Friday, February 05, 2010

Caps @ Rangers 2-4-2010 Wrap Up/ Caps vs. Thrashers 2-5-2010 Preview

The Local Yokels:


The Neutral Observers:

NHL.comAP Wire.

The Other Side:

New York Daily News.  New York Post: 12th in a row, cap strapped, decent move.  New York Times.

Final Thoughts:

57 down, 25 to go.

Washington Capitals (39-18; 84 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs. Atlanta Thrashers (24-31; 56 points; 4th Southeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 24th Overall):
Caps Game #58, Home Game #28, NHL Game #851

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 26 Atlanta and Boston

Southeast Division Championship: 27 Tampa Bay
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 42 New Jersey
President's Trophy: 49 San Jose

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM.  Atlanta TV: SportSouth . Radio: WCNN 680-AM.  NHL Center Ice: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and SportSouth feeds.

Tonight, the Caps return home to face the Atlanta Thrashers looking to make it a Baker's Dozen provided that the impending doom doesn't swallow us whole.  This is the fourth meeting between the two teams this season and the first time the Thrashers have set foot in D.C. and they may be staying here for awhile.  The Caps swept the three games in Atlanta earlier this season by a combined score of 17-8.  The Thrashers have been hanging around the last few playoff spots in the Eastern Conference all season but are now expected to continue their fade away from playoff contention after yesterday's trade.  The Thrashers have lost two in a row and four of their last six games.  The Thrashers have been off since Tuesday when they fell at home, 2-1, to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: quick move, damage control.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

We have to admit folks, we don't know what to expect tonight other than a sparse crowd in the Phone Booth should the game be played tonight.  We were originally thinking that the Caps would be walking into a trap tonight.  They'd be playing their third game in four nights in three different cities and the second of back-to-back games.  The Thrashers have been off since Tuesday night and were in D.C. waiting for the Caps to arrive home from New York after playing the Rangers.  Add in the murmurings that Bruce Boudreau would start Braden Holtby tonight because of the quick turnaround from the Rangers game and the light crowd expected as the D.C. area does its usual snowdance; and we could easily see how the Caps could lose this game tonight and have their winning streak snapped.  However the Kovalchuk trade throws all of that into disarray.  When a team trades a superstar player that is a huge blow to the team's psyche.  Atlanta will likely be as flat tonight as the Caps are tired and the crowd is light.  With the luck the Caps have been experiencing of late, the streak may just end up continuing on as if nothing has happened.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Thrashers 2
Winner by Knuble
(30-27 on the season with one perfect game)

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