Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington - 17-25-5 - 39 pts - 14th in East
Pittsburgh - 11-29-9 - 31 pts - Last in East
Are we at game #50 already? Wow. Seems like the season is still young. It's really not.
I'm not sure if there's a better way to start the official post-Mario era than by having a game with Ovechkin playing against Crosby. These two guys, right now, are the future of the NHL. The way Malkin is playing, he may factor into that equation as well before everything is said and done. Pittsburgh seems to be on the verge of an era that could be really similar to when Lemieux and Jagr played together. Crosby and Malkin would seem to be on a path to develop into a wonderful duo.
Anyway, enough with the happy talk. The Capitals have been hot lately. They had won four in a row before their home loss to Boston on Monday night. They've been showing some signs of life, which is something that can't be said for the Penguins. Yes, the Pens have been playing better recently, but they haven't been able to score enough to give themselves a chance to win.
The main difference between the Pens and the Caps is the home record - Washington is 11-12-4 at home, while the Pens are 6-14-5. The Caps are equally bad on the road as the Pens are at home, so you know that something has to give.
The Pens fondness for allowing goals on the penalty kill has a decent chance to come to and end tonight, as the Caps are pretty bad on the power play. Of course, Columbus was bad too, and that didn't stop the Jackets from scorching the Pens.
After tonight, there are games against the Islanders and Rangers... then the real thrashing could take place - two out of three games against the Senators. I'm not looking forward to seeing that right now.
Look for more fights as Therrien continues to emphasize toughness, hustle and heart. Let's hope that someone actually knows how to fight one of these days... though you can't help but cheer for Max Talbot, no matter the outcome.
Let's go Pens!