Friday, April 09, 2010

Caps vs. Thrashers 4-9-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (53-27; 118 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) vs.  Atlanta Thrashers (34-46; 81 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 10th Eastern Conference, 27th Overall):
Caps Game #81, Home Game #40, NHL Game #1,208

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

Verizon Center, Washington D.C. 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WTEM 980-AM. Atlanta TV: SportSouth. Radio: WCNN 680-AM.  U.S. National TV: Versus (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic feed).  Canadian National TV: NHL Network. NHL Center Ice: None.

Tonight, the Caps look to pad some stats and continue the resting rotation as they host the Atlanta Thrashers for the sixth and final meeting this season.  The Caps have won all five of the previous games including a 2-1 win just 8 days ago at the Phone Booth.  The Thrashers are playing their final road contest of the season and were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday night when they lost on home ice to the New Jersey Devils 3-0 in their last outing.  That loss was Atlanta's third in a row.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)Post: options available, scoreboard watching.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  speaking up, shutting it down, preview.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well folks, there's no sense tap-dancing around the issue, with the Caps being locked into first place overall and the Thrashers out of the playoff picture, tonight becomes a complete and total exhibition game.  There are various personal stats on the line tonight, most notably Captain A.O. is trying to win some more trophies for his trophy case.  The team itself has a chance to sweep the Thrashers in a season series for the first time in franchise history.  And there is also maybe a chance to appease the Ultimate Fighting on Ice crowd and extract a pound of flesh from Colby Armstrong who returns from his two game suspension tonight for his elbow on  "Mighty Mouse" Matthieu Perreault last week.  But that's about it from where we sit.  We don't think either team is going to play particularly hard as Atlanta has shuttered players with nagging injuries and Bruce Boudreau continues to tinker with a lineup that will start the playoffs next week.  Expect to be bored by this game tonight and constantly checking on the Flyers-Rangers game.

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 5
Thrashers 2
Winner by Captain A.O.
(44-36 on the season with one perfect game)



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