Sunday, February 15, 2009

Caps @ Ning 2-14-2009 Wrap Up/ Caps @ Panthers 2-15-2009 Preview

The Local Yokels:

(Com)Post. Times.

The Neutral Observers: AP Wire.

The Other Side:

St. Petersberg Times: footnote to history, rookie regimen, trade winds, odds and ends. Tampa Tribune: history made, crossover appeal.

Final Thoughts:

56 down, 26 to go.

Washington Capitals (35-21; 75 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) @ Florida Panthers (28-27; 64 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 8th Eastern Conference, 12th Overall):
Caps Game #57, Away Game #30, NHL Game #836

BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL, 5:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Florida TV: Fox SportsNet Florida. Radio: WAXY 790-AM. NHL Center Ice: Fox SportsNet Florida and Comcast Sportnet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Today/tonight the Caps take on their nearest rival for the Southeast Division crown when they make their first trip into Sunrise to face the Panthers. Fresh off of last night's record setting win in Tampa, the Caps have now won five of their seven games. The Panthers were last in action on Friday night when they beat the Rangers in a gimmick at home, 2-1. The Panthers have also won five of their last seven games and are currently on a five game home winning streak and three games overall.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Miami Herald

What Do We Expect Today/Tonight?

Hockey players, especially young hockey players, tend to celebrate their accomplishments for quite awhile. It is a part of the maturation process after all and the Caps need to get the shaving cream out of their faces and get back down to earth tonight. Sure, Florida is 11 points back and a loss in regulation would put them 9 points behind. But Florida has a game in hand on us and there are three more meetings between the two teams after this one. The Panthers are also the only Eastern Conference opponent to pull off a regulation victory in the Phone Booth this season. Another reason for the Caps not to take this game lightly is that the Caps could very well see Florida in the first round of the playoffs. Have enough motivation yet? It is hard to call a game like this one a MUST WIN, because of the various cushions the Caps have already built in. But we can safely say that a loss tonight will make things a little tighter and tougher down the stretch. Caps did conserve a fair amount of energy in the third period last night and with up to four new players the lineup tonight they should be able to pull out another two points.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Florida 1
Winner by Green

(1-0 on the season)

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