2 Teams Enter… 1 Team Leaves… Isles-Caps From D.C. 7PM
By Scotty Bonner
Deer Park, N.Y. – The immovable mediocrity versus the unstoppable parody rears it’s ugliest of ugly heads tonight as the Isles and the Caps do battle from our Nation’s Capital at 7 PM.
One will move onto .500, the other will sink closer to 2013 oblivion. Tonight two teams enter, one team leaves ( Unless it goes to stupid NHL overtime, then 2 teams enter 3 points leave).. But I Digress…
Both OrganIzations enter the fray 1 game beneath the Mason-Average line of .500 hockey, each with 31 points a piece on the year. Both enter only 2 points out of the 8th and final spot in the Prince of Wales. Both enter with their seasons still well intact. Both come into the tilt with only 16 remaining in their respective campaigns. Both have everything to lose.
These two teams are excessively similar in record, points, and in the ebbs and flows of inconsistencies marking any .500 club. Both have had periods of looking great, and both have this year looked down right lost. Both have on multiple times since the lockout seemed to have righted their ships, while both have on more than one evening this season seemed to have run it aground.
The Caps come in playing their best hockey of the year, as it would appear their playoff push is in full swing. Washington are winners of three straight. A home and home sweep of the Jets, then followed by a shootout victory at Madison Square Garden Sunday night.
The Isles enter tonight having hopefully shed off what was their most frustrating week of hockey since Ron Hextal, felt the need to forget how to play goal versus the Rangers in the first round of ’94.
Though the Isles won 3-0 on Sunday versus the Panthers at the Coliseum, one can not say that the feeling around the team is all good and fuzzy (if you like that sort of thing).
However a win, is a win, is a win, and because of said win this Isles-Caps tilt tonight is now as huge of a 4 point swing as one gets in a regular season matchup. Add to that the busyness of the Prince of Wales tonight with 12 out of the 16 teams playing, and you can rest assured that should either team come away pointless from this one they are certainly going to lose a lot of ground in just 3 short hours. Points are therefore at a premium in D.C. tonight.
“I feel good, I feel Better.” The Caps tonight are not the same Caps we saw earlier in the Month. They have gotten key players back, and it’s beginning to show just in time for their playoff push.
Forwards Marcus Johansson and Brooks Laich and defensemen Mike Green, Jack Hillen and Dmitry Orlov have all returned to the lineup for the Caps since we last saw them on March 9th at the Coliseum. A game in which the Isles won 5-2.
The Islander road power play has been tremendous all year. We lead the league, clicking at a most impressive 31.4%. Good? try Great! To give you an idea of the proficiency of the Islander road power play look at these facts for a moment. The Montreal Canadien’s road power play boasts the next highest rate of success at 23.1%. The Rangers are clicking at 10.8%. We are a smoking 31.4%!
Excellent job boys, one of, if not perhaps the main reason why we are still in the hunt as of today can be directly attributed to our road power play success. With 11 out of our last 16 away from home (Thank God) we are going to need our power play to continue to sizzle, if we are to earn that coveted invite to the dance.
Here’s a nugget for all my conspiracy theory brothers and sisters out there. Guess who has been awarded the most amount of power play opportunities on their home ice? * Hint they are 6-11-2 on said ice… And guess who has the least amount of road power play chances?
I really am starting to feel like a politician “This is the most important election in our Nation’s history.” As we continue to say night, after night, after evening, that “This is a huge one.” That, “We gotta have this one, or the fat lady will be warming up cause our goose will have been cooked if we do not win tonight!” Saying it over and over, can get real old real fast, I truly am aware of this…
However redundant as it sounds, is importunity (thank you trusty thesaurus) not the overwhelming prevailing feeling as we awake yet again to find ourselves where we are? Coming to the realization of how much time our organIzation truly does not have to gain ground? Not to mention trying to do so in a system that is mathematically flawed, one which blatantly favors the teams with the lead over teams trying to catch them. Oh yes my friends, the time is yet again now.
We can not help but to feel a recurring sense of urgency as each day on the calendar gets ripped off and we edge closer, and closer to the conclusion of this sprint of a season. In short, we really need this one tonight, or at least push it to sudden-mediocrity hovertime! We need points!
(come on now, you knew this pic was coming.)
New York Islanders projected lines:
26 Matt Moulson – 91 John Tavares – 24 Brad Boyes
12 Josh Bailey – 51 Frans Nielsen – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner – 10 Keith Aucoin – 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin – 16 Marty Reasoner – 53 Casey Cizikas
3 Travis Hamonic – 47 Andrew MacDonald
14 Thomas Hickey – 11 Lubomir Visnovsky
2 Mark Streit – 7 Matt Carkner
Thank you everyone, enjoy a busy night of hockey.
Tryin to capture the Spirit of the Thing…
P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)
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And don’t forget to upload the new Fansided App, so you never have to miss an “Eyes” piece again… Which is nice…