Friday, March 27, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals vs Lightning

With the season winding down, the Capitals are getting closer and closer to locking up a top three spot in the Eastern Conference (or did they already clinch?). With seven games remaining--none against playoff teams--Washington has a great chance to catch New Jersey (tied with 97 points) and Boston (five points back).

While going 4-0 against Tampa thus far, the Caps should take the Lightning seriously as Ryan Malone is coming to fight play:
"It's kind of over," left wing Ryan Malone said. "I mean, there's not really much you can do anymore. If the hit is there, you want to finish your checks on him, but you have to keep your head up with him as well. It's just one of those things. He was celebrating his 50th goal, we understood that. But we still were embarrassed by it. It's our job to stick together."

Malone said the best retribution would be to "steal the two points."
Malone...Now there's a guy who's opinion matters and who always makes the right decisions.

Tampa has limped through the month of March, winning just four of 12 games with matchups against Ottawa and Boston looming. Nothing seems to be going right for a Lightning team that has a win percentage of .469 when scoring first. That translates into nine wins when giving up the first goal. That puts them at last and fourth-to-last in the league.

With a win tonight, it would mark the first time since tsweep of Tampa Bay would mark the first time since 2001 that Washington went undefeated against the Lightning (4-0-1). Who says the Caps play down to their competition?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Importance of Brooks Laich

Check out my post over at the Hockey Writers about how Brooks Laich affects the Capitals.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Top 10 Alex Ovechkin Goals of the Year

No comment needed:

BallHype: hype it up!

Wale is soooo cool

Besides being a pretty chill guy and flyer than the rest of 'em, Wale is took the time out to do an interview with me! Okay, not quite. He talked to me...Okay not even that. He responded to my Twitter reply. OMG!!!!!1. Check it, check it:

My life is now complete.

(Note: These comments took place a week or so ago, but 'news' like this could not wait any longer).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals @ Hurricanes

I'll be traveling for the first time with the Caps Road Crew down to the RBC Center to watch the Caps take on the Canes. I'll be taking pictures, but it will be a few days before their uploaded (cheap camera). The only thing I forgot on my trip back home for the weekend was my laptop charger, so that being said, I'll be back on Monday morning with some postgame notes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ovechkin's Celebration

Check out my post over at The Hockey Writers for more on Ovi's dumb celebration.

BallHype: hype it up!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I need your help

Sports2Debate is a website that offers up debates on all sports...not just hockey. I have the opportunity to compete against SBN's Broad Street Hockey, a Philadelphia Flyers blog.

I will provide more information on how to vote when the voting starts. The debate question is: "You are the commissioner of the NHL. What would you do to better the game and popularize the sport?"

I have some good ideas I'm cooking up, but if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to comment on them or shoot me an email.

Here's the link to view the debate. You need to become a member to vote, but it takes like 30 seconds and isn't a hassle.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals @ Panthers

Since the Caps didn't feel like playing yesterday, I don't feel like doing a postgame recap.

But a new day and a new opponent in the Florida Panthers. Florida just fell out of the eighth spot (Panther Promise!!!), and will definitely come to play, whether the Caps want to or not.

Tarik is reporting that Jose Theodore will get the start tomorrow, something that I am a little indifferent about. You could make the argument that a goalie that gives up four goals while facing under 20 shots should get a break...But then you also don't want to get in his head that he might not know if he's playing on a night-by-night basis.

It was good to see Brian Pothier back on the ice last night. Seeing him in the box while Atlanta scored, ehh,not so much. Here's hoping he gets ample ice time against Fla and replaces a Caps D man finds the right partner.

The Panthers have won just once in their last five, and are one of three Southeast teams in the bottom five for goals for on home ice. Hopefully the boys come to play tonight...You get worried about outings like last night, but the mindset I have is that we've clinched, and will start playing when it matters (...hopefully?). Oh yeah, and this:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals vs Hurricanes

A change of venue was just what this Capitals team needed as they went on the road to snap a season-long four game losing streak. While the Caps may not be as invincible as some thought on home ice, they have won five straight on the road and are third in the Conference in road wins.

Now they welcome in a Carolina team that is log-jammed in the thick of the playoff race. They currently hold the eight spot, up by a point on Florida, but they are just two wins back from Philadelphia who is in fourth place with 82 points.

Although they've dropped their past two, the Canes have enjoyed the start of March where they have gone 4-1-1, averaging 4.5 goals-per-game including a 9-3 trouncing of the Lightning. In that game, Carolina was 60% with the extra man (3/5). The Cane's power play has scored in seven straight games dating back to their 5-3 defeat against the Thrashers to end February.

Goals with the extra man should be hard to come by against a stingy Caps penalty kill that has successfully killed off the past eight penalty kills. The stats can be deceiving--Washington ranks second-to-last in power play goals against-- yet have seem to found some stability while being a man down.

While the key to winning may not be solely dependent on special teams, the Capitals have struggled within the face-off circle. Without Sergei Fedorov last game, the Caps won just two face-offs in the first period and won just 33% of face-offs on the night.

Feds is still questionable tonight, but is much needed against a Carolina team that ranks in the top 10 in face-off percentage in the league. Donald Brashear is still listed as questionable, but we don't need him Caps Insider is reporting that his condition is improving.

Both the Devils and Bruins won their last game and are playing tonight...So, with that being said. No more losing streaks with just 13 games left...

BallHype: hype it up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Caps Fans Invade Sports Illustrated

So I'm back after a nice little vacation in Montreal, which is a great city for those who have never been. The 14-hour train ride was a little long, but its definitely worth it.

As I try to catch up on almost a week of hockey, I stumbled upon this week's Sports Illustrated and the 'Letters to the Editor' segment. A few Capitals fans had some comments in response to Michael Farber's article "Stimulus Needed" regarding Sidney Crosby and the Penguins' attempt to make the playoffs:

Imagine my shock when I saw your declaration (Stimulus Needed, Feb. 23), in reference to Sidney Crosby, that "the Penguins have the best player in hockey." Had I missed the Washington Capitals' trading Alexander Ovechkin to the Penguins?

Steve Davidson, Washington, D.C.


Crosby is not even the best player on his own team; Evgeni Malkin is.

Sam Rosen, Arlington, VA.

Great stuff guys. I didn't read Farber's article on Crosby and don't plan on reading any article that starts with: "The Penguins have the best player in hockey."

BallHype: hype it up!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals @ Predators

And what's a Nashville preview without a Taylor Swift shout out?

Just give it a chance! It's not that bad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals vs Penguins

Finally we can agree with a Rangers fan.

NOTE: I will be in the Montreal area until Wednesday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals vs Maple Leafs

With the trade deadline come and gone, the Capitals still have the team intact and were one of the few teams deciding not to swap players. The same can not be said about the Maple Leafs. First, Toronto traded Nik Antropov to the Rangers for a 2nd round and conditional pick (2010). Then the Leafs traded center Dominic Moore to division foe Buffalo Sabres for another 2nd round pick. Finally, in a trade that took place at 4:18 (so much for the 3 pm deadline), Toronto received a 4th round pick, Andy Rogers, and former Capitals Jamie Heward and Olaf Kolzig (!!). They traded nothing Richard Petiot to the Tampa Lightning.

Even though Toronto is in 11th place, they sure aren't acting of it as of late. They haven't lost in regulation since February 17 the against the Sabres. Toronto's streak of three straight road victories come as the Caps have been stalling out at the Phone Booth.

Toronto's power play is basically dead last...this means no shorthanded breakaway goals with the extra man should be conceded tonight on home ice. The Antropov trade is good in the sense that we don't have to face him tonight, but now that he's on the Rangers, he poses more of a threat to the Caps in the playoffs.

That's all I've got from my end, my final midterm is tomorrow, then I'm off to Montreal for spring break...

BallHype: hype it up!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"SS!" Update

Sorry I haven't been posting as much as I should have, midterms are this week and they're killing me. I'll have post game for tonight's game There will be no post game due to the deletion of NHL games on Meanwhile you can check out my article about Nicklas Backstrom over at The Hockey Writers.

BallHype: hype it up!