Monday, December 28, 2009

Caps vs. Canes 12-28-2009 Preview

Washington Capitals (24-14; 54 points) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (9-29; 25 points):
Caps Game #39, Home Game #18, NHL Game #577

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Carolina TV: Fox Sportsnet Carolina. Radio: WCMC 99.9-FM.  NHL Center Ice: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Fox Sportsnet Carolina feeds.

Tonight the Caps finish off their three game homestand when they face the Carolina Hurricanes for the third time this season.  Both meetings so far this season have been a little too close for comfort (and have left Canes' defenseman Tim Gleason hurting) but the Caps have still come out on top both times.  The Canes have continued to struggle to amass points in the standings this season.  They've lost four of their last five games but were able to pick up a Bettman point on Saturday night when they lost to Philadelphia in a gimmick 4-3 after falling behind 3-0.

What The Natives Are Saying:


Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Raleigh News & Observer.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

As noted earlier, the two previous matchups between these two teams were a little too close for comfort.  Some have used the close calls as proof that the Caps really aren't an elite team. After all how good could the Caps really be if they can't bury a team like Carolina?  Nevermind that Carolina is a divisional opponent.  The Caps 8-0 record against the Southeast is to be expected and is just mere padding of their record.  Nevermind that while the Canes have the worst record in the NHL, they don't want to get embarrassed by one of the top teams in the league.  After all, we all know that fear does little more than make you curl up into the fetal position and take whatever lumps you have coming your way.  But tonight we can expect the Caps to look past the Canes a little bit.  After this game tonight, the Caps head out West for games against San Jose and Los Angeles, teams currently ranked 4th and 9th in the overall standings as opposed to 30th.  Plus after playing two fellow division leaders on home ice, the Caps now have the NHL's bottom feeder to contend with.  However, Carolina still gives up the most goals per game in the NHL and scores the fewest goals per game in the NHL, so even if the Caps are looking ahead to their California trip and wondering who among them will or will not make the various Olympic teams, they shouldn't need much to win this game tonight.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Canes 2
Winner by Laich
(19-19 on the season with one perfect game)



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