The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!
Tonight, the Caps return home for the back end of a back-to-back set. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in town, and for the Leafs it is one more year in an endless era of disappointment. Since 1967, in fact, the Leafs have the thoroughly unremarkable record of 1,326-1,426 with 383 ties and 47 overtime/shootout losses. In 39 seasons since that championship, they have failed to make the playoffs 13 times. This year is likely to make it 14, the last three in succession.
1967 is a long, long time ago. Here is how long…Chris Chelios was only five years old.
Has it really been a while since
We were still on Super Bowl I…in fact, we hadn’t even begun to use the term, “Super Bowl” yet. It was called the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game” (the term “Super Bowl” was introduced in 1970).
Albert DeSalvo – “The Boston Strangler” – was convicted of numerous crimes and sent to prison.
“The Doors” was released
The American Basketball Association was formed
Aretha Franklin recorded, “Respect”
Kurt Cobain was born
Boeing introduced the 737 commercial jet aircraft
“Expo 67” opened in
Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu
repealed the “Monkey Law” (that which served as the basis for the Scopes trial in 1925) Tennessee
The 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution on presidential succession was ratified
The Beatles released, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Karol Wojtyla was ordained a cardinal (later to become Pope John Paul II)
The first automatic cash machine was installed (Barclay’s Bank in
The musical “Hair” opened off-Broadway
The Disney film, “The Jungle Book,” was released
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was established
NASA conducted the first test of a Saturn V rocket, which would later be used for the lunar missions of the Apollo space program
The first heart transplant procedure was performed by Dr. Christian Barnard, in
Capetown, South Africa
The Royal Mail Steamer Queen Mary was retired
The “Concorde” supersonic aircraft was introduced
Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower were Maple Leafs
…yeah, it’s been a while.
But tonight we have two teams that are two points apart in the standings but perhaps miles apart in attitude. The Caps sit with 68 points in 65 games, three points out of eighth place in the conference and first place (and a top-three seed) in the Southeast Division. They’ve won two in a row, running up eight goals against two stout defensive teams in
The Leafs have done their part, though, over their last seven games:
Goals for/against: 21/16
Power play: 8/30 (26.7%)
Penalty killing: 22/30 (73.3%)
Mats Sundin: 4-4-8, +3, GWG
Darcy Tucker: 4-2-6, even, GWG
Nik Antropov: 3-2-5, +1, GWG
Dominic Moore: 2-3-5, +5
Jason Blake: 1-4-5, -3
In goal, Vesa Toskala has gotten the call in each of the last seven games. He’s provided some solid netminding with only one game having allowed more than three goals. Given Toronto’s effort at making a last push to get into the top eight, it is entirely likely that Toskala gets the call again tonight, even though he played (and lost, in a shootout) last night in Tampa. Over these last seven games, Toskala is 5-1-1, 2.10, .925. Seems the Caps will be facing another goalie who is hot.
If, however, Toskala is rested tonight (seems unlikely, given the Leafs don’t play again until Tuesday), Andrew Raycroft could get the call. That groan you just heard was from any Leafs fans reading this. Raycroft is 2-8-4, 4.07, .868 on the year. It would be fair to say he’s been disappointing.
These are two teams two points apart in the standings, but far apart in terms of the look and feel of them as they move forward. The Capitals were surprising buyers at the trading deadline, the Leafs were in selling mode (and would have been to a greater extent but for players exercising no-trade clauses in their contracts), picking up four draft picks for largely role players. It is a chance for fans to greet the new guys for
Caps 5 – Maple Leafs 2