Friday, March 21, 2008

Caps @ Thrashers 3-21-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (36-39; 80 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 10th Eastern Conference, Tied for 18th Overall) vs. Atlanta Thrashers (31-45; 4th Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 28th Overall):
Caps Game #76, Road Game #36, NHL Game #1,121

Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA. 7:38 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic Plus. Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Atlanta TV: SportSouth. Radio: WCNN 680-AM. NHL Center Ice: SportSouth feed.

Tonight the Caps make their last visit this season to Atlanta to play the Thrashers for the eighth and final time this season. The Caps are looking to forge a split in the season series between the two teams as Atlanta has won four of the seven previous contests. The Caps won the last matchup last week at the Phone Booth with a clinical 4-1 victory over the Thrashers. Atlanta continues to dissolve in the closing days of the regular season as last Friday's loss started another four game losing streak that continued with Wednesday's 5-3 loss at home to the Carolina Hurricanes.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times.

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: big men welcome, out for what's left of the season.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

Any kind of loss for the Thrashers or any point gained by the Flyers in their game against the Rangers tonight will officially eliminate the Thrashers from the playoffs this season. Furthermore, should the Caps win this game in any fashion, it will mean that the Caps cannot finish any worse than 3rd in the Southeast Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. So while the Caps odds of making the playoffs increase everyday, there are some achievements that the Caps can fall back on as they have finished last in the Southeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference for the last three seasons. As for the task at hand tonight, Atlanta has been playing a little better in the past week but are still coming up with the same results. This won't be a game where the Caps can just show up and skate off with the two points. The Caps are going to have to earn them tonight as Illya Kovalchuk is putting on a late charge not only to catch A.O. for the Rocket Richard Trophy but to earn more wins for Atlanta who are now in danger of falling into last place in the Eastern Conference. This also ends a hectic week of 4 games in six days in four different cities for the Caps and ends the first half of their current six game road trip. Bruce Boudreau's decision to issue a "mental health day" yesterday was very wise and probably already planned in hopes of having the team sharp for tonight's game.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Thrashers 2
Winner Laich.

(39-35 on the season)

Editorial Note For the Dozens of Readers of This Blog:

In case some of you heathens haven't noticed, today is Good Friday. While the Church service I plan on attending will be over well before the start of tonight's game, I will for the fourth year in a row watch more appropriate programming afterwards. I don't know how much of tonight's game I'll see, but either way I won't be in the right frame of mind to compose a Post-Mortem later tonight.



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