Friday, December 07, 2007

Night of Nights

Tonight is the an important night for the Capitals. After the Caps get nearly a week off to work on Bruce Boudreau's new system, they get to show what they have learned tonight at the Devil's new flat, dubbed "The Rock." Sounds cooler than the phone booth.

The Capitals are now under command of a new coach and how this new system - that was successful in the AHL - will work at the NHL level is in question tonight. Boudreau's new system is much more offensive minded, which is nearly a 180 from what Glen Hanlon had been preaching. This should be more of an exciting team, if they can get on a roll.

This league has been such a roller coaster ride for teams so far. Ottawa getting off to a fast start to fade of late. While the Maple Leafs started slow and have begun to pick it up. This has been the year of streaks for teams, so maybe the Capitals can ride one of those streaks - a winning one hopefully.

They will have to do it though with out the help of Micheal Nylander (undisclosed), Boyd Gordon (broken hand) and Chris Clark (groin). Even though Alex Ovechkin did not practice much over the past week, he will be present and accounted for. Joe Motzko will be recalled for some help against the Devils. Tonight is an important night for the Capitals.

In other news, Scott Niedermayer is coming back. What does that mean for the Capitals? We could pick up a solid defenseman. Sean O'Donnell could be possible trade fodder since the Ducks will have to dump about a million dollars for cap space. Since Brian Burke is no longer on friendly terms with Edmonton (reporters asked him if he had been talking to the other 29 teams about a trade, Burke responded, "28 teams, we don't talk to Edmonton"), the Caps have a 1 in 28 chance maybe of picking up another defenseman. Burke also may not move a defenseman, but instead a forward. Either way, it may be a way for the Caps to dump some problems to southern California in return for some proven talent.

Also there has been talk of how bad the ice is at the Verizon Center. An ideal ice condition for hockey is hard, cold ice. The game is faster and the ice holds together so there is less ruts (less chance for the puck to bounce/players getting hurt). Instead the ice at the phone booth is soft and wet (wet means the ice is not cold enough and is refusing to freeze). I am surprised the league hasn't led the charge for every building to have quality control for ice conditions. Since I have been playing out at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, I can tell you the ice there is in good condition. At the very least, the ice condition at the practice facility should match that of the Verizon Center. Maybe we should just have the games at the Kettler, since we can't seem to fill the phone booth anyway.

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