"It's the biggest game of the year...Everybody understands the magnitude of the game...We have to be ready." -Olie Kolzig
That's right Mr.Kolzig. But I would go farther and say tonight's game is probably the most important game the Caps have played in the last 2 1/2 years. Probably even farther back.
What the Caps have done this season is nothing short of amazing. If the Caps can get into the playoffs and even win a game or two, this season will go down in the books for this franchise. It can legitimize this team in the eyes of the MSM. And for guys like Ovechkin and Kolzig, it can solidify their decisions to stay in DC. For Ovechkin it was the 13 years and for Kolzig it was the choice to stay instead of leaving town for a legitimate contender.
But even with all of the hardwork, amazing moments, unexpected success, and a nationally praised coach...nothing has been accomplished...yet.
That leads us to tonight. An early evening tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes are 4 points ahead of the Caps and with a win tonight it could be 6. Even though the Caps will have 3 games in hand come Sunday morning, 6 points is a lot to overcome in late February.
And as I said in yesterday's post, the upcoming schedule is not very friendly.
The Caps are 5-3-2 in their last 10 while Carolina is 5-4-1. The Canes were counted out about a week ago when they lost their leader (in many capacities) to a season ending injury. However, the Canes never flinched.
I have no doubt the Caps understand the magnitude of this game especially one Alexander Ovechkin. Which leads me to my who to watch.
WHO TO WATCH
Alexander Ovechkin-All eyes are on him as many people are getting a little hysterical regarding a "new" special someone in his personal life. Alex produces on a regular basis but when the heat is on-watch out.
Erik Staal-The Canes have looked for him to step up in the absence of Brindy. Not only on the score board but in the dot.
Erik Cole- Seems to always sting us somehow. Containing him is key.
FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS
Powerplay-The Canes' PK is terrible. A great PP is key. Let's not go for 0-7 this time ok?
Keeping the Pace-The Canes are fast. Sharpen those skates, keep up and don't hook! Their speed, if anything, will lead to many Caps taking 2 in the sin bin.
Secondary Scoring- I feel like a Broken Neil Diamond Record. Broken but so true. Who will it be? Semin, Flash, Kozy...Pettinger? I don't care but someone needs to step up.
unleash the fury...
Ok, that was pretty intense. Here's a video about the Canes' main man that should lighten the mood.
- Mirtle has a crystal ball...and he sees the Caps making the playoffs!
- Some said he would be good in DC...oh well
- It's about time we heard a little bit more about this comparison.