Thursday, October 08, 2009

Caps vs. Rangers 10-8-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (2-1; 5 points) vs. New York Rangers (2-1; 4 points):
Caps Game #4, Home Game#2, NHL Game#39

Verizon Center, Washington, DC, 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. New York TV: MSG. Radio: WNYM 970-AM. NHL Center Ice: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and MSG Feeds.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, breakout the raincoats and rowboats, John Tortorella is coming back to the Phone Booth Tonight (no, we're not retiring that joke) with his New York Rangers for the first real meeting between the teams since Game 7 last spring. The Rangers are off to decent start, winning two in a row after losing their opener to the Penguin Scum including Monday night's 3-2 win in New Jersey. The Caps took three of the four regular season games between the two teams last season with the Caps sweeping the games on home ice.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post. Times: a night to forget, milestones. Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com. AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

New York Daily News. Newsday. Rangers.com.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Head Coach Bruce Boudreau has himself a sticky situation tonight. The plan had been to start Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore in goal tonight primarily as part of the goaltender rotation but to also give Theodore a chance to redeem himself on home ice against the Rangers after not getting that chance last April. However, after the clunker turned in by Semyon "the Saviour" Varlamov on Tuesday night in Philadelphia, what better way than to get the kid back on track than against the team he befuddled back in the spring? Well, these aren't exactly the same Rangers that we played back in the spring. The Rangers offense has been souped up with the addition of Marion Gaborik and Chris Drury is healthy now. They also have two young defensemen, Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy, who have been impressive in their first three NHL games. Whoever starts in net tonight, the Caps will need to tighten up on the defense, especially in the third period where the Caps have allowed five goals so far this season, six if you include overtime. While the Rangers will be looking to avenge blowing a 3-1 series lead, games like tonight's do little to erase that history.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Rangers 3
Winner by Semin

(2-1 on the season)

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