(Photo by Caps Outsider) Washington area sports fans are walking pretty tall...
Caps Face Lowly Islanders
Ok Caps fans, so raise your hands if in October you looked at this game on the calendar and thought there would be heavy playoff implications on the line. Yeah right, hands down now. We all know that wasn’t the case.
But alas, here we are. The Capitals are currently fighting for their playoff lives with every night that passes. Not only are their games counting heavily in the playoffs, but also they have to watch every night to see how the teams that are hovering around that coveted 8th and final playoff spot are faring (plus Florida.) Now the team takes their three game winning streak up to Long Island to take on the Islanders, who have historically played the Capitals tough.
The last time the Capitals were in Uniondale was a night that had summed up most of their season to date. The team had a 2-0 lead after the first frame to go on and lose the game 5-3. Ex-coach Bruce Boudreau during the second intermission had told the team that they would “look back and rue the day” that they lost this game, and it’s so far to have been proven true. However, this is not the same Caps team that took the ice that night. Nick Backstrom has been out with a concussion since January 3rd and is looking like he will miss the rest of the season. They will once again be without the services of Mike Green, but this time instead of being injured he will be serving the final game of a three game suspension. Alexander Semin has been one of the most consistent guys on the team as of late, along with Troy Brouwer being the physical presence the Caps had hoped for when they signed him as a free agent this past offseason.
But what about the Islanders?
The Islanders will be heading into this game riding a three game losing streak after losing to the Rangers Sunday night in overtime 3-2 and will more than likely fail to qualify for the playoffs again. But this doesn’t mean that this team doesn’t have any talent or will be a pushover for two points.
John Tavares has 28 goals and 66 points on the season and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in this league for years to come. 21 year old Travis Hamonic has been a huge presence for them on the blueline, and although he isn’t known for putting the puck in the back of the net he is notorious for bone-crushing hits and taking a man off of the puck. Even their goaltending, which has been absolute torture to watch in seasons past, has picked it up this year. Al Montoya has posted a 6-6-5 record with a 2.71 GAA while Evgeni Nabokov has a 16-17-2 record with a 2.49 GAA this season (note: Nabokov’s GAA does not include Sunday’s game against the Rangers.)
So, tune in to CSN-Washington Tuesday night at 7PM (or if you’re on Long Island the game will be broadcasted on MSG+) to find out how this game will play itself out. And words of warning: The Islanders will be wearing those horrid black thirds against the Caps. If you go blind by looking at them or you break your TV trying to adjust the color, don’t say that I never told you anything.