Monday, April 06, 2009

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Caps vs. Thrashers, April 7th

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!

We’re in the last week of the regular season, and the Caps open in with the back half of a home-and-home against the Atlanta Thrashers. Rather than just rewrite what we wrote in advance of the game on Sunday, we’ll just point you to what we wrote the first time.

As for these teams, this will be the 56th meeting in the storied history of the Capitals-Thrashers rivalry. Here is the tale of the Caps' record against the Thrashers…

As you can see, the difference between Sunday’s game and Tuesday’s game is pretty much what you’d expect – the venue. Philips Arena has not been hospitable to the Capitals, the Caps having a losing record there since the Thrashers opened the arena in 1999. In fact, that losing record is the result of having lost both games played there this year. In those two games, the Thrashers…

- outscored the Caps 12-5

- were 6-for-13 on the power play (46.2 percent)

- Killed nine of 11 shorthanded situations (81.8 percent)

- outscored the Caps 5-1 in the first period

- have gotten a pair of goals each from Slava Kozlov, Colby Armstrong, and Bryan Little

- have NOT gotten a goal from Ilya Kovalchuk

- have held Alex Ovechkin scoreless (0-0-0, -2) despite Ovechkin having 16 shots on goal in the two games.

So…we’ll ask the cousins, Cheerless and Fearless…what do the Caps need to do to break the schneid? Feerless?

"They need to avoid the slow start. Letting the Thrashers get off to a quick start as they did in the first two games – three goals in the first period of the first game, two goals in the first period of the second game – will kill them. It will give the Thrashers confidence and make the Caps gamble even more than usual, and they don’t have the defense or consistent goaltending to allow Atlanta odd-man rushes all night while their trying to crash the Thrasher net. If the Caps can get out of the first period scoreless or maybe up 1-0 – the kind of road game you draw up on the chalkboard – they should be fine."


"Huh? I was checkin’ out the Red Rockers on the Caps’ web page."

Well, we encourage research, whatever the subject might be, so we’ll just go on to say that this game represents a chance for the Caps to win their 20th road game of the season. It would mark the seventh time in franchise history that the Caps won 20 road contests. And, it would keep the club in the hunt to tie the franchise record of 22 road wins, set in the 1983/1984 season. We think they’ll keep that goal in view…

Caps 5 – Thrashers 3

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