Caps @ Islanders 1-26-2010 Wrap Up/ Caps vs. Ducks 1-27-2010 Preview
The Local Yokels:
The Neutral Observers:
NHL.com. AP Wire.
The Other Side:
New York Daily News. New York Post. New York Times. Newsday (you know you want to be the 36th person to purchase a subscription): ugly rout, unstoppable. Islanders.com.
While it won't be stated enough that the Caps ran up these gaudy numbers last night despite the fact that Captain A.O. didn't register a single point, please remember that Alexander "Slappy" Semin is a pretty good player in his own right. Any talk of the Caps being a one man-show should be dying out just about now. Finally, how did Boyd Gordon end up a -1 on a night like that?
52 down, 30 to go.
Washington Capitals (34-18; 74 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 3rd Overall) vs. Anaheim Ducks (24-29; 55 points; 5th Pacific Division, 10th Western Conference, 18th Overall):
Caps Game #53, Home Game #25, NHL Game #788
Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 40 Atlanta and Tampa Bay
Southeast Division Championship: 40 Atlanta and Tampa Bay
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 57 New Jersey
President's Trophy: 62 San Jose
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Anaheim TV: Fox Sportsnet West. Radio: KLAA 830-AM. U.S. National TV: NHL Network (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feed) NHL Center Ice: None.
Tonight, the Caps look to run their current winning streak to eight games as they host the Anaheim Ducks to start a three game homestand. This is the first and only meeting between the two teams this year as last year the Caps took a punishing 6-4 win in Anaheim during the only matchup between the teams last year. The Caps are looking for their first victory over the Ducks at home since November 17th, 2001. The Ducks themselves are once again lurking around the bottom of the Western Conference Playoffs and seem to be waiting for the hot streak to start to propel them back into them. However a 2-1 loss last night in Atlanta to start a four game road trip through the Southeast Division does not help that cause. It was Anaheim's second loss in their last three games with the lone win coming in a gimmick.
What The Natives Are Saying:
NHL.com. AP Wire.
Open Source Intelligence:
Los Angeles Times: overpowered, up next. Orange County Register: not quite there, big problem.
What Do We Expect Tonight?:
And you thought last night was ugly? In spite of the Caps drilling seven goals on the Islanders last night and Anaheim only allowing two to the Thrashers, the Islanders still have given up fewer goals this season than Anaheim. Ok, so it may not be another route of heinous proportions but we have two teams tonight who both played the night before. The Caps got a little lazy last night against the Islanders and now have goaltending issues that they didn't have 24 hours ago. The Ducks were in a close game that was a few fractions of a inch from heading into overtime. Having the shorter travel distance and the ability to sleep in their own beds should give the Caps an edge tonight and allow them to slowly grind down the Ducks. But you never know. Anaheim's Power Play, which has been slipping recently, is the worst in the league on the road and the Caps Penalty Killers for some reason thrive on home ice, ranked 5th overall 87% . Our biggest concern tonight (besides finding parking with the State of the Union Address scheduled for later tonight) is can the Caps snap back into playing the kind of hockey they need to play? They were clearly enjoying skating all through an Islanders team that failed to show up but have gotten themselves into trouble when they don't get away from that against teams who are ready to play.
Caps Nut Official Prediction:
Winner by Semin
(25-27 on the season with one perfect game)