Handicapping WSH @ TBL, 12/7/09

Interesting game coming up with the Capitals and Lightning meeting for the first time this year.  Ordinarily, with the Caps coming off of two blowouts, I'd say the 'Ning have better than even odds of winning this one.  The Caps have a distinct tendency to take their foot off the pedal after a couple of good performances, and this would be a classic time to do so.

There are a couple of wild cards, however.

First, this is Alex Ovechkin's first game back after a two game suspension.  He was distinctly not amused by the suspension, and an annoyed Ovechkin has been a fearsome beast in the past.  See, for instance, the time when the Habs broke his nose, and he put of 4 goals on them.  So I think we can expect AO to be on a mission.  Good for the Caps.

But there's the rest of the team to consider as well.  They will probably defer to him.  Do they lose productivity?  A little at the very least.  Potentially a lot.  Bad for the Caps.

Then there's history to consider.  The Caps have dominated the series of late.  This Lightning team isn't the same as last year's model of course.  But David Steckel has scored in 100% of his last one games, and he's a noted TBL Killer.  But Marty St. Louis has been a long time thorn in the Caps' collective side.

In the end, I think the biggest question is, can AO carry the Caps?  If he can score 3, the Caps win.  Any less, and the Lightning probably take home 2 points.

Final advice: try to avoid undue thuggery.  It appears probable that putting your team in an extended PK situation is not a winning strategy against the Caps.

Good luck, and enjoy the game.  If you have a game day thread, I'm sure myself and some others from Japers' will drop by.

This post was written by a member of the Raw Charge community and does not necessarily represent or express the views or opinions of Raw Charge staff.

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