Sunday, January 17, 2010

Caps vs. Flyers 1-17-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (29-18; 64 points; 1st Southeast Division, 2nd Eastern Conference, 4th Overall) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (23-23; 49 points; 5th Atlantic Division, 10th Eastern Conference, 21st Overall):
Caps Game #48, Home Game #22, NHL Game #719

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 54 Ottawa
Southeast Division Championship: 55 Atlanta
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 73 New Jersey
President's Trophy: 74 Chicago


Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., 3:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Philadelphia TV: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Radio: WWIP 610-AM.  NHL Center Ice: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feed.

Today the Caps finish off the season series with the Philadelphia Flyers in a game that NBC deemed not interesting enough.  After losing a wild west shootout in Philadelphia, back in October, the Caps have won the last two games against the Flyers by a combined score of 12-4.  The Flyers have improved a little under new Head Coach Peter Laviolette but had a four winning streak snapped on Thursday night by the Toronto Maple Thug Leafs in their last game.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostExaminer.  Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Philadelphia Inquirer: goale controversy, surprise player.


What Do We Expect Today?:

We think it is pretty safe to say that this will not be the Philadelphia Flyers team that the Caps waxed 8-2 back in the December.  The Flyers have adjusted to Head Coach Peter Laviolette's system and have gotten themselves back onto the fringe of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.  Furthermore, Michael Leighton was taken off of waivers by the Flyers from Carolina and has been playing some of his best hockey of late.  This makes the possible decision to use Ray Emery in goal today all the more baffling as Philadelphia is going to need every point they can get between now and the end of the season.  But that's the Philadelphia Flyers for you.  So even if the Caps aren't able to post another pasting of the Flyers, the Caps have shown that they can take care of Philadelphia, after all, the Caps have scored 17 goals in the three games so far this season, nine of them before the tailspin that cost John Stevens his job.  What is going to make the difference for the Caps today is how well they decide to play defense.  Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore seems to have gotten back into his groove and we hope that Bruce Boudreau doesn't decide to "see how Michal Neuvirth would handle the situation" like he did in the first game with Seymon "The Saviour" Varlamov.  Because that's a certain recipe for a disaster.  The Caps should do anything they can to make Philadelphia's road into the playoffs harder.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Flyers 2
Winner by Semin
(23-24 on the season with one perfect game)

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