Thursday, October 13, 2011

Game #5 - vs Washington Capitals

2011-12 Game 5

Washington Capitals (2-0-0, 4 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (3-0-1, 7 points)
An Ovechkin rookie card goes for $50 - $60 these days (ungraded).  Crosby rookie from the same year / set?  Around $180-200 (also ungraded).  Poor Alex.
Why does it matter?
Not only is it the normal rivalry, but this is a great test to see where the Pens' penalty killing unit is at.  The Caps have torched the Pens with the man-advantage during the regular season over the last year or so.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - A great start to the season was made better by not blowing a third period lead in the home opener against Florida.
  • Capitals - Two wins at home, both in OT or the shoot out.  Two blown leads in the third period.
Questions to be answered
  • The Caps have been defined by their play at even-strength so far.  The Pens have been less than sharp in that regard.  Can the Pens step it up?
  • What about Geno, who is a game-time decision?
  • Can the Pens beat these guys without Sid (and with or without Geno)?
Keys to the game
  • Stay out of the box.  Keeping things at even strength will keep Boudreau rolling his lines (and keep Ovechkin off the ice to some extent).
  • Don't cheat.  The Caps will float and try to cheat up ice when the puck is in their own zone sometimes.  Be aware of where they're at and don't over-commit.
  • Sit Asham and MacIntyre - you need all the speed and conditioning you can get tonight.  The Caps roll their lines extremely well, with every forward playing at least 8-9 minutes in their first two games.

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