Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Caps @ Buffaslugs 3-5-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (31-36; 70 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 22nd Overall) @ Buffaslugs (32-35; 73 points; 4th Northeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 18th Overall):
Caps Game #68, Road Game #34, NHL Game #1,008

HSBC Arena, Loserville...er...Buffalo, NY. 7:38 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic Plus. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Loserville...er...Buffalo TV: MSG-B. Radio: WWBR 550-AM. Canadian National TV: NHL Center Ice: MSG-B feed (and my deepest apologies for what you'll have to put with in order to watch the game tonight).

Tonight the Caps are on the road in a city that would like to think it is a part of Canada and one that even former players say you should avoid like the plague when face the Buffaslugs in Loserville...er...Buffalo. The Buffaslugs have won all three meetings between the teams this season and are looking for a sweep of the season series tonight. While the Buffaslug fans are as obnoxious as ever, (I saw one trying to start a fight at the Phone Booth at a Caps-Leafs game a month and a half ago) their team is a lot like the Caps; on the outside of the playoff picture looking in right now. The Buffaslugs sit just one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Buffaslugs, like the Caps, have been up and down recently, winning a couple of games and then losing a couple of games though they did win last in Philadelphia against the Flyers 5-2 and are playing their third game in four nights.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire. TSN.ca.

Open Source Intelligence:

The Loserville...er...Buffalo News: price paid, The Wrath of Ruff.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

Monday marked the 12th time in Washington Capitals History that the Caps scored at least 10 goals in a game. So I was wondering what the hangover effect was and from the "Too Much Free Time on My Hands File" I learned that the Caps are 6-4-1 (that one being an actual tie, not an "Regulation Tie" Overtime or Gimmick Loss) in games after they've scored 10 goals. The Caps have scored 10 or more goals in back-to-back games only once; (February 11th, 1993 at St. Louis and then February 13th, 1993 at Los Angeles) so there isn't much to go on in terms of a pattern when looking at the hangover effect of the Caps scoring at least 10 goals. The last time the Caps reached double digits was January 11th, 2003 when the Caps beat up the Florida Panthers 12-2 at the Phone Booth. The next time out, the Caps needed overtime to beat the New York Islanders 4-3 at home. But no matter the outcome, this should be an interesting game to watch because both teams need to win this game. A win for the Caps would give a little more credibility to their "Plan B" for making the playoffs (as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, Plan A of course being winning the Southeast Division which is more likely to happen but not any easier.) Whereas the Buffaslugs have only one way into the playoffs and that is as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference and a win tonight would allow them to jump over the Flyers who will be picking up a game in hand tonight on the Buffaslugs. Bruce Boudreau laid into the team after Saturday's performance against the Maple Leafs and Boston paid the price on Monday. We know that a Boudreau tongue lashing last only about one week so the Caps should fare well tonight. But the Caps have always had problems with the Buffaslugs and any chance that the Buffaslugs would look past the Caps were dashed with Monday night's game.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Buffaslugs 5
Winner by Afinogenov

(34-32 on the season)

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