After an amazing win versus Boston on Saturday night, can the Canucks take down the defending champs?
The Washington Capitals were 4-4-1 at this time last year. 8 months later and they are Stanley Cup champions(must be nice). Keeping almost all players from the roster last season, the Caps remain a dangerous team that we should not take lightly. Brian MacLellan, their General Manager, has built a team with a good mix of size and speed.
In the past 40 years, Barry Trotz is just the fifth coach to not return to a Stanley Cup-winner and the first since Scotty Bowman, who retired after winning with Detroit in 2002. Now with Todd Reirden as the bench boss, the Caps still look as strong as they did in June. Only now they are just 3-2-2.
Here are the projected lines for tonights matchup (via Dailyfaceoff)
Nikolay Goldobin - Bo Horvat - Brock Boeser
Sven Baertschi - Adam Gaudette - Jake Virtanen
Antoine Roussel - Brandon Sutter - Loui Eriksson
Tim Schaller - Markus Granlund - Tyler Motte
Alex Edler - Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson
Derrick Pouliot - Troy Stecher
Elias Pettersson: Concussion
Jay Beagle: Fractured Forearm
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Andre Burakovsky - Nic Dowd - Dmitrij Jaskin
Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos
Tom Wilson: Suspended
Travis Boyd: Lower-body Injury
Anders Nilsson: 3-1-0 // 2.26 GAA // .925 SV%
- After a great start to the season, the 6’6” beast needs to act like one tonight. Yes, Ovi is going to wind up 2 or 3 clappers at him, but I still would like a 27 save, 4-2 win for Nilsson. His defense in front of him has let all of us down, only his quickness can save him tonight.
Braden Holtby: 3-1-1 // 3.73 GAA // .881 SV%
- 2018 Playoff Holtby was nothing short of spectacular! Sadly, he's had a poor start to the campaign. Let’s hope this continues tonight! Although, having stoped all 8 shots he’s faced on the PP this season is concerning as a Canucks fan. The -4.65 SGAA stat also shows that Holtby is allowing more goals than he should right now.
I want to see a fast and furious game tonight. High speed forechecks, a lot of carry-ins, and an enormous amount of pressure, especially on Vancouver’s d-man. Watch for the Caps to cycle the puck, make crisp passes, and finish hard at the net. I want to see Travis Green use a weak-side lock in the offensive zone.
Players to Watch:
Alex Edler - Averaging 24:39 minutes of Ice Time. Is 3rd on the team in Defensive Point Shares(0.4), and 4th in Offensive Point Shares(0.3). I expect him attempting to lock down that dynamite top 9 of Washington
Christian Djoos - 13:57 seconds of ice time per game is a questionable move from Reirden. True, the top 6 is deadly and they may not have room for Djoos to play more. But for an offensive threat like Djoos to only be averaging 0:11 seconds on the PP is worrisome. He has yet to give the puck away and is 2nd on the team in CF% (54.5). I’m not an analytical nerd but I am well aware that an above 50% for Corsi is pretty damn good (It means you are controlling the puck more often than not, when that player is on the ice). Look for at least 15:00 of ice time tonight for the young Swede.
VAN - 1
WSH - 5
Sorry boys :(
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