Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Roundup/Gamenight: Devils @ Caps

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

For the second time in four nights the Caps and Devils will meet as Jersey visits the nation's capital. This time, however, it's the Caps who come in on a high note (following Saturday night's 6-3 win over Atlanta) and the Devs who are looking to get back into the win column (after Sunday's 1-0 overtime loss to the Rangers).

If the Devils were ripe for the pickin' on Friday night - and they were - they're even moreso tonight, playing the second of back-to-back road games and the third of a three-games-in-five-nights set. In fact, Devils' bench boss Brent Sutter noted that the Caps were the "fresher" of the two teams on Friday night - and that was before last night's hard-hitting OT affair for his squad. Whether Martin Brodeur will be in net yet again or Kevin Weekes gets his first start since November 12 remains to be seen, but either way Jersey has got to be a tired team, and the 32 hits they absorbed in last night's loss will serve to weaken them that much more.

The Caps, for their part, should be playing with all the confidence they displayed on Saturday night and, if they come out guns a-blazin', could have another big night. Of course, "shoulds" and "coulds" have turned into "didn'ts" all season long for D.C., but Matt Pettinger's goal on Saturday night sure did feel like both he and the team had turned a corner, didn't it?

As every game becomes more important than the last for these Caps, Monday night's is certainly one that they should win - and hopefully tonight's "shoulds" and "coulds" turn into "dids."

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Random stat of the day: four Caps (Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and Jeff Schultz) are younger than the youngest player on the Devils roster (Travis Zajac), and two Caps (Donald Brashear and Olie Kolzig) are older than the oldest player in Jersey's lineup (Brodeur).... Backstrom has nine points in eight games (including two three-point efforts) under Bruce Boudreau and only has two fewer points over that span than the two players ahead of him among the rookie scoring leaders combined. If you'd written him off for Calder consideration, you'd better have an eraser handy.... Josh Godfrey had two goals and a pair of assists in Sault Ste. Marie's win over Sarnia last night. He's now third among OHL defensemen in goals and ninth in points.... Finally, gotta hand it to the WaPo - what a great picture they've got accompanying Tarik's article today.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Milan Hejduk (3G, 3A, +4, 4 SOG)
  • Ross: Milan Hejduk (6 points)
  • Norris: Andres Lilja (Game-winning goal, +3, 2 SOG, 3 hits, 3 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Martin Brodeur (28 saves on 29 shots against in OT loss)
  • Richard: Milan Hejduk (3G)
  • Calder: Dustin Byfuglien (G, A, 3 SOG, 4 hits)
  • Aiken: Hannu Toivonen (L, 8 goals allowed on 25 shots against)

7 comments:

Snktimoniuz said...

Nice editing Washington Post. "Gabby the friendly ghost"?

Anonymous said...

I agree with JP. Throw the records out, this is a should-win.

Tyler said...

Even Flash took the puck to the net a couple times on Saturday night. He's got the hands... he just needs to be willing to mix it up down low.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Saturday nights game will ONLY have meaning if it is followed up by an equally strong effort tonight. Else its another Toronto/Ottawa. Nice/impressive/unexpected wins in an otherwise dismal season
2) You'd have to think the Caps will see Kevin Weekes and not marty tonight in goal. Weekes hasn't played in 4 weeks and Brodeur needs a day off, especially after last night.
3) Nice to see Green and Backstrom showing more confidence with each passing game. With AO, those are a pretty good/solid core of young guys to build around

NS said...

How many goals you think Green & Backstrom will each put up by year end?

I'm thinking...
Backstrom:12
Green: 17

Anonymous said...

@ns
16 and 13

jkrdevil said...

According to Devils beat writer Tom Gulittie, Weekes will be in goal tonight for the Devils.

Fire and Ice Blog

Best of luck to the Caps should be a good game tonight.