Saturday, March 01, 2008

Caps @ Devils 2-29-2008 Wrap Up/ Caps vs. Maple Leafs 3-1-2008 Preview

The Local Yokels:

(Com)Post. Times.

The Neutral Observers: AP Wire.

The Other Side:

Newark Star-Ledger: over matched, shaky start. New York Post. The Record: pondering, MVP, nervous, upcoming game.

Final Thoughts:

Here's an interesting note for you Ron Webber types, while Cristobal Huet becomes the sixth goaltender in Caps history to post a shutout against the Caps and for the Caps in his career, (the others are Brent Johnson, Craig Billington, Mike Liut, Pat Riggin, and Mike Palmateer) he is the first goaltender to do it in the same season. I'm sure there's some stat geek out there who can tell us who else has done that.

65 down, 17 to go.

Washington Capitals (30-35; 68 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 22nd Overall) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (5th Northeast Division, 12th Eastern Conference, 25th Overall):
Caps Game #66, Home Game #33, NHL Game #982

Verizon Center, Washington, DC 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Toronto TV: None. Radio: CFMJ 640-AM. Canadian National TV: CBC. NHL Center Ice: CBC Feed with pre-game show.

Tonight the Caps welcome the last of their deadline additions to the lineup as Matt Kent Cooke makes his Caps debut tonight as the Caps finish up their season series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Caps have won two of the three games so far with their only loss being a last minute 3-2 loss in Toronto on January 23rd. The Caps rebounded for a 2-1 win the next night at home. The Leafs had won three in a row before last night's 3-2 overtime loss in Tampa to the Ning. The Leafs are wrapping up a four game road trip tonight with their third game in four nights.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Toronto Globe and Mail. Toronto Star: struck in overtime, a big old mess, "standing athwart of history yelling "Stop!", keeping calm, leap day, diverging Capitals. Toronto Sun: bad break in OT, welcoming the new guy.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

When you're in a playoff chase like the Caps are and you're trailing the leaders, you have to beat the teams you should be beating and even before the deadline, the Maple Leafs qualified as a team that the Caps should be beating. While both teams played last night in another city, the Leafs had a longer game, a later start, and a longer flight to Washington, DC. Plus they're wrapping up their third game in four night in three different cities. There shouldn't be too much in the Leafs tank tonight and the Caps MUST take advantage. Whatever energy the Leafs draw from their frustration over the way their three game winning streak came to and end should be nullified by the debut of Cooke for the Caps. If the Caps struggle here tonight, they're only going to make things harder on themselves in the remaining games.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Leafs 2
Winner by Federov

(34-30 on the season)

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