Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Isles

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. New York Islanders
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
When: Thursday, October 18, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, 3WT; FSN-NY2

Media Notes:
Islanders Website
Dueling Jeff Schultz articles:
Washington Post
Washington Times

Season Series: Caps 1-0-0, Islanders 0-1-0
Season Standings: Caps 3-2-0, 3rd in Southeast; Islanders 3-3-0, 2nd in Atlantic

Last Game:
After two stellar games to kick off the season, the Caps traveled to Long Island to face the also undefeated Islanders who were coming off back to back wins against the Sabres. The Caps stayed in a game that saw the Islanders come out firing, supported by the impressive goaltending performance of Olie Kolzig until they were able to mount a comeback. Kozlov scored against his old team to bring the Caps even, and Brooks Laich slipped the game-winner in around a fallen DiPietro in the third to continue the Caps winning streak.

Tonight's Game:
Once again these two teams meet on similar two-game streaks, but this time they're losing streaks. The Caps fell with a rather loud thud to the Rangers and Sabres on back to back nights. Meanwhile the Islanders have dropped 3 of their last 4, losing to Toronto and the Flyers in recent days. Both teams have been on the business end of a goal-scoring explosion, with the Caps giving up 7 to Buffalo and the Isles being pasted for 8 against the Leafs.

So what happens now? Obviously something has to give. Both teams are looking to change their fortunes just like both teams were looking to continue their trajectories a week and a half ago.

The Caps have a few issues that need to be and probably have been addressed in practice this week, not the least of which is their power play. With Semin continuing to be out with an ankle injury the Caps seemed to get a bit of a spark putting everyone on one unit on Saturday, and even though it only connected once I'd expect the same thing to happen tonight.

As for the penalty killing, it's gotten slightly better since the disastrous turn it took at MSG, but without Boyd Gordon in the lineup it's still a little suspect. Given the fact that there are still a number of quality PKers on the roster, that should not be the case and people like Pettinger, Clark, Laich and Steckel need to step up a bit.

And then there's offense - for some reason this team that on paper has tremendous scoring ability continues to produce few goals and have yet to score more than 3 in a game. In the first three games the defense and especially the goaltending were good enough that more goals weren't needed, but some holes started to appear over the weekend. Ovechkin still can't carry the team on his own and secondary scoring needs to come from the third and fourth lines.

Two Minutes with...Rick DiPietro

On his hair: People think it takes a lot of work but really I don't spend that much time on it. I shampoo and condition it, then follow up with a specially formulated serum that I leave on for exactly 2 minutes and 37 seconds. I wrap it up in a towel heated to precisely 82 degrees and let it set for an hour. After that it's just a quick gel, blowdry, mousse, gel again, a quick coat of hairspray, run my fingers through it and we're good to go!

On his puckbunny following: I'm flattered to get so much attention and I love my fans. Hey, as long as they don't mess up the hair, you know?

On staying in Long Island for the next 14 years: It's great! I love the Island and especially the fans. After all, no one knows more about hair than Long Islanders. I've gotten some great tips on how to make it really big on top, which is awesome - not only do I look good but it gives me extra padding under the helmet, too!

On future career plans: I'll probably take over for Snowy when he retires, keep it in the family. Plus as GM I don't have to worry about my hair getting all sweaty and caught in my mask anymore. Sounds like a fun job!

On his obsession with his hair: Really, I don't think too much about it. It's hair, you know? Whatever...why, does it look bad?? Oh, god! I need a comb. Can someone get me a comb? And some hairspray? Hurry!

1 comment:

Shelby said...

Motzko got a brand new, baby cap assist! Yay!