Monday, December 07, 2009

Caps @ Ning 12-7-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (18-11; 42 points) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (11-17; 30 points):
Caps Game #30, Road Game #16, NHL Game #433

St. Pete Time Forum, Tampa, FL 7:35 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Tampa  TV: Sunshine Network. Radio: WDAE 620-AM.  NHL Center Ice: Sunshine Network, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Tonight, the Caps head down to Tampa to face the Ning for the first time this season.  Last year the Caps whipped out the broom on the Ning, sweeping the season series 6-0.  The Caps have won the last 11 meetings between the two teams with the last Ning win over the Caps coming November 16th, 2007 in Tampa.  Tampa was one the NHL's worst teams last year, finishing 29th overall, but are much improved this year.  They're currently feasting on Bettman points as they are tied with the Dallas Stars for the league lead with 8 of them.  The Ning won their last outing, 4-0 over the New York Islanders on home ice, on Saturday night to snap a four game losing streak.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostCaps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

St. Petersburg Times.  Tampa Tribune: angry invasion, scouting reportNing.com.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well, with the return of A.O. to a lineup that has potted 14 goals during his two game suspension, one would figure that this would be another easy game for the Caps.  But not so fast folks.  While Bruce Boudreau has never lost to the Ning, Tampa has lost only twice in regulation at home this year, picking up 4 Bettman points in the process of compiling a 7-6 home record.  The Ning have stabilized their blueline and are getting impressive goaltending as well this year.  The problem for Tampa has been the offense, only five teams have scored fewer goals than Tampa's 74 and four of them are just one goal behind at 73.  The Caps however will have to deal with complacency tonight.  They caught Florida playing their third game in four nights and an emotionally ravaged Flyers team in ringing up their last two wins by a combined score of 14-4 and, as mentioned all over the place, the world's best player returns to the lineup tonight to face a team that he's feasted on in his career (20 goals and 20 assists in 30 games).  Last year the Caps scored at least four goals in every game against the Ning but Tampa has allowed that many only 8 times in 28 games so far this season.  So this game could easily fall into the category of a trap game for the Caps.  We don't think the trap will spring shut, we do however think that this game will be tougher than many will think or like.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Ning 2
Winner by A.O.
(13-16 on the season with one perfect game)

Editorial Note For The Dozens of Readers of This Blog:

Well folks, with it being the first Monday of the month, we have Fraternal Duties at our Parish tonight that we must attend to, so therefore, there will be no Post-Mortem later tonight.

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