Saturday, December 19, 2009

Caps @ Canucks 12-18-2009 Wrap Up/ Caps @ Oilers 12-19-2009 Preview

The Local Yokels:


The Neutral Observers:

NHL.comAP Wire.

The Other Side:

24 Hours Vancouver.  Vancouver Province: he did it again, bottled up, controversy.  Vancouver Sun: quiet evening, notes.

Final Thoughts:

35 down, 48 to go.

Washington Capitals (21-14; 48 points) @ Edmonton Oilers (15-19; 34 points):
Caps Game #36, Road Game #21, NHL Game #528

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 10:10 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Edmonton TV: None. Radio: CHED 630-AM.  Canadian National TV: CBC.  NHL Center Ice: CBC, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus feeds.

Tonight the Caps finish off their four game road trip when they head into Edmonton to face the Oilers for the only time this season.  The Oilers are playing about as well as many expected this season by not at all threatening for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.  The Oilers however started December with a five game winning streak but have lost their last two games.  The most recent loss being a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Nashville Predators at home on Thursday night.  This is the third game of a four game homestand for the Oilers.

What The Natives Are Saying:


Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Edmonton Journal.  Edmonton Sun: big event, big challenge.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Maybe the reason the Caps have so much trouble in Western Canada is because they don't travel there very often?  The Caps still haven't won in Vancouver since 2001 and we haven't claimed victory in Edmonton since February 7th, 1996.  While that was almost 14 years ago now, the Caps losing streak in Edmonton is only seven games.  The Caps haven't visited the Alberta Provincial Capital since October 28th, 2006 when then Head Coach Glen Hanlon made the curious decision to pull the goaltender down 3-0 late in the third period and the Caps ended up losing 4-0.  In addition to history working against the Caps; is the travel and back-to-back game nights, not to mention picking up an hour time wise in the process.  Yet, Edmonton isn't a very good hockey team.  The Caps score more goals, allow fewer, and have better Special Teams.  And for all the yelling and screaming about crummy ice in D.C., we'll get a rare chance to see the Caps play on what is considered the best sheet of ice in the entire NHL.  No bouncing pucks, no ruts in the ice to blow edges, just a fast clean sheet of ice.  The other drawback/good news is that this will be the Caps last appearance in Hockey Night in Canada during the regular season.  The Caps are 1-3 so far this season on the CBC signature telecast with the only win coming at home on opening night the three losses have all come on the road.   As a matter of fact, the Caps have yet to claim a win in the Great White North this season.  However, we can't get past the fact that the Oilers are one of the worst teams in the Western Conference.  If the Caps aren't looking past them, they should be able to get the win tonight because things are starting to fall apart for Edmonton.  Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin along with forwards Mike Comrie, Ales Hemsky, and Fernando Pisani are all on injured reserve and won't be playing tonight.  That leaves Dustin Penner all by himself and he shouldn't be enough to beat the Caps.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 6
Oilers 2
Winner by Semin
(18-17 on the season with one perfect game)

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