Friday, October 12, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Rangers

Who: Your Nation's Capitals vs. New York Rangers
Where: Madison Square Garden
When: Friday, October 12, 7:00 pm

Broadcast Information: CSN, 3WT; MSG, 1050 ESPN Radio

Media Notes:

06-07 Season Series: Caps 1-3-0, Rangers 3-1-0

07-08 Season Standings:
Caps 3-0-0 - t-1st in SE, 4th in East; Rangers 1-2-0 - 3rd in Atlantic, 9th in East

Last Season
The Caps and Rangers had a somewhat bizarre relationship last year. Not surprisingly the Caps lost the season series (I think they won one all year, and that was against Philly...woo...) but ultimately this one was much more renowned for the milestones reached and the fights fought.

We're going to ignore the milestones because...ew. But there is plenty of bad blood between these two teams that seemed to come out every game. Through four games there were six sets of fighting majors, including three tilts between Donald Brashear and Colton Orr. Each combatant also tangled with a different partner once, with Brash taking on local old fogey Shanahan and, later in the same game, Morrisonn going with Orr (who had just tried to forcibly remove Ovechkin's nose with his stick).

As for the offense, the Rangers relied heavily on Jagr and Shanahan, but also Nylander, who had two goals and three assists against the Caps last season. The Caps never had more than 30 shots in a game against King Henrik, while the Rangers never had fewer than 32 shots.

Tonight's Game:
These are two very different teams lining up tonight, due in no small part to the various free agent signings by both squads but also due to a different attitude.

For the Caps, life is good right now with three wins, two on the road, and production from their new additions. Goaltending looks sharp. Penalty killing looks sharp. Defense looks sharp. Power play? Eh, not so much. But it's okay, because the Rangers' power play has also been stagnant. It all evens out in the end, I guess.

Speaking of the Rangers, they're still looking for their big flashy free agent signings to really take hold - Drury has a goal since being moved up to play with Jagr, but Gomez continues to stumble. Surprising for a guy who last year had...13. Shocking. Stunning.

Naturally with the Rangers coming out of the gate so slowly, picking up just one win in their first three games, the city of Manhattan is already having a nervous breakdown. But don't get to smug with that 3-0 record, Caps fans - it's soooo early, as we've said and will continue to say for at least another month, and the Caps have lost 5 straight at the Garden.

So basically one streak will end tonight. Let's hope it's the right one.

By the way, how's this for a great sentence? "Scott Gomez, who is pointless with the Rangers..." Okay, yes, I know that it means 'one who has scored no points' but I think it may work on more than one level.

Two minutes with...Jaromir Jagr
Er, never mind. We asked him for a bit of his time and for some reason he couldn't be bothered to put in the effort. Strange. Let's go with the next best thing:

Get to Know...the New York Rangers
What do you do in your spare time?

Marek Malik - Practice my shootout moves. It's gotta happen again...right?

Brendan Shanahan - Play with my great-great-great-great grandchildren.

Ryan Hollweg - Give lessons on manners and etiquette at a local finishing school.

Scott Gomez - Count my money. And laugh.

Martin Straka - Monday I vacuum Jaromir's house. Tuesday I wash his car. Wednesday I scrub his bathrooms. Thursday I give him random compliments every ten minutes. Friday...

Chris Drury - Play video games with my three year old nephew. I win every time.

1 comment:

Shelby said...

Heh. Poor old Shanahan. =]

I know this took FOREVER but if you're interested, here's my pictures from the preseason game...