Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Panthers

Who: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers
Where: Verizon Center
When: Wednesday, November 28, 7 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, 3WT Radio; FSN Florida, 790 the Ticket

Media Notes:
Washington Post
Washington Times
Miami Herald
Florida Sun Sentinel

It happens from time to time that one team will dominate the other for no apparent reason - and since the 2003-04 season, the Panthers have owned the Caps. But don't kid yourself, the two teams that meet tonight in DC are nowhere close to the two teams that created that history. For one thing, a good deal of Florida's wins against the Caps came with Luongo in net for the Panthers. For another, most of them came with Hanlon behind the bench for the Capitals.

If Boudreau is going to turn this team around, it has to start here with the Panthers. These division games are only going to get more crucial as the year goes on, and while they (and we) may be sick of seeing the damn Panthers already, it's safe to say this game and the one on Saturday are must-wins. Not only will it be a sign to the fans that the crippling losing streaks are over but it will also put to rest this notion that the Panthers are the better team.

They're not.

In fact the Caps have much more talent, much more depth, much more promise - the games they've dropped this year were not indicative at all of what this team can do. They managed to make the first two games of the season series close while still playing lousy, boring hockey. Think what they can do if they actually show up firing at full strength.

The Panthers come into Verizon tonight on a modest winning streak of three games; meanwhile the Caps are moderately hot in their own right, going 2-1 in their last three. To pick up two points, look for a few things out of the Caps - the power play clicking, the passes connecting, and the turnovers at a minimum.

It would also be nice if someone besides Ovechkin scored...

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