Thursday, March 25, 2010

Caps vs. Penguin Scum 3-24-2010 Wrap Up/ Caps @ Canes 3-25-2010 Preview

The Local Yokels:

(Com)Post: gimmick win, new heights, all cleared.  Examiner: had a feeling, slowly

The Neutral Observers:

NHL.comAP Wire.

The Other Side:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: can't win, out again, holding back.  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: frustrated, guys out.  Penguin

Final Thoughts:

Kind of what we thought, the Penguin Scum played as well as they could but just came up short.

73 down, 9 to go.

Washington Capitals (49-24; 108 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) @ Carolina Hurricanes (30-43; 69 points; 5th Southeast Division, 13th Eastern Conference, 27th Overall):
Caps Game #74, Road Game #39, NHL Game #1,100

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: 3 New Jersey (Pittsburgh eliminated, 12th of 14)
President's Trophy: 11 Chicago (Colorado eliminated 22nd of 29)

RBC Center, Raleigh, NC, 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Carolina TV: Fox Sportsnet Carolina. Radio: WCMC 99.9-FM.  NHL Center Ice: Fox Sportsnet Carolina feed.

Tonight, the Caps can clinch the #1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference with a little help when they travel down Tobacco Road to face the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth and final meeting between the teams this season.   The Caps have taken three of the five games so far this season, earning seven points in the process.  The Caps and Canes have so far split the games in Raleigh.  The Canes won the last matchup, last Thursday in Raleigh, 4-3 in overtime.  The Caps blew a third period lead and fell behind late in the third period but however managed to tie the game back up even later in regulation before falling late in overtime.  Since last Thursday's win, the Canes got more magic late in overtime to beat the Penguin Scum in Pittsburgh on Saturday but have now lost two games in a row.  The Canes fell 5-3 at home to the Buffaslugs on Sunday night and 3-2 to the Ning in Tampa on Tuesday night in their most recent game.

What The Natives Are Saying:

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Uh, we don't see anything folks...  Sorry...

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Typically after playing the Penguin Scum, we would be on watch for an emotional letdown.  However, as we noted in the Post-Mortem last night, we didn't see as much emotion as we expected to see last night.  So if there's any emotional letdown, there isn't very far to fall off from.  The Canes currently sit 9 points away from the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference and have just 9 games left and five teams to get past in order to make the playoffs.  While Carolina may not officially be playing out the string here, they are getting pretty close.  With any win tonight and any loss by New Jersey to the Rangers, the Caps can clinch the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  If the Caps lose tonight, they'll still be waiting to claim the top spot in the East.  But if there is a theme for tonight it would be redemption.  It has been a week since Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov has played in Raleigh.  The Saviour would undoubtedly like to have a couple of the late goals he gave up last week back and what better way to redeem yourself than against the last team to beat you?  A win tonight would also be the The Saviour's second win in six games since returning from injury.  The Caps are playing on back-to-back nights for the next to last time this season but have had three days off before last night's game and will have two days off before their next game on Sunday.  There should be enough in the tank tonight to get the win to break the franchise record for points in a season (a record set just last year) and be no more than one point away from securing the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  Yes, the Canes are always a tough out for us, but not a team we can't handle.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Canes 2
Winner by Backstrom
(40-33 on the season with one perfect game)

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