Sunday, March 08, 2009

Caps vs. Penguin Scum 3-8-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (40-26; 85 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) vs. Pittsburgh Penguin Scum (34-32; 74 points; 3rd Atlantic Division, 7th 8th (this is what we get for using the new NHL.com for broadcasters, coaches, parents, fans, and so on) Eastern Conference, 12th 13th Overall):
Caps Game #67, Home Game #36, NHL Game #981

Verizon Center, Washington, DC. 3:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Pittsburgh TV: Fox SportsNet Pittsburgh. Radio: WXDX 105.9-FM. Canadian National TV: RDS (French). NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic feed.

Today the Caps look to breakout of their funk when they wrap up a four game homestand and a stretch of nine games out of ten at home when they host the Pittsburgh Penguin Scum for the final game between the two teams in the regular season. The Penguin Scum have been on a roll lately, winning all five of their games since the 5-2 beatdown they took two weeks ago in the Phone Booth from the Caps.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: rivalry game, interview process, hyped up. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: under pressure, last meeting, scouting the Caps, deadline review. Penguin Scum.com

What Do We Expect Today?:

Well folks, aren't you glad NBC didn't decide to pick this game up as its game of the week? Ok, let's state the obvious, these teams are still trending in the opposite direction though the roles have been reversed from two weeks ago. The Caps are also going for their first ever season sweep of the Penguin Scum. We're not too concerned about motivation for today's game. If anything this is like the Boston game last Saturday where the Caps are looking to send a message to their opponents, you can't beat us. Since the last time we saw them, the Penguin Scum have picked up their defensive game. In the five game winning streak, they're allowing an average of 1.4 goals a game, which is skewed by the 5-4 overtime win in Chicago. Marc Andre Fleury pitched a shutout against the Islanders and has allowed only one goal in each of the remaining three games. They also won four of those games without the Canadian Diving Team Captain, Low Blow Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby who's groin was the latest victim of the Phone Booth ice crew. The weather is unseasonably warm so the ice isn't likely to be all that good today. But what does concern us today is the fact that the Caps have been in this position before. They had a chance to sweep the season series from the New York Rangers and in the fourth game, came up with a gimmick loss. Bruce Boudreau seems to think that Thursday night's loss was due to the team trying too hard. We could easily see them falling into the same trap today. We can also see them stop playing once they fall behind like they have in this current three game losing streak. A big key for the Caps today will be to get out to an early lead. The longer the game remains 0-0, the greater the chances the Caps will come up short in their own building once again.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Penguin Scum 4
Winner by Low Blow Cindy

(5-6 on the season)

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