Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PreCAP (vs. Penguins, 4/6/10)

PreCAP (4/6/10); Washington Capitals vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 PM


(Photo from Yahoo)

This time, there are no desperate teams. No one is fighting for a playoff ticket. No one really, in the end, needs any points tonight. This game, this is all about two of the most dynamic teams with one of the biggest rivalries meeting up for the final time this season. If the last three games have been any example, expect…. the unexpected.

The Caps and Pens, meaning Sidney Crosby & Co. vs. Alex Ovechkin & Co., meet for the fourth and final time this 2009-2010 regular season. The first three meetings, all Caps win, have had scores of 6-3, 5-4 OT (The Super Sunday Snowpocalypse game), and 4-3 SO. All three times, the Caps have given up a lead, only to battle back and take the win. I really hope tonight is different; only with the Caps taking a lead and keeping it.

Today’s lineup appears to be similar to yesterday’s, with the usual Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble first line. Forward Jay Beagle and defenseman Karl Alzner have been recalled from Hershey. Semyon Varlamov will get another start in net tonight.

Some thoughts on tonight’s game;

  • Bruce Boudreau said this morning that he was considering putting 20-year old Canadian goalie, Braden Holtby, in net for the Caps. Holtby was a 4th-round pick in the 2008 draft, and, after starting the season in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays, was brought up to Hershey (due to Neuvirth being needed in Washington after Varlamov’s injury), and caught fire. He has come out of basically nowhere, and is a blue-chip goalie prospect. I feel like, since he didn’t start tonight, he won’t have a start this season. But, expect to hear much more about him next season…..
  • Alexander Ovechkin is still trailing Sidney Crosby (by 1) for the NHL goals lead and Henrik Sedin (by 2) for the NHL points lead…. a big game tonight could go a long way to changing that, especially after Ovechkin usually has big games against the Pens.
  • Certified Penguin-Killer, Mike Knuble, will probably have a goal tonight…. or more, you never know. Penguin Killer? Try 3 goals in 3 separate games this season, plus a shootout winner last time…. by a guy who made his living getting garbage goals. Also, he has past history with the Pens as a former member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
  • Nicklas Backstrom, with his 3-point night yesterday, is very close to 100 points; he currently has 5 points with 3 games to play, making the century-mark for Nicky very, very probable.
  • Alexander Semin…. don’t look now, but he’s 1 point away from matching a career-high, as well as 1 goal away from setting a new career-high…. and 2 goals away from 40.
  • I’m just going to repeat…. Jose Theodore has been incredible recently. Keep. It. Up!!!

Also, on a semi-important note; a Capitals win tonight would mark the first time in franchise history that the Caps have swept a regular season series against the Penguins….

You can follow Musings of a Caps Fan on Twitter: @musings_scores

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