Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Caps @ Maple Leafs 3-24-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (45-29; 96 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (30-43; 73 points; 4th Northeast Division, 12th Eastern Conference, 24th Overall):
Caps Game #75, Road Game #38, NHL Game #1,088

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 7:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Toronto TV: None. Radio: CFMJ 640-AM. Canadian National TV: TSN. NHL Center Ice: TSN and Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Tonight the Caps wrap up a five game road trip and stretch of seven out of 8 games on the road when they travel North of the Border for the final time this season to face the Toronto Maple Leafs. A win in this game will give the Caps a winning record on this road trip and leave open the possibility of having a winning record for the month of March. The Leafs are coming off of Saturday night's 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens and have won four of their last six games.

What the Native Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times: strong finish, NHL Report. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Toronto Globe and Mail. Toronto Star: too much of a good thing, contributing consistently. Toronto Sun: sharp shooting star, playing spoiler, back at practice.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

If there is ever a good time to have the flu bug run through your team, a stretch where you've got two games in a period of ten days against teams last place teams is it. Matt "Omar" Bradley and Alexander "Slappy" Semin are two players openly identified as being ill, but with the way the Caps have been playing recently, they can't be the only ones feeling ill. With Carolina's overtime win last night in Florida, the Caps are now a mere three points away from a playoff spot and with the way Florida has been playing, the Caps could wrap up a playoff spot before they take the ice again on Friday night. But in order for that to happen, they have to earn at least one point tonight in Toronto. The last time these two teams met, A.O. sat out with a bruised heel and predictably, the Caps offense couldn't generate anything in a 2-1 loss. The Caps however are going to have to figure out how to generate something though, they not only need to wrap up their playoff spot, but they need to generate some momentum heading into the playoffs. What we hope we don't see tonight is the Caps coming out and continuing to operate on cruise control. No matter how bad the Leafs are, playing them in Toronto is never an easy out and with the way the Leafs have been playing recently, they aren't a team to be taken lightly.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Leafs 2
Winner by Green

(10-9 on the season)

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