Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Roundup/Gamenight: Caps @ Thrashers

[AP Preview - Preview]

It's been a long summer, filled with lots of optimism, expectation and talk, but now it's time to see just what George McPhee and Glen Hanlon have put together, as the puck drops on the 2007-08 Capitals season tonight in Atlanta.

Brent Johnson, coming off a strong preseason (1-1-0, 1.14 GAA, .941 SV%), will get the start in goal for the visitors, as Olie Kolzig will play tomorrow night's home opener and Monday's early afternoon game on Long Island. It's also perhaps worth noting that Johnny is 6-2-1 in his career against the Thrash, with a 2.53 GAA and a .910 SV% (Olie's numbers aren't quite as good). At the other end of the rink, Kari Lehtonen will be in goal for Atlanta, sporting a 6-1-2 career mark against the Caps.

On the injury front, Alex Semin won't play (Chris Clark will skate with Michael Nylander and Nicklas Backstrom tonight in Semin's absence), and Steve Eminger and Eric Fehr are also out.

As for Atlanta, they may have as many as four rookies in the lineup tonight, and the one to watch is definitely Brett Sterling, who will start the season on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White. For a more in-depth look at the Thrash, head over to FanHouse for my season preview from a few weeks back.

Lastly, a few more quick hits on the Caps: Tarik's mega preview of the team and the NHL season is up, and he has a rather lengthy profile of Alex Semin as well... Corey profiles the captain (who will be on SportsTalk 980's Feldman & Maloney today at 12:45)... Alex Ovechkin has 14 goals and 14 assists in 16 career games against Atlanta (and is two goals shy of 100 and two points shy of 200 for his career - could it be a milestone night?), while Ilya Kovalchuk has 36 points in 30 games against the Caps and Marian Hossa has 44 points in 38 games in his career against Washington... and finally, if you need a new desktop background for your computer, here's this year's team photo.

Update (12:14 pm): Vogs says the 2nd-4th lines for the morning skate were as follows:
19-Backstrom, 92-Nylander, 21-Laich
18-Pettinger, 15-Gordon, 17-Clark
87-Brashear, 39-Steckel, 10-Bradley

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Daniel Briere (2 goals, including the game-winner with 1:48 remaining, 6 SOG, 59% faceoffs won in Philly debut)
  • Ross: Jason Arnott, Chris Drury, Marik Malik, Martin St. Louis (3 points each)
  • Norris: Marik Malik (3A, +3)
  • Vezina: Chris Mason (35-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Jason Arnott, Vincent Lecavalier, Daniel Briere, Daniel Alfredsson, Daymond Langkow (2 goals each)
  • Calder: Daniel Winnik (Game-winning goal in first NHL game)
  • Aiken: Peter Budaj (L, 4 goals allowed on 24 shots against in 43:59 of work)


Mike L said...

Yeah Budaj had a bad day, but it wasn't just him. Someone on the Avs needs to visit the NHL office and kick someone for scheduling back to back games like they had. Opening night in Denver, and then a game the next night in Nashville, which is about 3 1/2 hours by air. They probably got into Nashville in time for the morning skate...

Anonymous said...


kb said...

Tea leaves have been read. Capitals 6, Thrashers 4

Ogre said...

I can't think of a better 3rd and 4th line combo there in the NHL than the one the Caps are sporting.