Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesday Roundup/Gamenight: Caps @ Sens

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

A week ago today, we mentioned that Alex Ovechkin's two-game absence from the Caps lineup presented opportunity aplenty for both the Caps and AO. Some players took advantage (at least for one night). Others did not. Now we'll see if the Great Eight can himself make the most of the opportunity to once again show everyone in the League why he is the reigning MVP and get his game, and more imporantly the Caps season (too dramatic?), back on track.

And what better team for Ovechkin to face in this effort than the Ottawa Senators, a squad he positively torched last season to the tune of six goals (including his first career four-goal game) and four assists in four games? For his career, AO has ten goals and nine assists against the Sens in twelve games (his third-highest points-per-game rate against any opponent he has faced more than three times, behind only Philly and Atlanta).

In fact, for one reason or another, the entire Caps team (other than the new guy between the pipes) has fared well against Ottawa recently, going 7-2-0 in their last nine games (after being winless in their previous eight) and outscoring the Sens 37-25 along the way (including 22-12 in last season's four-game sweep).

The current Senators squad comes into the game with a 4-5-2 record, thanks in no small part to a horrid five-on-five goal ratio (both their power play and penalty kill have been strong, however) and weak goaltending from incumbent number one, Martin Gerber... who won't starting tonight. Instead, the Caps will face the red hot Alex Auld, who is 3-2-1/2.15/.931 on the season and has had only one game with a sub-.921 save percentage thus far (so he's due for a shellacking, eh?).

On offense, the Sens are led bythe usual suspects, with Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Filip Kuba and Daniel Alfredsson all playing at a point-per-game clip or better.

Wait, Filip Kuba? Heh. (He's no Andrej Meszaros, is he, Brian Lawton?)

So here it is Election Day, and the Caps will get their leader back (talk about the change we need) leaving us with one question: Can we enjoy a Caps win tonight? I've got all the hope in the world that, indeed, yes we can.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Pierre LeBrun weighs in on Semin/Crosby and includes some damage control from Ted Leonsis. Good stuff, though there's no way Ray Shero could take GMGM.... Speaking of the Pens, take a look at this eight-step program to better our friends from Pittsburgh and tell me how many would apply to the Caps (I count a bare minimum of five).... Still sticking with the City at the confluence of the three rivers, LCS Hockey thinks Alex Semin is a stooge, but that Sidney Crosby isn't progressing as a player and right now is just "a fast Adam Oates," which I thought was more or less Semin's point.... The Caps are enjoying the second largest attendance boost over last year's numbers in the League.

20 comments:

wittcap79 said...

"An Ovechkin/Semin led Capitals will NEVER EVER beat a Crosby led Penguins in the playoffs"

Wow, I didn't know Adam Oates, even if he was faster, had that level of playoff dominance. Things that make you go hmmm?

I'm guessing Le Lapin goes back to Russia when his contract is up...it's a eerie feeling I'm getting.

Anonymous said...

The LeBrun piece is here..

I kind of like the Ted vs. Mario '666' LeMeow matchup. I definitely think that Uncle Ted has a few moves up his sleeve. I'll take Ted!

this space for rent said...

wittcap79: I see where you're getting it from. I really do. I don't know if it's the case or not, but I can see it.

Thank God there's a Caps game tonight - it gives me a reason not to watch the election returns! I'm honestly so tired of politics I could scream.

Joe said...

For all the comparison between Semin and Crosby I haven't seen a mention of Semin's shot. His shot is so far superior to Crosby's it not even funny. When was the last time you saw Crosby beat Broudeur short side from 8 feet with a wrist shot? That would be never.

b.orr4 said...

Washington needs change! Alex Semin needs to redistribute his wealth. His goals need to be shared by another Alex and a Sergei and maybe even a Nick. Our dependence on offense-driven victories needs to be replaced by a strong defense. The people need to rise up and say "We are better than this. We can be better than this. We will be better than this". It's time to put away old stereotypes and admit that a Russian can lead a team to the Stanley Cup, that just because you're from Canada doesn't make you better than somebody else. The winds of change are upon us. Today we begin on a new course. A course to greatness! A course to victory!
(I'm b.orr4 and I endorse this message)

JP said...

+1

NS said...

*in

wittcap79 said...

Wow! It brought a tear to my eye...

Shaggy said...

Classic - b.orr4 for Prez!

@jp:
Of course the Oatesian comparison was Semin's point - it stuns nme how many of the clueless seemed to think it's a Semin vs Crosby thing.

NS said...

Semin is never going to give another interview again...

b.orr4 said...

@Shaggy-If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. You betcha'.

Anonymous said...

the nhl marketing department should go over to the espn blog and read the comments left by people. it seems pretty apparent that people agree with semin that crosby is way overhyped and that the nhl should change their tactics and promote a lot more players and not just crosby.

MBR said...

That LCS blog is a place for douchebags...he had some pretty bold statements in there, using words like "never". It also seems we need to get Crosby in touch with that guy because he knows how to turn Sid into a goal scorer; he just needs to curve his stick blade and magically he'll be shooting the puck like Jarome Iginla. What an ignorant jack-ass. I know blogs are a place to voice your opinions, and that's what makes them great, but what a lame-ass!

Hazardous said...

MBR: Blogs are great because they allow a common guy to bring us other common guys news and updates. Not because any ol' jackass (as we've just witnessed) can say stupid shit like "NEVER!"

JPs blog is a special case, because he's not a jackass. Sure, he is slightly biased, I mean, he IS a fan, after all. But he's more than fair. Sometimes to a tune we other fans don't really wish to hear. That's what makes this blog great. Keep it up, JP. :3

Arabella said...

I'm Auntie Arabella and I endorse b.orr4!

Hazardous said...

Another game blown by lack of defense. Who else was out there for the game winner but good ol' Morrisonn. Not playing the man, yet again.

Until this team's administration admits and comes to grips with the fact that we have an abomination for a D-corps, this team's going nowhere in a hurry.

I may as well just expect a loss every time I turn the game on until they address this garbage.

JP said...

Thanks 'Zard (on that previous comment).

Ogre said...

Agreed with Haz, actually. I only read about two blogs, this one and the Icethetics(which isn't a blog anymore), but the fact of the matter is there's a lot of toolbags out there with blogs (Myself included) that just spew out bullshit to get things they wanted on the internet. If you need to post things online to make yourself feel better, do it.

I can honestly say that this blog is one of the few *sites* I even visit, and I visit it a few times a day. JP gets extra points because he communicates with the people who post on the site as well. Fair play to you, sir.

On a side note, do you pronounce it Jay-pers or Jap-ers? I've always said Jap-ers, and recently thought I was probably wrong.

JP said...

Awww... thanks, Ogre, and honestly, it's all about community for me - there's no way I'd still be at this without a good group of folks joining in the conversation (which is how I see things - as a conversation, me talking with you all, not to you all).

As for pronunciation, I'd say it rhymes with "papers."

akus said...

From James Mirtle. You may have heard of him;

Here

" Here's a good comparison based on the counting numbers: Semin's three and a half years older than Crosby, has played 23 fewer NHL games, scored 20 fewer goals, 136 fewer assists and 156 fewer points. Semin was minus-18 in 63 games last season, still gets somewhat sheltered against top opposition and while he's had a terrific start to the season offensively, he's still getting lit up by the opposition.

Not to mention Crosby's Art Ross, Lester B. Pearson and Hart trophies, and an absolutely incredible performance during last year's postseason run to the finals.And as far as I'm concerned, Crosby has one more thing Semin has yet
to get a handle on.

Class."