Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Caps vs. Canadiens 2-18-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (36-21; 77 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) vs. Montreal Canadiens (30-27; 66 points; 2nd Northeast Division, 5th Eastern Conference, 9th Overall):
Caps Game #58, Home Game #28, NHL Game #856

Verizon Center, Washington, DC. 7:38 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Montreal TV: None. Radio: CJAD-800AM. U.S. National TV: NHL Network (Likely carrying the TSN feed). Canadian National TV: TSN, RDS (French).

Tonight the Caps start a stretch of nine of ten games at home with a five game homestand. The Caps have won six of their last seven games overall and four of their last five at home. Montreal is playing the fifth game of a six game road trip and have just one win in their last six games. Montreal was last in action on Sunday night when they lost 4-2 in Vancouver.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire

Open Source Intelligence:

The Gazette: left behind, right call.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

There are varying ways to shake a team up; you can throw chairs in the locker room, you can shuffle the lineup, you can fire a coach, you can bench a particular player, you can make trades of varying degrees. The Canadiens were the pre-season favorite to win the Eastern Conference and are now rivaling the New York Rangers for the biggest tailspin to fall out of the playoffs. Consider that the Canadiens are now tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with the Rangers, Buffaslugs, and Panthers. Streaks, like records, are made to be broken and every team over an 82 game schedule has at least one slump. However, having to come to play the Caps in Washington, is not the recommended slump buster this season. The Caps have a real chance on this homestand to get a hot streak going and put some distance between themselves and New Jersey for the second seed. There is also the slight possibility of catching up to Boston. But with the way things are going for Montreal right now, this could be a first round of the playoffs preview. That means the Caps want to make certain Montreal doesn't get any confidence in playing against them.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Montreal 1
Winner by Laich

(2-0 on the season)

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