Saturday, January 02, 2010

Caps @ Kings 1-2-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (24-16; 54 points; 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall) @ Los Angeles Kings (23-18; 49 points; 3rd Pacific Division, 8th Western Conference, 13th Overall):
Caps Game #41, Road Game #23, NHL Game #614


Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 71 Philadelphia
Southeast Division Championship: 71 Atlanta
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 89 New Jersey
President's Trophy: 89 New Jersey

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA 4:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Los Angeles TV: Fox Sportsnet West. Radio: KTLK 1150-AM.  NHL Center Ice: Fox Sportsnet West feed.

Today the Caps wrap up their quick California swing and hit the halfway mark of the season when they head down the coast from San Jose to Los Angeles to face the Kings.  This is the only meeting between the two teams this season as the Kings swept the pair of games last season.  The Kings got off to a fast start but have been fading recently and are barely holding onto a playoff spot in the Western Conference as the 2010 portion of the schedule opens up for both teams.  The Kings won their last game, a 5-2 smackdown of the Minnesota Wild in Minnesota on New Year's Eve to snap a four game losing streak.  Like the Caps, the Kings haven't played at home much recently as today is only their second home game in their last eight contests.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostCaps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

L.A. Daily NewsLos Angeles Times.

What Do We Expect Today?:

After two days of bag skates, the Caps should be as angry and fired up as Bruce Boudreau was after two consecutive losses.  And Boudreau is right, the Caps don't want to spiral out of control because after seemingly pulling away from the rest of the Eastern Conference with Joisey and the Penguin Scum, Joisey is starting to slip away and the Buffaslugs have caught up, knocking the Caps into the third seed on the basis of tiebreakers.  Luckily, there's still a lot of hockey left to play for everybody in the regular season but the Caps need to stay on their game.  So look to the first period today folks to get a sense of where this game is going to go.  If the Caps come out strong we don't see why they shouldn't win, if they don't, well it could be three losses in a row and a long flight back from LAX to IAD.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Kings 2
Winner by Semin
(20-20 on the season with one perfect game)

Editorial Note For The Dozens of Readers of This Blog:

With the New Year ringing in a couple of nights ago, there are some good friends of ours who still want to celebrate the holiday, so we'll be unable to watch the game this afternoon meaning there will be no Post-Mortem later.

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