Washington Capitals (18-9-3) v Colorado Avalanche (13-10-4)
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: XM, 1500AM
12/15/09: Caps 6 @ Avs 1
Looking to break a four game slide, the Washington Capitals host Matt Duchene, Milan Hejduk and the Colorado Avalanche in the Phone Booth on none other than National “Bring a Friend to a Hockey Game” Day!
The Caps, who cling to the second place spot in the conference at 18-9-3 face a team that just broke a slump of their own in Atlanta Friday Night. Colorado is 2-3-3 in their last eight outings and has split their road trip thus far. This will be a game of “who wants it more” as both teams seem to be on the same track, lookingfor their stop to get off. Hershey call-up, Mathieu Perreault has been hot of late for the Caps with 4 points in his 5 games, all of which came at the Verizon Center. But MP85 isn’t the only young player who is hot. Colorado’s Matt Duchene has bounced back from the notorious sophomore slump with 12 points (7g/5a) in his past ten games with six goals coming in his last seven. The Avs are going to need all the fire power they can muster with the key injuries on their blue line.
Earn Your Bread· Caps forward Brooks Laich said it best. “If you want bread, go to the bakery. If you want goals, go to the net.” The Caps have been showing a striking lack of audacity at attacking the net. They have been firing the pretty-boy, highlight-reel shots on goal for three of the last four games, with the exception being the Toronto game on Monday. There is no such thing as a hot goalie, just this fact. NHL goalies are going to stop 99.5% of the shots they see, especially if they are unimpeded and comfortable. The Capitals need to play old-time hockey, crashing the net for deflections, screens, and rebounds, like real hockey players do. The Caps forwards need to earn their paychecks by making the goalies uncomfortable and getting their noses dirty.
Colorado is currently on a tour below the Mason-Dixon Line, playing everyone in the Southeast. This will be the Avs 5th game on their road trip and second back-to-back while traveling. On the other hand the Caps have played three times, all at home since last Saturday. Look to the Caps to be refreshed and hungry to escape their winning and scoring drought.
Did you miss me?
I for one am looking forward to the return of Tomas Fleischmann to the Phone Booth. Since being traded on November 30th, Flash has only played in four games with his new team. However, he has assimilated quickly with a goal and three assists in his second start on a little more than 19 minutes of ice time. Oddly and scarily enough, all three helpers have been to his new line mates and Avalanche snipers, Matt Duchene and Milan Hejduk. Side Note – Duchene assisted Flash’s first goal as an Av. Already helpers to hot shots and logging more ice time, could this be when Flash comes out of his shell as a play-maker? Oh and last time the Caps played the Avs, Flash netted two goals for the Caps. We hope its a one way street.
This works both ways as it wil be the first and only meeting for new acquired Caps d-man Scott Hannan and new fistacuffs specialist Matt Hendricks. Gee, its like one big class reunion. Both Hendy and Hanny have been great for the Capitals since joing the squad.
Other Game Notes:
Caps recalled Brian Fahey from the Bears:··
For The Caps:
Schultz out 4-6 weeks with broken thumb, Sloan on IR (groin), may be eligible to return.
5 Caps with flu-like symptoms and are questionable (Laich, Semin, Gordon, Carlson, Backstrom)
For the Avs:
Peter Mueller – 2010-09-24 on injured reserve and is out indefinitely; concussion
Kyle Cumiskey – 2010-10-31 on injured reserve; concussion
David Van Der Gulik -2010-11-10 on injured reserve and is out indefinitely; knee
T.J. Galiardi – 2010-11-10 on injured reserve and is out indefinitely;broken right wrist
Chris Stewart – 2010-11-28 on injured reserve and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks; broken left hand
Happy BAFTAHG to all, and to all….Game on!