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When Alex Ovechkin misses games, nearly everyone misses him. The Caps miss his offense and his leadership. Those watching miss the chance to see perhaps the greatest player in the game. And, in Buffalo, fans miss the chance to jeer one of their favorite villains (too bad Puck Daddy didn't ask Alex Semin what he thought of Thomas Vanek, eh?).
But missed the Great Eight will be tonight when the Caps take on the Sabres, and that's unfortunate - the Caps sure could use him. Buffalo comes into the game at 6-2-2 (but losers of three straight) and should be salty after an embarrassing 5-2 home loss to the Bolts on Thursday. Vanek leads the League in goals, Ryan Miller is 5-1-1/2.07/.928, the Sabre power play is humming along at 21.4% (so discipline, as we talked about yesterday, will be key if the Caps are going to have any chance), neither Caps goalie has a career save percentage above .900 against the Sabres, and the Caps are 1-5 in Buffalo since the lockout.
So, um, yeah... tough test tonight (and for more from the other side, be sure to stop by our good buddies at BfloBlog).
But here's your "glass is half full" stat of the day: Jose Theodore's career GAA and SV% in October are worse than any other month of the year. We all changed those calendars overnight, right?
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Following a 38-goal campaign, Alex Semin's 26-goal 2007-08 "made you wonder just a bit" (presumably about whether he was any good or not), according to Pierre LeBrun. LeBrun's cursory look at Semin's stat line made me wonder just a bit whether or not he realized that Semin scored at a 41-goal pace over his last 47 games last season (i.e. once he was healthy).... Speaking of Semin, more fallout from his comments on Sid the Kid here (and still no one mentioned the word "blog" in their story).... TH has the translation on a Sergei Fedorov interview from a few days ago.... And speaking of Sid, Fark has an update on his injury.... DMG catches us up on how a bunch of Caps prospects are doing so far this season.... A Kris Beech Calgary Hitmen sweater is my confession/entry into this conversation (h/t Caps Message Board).