Thursday, January 03, 2008

Caps @ Bruins 1-3-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (16-24; 37 points; 4th Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 27th Overall) @ Boston Bruins (19-20; 42 points; 3rd Northeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 18th Overall):
Caps Game #41, Road Game #22, NHL Game #595

TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA. 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Boston TV: NESN. Radio: WWBZ 1030-AM. NHL Center Ice: NESN feed.

Tonight the Caps wrap up the first half of their schedule by visiting the one team in the Eastern Conference that they have not yet played this season, the Boston Bruins. Last year the Bruins swept the season series from the Caps with all four games going to overtime and three of the four being decided by a gimmick. The Bruins this year looked to have things going in the right direction but have fallen upon hard times recently. In their last game, a 5-2 win over the visiting Atlanta Thrashers on Monday that started a five game homestand, the Bruins ended a six game losing streak with only their second win in their last nine games.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Boston Globe: trade made, Caps Thumbnails. Boston Herald: bouncing back, defense needed.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

Either John Erskine Bowles has incriminating photos of somebody in the Caps organization or Steve Eminger did something unholy to somebodies wife/sister/daughter/goat. How else could you explain the fact that since Bruce Boudreau took over that Erskine Bowles has found his way into the lineup six times (and has been a plus player only once) but Eminger has only played played one game so far (posting a -2 against the Buffaslugs which happened to be the same +/- rating for Erskine Bowles in that game) despite Bourdreau saying that everybody was going to play? We're not even pretending that Eminger is hurt anymore. This rant of course means that Tom Poti's "upper body injury" suffered on New Year's Day will keep him out of tonight's game and likely out of Saturday's as well because he did not make the trip to Boston. And the Caps have only one win in their last ten trips to Boston. Forgetting for a second that the Caps are trying to erase a dismal start and get back into the thick of playoff picture, this two game road trip starting tonight is vitally important because Caps need to build on the momentum that they gained by sweeping the home-and-home with Ottawa. However they also need to bank points now before they have six days off next week and the teams they are chasing use up some of the games in hand they have on the Caps. The Bruins have been struggling recently and are missing some key players from their lineup due to their own rash of injuries. The Caps need to avoid going to the Penalty Box tonight as the Bruins have the 7th ranked Power Play but should be able to take advantage of Boston's 27th ranked Penalty Killers.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Boston 3
Winner by Sturm

(25-15 on the season)

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