It's hard to recall a game in which the starting netminder match-up was of as much interest to Caps fans as tonight's tilt between the Bolts and the host Capitals.
For the locals, the question of who the number one goalie is hasn't been as unclear as it is currently since, well, the guy who will likely be between the pipes at the other end of the ice tonight lost his last job, and it makes for a somewhat difficult decision for head coach Bruce Boudreau - if he starts Brent Johnson, it will be four straight starts for B.J. with a likely tougher opponent (Carolina on the road) looming on Wednesday night before a weekend home-and-home with the Devils; if he starts Jose Theodore and JT60 lays another egg, Gabby's an idiot for not playing the guy who was 2-0-1/1.63/.953 last week (on the other hand, a strong start by Jose and you've got a team with a ton of confidence and two goalies playing well heading into an intra-division roadie).
As for that guy at the other end of the ice, it will be Olie Kolzig, who is 1-1-1/2.67/.925 for a Tampa team that is at the bottom of the League in goals scored (but has been strong five-on-five) and is in the bottom third in power play and penalty killing efficiencies.
So this Monday night in November brings us our first chance to see (with a ticket or Versus, that is) the first overall pick from this past summer's Entry Draft, Steven Stamkos, former Caps Matt Pettinger and Steve Eminger, and long-time nemeses Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. But most importantly to nearly all Caps fans, it's a chance to see an old friend:
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Is there some more bulletin board material emanating from the Caps' locker room? Check out Alex Ovechkin's thoughts on Paul Mara.... Via Life in Hockeywood (via Puck Daddy), TFP's 2009 Ice Girls Calendar is now available. "Miss Washington" notwithstanding, it's the perfect gift for the hockey fan who likes really flat-chested women.