Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday Roundup/Gamenight: Devils @ Caps

[ Preview - Vogel's Preview - Official Gameday Thread]

Caps fans, brace yourself for exciting neutral-zone-clogging action as the Devils are in town (I know, Shayne, three Cups, etc.). For their part, the Caps have picked a bad time to be banged up, as they embark on a stretch of seven games in 11 days (including a pair of games against the Devils and games against the Leafs, Sabres, Habs, Rangers and Coyotes as well). They got no favors last night from their Southeast Divisional cohorts, all of whom won, with Atlanta doing the Caps the bonus kick-in-the-chops of giving away a point to Kansas City Pittsburgh. Then again, you didn't expect a playoff run to be easy, did you?

With The Donald, John Erskine and Matt Bradley all presumably out of the lineup, watch for the team's toughness to be exhibited in ways other than raw pugilism. Either that or watch the Cam Janssens and Darcy Tuckers of the world take runs at AO for the next few nights - it's up to you, Brian Sutherby et. al. And with Chris Clark (possibly) and Bryan Muir (likely) also out, other guys will have to step up - with adversity comes opportunity - and now would be a good time for guys like Ben Clymer and Steve Eminger to shine and help lead the Caps to victory. If I may ask for one more present on this, the last night of Hannukah, it would be for Matt Pettinger to return to the scoresheet. Or this. But probably a couple of goals from Princess.

I'll have more later (workload permitting), but wanted to note that I went to my first practice yesterday morning out at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex at the Ballston Commons mall. I highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance, even if it means playing hooky from work some day. An interesting (to me) epilogue to that blurb is that I found myself behind Olie Kolzig driving home. He can't live more than five minutes from me in Potomac (though I resisted the urge to full-on stalk him all the way to his house) and drives one of the sweetest cars I've ever seen (a $100+K 2005 or 2006 Maserati Quattroporte).

Daily Awards
  • Southeast Division Player of the Day: Ilya Kovalchuk (G, 2A, +1, 12 SOG)
  • Hart: Tim Thomas (39-save shutout win)
  • Ross: Ilya Kovalchuk, Jason Pominville (3 points each)
  • Norris: Paul Ranger (GWG, A, +2, 2 SOG)
  • Vezina: Tim Thomas (39-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Jason Pominville, Ales Kotalik, Maxim Afinogenov (2G each)
  • Calder: David Backes (G, +2, 4 SOG)
  • Aiken: Chris Mason (L, 5 goals allowed on 26 shots against in 39:52 of work)


JP said...

Oh, and be sure to check out the new AO NHL on NBC ad. It's pretty sweet.

JP said...

Let's hope the refs leave their whistles at home and let the players decide a game for a change. As Peerless points out:

"In The Peerless Index of Specialty Skill, the Devils – ranked fourth in penalty killing and seventh in power play efficiency, for a score of 11 – are outranked only by Montreal (1st and 2nd, for a score of 3) among the thirty NHL teams. The Caps – with a score of 32 – would prefer to keep this a 5-on-5 game, where the Devils are rather ordinary. Actually, ordinary doesn’t really describe it. Uncharacteristically, the Devils have only two players on the plus side of the plus-minus ledger – Zach Parise and Travis Zajac. Patrik Elias might lead the club in scoring (30 points), but he’s also a -14 in doing it. Paul Martin is a -10, Brian Rafalski is a -8."

Anonymous said...

Good morning. Please take a second to check out this new site. It has been generating quite a bit of buzz. It is basically calling for the return of good old-fashioned North American hockey that many of us have missed over the past few years. It presents a pretty solid stance on why today’s NHL product is in trouble.

The end result - or day of reckoning if you will - is January 20th… what is being called the annual "Save the NHL" night. On January 20th, there will be a total of 14 games taking place across the NHL and it presents the best opportunity for fans to show their support for a return to something close to old time hockey, primarily by tweaking the current rules in “the new NHL.”

The idea is to make our (the NHL fan’s) presence known through fliers and/or signs (all of tasteful nature of course) in the hopes that we get someone’s attention and open their eyes to the demands of the fans. If you share in that interest for intense, passionate, and physical hockey, please check out the site and kindly show whatever support you can. The effort on your part would be minimal but your impact would be overwhelming.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!


JP said...

Tom or Matthew or whoever -

I'll let your self-promoting spam comment slide this one time, my Xmas gift to you. But don't try it again.

Anonymous said...

"...I found myself behind Olie Kolzig driving home..."



JP said...

My wife (who was with me) wanted me to follow him all the way to his house. I followed him until I would normally turn off. So she's the Olie stalker (which is fairly accurate).

JP said...

FYI - Brent Johnson will be starting in goal tonight.