Monday, March 16, 2009

Caps @ Thrashers 3-16-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (43-27; 92 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) @ Atlanta Thrashers (28-41; 62 points; 4th Southeast Division, 13th Eastern Conference, 27th Overall):
Caps Game #71, Road Game #34, NHL Game #1,038

Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA, 7:08 pm. Washington TV: None. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Atlanta TV: None. Radio: WCNN 680-AM. U.S. National TV: Versus. Canadian National TV: TSN2, RIS (French).

Tonight, the Caps begin a tour of the Southeast Division when they head down to Atlanta to face the Thrashers. This is the first time the Caps have been in Atlanta since the first game of the season. The Thrashers have won five games in a row, most recently a 4-3 gimmick win on Saturday night in over the Buffaslugs. The Thrashers have won six of the seven games since the last time they played the Caps, a 4-3 Caps victory, on February 26th.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times.

Neutral Views: AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

With Atlanta being all but officially eliminated from the playoff chase, tonight would seem like a good time to give Simeon Varlamov another start and Brian Pothier his first NHL action since January of 2008. But not so fast; the Thrashers have won five games in a row and not just over teams playing out the string like they are. They've taken critical points from the Buffaslugs and Edmonton Oilers, teams fighting to get into the playoffs, and from Calgary and Montreal, teams looking to improve and solidify their playoff positioning. Atlanta is very much a team that if you try to sleepwalk on them, they'll jump up and beat you so Caps cannot take this team lightly. Yet that is exactly what the Caps have done when playing very lesser teams on the road this season in front of National TV audiences. The Caps are starting their last stretch of three games in four nights this season, and all three games are on the road. After this week's run of four games over six days the Caps will play their next four games in a span of thirteen days. The there will be plenty of time for giving players time off coming up and with New Jersey threatening to pull away, the Caps need the two points from a win tonight more than need to find out is Varlamov is healthy enough to back up Jose "Alvin, Simon." Theodore in the playoffs.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Atlanta 4
Winner by A.O.

(8-7 on the season)



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