Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Caps vs. Flames 3-12-2008 Preview

Washington Capitals (32-38; 72 points; 3rd Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 24th Overall) vs. Calgary Flames ( 36-33; 82 points; 2nd Northwest Division, 6th Western Conference, 11th Overall):
Caps Game #71, Home Game #36, NHL Game #1,058

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic Plus (with "Ovech Kam" Coverage following A.O. all over the place) Radio: WWWT 1500-AM, 107.7-FM. Calgary TV: Flames Pay Per View. Radio: The Fan 960-AM. NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast Sporsnet Mid-Atlantic Plus "Ovech Kam" feeds.

Tonight the Caps play the first game of the rest of their season when they host the Calgary Flames for the first time in over four years. The Flames are in a dogfight with Colorado, Minnesota, and Vancouver for the Northwest Division title as they start a four game road trip. The Flames have been a little inconsistent recently, unable to string more than two wins or losses together. However, they did score a touchdown on St. while allowing only a field goal at home on Monday night to earn their third win in their last four games.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Calgary Sun: title chase, A.O. worshipping in Calgary, and in D.C., Game Day, another article about A.O.

What Do I Expect Tonight?:

Since the firing of Glen Hanlon the Caps have faced numerous situations or crossroads where their backs were against the wall and the Caps picked themselves up and risen to the occasion. As a matter of fact, the Caps could have packed it in after Hanlon's dismissal on Thanksgiving and decided to ride out the rest of the season right then. But the Caps didn't and while they've proven incapable of "getting over the hump," the Caps have not thrown in the towel on this season like they did last season. It is going to take nearly a 12-0 record and some big help for the Caps to make the playoffs now. So in some ways, the pressure is off because the Caps are all but officially playing out the string on this season and it would be just like this this season's team to climb back into the playoff discussion in the last days of the season. Add in the fact that the Caps have not lost to the Flames in almost exactly 9 years and A.O. plays his best in the spotlight (which is definitely on him tonight) and this should be win.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Flames 1
Winner by Cooke

(35-34 on the season)

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