Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Roundup/Gamenight: Panthers @ Caps

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

The Florida Panthers make their third visit to our nation's capital on Saturday night and the Caps will try to be something other than the gracious hosts they've been through the first two games, a pair of one-goal Panther wins.

The Kitties are coming off a thrilling 2-1 win over the Devils in Jersey on Friday night (yawn), as Craig Anderson outdueled Martin Brodeur between the pipes. Seriously.

With Anderson going last night, the Caps can expect to see Tomas Vokoun on Saturday. Vokes is 1-7-1 with a 3.31 goals against average since December 28, but is 3-1-0 with a 1.72 GAA and .947 save percentage against the Caps on the year. Memo to Caps skaters: remember that this guy catches with his right hand - aim accordingly (interestingly, right-handed catching goalies - Vokoun, Rick DiPietro and Jose Theodore - are 5-3-0 with a 1.85 GAA and .930 SV% against the Caps on the season). At the other end of the ice will be Brent Johnson (a decision documented more extensively here).

Things are lining up in the Caps' favor for tonight. The Panthers are 3-4-2 in the second of back-to-back games on the season (and are coming off that surprising win at Jersey in which they were outhit 19-3); the Caps are 10-8-3 with one day off. The Panthers are 2-10-2 on weekends, while the Caps are 7-5-1 in Saturday/Sunday games. And so on.

The Panthers are just what the Caps need in an opponent tonight - a beat-up, soft team with a cold goalie that can't score coming off a tight road game the night before. So why does this game scare the hell out of me?

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Have the Blue Jackets been scouting the Caps? Probably not.... The current installment of NHL.com's Southeast Division Notes focuses on Nicklas Backstrom.... The sky is falling! A Southeast Division team is guaranteed the third seed in the East!... Holy crap - a writer in Montreal might be on the verge of almost considering possibly thinking about taking the Caps seriously.... Oh, and if you were planning to take Metro to and/or from tonight's game, you might want to reconsider.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Drew Stafford (3G, including the game-winner, 2A, +3, 6 SOG)
  • Ross: Drew Stafford (5 points)
  • Norris: Dmitri Kalinin (3A, +4, 4 SOG)
  • Vezina: Johan Holmqvist (27-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Drew Stafford, Derek Roy, Daymond Langkow, Eric Staal (3G each)
  • Calder: Tobias Enstrom (+1 in 20-plus minutes of a 10-1 loss deserves recognition)
  • Aiken: Johan Hedberg (L, 7 goals allowed on 28 shots against in 31:21 of work)

8 comments:

Joe said...

Wow, hell must've frozen over if Canada's finally taking us seriously!

DMG said...

Interesting the author didn't give the fact that the Caps beat Ottawa all 4 times the teams met this season as a reason to take the Caps seriously

NS said...

kill the kitties. that is all.

NS

Anonymous said...

Cease the spouting of meaningless stats. Since Boudreau came along you can throw 'em all out.

NS said...

...Schultz/Jurcina pairing is back...

damn.

Ogre said...

That game was great. If you weren't there, you missed the best part. They did the Kiss Cam, and after showing several people, they showed a Panthers fan sitting by himself. That was funny enough.
Next break in the action, they showed him again, playing the song "Lonely" over the loudspeakers. Several people gave this a standing ovation. It was fantastic.
On an even better note, I took a friend of mine to his first hockey game. He enjoyed it to the point where he will be watching the Caps on television more, and definitely coming to more games. Ted can't say I'm not trying to get him more money for free agents.

Paul Nichols said...

Ogre - I was there also, and yes, that poor slob in the Panthers jersey - oh my, that was the funniest thing I can ever remember at a hockey game. It was classic.

Great game, also. My son loved the part where one of the Panthers got totally taken out, with his stick flying 900 feet in the air.

He also loved the highlight on Donald Brashear knocking the crap out of people. Hehehe

Hazardous said...

Paul, I believe you're talking about the completely clean hit made by, if I'm not mistaken, Erskine right in front of our net that got called? That hit was a thing of beauty.

And they called him for "kneeing" even though it was clearly a hip-check.