Surprisingly, the Phoenix “Wiley” Coyotes are off to a good start this season with an 11-4-2 record. The Caps, on the other hand, started off a bit rusty and are 9-7. Nonetheless, the Caps have been on a four game win streak and it seems like nothing can stop them. If we’re talking power play, the Caps have the highest number of power play goals as well as the NHL high of 28.5% of goals scored on the power play. The key to winning for this group of guys is to draw penalties and do what they do best, apparently, which is to score.
The one thing that could stand in their way? Mike Smith, who I mentioned in my looking ahead post, could put up a brick wall to the Caps road to victory. He’s 21st in save percentage, but he’s first in games played in the NHL. So combine the two and you can see the skewing of the stats. Especially behind a defense like his, you can see why he has a .915 sv%. Even though, he’s not someone to take lightly. Remember the 2010 Playoffs? Yeah.
In good news, the Caps get to see their former player and captain Jeff Halpern (or Halpy, as I call him) as well as Mike “gangsta” Riberio. Both are having good seasons with Ribz scoring 5 goals and Halpy 1, respectively. Not anyone to look for too closely on the ice, but you never know!
The players you do have to look out for are guys like Keith Yandle and Shane Doane, who basically carry this team on their back. If anyone’s in a fighting mood, look no further than resident tough guy Biznasty. Wouldn’t want to run into that guy in a dark alley. Yikes.
It’ll be a good game for the Caps if they keep their nose clean and keep the game fast paced. If they deviate and try some cutesy shit, they could get into some trouble.
The Caps venture into the Wild tonight at 7 pm. Considering the Wild don’t suck anymore, this game could be a challenge for the Caps.
The Wild are 9-4 this season and third in the Central Division, making them a shoe in for the Playoffs thus far. In contrast, the Caps are 8-7 (barely over .500) and are second in the Metropolitan Division, also making them a shoe in for the Playoffs so far.
What the stats haven’t told you? The Caps have been playing a more aggressive game of the late and have been really pressuring the other teams defense in the past few games. Since the Wild have a solid defense this season, the question of if the Caps offense can prevail remains. With Ovechkin back in the lineup and the power play as well as penalty kill on fire, the Wild are in for a treat.
Things to look out for
- 5 on 5 play-The Caps have been meh at best and with the Wild looking to continue their four game winning streak, they’ll be on fire for the start of the game looking for stupid mistakes by the Caps which could turn into a golden opportunity from them.
- Alex Ovechkin-This is his second game back after his injury and with a player on the Blues holding the league record for highest goals scored, look out for him to make waves in the scoring department this eve.
- The power play-The power play was on FIRE Tuesday night and with all this new found success, the Caps aren’t going to shy away from the net if they get the chance.
After Monday’s disappointing loss, the Caps take to the ice in MSG again to either take the decisive lead or split it down the middle.
The importance of game 4? Huge. If the Caps had won Monday night, they could take the series tonight. Since they didn’t, they have the ability to take a 3 game lead which could very easily lead to a series win in 5 games. If they lose tonight, the Rangers and Caps will be tied at 2 a piece, forcing the series to go to at least a game 6.
Clearly, this game will be one of the most if not the most important game of the series. It decides who has the edge, especially with Washington returning to home turf after tonight, as well as how long the series will be which can become the difference between a team rested up and prepared for the second round or a team that’s had barely enough time to turn around.
The Caps holding ht series lead at 2-1 clearly show the Rangers only real threat over the Caps is Lundvquist. He’s come up big for the Rangers and there’s no doubt he will tonight. But with Staal back, the Caps can expect a little more coming from the Rangers lackluster defense. Otherwise, this game should be in the books for the Caps if they can stay focused and don’t get too comfortable with any lead. It is the Playoffs, after all.
Hopefully, the Caps will take New York seriously tonight to secure the win and the series lead. If not, it’s any team’s series.
The Caps look to take on their rival the Pittsburh Penguins for the second time within a week with hopes this time around won’t be so disastorious. The last time the Caps met the Peguins was on Superbowl Sunday, after Pittsburgh had given New Jersey a solid thrashing.
Seeing what the Pens offense had done to last seasons Eastern Conference Champs, I was concerned for the Caps shakey and sometimes non-existence defense and equally lacking and de-energized offense. My concern wasn’t too far misplaced as the Penguins won the game 6-1.
Fastforward to tomorrow; the Caps are on a downward spiral, and honestly have been since the start of the season, facing a team that’s arguably one of the best in the league. Anyone else crapping their pants?
The Caps are everything the Cas aren’t; consistent, play smart (no dumb penalties!), have effective, and at times deadly, PK and PP units, but most importantly, they play as a team for the full game.
The Caps HAVE, I can not stress it enough, play a full game as a team getting pucks in front of the net to create scoring chance because eventually, one is going to butter the buscuit. When you start scoring, you start winning. When you start winning, you make the Playoffs and then anything could happen.
Basically; the Caps need to play sixty minutes (plus overtime if it comes to it) of hard, energized, consistent hockey and they’ll see things turn around.