Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals
No Booth? No Dvorak? Coach Pete finds your lack of faith disturbing (and requests you take the princess and the Wookiee to his ship).
5-8-1 (11 Points) 9-3-4 (22 Points)
"They were hungrier in the tough areas (Friday) than we were. There's no excuse for that."
- Panthers coach Peter DeBoer
Tonight's Super Magnificent Open Thread after the jump...
Round Two of the first-ever home-and-home with the Caps gets underway from Verizon Center at 7pm, sporting two clubs still missing a good deal of their top talent.
Florida's David Booth, Radek Dvorak, Dominic Moore, and Kamil Kreps remain sidelined, while Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, John Erskine, Eric Fehr, Jeff Schultz, Boyd Gordon, and Mike Green will be taking in the game from somewhere other than ice-level as well. You may now take a breath.
"In answer to your second question, we're expecting Vic Oreskovich to hurt us this much."
Friday saw the Cats fall to 5-8-1 behind a 4-1 loss at home to these very same Capitals and a solid evening by Brian Pothier and his three points. Can Coach DeBoer coax a bit more hustle and fire out of his troops, in a highly important divisional match?
Then again, what am I talking about...they're all important, division or not. Crazy stat of the night - though held pointless yesterday, Michael Frolik lifetime against the Caps: 3G-4A-7P (+4) in seven games. Saddle up.
Tonight's Key Questions:
- Can Rostislav Olesz top his six shots from Friday? More pressing: can he make one count?
- How much longer will Michael Frolik - struggling mightily - remain on the second line?
- Is the magic used up from the Stillman-Reinprecht-Horton trio, who combined for two points and - gulp - minus-7?
- Speaking of Nathan Horton (1g), he led all Florida skaters - forward and defense (the exception being Bryan McCabe) - with 22:50 TOI. Read into that what you will; either all the "D"-men are taking up residence in DeBoer's expanding doghouse, or the coaching staff has mucho faith in the suddenly vibrant right winger.
Do yourself a grand favor by taking a peek at Japers' Rink, still the benchmark for awesomeness in the hockey blogosphere. And keep an eye open for Litter Boxer Jose and his ERB (er, Enchanted Rotating Beacon); he'll be in da house, hopefully with rat in hand. The damned thing worked in the last two road games...