Sunday, April 26, 2009

Game 6 Caps @ Rangers 4-26-2009 Preview

Series B: Washington Capitals (52-35; 108 points; 1st Southeast Division, 2nd Eastern Conference, 4th Overall) vs. New York Rangers (46-41; 95 points; 4th Atlantic Division; 7th Eastern Conference, 12th Overall):
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #6, Caps Game #6, Road Game #3, NHL Game #126

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. 2:15 pm. Washington TV: None. Radio: WJFK 106.7-FM. New York TV: None. Radio: WEPN 1050-AM. U.S. National TV: NBC. Canadian National TV: TSN, RDS (French).

Today the Caps go into Game 6 on the road looking for a Game 7 when they face the Rangers in Madison Square Garden. The Caps are 8-9 in Game 6 overall with a 5-6 record on the road but are just 3-6 when attempting to avoid elimination down 3-2.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: questions, suspension. Times: lost in the shuffle, suspension, the importance of scoring first. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com: AP Wire preview, odd numbers, spotlight, step up, suspension announcement. TSN.ca. ESPN.com: suspension, shocked.

Open Source Intelligence:

Newsday: ironic, suspension. New York Daily News: suspension, making the grade. New York Times. Rangers.com.

Open Source Stupidity:

MSG. New York Post.

What Do We Expect Today?:

In case you haven't already heard or figured it out, John Tortorella has been suspended for today's Game 6 because of his water squirting and bottle tossing incident in Game 5. We're wondering why it is only a one game suspension considering that Tortorella escalated the situation around his bench. Though this has to be a record for the fastest losing of a team by its head coach. But never mind that, will Sean Avery return to the lineup or not? Will that matter with Jim Schoenfeld behind the bench because will the Rangers come out with a "Win one for Tortorella" attitude? Or will Schoenfeld keep Avery on a shorter leash than Tortorella? Now folks, for many of the same reasons we did it on Friday, here's a reprint of the expectations for Game 4 with a few minor tweaks...

Well folks, this one is going to be a donnybrook today and that is what you usually get when you have two teams playing a MUST WIN GAME. For the Caps, they're still on the break of elimination so nothing has changed for them except for the venue and jersey colors. In essence, the Rangers had a game to play with and that is exactly what they did in Game 5 on Friday night. If the Caps can win tonight, they will reclaim home ice advantage and roll into the Phone Booth on Tuesday night with a chance to complete the comeback. The pressure will increase on the Rangers because their fast start would have been completely erased and the Series will become a best of 1. However, should the Caps lose today all the good feelings generated by Friday night's win will be lost and the Rangers turmoil will be forgotten. The first goal of today's game will be huge even though scoring first hasn't been a true indicator of success, the team to score first is 4-1 so far. But the Caps need to get to Lundqvist first as usual and best way for the Caps to do that is to score on their first Power Play of the game. The Rangers on the other hand have got to get one past Simeon "the Saviour" Varlamov early, even if it goes in off a Cap again. The longer he holds the Rangers off the scoreboard, the more it benefits the Caps because the Rangers are much more limited offensively than the Caps are. The Caps have outscored the Rangers 12-7 in the five games so far and "the Saviour" has only given up 3 goals in the four games he has played. We don't expect "the Saviour" to pitch another shutout today, but the Rangers will gain loads of confidence from just one goal. Furthermore, we expect the Rangers to play a better game tonight than they did on Friday and with Lundqvist looking to bounce back after an awful game on Friday night, this game could take an overtime period or three to sort out before it is all over.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 1
Rangers 2
Winner by Gomez

(1-4 in the postseason)

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