Thursday, April 01, 2010

Caps vs. Thrashers 4-1-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (49-27; 110 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs. Atlanta Thrashers (34-43; 80 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 22nd Overall):
Caps Game #77, Home Game #38, NHL Game #1,152

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: 5 San Jose (Phoenix eliminated, 27th of 29)


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.  U.S. National TV: Versus (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feed outside of the D.C. Area)  NHL Center Ice: None.

Tonight, the Caps looks to end a three game losing streak when they finish off their quick three game homestand by hosting the Atlanta Thrashers.  This is Atlanta's second vist to D.C., though their first almost ended up keeping them here until today, and the fifth of six meetings this season.  The Caps have won every single meeting so far this season by a combined score of 22-10.  The Thrashers are trying to make a run at the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference so that they can face the Caps even more this season.  They currently sit two points back of the Boston Bruins and are even in games played.  However the Bruins have the tiebreaker over the Thrashers and Atlanta faces the Caps once more after tonight, the Devils, and the Penguin Scum twice to close out their season.  The Thrashers have won six of their last nine games and are coming off a 3-2 win in Toronto on Tuesday night.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostExaminerCaps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well folks, we know we're beating a well-beaten dead horse here but if Bruce Boudreau scratches Brooks "and Dunn" Laich again tonight, you will know how the Caps will come out and play tonight's game.  However, if Laich is inserted back into the lineup, expect the Caps to actually show up in the first period.  Either way Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov, who is expected to start in goal tonight, will be under siege to start tonight's game.  Atlanta is in total and complete desperation mode right now trying to make it into the playoffs.  The Thrashers know that they have their work cut out for them with their remaining schedule and will be pulling out all the stops to get any points that they can muster.  The Caps would be well advised to take advantage of their chances and play sound defense against the Thrashers.  Complicating matters for the Caps tonight is the Atlanta Penalty Kill which has killed off every Power Play in the last eight games so the Caps will need to use their dominance 5-on-5 to win this game tonight.  Finally, if the Caps were looking for extra motivation, since tonight's game is a potential first round preview the Caps don't want to give Atlanta any thoughts that they could possibly compete with them in the first round should they sneak into the playoffs.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 4
Thrashers 3
Winner by Captain A.O.
(41-35 on the season with one perfect game)


Editorial Note For The Dozens of Readers of This Blog:

We're having some trouble with our pooter at the Command Center which we think is related to Comcast's servers which is why this preview is so late this morning.  However, even though we hope the problem will be fixed this evening, today is Holy Thursday which means there are much more important things than a hockey game where the Caps can put the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks onto the brink of elimination from the President's Trophy race.  Therefore folks, despite the pooter problems at the Command Center, there wasn't going to be a Post-Mortem tonight anyway.

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