I should have known from the new Dunkin' Donuts inside the Verizon Center that it could mean only one thing: the Boston Bruins are coming. And now they're here, carrying a bloated payroll and disappointing record into Tuesday night's tilt with the Caps.
Want to feel better about the home team? Here you go - the Caps score more than a quarter of a goal more per game than the Bruins, give up more than a quarter of a goal less per game than the B's and have a payroll that's about 32% less than the Bruins' (I wonder if Boston feels they're getting what they're paying for). But wait - there's less! The Bruins win at Carolina on Saturday broke a six-game losing streak in which they were outscored 22-4, including 6-1 and 7-1 losses. Ouch.
Can the boys from D.C. build on Sunday's win and keep down the underachieving Bruins? Can the Caps' top D-pairing of Shaone Morrisonn and Milan Jurcina contain their former team's top line? Here are a few numbers to ponder:
- The Caps are 5-1 in their last six games at the VC, but 1-4 in their last five in the third game of a 3 games-in-4 days situation and 1-4 in their last five against teams with losing records.
- The Bruins are 4-0 in their last four against the Southeast Division, 6-1 in their last seven against teams with losing records, 4-0 in their last four at the VC and 6-1-1 in their last eight against the Caps.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
- Vogs on NHL Iron Men.
- Hart: Henrik Zetterberg (GWG, A, +1, 4 SOG)
- Ross: Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Michael Nylander (2 points each)
- Norris: Brett Lebda (A, +1)
- Vezina: Dominik Hasek (W, 17 saves on 20 shots against)
- Richard: seven players tied with 1G each
- Calder: Jiri Hudler (G, 2 SOG)
- Aiken: Henrik Lundqvist (L, 4 goals allowed on 26 shots against including blowing a 3-1 third period lead)