Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pre-Game: Capitals @ Thrashers

With the baseball season starting up, it'd only seem fitting that we're playing the same team for the second time in a two day span. Atlanta is looking for the home sweep of the Caps, who happened to complete that feat two days ago when they beat Atlanta at the Phone Booth 6-4.

In that game, six different Caps scored...none of whom go by the name Alex Ovechkin. So now that the the Caps have proved they can provide second-hand scoring, what's the next problem to fix? Goaltending? Special teams? Defense? Probably a little of each:
Note: Stats are from regular season games during the month of April.
  • Jose Theodore: 15-8-1, 2.49 GAA, .915 save percentage, and he is also on a five-game win streak in the month of April.
  • Power Play (including last season)- 27% (10/37).
  • Penalty Kill (including last season)- 88% (22/25).
  • Goals Against Per Game- 4.00
If 'focus' was a stat, I would have included it above, but unfortunately, that is up to the Captain the players to motivate themselves to play 60 minutes every night. As you can see, Jose has been pretty solid in April, so we can just ignore that one for now.

So what can you take away from the stats listed? Well special teams for one is not nearly as bad as it used to be. They will be facing the 12th ranked Atlanta Power Play and their 29th ranked Penalty Kill. Their Power Play features four players with exactly 12 goals, even the Caps don't have four players with over 10 with the extra man. Even their Penalty Kill features Colin Stuart, who ranks in the Top 10 in shorthanded goals...That would be all their PK features...

So if the season ended today, Washington would now face the Montreal Canadiens. That is likely to change once more as the Hab's final three are against playoff teams while a team like Pittsburgh gets Tampa Bay and the Islanders before ending the season playing these very Habs.

So be it Montreal or Pittsburgh or the Rangers (who also happen to play all playoff teams), Boudreau is going to find a way to fire these guys up to play, hopefully doing it before a TV timeout during the second period...

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