Saturday, April 18, 2009

Game 2 Caps v. Rangers 4-18-2009 Preview

Series B: Washington Capitals (50-33; 108 points; 1st Southeast Division, 2nd Eastern Conference, 4th Overall) vs. New York Rangers (44-39; 95 points; 4th Atlantic Division; 7th Eastern Conference, 12th Overall):
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #2, Caps Game #2, Home Game #2, NHL Game #122

Verizon Center, Washington, DC. 1:15 pm. Washington TV: None. Radio: WJFK 106.7-FM, WTOP 1050-AM. New York TV: None. Radio: WEPN 1050-AM. U.S. National TV: NBC. Canadian National TV: TSN, RDS (French).

Today the Caps are looking to forge a split on home ice when they face the Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. This is the only the second time the Caps will be playing Game 2 at home after dropping Game 1 and the Caps are 0-1 All-Time in that scenario.

What the Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: mums the word, last chance. Times: up-tempo teams, blueline swap, Game 2 Preview.

Neutral Views: AP Wire preview, likely starter, traffic jam, even play.

Open Source Intelligence:

Newsday: goalie concerns, new defenseman. New York Daily News. New York Times.

Open Source Stupidity:

New York Post: do better, college kid signed.

What Do We Expect Today?:

Hopefully today will put to an end any thoughts of a goaltender controversy in Washington and with luck, create one with New York. Lost in the shuffle of Wednesday night's aftermath was the the Caps not only scored three goals on Henrik Lundqvist, but that the Caps were able to erase a 2 goal deficit before Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz injured himself on the game winning goal. But it would be a mistake to expect the Rangers to allow the Caps to get another 35 shots on goal and A.O. to take 13 of them. Lost too is that the Caps not only dictated play, but dominated most of Game 1. The Caps lost on Wednesday simply because Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore didn't come up any big saves and we should expect Theordore to do exactly that today too. Once again the key to today's game will be simple, the Caps have to get to Lundqvist early and can do that by converting their chances which they created at will in Game 1. The longer the game stays 0-0, the more it helps the Rangers. The Caps also need to avoid falling behind the Rangers because no matter what, any goal allowed by Theodore early on in Game 2 today is going to turn the crowd against him very quickly, especially if the Caps start trailing. All in all, this is a MUST WIN game for the Caps today because being down 2-0 is awfully large hole to climb out of with a rookie goaltender.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Rangers 1
Winner by Semin

(0-1 in the Postseason)

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