Saturday, February 16, 2008

Caps @ Panthers 2-15-2008 Wrap Up/ Caps @ Ning 2-16-2008 Preview

The Local Yokels:

(Com)Post. Times.

The Neutral Observers: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Miami Herald: test passed, Zednik to be released.

Final Thoughts:

With the way things are going right now; Florida will win in Carolina tonight, Atlanta will fall on Long Island, and there will be a real mess on our hands.

59 down, 23 to go.

Washington Capitals (27-31; 60 points; 4th Southeast Division, 12th Eastern Conference, 23rd Overall) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (25-33; 56 points; 5th Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 28th Overall):
Caps Game #60, Road Game #31. NHL Game #886

St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL. 7:38 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Tampa TV: Sunshine Network. Radio: WDAE 620-AM. NHL Center Ice: Sunshine Network feed.

Tonight the Caps look to salvage this road trip and end their four game losing streak inside the Southeast Division when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps have won three of the five previous matchups with the Ning including the last two which were back in December. The Ning are on a bit of a hot streak having won 4 of their last five to get out of last place in the Eastern Conference. Their most recent win was their second in a row when they dropped the sinking Flyers 5-3 on Thursday night in Philadelphia.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

St. Petersburg Times: keeping it simple, increasing danger, Ning up next. Tampa Tribune.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

Well first the good news, tonight will be the first time on this short three game road trip where the Caps will face a team behind them in the standings that cannot catch them under any circumstances should the Caps. In spite of that fact I'm declaring tonight's game a "MUST WIN" for the Caps. The Caps need to end their four game division losing streak which has dropped their record in the division to 9-13. There's no way the Caps can win the Southeast Division if they do not improve their divisional record and no team has made the playoffs that did not have a Gary Bettman style winning record in their division since the lockout (under Bettman we're still under .500 at 9-10-3). Secondly the bigger the dogfight for the top spot in the Southeast, the harder it will be sort everything out. Including tonight the Caps have 10 more games in the division and seven of those are the last seven games of the season. The Ning are six points back of the division lead but have turned it on since the return of Dan Boyle and shouldn't be counted out. The Ning also have a Top Ten Power Play unit so staying out of the penalty box will be key.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Ning 5
Winner by Boyle

(30-28 on the season as I snap my own losing streak last night...)

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