Saturday, February 28, 2009

Caps @ Bruins 2-28-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (39-23; 83 points; 1st Southeast Division, 2nd Eastern Conference, 4th Overall) @ Boston Bruins (42-20; 92 points; 1st Northeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 2nd Overall):
Caps Game #63, Road Game #31, NHL Game #923

TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA. 1:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Boston TV: NESN. Radio: WWBZ 1030-AM. NHL Center Ice: NESN feed.

Today the Caps return to the road when they travel up to Boston to face the Bruins. The Caps have been alternating wins and losses over their last five games but have won three of their last four games on the road, the only loss being the gimmick loss to the Rangers on the 11th. The Bruins are coming off a 6-0 pasting of the Thug Ducks at home on Thursday night. The Bruins are playing the third game of a six game homestand and have scored 6 goals in the first two games easily winning both so far.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times.

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Boston Globe: The Crock, Caps Thumbnails. Boston Herald.

What Do We Expect Today?:

Almost exactly one year ago the Caps had a Saturday matinee that was the first of a back-to-back matinees on the road and then at home. CW said that the Caps needed wins in both games just to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Caps ended up losing both games in a heartbreaking fashion but still made the playoffs. Today, CW says that this game is a MUST WIN if the Caps want to claim the Eastern Conference's top spot for the playoffs. The players believe it is a MUST WIN because they want to put doubt into the minds of the Bruins players about their ability to beat the Caps. Tomorrow's game against Florida could also be described as a MUST WIN because the Caps would like to put even further distance between themselves and the Panthers. But we believe that this game today is a MUST WIN because looking at the schedule ahead; there will be six weeks and 19 regular season games left after today. Only one of those games, March 12th in Philadelphia, comes against a team that is anywhere near our level. Yes, we have three games against Florida, two of them in Sunrise, and yes we have 3 against Carolina, two at home, along with the Penguin Scum in another 8 days at the Phone Booth. But ten of the games are against teams already out of the playoff chase. The Caps aren't going to get much in the way of dress rehearsals for the playoffs in the next six weeks. Today is one of those few games and a potential "Eastern Conference Finals Preview." Of course, the Caps could win today's game and still finish 2nd or 3rd in the conference while they could lose and still claim the top spot. But what we're looking for is how well we play today. The players were focused in practice yesterday and we're curious to see if they carry that focus over into today's game and just how well they play with that focus. That our friends will tell you just how far this team could go in the playoffs.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Bruins 3
Winner by Ryder

(5-2 on the season)



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