Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Caps @ Blue Jackets 2-5-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (24-29; 53 points; 3rd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 23rd Overall) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (25-29; 56 points; 3rd Central Division, 11th Western Conference, 18th Overall):
Caps Game #54, Road Game #27, NHL Game #805

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Columbus TV: Fox SportsNet Ohio. Radio: WBNS 1460-AM, WWCD 101.1-FM. NHL Center Ice: Fox SportsNet Ohio feed.

Tonight the Caps head up to Columbus for the first time since November 29th, 2003 to face the Blue Jackets. After losing their first game ever to the Blue Jackets, the Caps have won five of the six games since with Columbus posting a 2-2 tie on January 3rd, 2003 the only other result. The Blue Jackets this season are showing the long awaited signs of improvement. They're hanging around the playoff race in the Western Conference but have stumbled coming out of the All-Star break by losing three in a row, the most recent being Saturday's 4-1 loss at home to the Minnesota Wild.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Columbus Dispatch: sick ward, multi faceted, important part.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

After being shutout twice in the last three games, the Caps now face the league leader in shutouts in goaltender Pascal Leclaire and the number six ranked defensive team in the league. So far a Bruce Boudreau tongue lashing is all that is needed to snap the Caps out of a funk but just in case that has started to wear thin; the Caps recalled Eric Fehr from Hershey to play in his first NHL game this season to skate on the first line tonight (what no Joe Motzko Ball?) just in case. However, with the virus running around the Columbus locker room who knows what is going to happen tonight. Both teams need to win this game but the Caps will need to cash in on their early chances as Columbus is very capable of doing what Atlanta did to us on Saturday night which is sit back, hang around, and counter attack. Don't expect the Caps Power Play to be a positive factor tonight as Columbus has the 3rd ranked Penalty Killers in the league as this should be another low scoring affair.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 1
Columbus 3
Winner by Fritsche

(29-24 on the season)

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