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Caps Go For Sweep

All you need to know about the current status of the Capitals and Flyers is this: tonight at Verizon Center, Alex Ovechkin and Co. can complete Washington's first ever season sweep of Philadelphia.

Yep, you read that right. Stunning, huh?

And judging from the teams' (very) recent history, there's a pretty good chance the Caps will get their fourth victory of 2006-07 against the Flyers, who, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, held a 45-minute long team meeting yesterday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Team meetings are generally called when the locker room is about to implode. In the Flyers' case, it may already be too late.

A year ago this month, the Flyers were the best team in the NHL. Today, they are the worst, checking in with a record of 11-27-4 (26 points). They've lost three in a row, including a 6-1 loss in Ottawa on Saturday night. And they could be without Peter Forsberg (groin) again tonight.

Wonder if any of the Philly fans who regularly invade the District will be wearing bags on their heads?

Anyway, enough about the foundering Flyers.

The Caps should get winger Matt Bradley (broken finger) back tonight as they go for their third straight victory.
Including tonight's game, the Caps' next three present a pretty good opportunity to make up some of the ground they lost last month. After the Flyers, they visit Tampa Bay and Florida -- teams that rank behind them in the standings, though not very far behind.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we'll know which direction the Caps are headed by the All-Star break later this month. They're off to a good start to the new year (2-1-0). But their work has just begun.

Also of note, the starting lineups for the All Star Game will be announced tonight. Ovechkin is a candidate to be named a starter. If he is, the 21-year-old left wing will be the franchise's first player voted into the starting lineup since Rod Langway in 1985-86.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 9, 2007; 11:32 AM ET
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Next: Big Night For Nycholat


Flyers have as many wins as the Eagles (11) so far, now where's my brown bag?

Posted by: Chris | January 9, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Nah, no bags. We'll be at Verizon tonight, as usual, in full voice. Some cities don't abandon their teams when they're doing poorly.

Here's to a good game, though. If you're going to take the season series, I hope we make you work for it.

Posted by: DC Flyer | January 9, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Really would like to see the sweep happen, but I fear that, yet again this season, we'll see the Caps play down to their competition after a couple of big wins. You'd think they'd know by now that winning isn't automatic for them (yet!). I would prefer to see the Caps end a losing streak against the likes of the Flyers rather than trying to prolong a winning one.

Posted by: Geauxcaps | January 9, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"...there's a pretty good chance the Caps will get their fourth victory of 2006-07 against the Flyers, who, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, held a 45-minute long team meeting yesterday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex."

Tarik -- this can't be right. Why would Phila have been at the iceplex yesterday?

Otherwise, knock on wood, OK? The Caps seem to play their best against strong opponents, not weak (Flyers excepted). They need these points!

Posted by: Caps! | January 9, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

You've gotta be kidding. Whether the Caps win or lose every game between now and the all-star game, it's waaaay too early to say we'll know which direction they're headed by then. There will still be 34 games left at that point. As tight as the standings in the East are, we may not know which direction a lot of teams are headed until the middle of March.

Posted by: JB | January 9, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

simple reason they were in Arlington yesterday - road trip - the Flyers played in Ottawa Sunday night and then went directly to the next away city

also, here is the link, if you want to read the Philly article

and Go Caps!

Posted by: sk84fun | January 9, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else surprised Kolzig never made the starting All-Star roster?? Gonchar and Bondra had to be close a few times as well I would think...

Posted by: James | January 9, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Not really surprising Kolzig never made it considering you have had either Brodeur or Richter in the East for a long time and those fans in the N.Y. area stuff the ballot box better than everyone else.

Posted by: George Templeton | January 9, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Bondra or Gonchar ever were that close to the starting lineup. There's always plenty of others to vote for. Gonchar was never a league-wide star name and Bondra always had guys like Mario, Jagr, etc in the way. George already mentioned Kolzig. In fact, I think his first ASG was when the NHL did that North America vs. the World format, and they were really searching for "foreign" goaltenders. I think Hasek was the starter then too.

Posted by: tallbear | January 9, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Aw, you all are so negative. I think it'll be a good win for our boys tonight - let the winning streak continue!

DC Flyer - there certainly have been a lot of people disguised as empty seats at Wachovia Center lately if what you say is true :)

(Of course, they must have stolen the idea from seeing it so often at Verizon...)

Posted by: CapsChick | January 9, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@CapsChick -- Um, those seats at Wachovia are filled. The people are just wearing those Orange Crush shirts from the 2004 playoff run, so they look sort of like empty seats. Yeah, that's it . . .

In any event, those Flyers fans who do attend tonight are die-hard fans, like yourselves, so feel free to treat them to a beer!

Posted by: DC Flyer | January 9, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - Check out how sk84fun posted a link to news articles from the opposing team home paper. Please consider making this a regular feature. Maybe a link on game day, and also the day after to read the other teams paper's take on the game. Thanks.

Posted by: Dezlboy | January 9, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

After being at last nights game, and even as much as I hate the Flyers, I couldn't help but feel a little something for their fans. I mean, that team isn't even close to competetive. Lapses and breakdowns so uncharacteristic of a Flyers team, and their fans just aren't used to that. They've gone between pretty darn good, and Cup contenders for the last 30+ years. They've fallen off...about as hard as a team can fall. It's like Primeau left, and the wheels started to fall off thae carriage, like they all got old at once. And, to make matters worse, with the prospect of getting the overall #1 pick in a year where there doesn't appear to be a concensus top pick, it ain't going to get better for them overnight.

Posted by: sfischer | January 10, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't feel the least bit bad for Flyers fans. Maybe if, as a group, they'd shown even the tiniest bit of class or respect for Caps fans over the years I could possibly be moved to feel bad for them. But by and large for the eight years that I've lived here they've been the worst-behaved visiting fans by a mile, so they get no sympathy from me.

Posted by: zamboni | January 11, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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