Sunday, April 05, 2009

Caps vs. Thrashers 4-5-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (47-31; 102 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) vs. Atlanta Thrashers (34-44; 74 points; 4th Southeast Division, 13th Eastern Conference, 27th Overall):
Caps Game #79, Home Game #41, NHL Game #1,175

Verizon Center, Washington, DC. 3:08 pm. Washington TV: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Atlanta TV: SportSouth. Radio: WCNN 680-AM. NHL Center Ice: Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic feed.

Today the Caps finish off the home portion of the regular season schedule when the host the front end of a home and home series with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers come into D.C. to close out their road schedule for the 2008-2009 season on a roll having won four games in a row and five of their last six. In their last game, they took on the role of spoilers, seriously damaging Florida's playoff chances by beating the Panthers 3-1 in Sunrise on Friday night for their 11th win in the past 14 games overall.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

What Do We Expect Today?:

After playing on Friday night with the most energy and urgency we've seen from the Caps in quite some time; we hope to see it again against a team that while playing very well, isn't going anywhere past April 11th. The Caps need seven points in their final four games to lock down the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference which is the highest possible finish for them. The Simeon Varlamov experiment in goal will be taking a break for at least today though a lot of what happened to him in Friday night was a series of very bad bounces. Otherwise, there isn't a whole lot left to worry about that is within the Caps control. A.O. currently sits four points behind Evgeni Malkin-Lindros for the Art Ross trophy but only needs to tie him in order to win the trophy (first tie breaker is fewest games played) and both players have Charmin soft schedules remaining. Brooks "and Dunn" Laich and Tomas Fleischmann need just one and three goals respectively to hit the 20 goal mark on the season. Michael "Meadowlark" Nylander would need to spin out two of them to hit 10. Other than that folks, this could be another snooze fest as the Caps cruise on into the post-season. Yeah, we'd like to see the Caps come out strong, put the Thrashers away early, and build momentum heading into the playoffs. But that just hasn't been their modus operandi recently.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Thrashers 2
Winner by A.O.

(11-10 on the season)

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