Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals vs Flyers

So it's settled; the Flyers are the Capitals biggest rivals. So many times are Washington sports teams "assessed" the wrong rivals. The Redskins/Ravens match up is cool because the cities are so close to each other, but they rarely play. The Nats/Orioles match up showcases two jokes of a baseball franchise young, rebuilding teams... but they are in different leagues. In order for it to be a rivalry, teams must play against each other often. And the games must mean something to the players and to the fans, not just deciding draft picks for the upcoming draft.

This is what makes the Capitals and Flyers games so intriguing. The teams are close enough to one another to attend away games and the both clubs offer competitive games every time out.

Up until last year, the Caps faced severe problems at the Wachovia Center, but in a statement game against Philadelphia last November, Nicklas Backstrom turned the table and 'started' (if you will) the WSH/PHI rivalry.

The teams played 11 times last year, with Philadelphia winning six of those, with four of those coming in the playoffs.

  • Everyone knows Washington is 17-1-1 at home this year, and even 23-1-1 dating back to the last 25 home games in the regular season. But dating back to 2001, the Capitals are just 6-6 at home against the Flyers.
  • Donald Brashear loves playing against his old team. Although not scoring in the teams last meeting, Brash raked up 26 PIMs including a brutal beat down of Flyers' tough guy, Riley Cote.
  • Washington had 25 shots in the first period against Philly on December 20th...just three shots shy of the Flyers' total shot output. Yet Philadelphia still took the decisive 7-1 victory. Both Capitals goalies are healthy so it's up to Boudreau has yet to name the starter for tonight's sold out game.


richard said...

My first regular season game this year, im pretty excited for it.

MPL said...

I went also and the game was amazing! Way to go Caps!