Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pre-Cap: Capitals vs. Islanders

For this afternoon's game, the Capitals are doing what most wise residents of the District are doing...fleeing. With the inauguration on Tuesday, what better place to escape the masses than Long Island?

After a three-game losing streak, the Caps have put together a pair of "statement" wins back-to-back. Now the Caps face to teams that are likely to be lottery pick contenders and have the opportunity to break .500 on the road. After this set of back-to-back games, the Caps will take a hard-earned break for the All-Star game.

The Islanders and the year 2009 aren't getting along. Sporting an 0-7 record since Jan. 1, 2009, the Isles are the front runners for the "John Tavares sweepstakes." That's not to say that the Isles are playing bad hockey though; in their past seven games, they've run up against the Bruins, Devils, Flames, Rangers and Sharks.
Washington Capitals (29-14-3, first in SE, second in EC, last game 2-1 win over Boston)
vs. New York Islanders (12-29-4, fifth in ATL, 15th in EC, last game 3-1 loss to New Jersey)

The longer he's off the scoresheet, the more dangerous he gets
If there is one stat that Alex Ovechkin can use to prove why he's the best player in the NHL today, it's his point totals in the third period. Twenty-nne of Ovechkin's 57 points have come in the third period, 15 of them goals. Fourteen of his goals this season have come in the last five minutes of play. If that's not what an MVP is supposed to do, then please correct me.

More Ovie stats to think about
So far this season, Ovechkin has had only two multigoal games on the road. Both have come against New York-based teams: two goals against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, and two against the Isles at Nassau Coliseum.

Head-scratcher of a stat
Usually when you score the first goal, your team should be in command to set the tone of the game. Teams such as the Caps, Sharks and Red Wings boast a plus .800 win percentage when scoring first. Now look at the Islanders: They have a .400 win percentage when scoring first in games. A frustrating stat that the Islanders hope to correct in the future.

What's in a scratch?
The Capitals this season and last had no trouble winning big games without the services of Chris Clark. For both the Penguins and Bruins games, Clark watched from the press box as the team won both of those matches. It will be interesting to see what happens with Clark. Is he being scratched for poor play? Is a trade in the works? Resting him for the long run? Who knows. If the Caps are looking to trade Clark, scratching him will only decrease his value, but then again what good is he if he's in the press box? Expect Clark to return to the lineup sometime during this road trip and try to earn his place back on the ice.

Stick-ology with Brooks Laich
Learn how players choose a lucky stick from a man who has no trouble scoring (hi-five for innuendo!)

The last meeting


No comments:

Post a Comment

Technorati Profile