Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gameday: at NY Islanders, Feb. 26

This looks like something I would like to get back to...no?
The Washington Capitals are on Long Island tonight to take on the Islanders as they attempt to rebound from last night's embarassing 6-0 shellacking at the hands of the New York Rangers at Verizon Center. The Capitals come into tonight's game with 72 standings points in 62 games, which puts them in second place in the Southeast Division, five points behind the Lightning, and fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points clear of the Canadiens.  The Islanders, on the other hand, have 54 points in 62 games, which puts them in last place in the Atlantic Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference.  The Capitals have won both games they have played against the Islanders this year in hard-fought affairs, both by 2-1 scores; their most recent meeting was in late January on the Island.  This is the third of four meetings between the two teams this year, the fourth will be played on Tuesday at Verizon Center.

Isles interim coach Jack Capuano is expected to start Al Montoya in nets for his team.  Montoya, who has been ridiculed by pundits and fans for his poor play since being drafted sixth overall by the Rangers in 2004, has been a revelation for the Islanders, who are on their (a moment while I calculate...) fifth starting goaltender this season. Montoya has posted three wins, including a shutout, a 1.89 GAA, and .935 Save% in four starts and five appearances since being traded to New York from Phoenix earlier this month.  He's about as big a wild card as the Caps have faced this season.

Semyon Varlamov will have a chance to right the Capitals' ship as he will make his first appearance of the season against the Islanders this evening following Michal Neuvirth allowing six goals last night.  This will be Varly's first game since last Sunday in Buffalo, where he was excellent in making 28 saves for a 2-1 Capitals win.  Outside of the crease, the Capitals will be without defenseman Mike Green, who has remained in Washington to rest following his departure from Friday night's game after five minutes.  Green, who had just come back from a concussion, is "day-to-day" for now.  That means that the always exciting (in a bad way) Tyler Sloan will be re-inserted to the lineup for Bruce Boudreau's men. No other lineup changes are expected for Washington this evening.

Puck drops for this very big game 7:08-ish.  Check back after the game for either gushing optimism or raging pessimism.

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