Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Caps vs. Kings, February 8th

Hate playin’ the Flyers
They’re big and they’re dumb
And all the players play like donkeys
Let’s leave the Oilers to the eskimos
That town’s a little too far away
For you and me, you Caps fans

Rollin’ down . . . I-95
Headin’ to Verizon and we just can’t be late
Noreaster’ wind blowin’ cold from the north
And we was born to skate

Roll down the window, put down the top
Crank up Steve Kolbe, baby
Don’t let the goal scorin’ stop
We’re gonna skate until we just can’t skate anymore

From the parkway to the Beltway
From the west side to the east side
Everybody’s very happy
’cause the Caps are gonna win this time
Looks like another perfect day

We play L.A. (we love it)
We play L.A. (we love it)

Look at that statue
Looks like Willsie
Look at that bum over there, man
It’s Mike Cammalleri
Look at these goobers
These guys ain’t goin’ nowhere

Lead after one period (we love it)
Lead after two periods (we love it)
Lead after three periods (we love it)
Fun street! (we love it, we love it)

We’ll beat L.A.
We’ll beat L.A.
(we love it!)

Well, the Caps oughtta love it, but that’s what The Peerless said about Boston, too. The Kings are 2-8-2 in their last 12 games, and but for the grace of the Flyers would have the worst record in the NHL. They’ve been outscored in their last 12 games, 41-31, but even that is deceptive. That number includes a 7-0 pounding of Florida (a club the Caps can’t seem to beat . . . please take note) for one of their two wins.

Special teams have been a particular problem for the Kings. The power play has been anemic – 5-for-52 (9.6 percent). Given the Caps recent woes (2-for-25 in their last five games), power plays could be truly painful to watch. The Kings also have had problems keeping up for 60 minutes. They’ve held their own in the first period, outscored by only 13-12. But as the game wears on (10 goals for/14 against in the second period, 8 goals for/13 against in the third), they wilt. If there is one silver lining for the Kings in this woeful dozen games, it is that both wins have been on the road.

The Kings have scored first in seven of these last 12 games, and the first goal in six of them was scored by either Alexander Frolov or Mike Cammalleri. In fact, Frolov is 7-3-10, +3, in the last 12 games, while Cammalleri is 7-8-15, +5. Think those two should get some attention? The rest of the club combined has 17 goals in 12 games.

If the Kings have a “secret weapon” to use here, it is Sean Burke. The veteran goalie joined the club and started his season with a solid 43 minutes against Phoenix on January 20th (23 saves on 24 shots, no decision). Since then, Burke is 2-2-2 and has occasionally been outstanding in his performance. Overall, he has a 2.34 GAA and .930 save percentage.

Again, the Kings are a club the Caps – if they show up – should handle, well, handily. But that’s been the problem, hasn’t it? The Caps can scare up enough of an effort to slash the Sabres or blow over the Hurricanes, then they go toes up against teams with animal mascots (Panthers, Bruins, Coyotes).

Maybe that’s it! The Caps have some weird allergy to fur, metaphorically speaking. This being an club with an inanimate mascot, the win is all but assured . . . we think.

Caps 5 – Kings 3.

No comments: