Wild (73 pts) @ Capitals (64 points)
What Have You Been Up To Lately?
The Caps are coming off two frustrating losses. Both in which they came out strong but did not get the result they wanted or needed. I think everyone believed the Caps would pull out a win yesterday after being humiliated in Raleigh, but they didn’t.
How will the Caps respond? They are 5 points out with 2 games in hand. We know that every game matters. And with Carolina playing tonight with the chance of going up 7 points, the Caps can’t afford to lose.
Minnesota has been the symbol of a good, disciplined team. Their PP and PK are in the top ten and they are about average when it comes to goals against and goals for.
They also have a a guy named Niklas Backstrom on their team. But his bread and butter is not assists, it’s GAA and SV %. They also have a very capable backup named Josh Harding. We could see either. Harding or Backstrom- it doesn’t really matter.
The bad news (or maybe good news); Minnesota have lost three straight. Something they have not done since late October. They are also in a tight race for the top in the Northwest.
WHO TO WATCH
Alex Ovechkin-He has to score tonight...right?
Flash-Ok, he was great a week and a half ago scoring two goals. He has gone three without anything. I would like to see him get on the board again. We got really excited when he signed the contract, then came out and did what he did. I am hoping that was not just a coincidence...
Marian Gaborik-Who else? He’s the guy on this team. Shut him down and it will help our chances.
Lemaire-Yes, the coach. Their system can be incredibly frustrating to play against. It might be a night where we only get our chances on the Powerplay.
FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS
Powerplay-Like I said, it might be the only way to get some chances.
Third Period-How many times have we seen the Caps come out and just dominate the other team, only to leave the period 1-0 or even 0-0. Dominating a team from the outset is great but the Caps need to either figure out what they are doing wrong or just play the full 60 minutes with reckless abandonment.
I really don’t know what to expect. The Caps have to be pretty frustrated and know that they could wake up Wednesday morning 7 points back. Minnesota has lost 3 games though and are an elite team that doesn't usually let this happen.
It’s too bad this game won’t be decided by quality of logos because I think the Caps would have this one in the bag.
LAST TIME IN MINNESOTA
Caps lost in a shootout and almost gave the Wild their first loss of the season.
Things got chippy with Brash and BO as you can see below.
FOR KOLZIG OR JOHNSON-How to stop Marian Gaborik