Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Caps @ Maple Leafs 1-23-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (22-26; 49 points; 3rd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 24th Overall) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (19-30; 46 points; 5th Northeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 28th Overall):
Caps Game #49, Road Game #25, NHL Game #738

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 7:38 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic Plus. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Toronto TV: None. Radio: CFMJ 640-AM. U.S. National TV: NHL Network. Canadian National TV: TSN, RIS (French). NHL Center Ice: None because the game is being carried on the NHL Network in the US and will have either the Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic or TSN feed with the NHL Network's own studio hosts.

Tonight the Caps wrap up a quick two game road trip with their last visit to Toronto. Back in October the Caps pounded the Leafs in Toronto 7-1 for their largest margin of victory so far this season. The Leafs have been hanging around the bottom of the Eastern Conference for most of the season. A disastrous trip through California was followed up with a three game winning streak that came to an end on Sunday with a 3-2 loss in New Jersey in their last game.

What The Natives Are Saying:


Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Toronto Globe and Mail: turning to Fletcher, former coach approves, decision making process, questions left behind, clock ticking. Toronto Sun: what do to with Mats, resisting change, possible, looking forward, term timeline, coach upset, drafting importance, an offer he couldn't refuse, Fletcher file, apologies, oh yeah, there's a game tonight!

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

After firing their Head Coaches earlier this season, the Caps and Atlanta Thrashers went out and won their first game after the firing and have turned their seasons around. The Dallas Stars fired their General Manager, Doug Armstrong, on November 13th and the Stars lost in a gimmick in their first game under GM's Brett Hull and Les Jackson. Looking at the Toronto media, you could be excused for not realizing that there is a game tonight. But the Leaf players and coaches are expressing huge disappointment and are now scared for their own jobs. Playing at home will also be a boost for the Leafs but one has to wonder whether or not motivation is the problem as rumors of John Ferguson's impending dismissal had been running all season long. The Leafs won't be employing any new systems or personnel tonight and should they win, they won't get Ferguson his job back. The Leafs have bad special teams and give up goals in bunches. This plays right into the hands of the Caps who have been scoring a ton of goals recently.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Leafs 2
Winner by Kozlov

(28-20 on the season)



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