Saturday, January 20, 2007

Caps/Panthers Preview

Florida Panthers (17-22-10, 44 points)
Washington Capitals (20-20-7, 47 points)

TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Radio: Sportstalk 980-AM
Gametime: 1:00 PM

Revenge is on their mind as the Capitals look to finish up the first half of the season on a bright note before heading into the All-Star break. It was only one week ago that the Florida Panthers demolished the Caps in the sunshine state 7-3, and the game was not as close as the score. But a win Thursday night against the stanley cup champion Carolina Hurricanes has the Caps believing in themselves again. They came out with a passion that had not been seen as of late, received some lucky bounces for a change, and finished out the game in the third period, a solid all-around team effort.

It is yet to be known what the lineup will look like for the Caps on Saturday. Alexander Semin, Donald Brashear, and Brian Pothier all missed practice on Friday. Semin seems to be the only one whose presence seems likely in the game, Brashear and Pothier will be game time decision as reported by the Washington Post. That's good news for the team as Alexander Semin has been the best player on the ice for the Caps this month with 10 goals in his last 7 games. Pothier's absence would put the Capitals in position to have to make another emergency defensive call-up. He left Thursday night's game at the mid-way mark and did not return. As per the Capitals normal policy when it comes to injuries, the team is not saying anything about his condition. With Mike Green recently injured, and John Erskine and Bryan Muir already on the injured reserve list the Capitals cannot afford to loose another defenseman.

The Panthers enter Saturday's game with a 1-2-1 record over there last 4 games. They are currently in last place in the Southeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference. Once again, if the Capitals want to have any chance of making the playoffs they have to find a way to win this game at all cost.

After the Capitals practice on Friday the team reassigned center Jakub Klepis to Hershey of the AHL. This move was a long time coming. He had been the odd man out in the lineup lately, repeatedly being named as a healthy scratch. He received one last chance in Ottawa on Tuesday, but did nothing to stand out and was again a healthy scratch in Carolina. In 35 games he recorded 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points. Hopefully this reassignment will help Klepis get his game back on track and return to Washington with his confidence renewed later in the season.


Anonymous said...

Hi. Just came across your site today. It is great. Thanks for the good read. I was wondering if you were able to find out in practice today who will start in goal tonight. Seems like Kolzig, I would think.

Capital Fanatic said...

Thanks for the complements.