Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Caps @ Hurricanes 3-25-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (37-39; 82 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 18th Overall) @ Carolina Hurricanes (41-35; 87 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 12th Overall):
Caps Game #77, Road Game #39, NHL Game #1,143

RBC Center, Raleigh, NC 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Carolina TV: Fox SportsNet South. Radio: WCNC 99.9-FM. NHL Center Ice: Fox SportsNet South feed.

Tonight the Caps start the second leg of their six game road trip when they head down to Raleigh to face the Hurricanes for the seventh time this season. Carolina has won the last three matchups in a row and four of the previous six contests so far this season. The Canes are continuing to roll despite a continuing rash of injuries that everybody expected would end their season. The Canes have won three in a row and eight of their last ten games including their most recent game, a 2-1 gimmick victory over the Florida Panthers last Thursday.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Raleigh News & Observer: big game, Eye on the Canes.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

February 8th, "biggest game of the year" with Carolina in the Phone Booth. The Canes smothered the Caps who never got going and the Caps lost 2-1. February 23rd, "biggest game of the year" with four busloads of Caps fans with dueling tailgates in the parking lots in Raleigh. The Caps got off to a better start but Carolina converted rebound after rebound after rebound the Canes skated the Caps out of Raleigh 6-3 losers. And now here we are, March 25th, "biggest game of the year" not only for the Caps, but for the Canes as well. Great Caps Nut, way to break out the jinx... Well, what about "once, twice, three times a charm?" And the third time better be a charm or else the Caps season could very well come to an end tonight should the Caps lose in regulation and the Bruins and Flyers beat the Maple Leafs and Rangers respectively. The magic number for Carolina right now is 7 and a win in regulation for the Canes will knock that down to 3 with 5 games to go and all but eliminate the Caps from winning the Division title. Should the Caps fall in overtime or the gimmick, it will drop to 4 with five games to go which isn't all that better considering the Canes have two games with the Ning and one with the Thrashers left on their schedule. While some think that the comeback on Good Friday was a turning point for the Caps season; we also have to wonder if it was too little too late. The Canes have been showing their maturity lately in handling their injuries and continuing to win while the Caps haven't quite gotten that level of maturity yet. This should be a good game with both teams playing a playoff type game. But the Caps haven't been able to win playoff type games against playoff bound opponents so far season so it could be a long and disappointing night for us.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Canes 5
Winner by Conboy

(40-35 on the season)

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