Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Gameday Preview: Caps vs Sabres

Who: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres
Where: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY
When: Wednesday, March 5, 7:30 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN+, MSG, NHL Network (US), TSN

Media Notes:
Caps' Site
Washington Times
Washington Post

Less than 48 hours after finishing up their most dominant performance of the year, the Caps travel to hostile land to take on the Buffalo Sabres. And by hostile...well, you've seen them. Not only will the fans likely serenade Ovechkin with their usual chorus of boos, but the HSBC Arena has not been kind to the Caps lately and their last win their came back in 2003.

But this is a season of shaking off the past and starting fresh. After all, they'd lost five straight to the Bruins before Monday night's massacre; up until January's shootout win they'd dropped seven straight in Mellon Arena (and fifteen of their last seventeen). Now is not the time to focus on history - the Caps need to make Monday's game count and pick up some momentum going into these final fifteen games, so whatever happened in seasons past or even earlier this year needs to be nothing but a memory.

Of course, they need to make every game count, but we'll start with this one.

Luckily or not, they happen to be facing a Buffalo team that has not only been inconsistent this season but is suffering through a recent rash of difficulties at home, winning only once in their last five game home stretch. And as an added bonus, the Sabres are coming in off a decisive win on the road last night, making them the tired team - if the Caps can jump on them early (maybe not 32 seconds in, but around that) and stay on them, this'll be two more points in the win column.

The wild cards are of course in between the pipes. On the Washington side, Huet's status is still up in the air as he continues to deal with back spasms, and all three goalies made the trip up to Buffalo last night just in case. As for the guy wearing the Buffaslug, Ryan Miller has suddenly seemed human lately and was in net for his 20th consecutive start last night against the Flyers. He's 4-5-1 in his last ten starts and his save percentage during that stretch is unMiller-esque at .887...something the Caps need to exploit by firing from everywhere at all times.

Hell, it's such a good strategy maybe they could try it every game. Worked pretty well against the Bruins...

Elsewhere in the Southeast, the Canes will be in action against the Thrashers, a team that is looking for their first regulation win since early February and is understandably a little testy about it. With the Caps chasing Carolina by only three points, I think it would be nice if they snapped out of this little slump with a lovely regulation win, wouldn't it?

It's a relatively quiet night if you're standings-watching, as the only other Eastern team in play tonight is Ottawa. So sit back, enjoy the show, and GO CAPS!

Do it.


kristin said...

OMG! You're not a pigeon anymore!!!

Stephanie said...


I can't inspire him with my presence if he isn't there!

CapsChick said...

Kristin: Yeah, the pigeon was starting to molt and smell funny so I had to change it a few weeks ago ;) Plus I thought it was time for a change, considering the pigeon picture is from 2 years ago...

Steph: Awww...doesn't look like that's going to happen, my dear. Milaaaaaan should be in though, does that help?? Have fun and feel free to knock some heads together for me when they start booing ;) (Oh, and pictures please? :D)