Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pre-Game Thoughts: 10/23/08 Washington Capitals at Phoenix Coyotes

Jose Theodore could not have played much better in a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Theodore stopped 26 of a possible 28 shots in a losing effort, as the Capitals fell to 3-2-1 on the season.

Tyler Sloan also played a gritty 9 minutes in the loss, laying the hit of the year (to date) on an unsuspecting Daymond Langkow midway through the first period. The hit ended up granting the Capitals a 9 minute power play as Rene Bourque racked up an astounding 19 minutes in penalties in trying to atone for his teammate.

Both will remain in the line-up for the Capitals Thursday night game in the desert against an up and coming Coyotes team.

After watching his power play go 0-4 on the power play, including a lack luster effort on a nine (yes NINE) minute power play, Coach Bruce Boudreau is stressing his players to get traffic in front of the opposing goalie to generate scoring chances on the man advantage. This will come as a relief, as those who follow the Caps feel they have been much too cute in trying to concoct masterful tic-tac-toe plays rather than just putting the puck on net. The Capitals rank 16th (5-32) in the league so far on the power play, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering the talent they bolster.

For the Coyotes, they will send Michael Tellqvist to oppose the Capitals. Tellqvist was a modest 9-8-2 last year with a 3.07 GAA.

Phoenix sits 25th overall in goals per game, averaging at only 2.43.
They are also 23rd in goals allowed per game at 3.40, which marks almost a full goal difference per game. The Coyotes have relied on the mentality of scoring by committee as Shane Doan, Olli Jokinen and Kyle Turris are their team leaders in points.

Washington will have to come out stronger than they did on Tuesday night, and also show more discipline as they took 10 penalties throughout their game with the Flames, including four 5 on 3 opportunities.

The last time that Alexander Ovechkin was in Phoenix was in his Calder Cup year (05-06) when he scored only what can be referred to as "the goal". We will see if Ovechkin can duplicate this feat in tonight's match as he desperately seeks to get his season on track.

1 comment:

CapsKremlin said...

Good teams win, Great teams win the games they are supposed to win. Let's find out what team we are tonight.

Great write up as always :)