Thursday, October 22, 2009

Caps @ Thrashers 10-22-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (4-4; 10 points) @ Atlanta Thrashers (4-2; 9 points):
Caps Game #9, Road Game #5, NHL Game #121

Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA, 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Atlanta TV: SportSouth. Radio: WCNN 680-AM. NHL Center Ice: SportSouth and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Tonight, the Caps play their first of 24 Southeast Division games when they visit the Atlanta Thrashers. Last year the Caps took the season series against Atlanta, 4-2, winning only one of the three games in Atlanta. The Thrashers are off to a good start winning four of their first six games and are coming off of Tuesday night's 2-1 gimmick loss in Montreal. This is Atlanta's first home game since opening the season on October 3rd with a 6-3 win over Tampa.

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 Tonight?:

After the longest non-Olympic break in the schedule this season, the Caps thought they would be opening up one of their easiest stretches of the schedule where they would face Atlanta and the New York Islanders twice each in the next five games. Problem is that, tonight's game is for first place in the Southeast Division as Atlanta has gotten off to a strong start of their own. Yes we know it's early and we're not too concerned about the standings right now with just three weeks of the season gone. But this is a prime chance for the Caps to get out to a big lead in the Southeast Division. Atlanta's special teams have been working well for them so far this season, they're currently ranked 4th on the Penalty Kill and 2nd on the Power Play so the Caps may want to keep tonight's game at even strength as much as possible, especially while they work off the rink rust of a four day break. This isn't going to be easy as the Caps have struggled playing early season games in Atlanta and if the Caps aren't focused early in tonight's game, it could get away from them very quickly.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Atlanta 5
Winner by Kovalchuk
(3-5 on the season)

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