Washington Capitals (43-21-6, first in SE, third in EC)
Semin is sizzlin' hot, Jose is money, Ovechkin is on the brink of his third 50-goal season, and some guy named Backstrom is quietly fourth in the NHL for assists (55). Oh, and now we get Pothier and Varlamov back.
How's that feel? Feels good, man.
The much anticipated "Magical Southeast Division Tour" is leaving Washington behind and heading south for a date with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers, as you can see from the record above, are NHL bottom feeders this year, but don't get cocky. The Thrash have been a "troll" of a team lately, that's to say that despite their underachieving record they've won six out of their last seven games, and they're beating tough competition who think they can coast to an easy win.
If there's going to be a team that many fall asleep on, it will be Atlanta, and the Thrashers are doing a damn fine job of messing around with the playoff brackets. The Thrash have dispatched the Canadiens, the Oilers, the Flames and the Sabres during their streak, all playoff teams fighting for position or their lives.
Spearheading the Thrashers offense is Captain Ilya Kovalchuk, who since his rise to power on Jan. 11 has recorded 35 points in 25 games. Behind Kovalchuk and second on the Thrash for goals is Bryan Little. He has 29 goals on the season and has scored a goal in all three meetings with the Capitals this year.
This road trip is about more than the Southeast Division, though. With Boston tripping up to the Pens Sunday (6-4) and the Devils playing behind a red-hot Brodeur, the Caps need every point they can get so they can control their playoff matchup.
As it stands now, the Caps would face the Canadiens.
LET'S GO CAPS
V-C-U GO RAMS GO