The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!
Well, we had some other chores to take care of, so we’re going to let the cousins handle this prognosto… Take it away, guys…
Cheerless… Hey, cuz! We’re on the Interwebs!
Fearless… That’s “Inter-NET” you doofus.
So who we playin’ tonight, cuz?
The Toronto Maple Leafs
No kidding? That reminds me of a talk we had when we were kids. You remember that, cuz?
Like it was yesterday…
…those were the days, eh cuz?
Yeah, and you never did tell me what you stepped in…
But speakin’ o’ “nets,” who are the Caps going to start in goal tonight, Jim Carey?
Don’t take the Leafs lightly – they might not have a great record, but they can score goals passably well. They’re 16th in the league in goals per game and 12th in 5-on-5 play.
Geez, cuz, now you’re sounding like that geek cousin of ours.
Excuse me for reading… but back to the Leafs, what they aren’t is special – 19th on the power play, dead last in penalty killing. How do you play 48 games in this league and have a PK of less than 70 percent (68.9 percent, actually)?
It is a mystery, cuz… but you missed something. Bet you didn’t know that the Leafs are actually eighth in road power play conversions – 20 percent. Trouble is, their PK is even worse on the road – 66.7 percent.
Looks like you did some reading yourself.
Nah, that columnist for the Post told me that, the one that likes 90 percent of Caps fans? What a hockey mind! He oughtta work for the NHL Network.
Let’s not get silly… but back to the Leafs, they’ve had their troubles lately – since Christmas they are 3-6-0 and have lost four of their last five.
Yeah, but they shutout the Flyers the other night.
True, that… but they’re still having trouble scoring goals. In those nine games since Christmas they have only 22 – 2.44 a game.
And they’ve given up 31 – 3.44 a game.
Looks like those correspondence courses in arithmetic did the trick.
Yup… now I can start the fourth grade classes.
You look at that bunch and wonder… a defenseman leads the team in scoring (Tomas Kaberle). But then it gets even stranger – three defensemen have at least 20 points for the Leafs (Ian White and Francois Beauchemin being the others).
Sounds like those Caps of 92-93, the team that had three defensemen with at least 20 goals and 50 points apiece.
That columnist give you that nugget, too?
Nah…I was leafin’ through the media guide whilst I was takin’ care of my mornin’ business.
Spare us the details. So who are you going to be watching for tonight for the Leafs?
Phil Kessel. He came into the season with pretty poor numbers against the Caps – 2-2-4 in 10 games. But he’s 1-2-3 in two games so far this year. What makes him interesting to watch is that he’s got only one goal in his last 14 games. Not good in a town where everyone wants to know what color your poop is if you’re a hockey player.
I’m going to be looking at Matt Stajan for the opposite reason. He’s on a bit of a roll lately – points in five of his last six games (2-4-6), and he was 2-1-3 with the game winner the last time he faced the Caps back in December. How about for the Caps?
Gotcha!... No, actually Jose Theodore. He’s come on in relief the last two games. One was Bad Jose (three goals on 21 shots), and one was Good Jose (15-for-15). I’ll be on the edge of the milk crate wondering which one shows up.
I’ll be watching Alex Ovechkin. He had a goal against Florida last timeout, and that might be the signal that he’s going to go on one of his runs. He should be sort of broken in as captain by this point, and he can just let Ovie be Ovie. Besides – 17 goals in 18 career games against Toronto? What about keys?
They’re on the chiffarobe, next to the pouch o’ Red Man.
Keys to the GAME, you putz…
Oh, well, I think the key is for the Caps to score more than the Leafs.
Trenchant analysis, cuz.
Caps 5 – Leafs 3