Saturday, January 05, 2008

Caps @ Canadiens 1-5-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (16-25; 37 points; 4th Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 28th Overall) @ Montreal Canadiens (20-20; 47 points; 2nd Northeast Division, 4th Eastern Conference, 9th Overall):
Caps Game #42, Road Game #23, NHL Game #609

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 12:37 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Montreal TV: None. Radio: CJAD: 800-AM. Canadian National TV: RDS (French). NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic feed.

Today the Caps get up early to start the second half of the season in the one Eastern Conference arena they have not yet visited this season, the Bell Centre in Montreal. The Caps have yet to lose north of the border this season and Montreal has been struggling on home ice going 7-11. These two teams met a few weeks ago at the Phone Booth with Montreal coming away with an easy 5-2 win in which the Canadiens scored 3 goals on their first 8 shots. The Habs have won 3 of their last four games including Thursday night's 6-3 win at home over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times.

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

The Gazette: offensive catalyst, early start.

What Do I Expect Today?:

Will Steve Eminger finally make it into the lineup today or will the Caps call up Dean Arsene or Ben "What A" Clymer from Hershey to take Brian Pothier's place instead? We don't know yet but what we do know is that while defense is a serious concern today, the Caps still have enough talent within their forward ranks to get the job done. So the best chance the Caps have today is to make this a shootout like last Saturday's game in Ottawa was. But early matinees like this tend to be low scoring affairs because both teams are not used to playing so early in the day and it takes them time to "wake up." The Caps have not only struggled with Montreal recently, but in Montreal with just two wins in their last ten trips to Bell Centre. The Canadiens have the best Power Play unit in the league so the Caps will need to stay out of the Penalty Box to have a chance no matter what this game turns into.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Montreal 4
Winner by Ryder

(26-15 on the season)



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