Saturday, November 21, 2009

Caps vs. Canadiens 11-20-2009 Wrap Up/ Caps @ Maple Thug Leafs 11-21-2009 Preview

The Local Yokels:


The Neutral Observers: AP Wire.

The Other Side:

The Gazette: hanging on, seeing red.

Final Thoughts:

22 down, 60 to go.

Washington Capitals (13-9; 30 points) @ Toronto Maple Thug Leafs (3-17; 12 points):
Caps Game #23, Road Game #11, NHL Game #314

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 7:15 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Toronto TV: None. Radio: CFMJ 640-AM.  U.S. National TV: NHL Network (CBC Feed). Canadian National TV: CBC.

Tonight, the Caps head North of the border for the first time this season when they travel to face the Maple Thug Leafs.  This is the first time the Caps have faced the Thug Leafs since the home opener back in October when the Caps skated off with a 6-4 win.  Not much is working for Toronto right now.  We don't pay much attention to the standings at this point in the season but it is hard not to notice that the Thug Leafs are dead last in the NHL.  Currently Toronto is on a five game losing streak punctuated by Thursday night's 6-5 gimmick loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh where the Leafs blew a 3-0 first period lead and a 5-4 lead with 3 seconds left in the third period.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Toronto Globe and Mail.  Toronto Star: The Ron Wilson Watch, moves ahead, waiting for the call, on deck.  Toronto Sun: getting ready, mental issues.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well, after playing an opponent that packed it in and clogged things up all over the ice, there is probably nothing better for a rebound than playing the worst team defensively in the league to help you take out all of your frustrations, which is what the Caps have tonight.  Tonight we'll get a good idea as to how mature the Caps are because the trick here is to avoid coming out flat like Carolina did on Thursday night against the Thug Leafs and not easing up on the gas pedal like the Caps themselves against Toronto did back in October.  If the Caps can get off to a quick start tonight, the rabid crowd in Toronto will quickly turn on their team.  However once again special teams could play a factor.  While Toronto's record is an embarrassment, their Power Play is actually now ranked higher than the Caps.  The Caps fell to 6th overall after last night's 0 for 3 against Montreal and Toronto is now 4th in the league on the Power Play.  But part of the Caps playing a sound game is staying out of the Penalty Box. 

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 6
Thug Leafs 2
Winner by A.O.
(9-13 on the season with one perfect game)

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