Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pre-Cap: Capitals vs. Devils

The sky is falling for some Southeast Division teams (cough Tampa cough), but now is not the time to bring up failed mullets. The Capitals' assault on the #1 slot in the Eastern Conference continues with the second game in a home-and-home series with the Devils.

Washington Capitals (10-4-1, last game 3-1 win over Devils)
New Jersey Devils (7-7-2, last game 3-1 loss to Capitals)

The story so far...
Nylander sat, Semin groaned, and Theodore closed the door. Oh, and some guy named Alex Ovechkin got an empty netter for his fifth goal. Another thing, let me gloat: Tomas Fleischmann, called it! A great team effort in front of some great goaltending catapulted the Caps ahead of the Devils. Can they do it again after a quick trip up 95?

Key Players
WSH: Jose Theodore, Tomas Fleischmann
NJD: Zach Parise, Patrick Elias

Dropping the ball
For the Devils, playing without Brodeur in net is like riding a bike without training wheels. Without their security blanket of a goalie, the team has been on a steep slide. The Devils have dropped four in a row, but during the time without Broduer the GAA only jumped to 2.6 from 2.5. So who is responsible? A tandem of back-ups or an offense whose third best goal scorer has only two goals?

Don't look now...
Word is Jose Theodore will get the start tonight. It was possible Johnson would start but after Theodore's performance last night, and considering how long Boudreau played Johnson for similar efforts, the start would be justified.

Get to know the man who robbed Jose
Let's face it. We have been giving Theodore a lot of crow for his play, but last night, he deserved a shutout. Then a horrible line change and a Elias shot burned Theodore and ended his four-period shutout (dating back to the Carolina game). Here's a nice piece on Elias.

Stuff your face for only a dollar...
I really hope that if some multi-million-dollar hockey team owner in D.C. were perchance mulling over this site, he'd consider this fan promotion. Nathan's hotdogs for only a buck? I imagine the catch is the condiment bar now costs $5 to use.

Dragging in the towel...
Think dragging toilet paper from the bathroom on your foot is bad? Devils defensemen Jay Pandolfo knows your pain.

Solid like a rock
How about that Tyler Sloan and Tom Poti pairing? The last time each was a negative on the plus-minus for a game? For Sloan, it goes back to Oct. 28 against the Predators, but keep in mind he was returned to Hershey for a bit. For Poti it goes back to Oct. 13, but keep in mind he was injured for a strech, too. Even with the injuries/call-up, the two have been one of the best defensive pairs for the Caps this season.

Gimmick Infringment
Devils fans, be sure to rock YOUR red. What's next, unleash YOUR fury?


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