Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Caps vs. Penguin Scum 3-24-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (48-24; 106 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs. Pittsburgh Penguin Scum (42-31; 90 points; 2nd Atlantic Division, 4th Eastern Conference, 7th Overall):
Caps Game #73, Home Game #35, NHL Game #1,091

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: Clinched 3/11
Southeast Division Championship: Clinched 3/11
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 5 New Jersey (11 of 14 eliminated)
President's Trophy: 13 Chicago (Nashville eliminated 20th of 29)


Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Pittsburgh TV: Fox Sportsnet Pittsburgh. Radio: WXDX 105.9-FM.  U.S. National TV: NHL Network (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feed) NHL Center Ice: None.

Tonight the Caps are back in action after a three day layoff to face the Penguin Scum at the Phone Booth in the third meeting of the teams this season.  The Caps are back on home ice for the first time in 12 days, have seven of their final ten games at home, and have beaten the Penguin Scum in both games so far this season.  Pittsburgh has lost two in a row after losing in Detroit Monday night to the Red Wings 3-1.  It was their fourth loss in their last six games.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: puck to the head, interviewed.  Examiner.  Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.com.  AP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: just another game, the pain of a loss, Q & A.  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: MVP race, link to arrestee, scouting reportPenguin Scum.com.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well Ladies and Gentlemen here, we go!  The players and coaches certainly have a point about the media over-hyping this game tonight as the NHL Network is treating this game in the middle of the week in late March as a Stanley Cup Finals game with wall-to-wall coverage including a one hour pre-game show.  The truth of the matter is, there isn't much at stake as both teams will meet again in Pittsburgh in about two weeks and the Caps and Penguin Scum will have 8 and 7 other games respectively left on their schedules.  Yes, the Caps can eliminate the Penguin Scum from the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and President's Trophy race with any kind of win tonight but that is just a mere formality.  The Penguin Scum have been a in a rut recently, their two wins in the last six games came over a punchless Bruins team and Tampa Bay.  If this game has any importance to the Penguin Scum, it is that it will be one of their last tests against an elite team heading into the playoffs.  Of the Caps remaining ten games, only Carolina and Columbus are out of the playoff hunt with two games against Atlanta who is sitting on the fringe.  Pittsburgh however still has the Ning, the Islanders twice, and the Maple Thug Leafs on their schedule and two dates with the Thrashers as well.  The Penguin Scum are running out of measuring sticks and they didn't measure up very well against the Red Wings on Monday night.  The key here for the Caps tonight is to put the cliche of "it's just another game" to work for them tonight.  The Caps and Penguin Scum have already faced each twice this season.  The Caps have established their dominance in both games and know that they don't need their best effort to get past the Penguin Scum.  There is also the game in two weeks for the Caps to exact any revenge that might be necessary after tonight's game.  If the Caps can establish a business-like manner and not try to deal a knockout blow right away, they will come away with the win.  The teams shouldn't be flat as the crowd at the Phone Booth will provide plenty of energy and the new ice sheet should cut down on the toe-picking that occurred earlier this month.  The biggest question though we have for tonight is, how many hats do we need to bring?

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 6
Penguin Scum 3
Winner by Captain A.O.
(39-33 on the season with one perfect game)

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