Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Caps @ Sharks 12-30-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (24-15; 54 points) @ San Jose Sharks (24-15; 55 points):
Caps Game #40, Road Game #22, NHL Game #597

HP Pavilion at San Jose, San Jose, CA 10:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. San Jose TV: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Radio: KFOX 98.5-FM.  NHL Center Ice: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feeds.

Tonight the Caps head back out West for a quick two game road trip to close out 2009 and ring in 2010 when they make a stop in San Jose to face the Sharks.  The Caps and Sharks have already met once this season and it led to a 4-1 win for the Caps in the Phone Booth back in October.  Where the Caps are one of the teams fighting for supremacy in the East, the Sharks are one of the teams fighting for supremacy out West.  San Jose has been red hot of late and are currently on a 5 game winning streak.  Their most recent win came on Monday night when they beat the Phoenix Coyotes at home 3-2 in a gimmick.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: ready to roll, not distractedExaminer.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

San Jose Mercury News.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Back in October, the Caps snapped an 11 game, 10 year overall losing streak to the San Jose Sharks, tonight they'll seek their first win in 9 games and 16 years in San Jose.  The question for us though, what is the mental state of the team?  Whether or not it was the trade, the Caps were clearly thrown off their game by something on Monday night.  Throw in the uncertainty in goal now, does Bruce Boudreau go with Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore or Michal "Bebe" Neuvirth, and you've got a delicate situation to handle tonight wondering which way this team is going to go.  One thing going in the Caps' favor is that when the Caps feel as though they have something to prove, they usually turn in a good performance.  The bad news is that streaks aside, the Sharks are no slouches on home ice.  The Sharks have only lost twice in regulation, the fewest in the NHL, and just 7 times overall in just 18 games at home this season.  So it looks as if the Caps are going to have to work overtime to pull out two points tonight.  But San Jose wasn't happy with their performance in D.C. back in October.  They should be looking for a measure of revenge tonight as they get a rare chance to prove themselves against one of the top teams in the East.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 2
Sharks 4
Winner by Thornton
(19-20 on the season with one perfect game)



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