Saturday, October 30, 2010

Game #11 Preview: Washington Capitals at Calgary Flames

Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

When:  October 30, 2010 10:00 PM

Caps Record on this Date: 8-3-3-1
Caps Game 11 Record: 11-18-5-1
All-Time vs. CAL: 26-24-9-0
All-Time at CAL: 7-15-6-0
Last Season vs. CAL: 0-1-0
Last Meeting: 3/28/10, WAS 3 CAL 5

This Year:
WAS Record: 6-4-0
Standings Points: 12
Division Rank: 2nd
Conference Rank: 4th      
Last Game: 10/28/10, WAS 1 MIN 2
Streak: Loss 1

CAL Record: 6-4-0
Standings Points: 12
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 3rd    
Last Game: 10/28/10, CAL 5 COL 6
Streak: Loss 1

Probable Line-Ups:     
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 22 KNUBLE
Forward Line 2: 21 LAICH, 85 PERREAULT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 14 FLEISCHMANN, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 10 BRADLEY, 39 STECKEL, 26 HENDRICKS
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 52 GREEN
Defense Pair 2: 4 ERSKINE, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 27 ALZNER, 89 SLOAN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 70 HOLTBY

Forward Line 1: 40 TANGUAY, 18 STAJAN, 12 IGINLA
Forward Line 2: 10 HAGMAN, 13 JOKINEN, 17 BOURQUE
Forward Line 4: 44 MEYER, 24 CONROY, 15 JACKMAN
Defense Pair 1: 28 REGHER, 4 BOUWMEESTER
Defense Pair 2: 3 WHITE, 5 GIODANO
Defense Pair 3: 29 MIKKELSON, 6 SARICH
Goalie: 34 KIPRUSOFF
Back-up Goalie: 35 KARLSSON

Washington – 15 GORDON (undisclosed) IR, 1 VARLAMOV (groin) IR, 3 POTI (lower body) DTD, 90 JOHANSSON (hip flexor) DTD

Calgary – 7 PARDY (shoulder) IR, KOTALIK (knee) IR, 25 MOSS (shoulder) IR, 32 STONE (knee) IR, 22 LANGKOW (neck) IR, 41 IVANANS (concussion) IR

Caps Milestones:
Mike Knuble will play his 900th career game.
Nicklas Backstrom needs 8 assists to reach 200 in his career.
Brooks Laich needs 6 points to reach 200 in his career.

Another slow start in Minnesota was directly responsible for the 2-1 loss on Thursday. The Capitals need to get out to a good start and get on the scoreboard. The Caps have scored in the first period only 4 times in first 10 games. Of the 6 wins, only two of which can be considered a complete victory. The Caps have also struggled on the power play. They had some good looks in Minnesota but were unable to connect and have not scored on the power play in the last 5 games. Look for an even more simplified system to be employed tonight. The Caps have to get back to their systems. When the Caps use their systems they can be an elite team but when they rely on talent alone, which they have done a lot this season, they are an average hockey team. I expect this game to be an eye opener for Washington. The Flames are currently in first place in the Western Conference and will give the Caps all they can handle. I think the Minnesota game should be a wake up call for the Caps and you will see the “good” Capitals team in Calgary.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 3 CAL 2

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