from those games were funny.


It could happen...

UPDATE [Yup, I caved...]
Possible Lineup for the Caps
8-Alex “Stuck in DC” Ovechkin, 13-Jiri “First to Worst” Novotny, 28-Alexander “Dangle” Semin 21-Brooks “Oh Baby That’s a-What I” Laich, 15-Boyd “Killer” Gordon, 17-Chris “Dentures” Clark
43-Tomas “Flash” Fleischmann, 24-Kris “Son of a” Beech, 10-Matt “the Human Bruise” Bradley
87-Donald “Supermodel” Brashear, 16-Brian “the Reawakened” Sutherby, 27-Ben “Social" Clymer
23-Milan “the Steamroller” Jurcina, 26-Shaone “the Goal-Scorer” Morrisonn
2-Brian “Get Up and Go!” Pothier, 55-Jeff “Sgt.” Schultz (for lack of a better name...)
4-John “Roast Duck with the Mango Salsa” Erskine, 52-Mike “I’m Baaaack!” Green

1-Brent “Eaten by a Bear” Johnson, 35-Frederic “A Bear” Cassivi, 37-Olie “I’m Not Actually Playing Tonight” Kolzig

Possible Lineup for the Hurricanes
16-Andrew “That’s a Good” Ladd, 17-Rod “Lady Killer” Brind’Amour, 11-Justin “the Newest Cap-Killer?” Williams
61-Cory “Standing” Stillman, 12-Eric “Jordan’s Brother” Staal, 24-Scott “Using Glen Wesley’s” Walker
77-Anson “On the Move” Carter, 63-Josef “Wasicek” Vasicek, 27-Craig “Hahvard” Adams
59-Chad “La Vie En” LaRose, 19-Trevor “The Big” Letowski

2-Glen “Wrinkles” Wesley, 22-Mike “Lionel Richie and the” Commodore
7-Niclas “Vallin” Wallin, 8-Tim “Revenge...Best Served Cold?” Gleason
5-Frantisek “Frankie” Kaberle, 45-David “Gedde Wa” Tanabe
4-Dennis “Dressing on the” Seidenburg

30-Cam “Babyface” Ward, 47-John “Golden” Grahame


hockeygirl said...

What made you cave this time?

CapsChick said...

Oh, just the knowledge that all 5 or 6 people who stop by here will be weeping into their dehydrated Japanese noodles if I didn't post them...that's all I needed to suck it up and muddle through. :)

hockeygirl said...

Well, I had onigiri and Pocky, does that count?