Monday, April 05, 2010

Caps vs. Bruins 4-5-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (51-27; 114 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs.  Boston Bruins (36-42; 84 points; 4th Northeast Division, 8th Eastern Conference, 18th Overall):
Caps Game #79, Home Game #39, NHL Game #1,179

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: Clinched 3/28
President's Trophy: Clinched 4/4 (San Jose eliminated)

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. 7:10 pm. Washington TV: None. Radio: WFED 1500-AM. Boston TV: None. Radio: WWBZ 99.5-FM.  U.S. National TV: Versus.  Canadian National TV: TSN, RDS (French)  NHL Center Ice: None.

Tonight, the newly minted Presidents' Trophy Champion Washington Capitals begin the final week of the season against the team that they started the season with, the Boston Bruins.  This is the third meeting between the teams this season and the first time the Bruins have come to D.C. to face the Caps.  The Caps won both games up in Beantown earlier this season.  The Bruins are part of the dogfight for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference which will be the Caps opponent in first round of the playoffs.  Like the Caps, Boston is having trouble building some momentum heading into the playoffs.  They've alternated wins and losses over their last seven games.  In their last outing on Saturday night, they managed a 2-1 win in overtime against the Thug Leafs in Toronto.

What The Natives Are Saying:


Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Boston Globe-Democrat.  Boston Herald: more injuries, tough nut to crack, Scouting Report.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

One of our friends is married to a woman from the New England area and she tells us that the folks in Boston are salivating at a chance to take on the Caps in the first round.  Well tonight we can get a preview of what they will look like should it actually happen.  And to those Bruin fans looking forward to knocking off the Presidents' Trophy winners, we say, be careful what you wish for.  Tonight's game should be a contrast in styles.  As everybody knows, nobody even comes close to matching the scoring that the Caps do while nobody scores less than the Bruins.  The CW says that the Caps don't play defense and their goaltending is highly suspect but while the Bruins have the second best Goals-Against in the league, (behind the Devils), the Caps are only 17th and actually have a better GAA that two other playoff qualifiers (but one of those doesn't have any problems at all in the world to worry about because they have a Cup).  So this should be like most of Boston's recent games, low scoring, defensive minded, grind-tit-out hockey.  The Caps have shown at a few different times this season that they can win that way and should use this week to remind everybody of that now that there's nothing left to clinch or team records to break.  Finally, like last Thursday night, the Caps are going to want to send a message to the Bruins that should they end up in the 8th seed, it will not be an easy series for them to play.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 3
Bruins 0
Winner by Backstrom
(42-36 on the season with one perfect game)



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