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Posted at 3:22 PM ET, 12/23/2010

Gearing up for Caps vs. Pens, Part I

By Lindsay Applebaum

Here's some afternoon reading and watching material to pass the time until tonight's first Capitals-Penguins showdown of the season:

*Our Box Seats bloggers tackle HBO's "24/7" and the Caps-Pens rivalry.

*Caps talk Christmas:

(On Frozen Blog)

*Andrew Gordon on celebrating his first NHL goal by kissing Marcus Johansson: "I don't even really know why I did that." (RMNB)

*Here's our new Winter Classic hub. Watch this space for updates as the outdoor extravaganza gets closer.

*EJ Hradek guesses that the Penguins will win tonight's game because they're a more complete team:

And here's Joe B's preview of tonight's "prelude to a classic":

So now we have to ask: Who you got tonight, Caps or Pens?

By Lindsay Applebaum  | December 23, 2010; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  Pittsburgh Penguins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps teammates: Mike Knuble has the respect of the room
Next: If Caps-Pens history is any indication, get ready for fireworks


Hate to say it, but Pens will win. They always do and in crushing fashion.

Posted by: sjshanno | December 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

anyone else get the caps winter classic package? Those gloves and hat are extremely thin. I had to go buy different ones. Anyway, its going to be a great time.

I am expecting the usualy heavy hitting - fast paced game like usual between these teams tonight. I expect Ovi and Sid to step it up a bit tonight as usuall too. I call the caps winning in OT

Posted by: OviFan08 | December 23, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Women are held to such a different standard :)

Posted by: capscoach | December 23, 2010 10:50 AM


Sad but true, milady.

FTR, I love my wife dearly and would be pretty much useless without her. Although she doesn't "get" Capsmania (or hockey in general) quite the way I do just yet, she is making strides forward.

Anyway, in the spirit of the holiday season, I just wanted to tell you that any guy--and especially any guy who is a Caps fan--should consider himself lucky to have your companionship.

Let's hope Santa brings us what we both want for Christmas: A CAPS VICTORY TONIGHT!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 23, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The Pens always win? Except when they don't. We swept the series last year.

Agreed that the Pens are playing better at the moment, but I think the Caps get up for this one and win.

Posted by: Justafan | December 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Hate to say it, but Pens will win. They always do and in crushing fashion."

Good call. I always wonder if people actually check facts or even pretend to know what they're talking about when they post in places like these. The crushing Pens were 0-4 vs. the Caps last year.

Doesn't matter much usual the league is way overhyping a simple regular season game. Each of these mighty teams was embarrassingly upset by the 8th seeded team in the playoffs last year. So much for the hype.

Posted by: jollyroger2 | December 23, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

If I had to guess though, I'd say the best strategy would be to use MP and his line matched up against Crosby's. The trick is, MP has to be clean shaven. This way Crosby is distracted the entire game, thinking that MP is a mite he can offer a ride home after the game. The truth is in the stache.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 23, 2010 12:21 PM

Oh, SAOTI, that one was almost as bad as that "$k33+, 5k33+" thing you did earlier in the season.

I always knew that you were sick man, but until now I had no idea just how sick...

Funny, but still sick.

And no,I don't mean Ovie's definition of "sick", either...


Posted by: Rhino40 | December 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I think Washington might come out too fired up tonight and make some mistakes early. If they get down against the Penguins I don't know if they can come back with how they've been playing. Unless some of their top guys start playing with a bit more urgency. Semin just sort of slowly dangles the puck around in the offensive zone and Green looks like he's always waiting too long to do something and a player is on him before he can make anything happen. Backstrom's trying too many lazy passes through the slot at bad times. Ovechkin will have maybe on really good shift a period but will either look slow the rest of the time, or will keep trying that same deke that hasn't worked in months instead of getting the puck deep and forechecking.

Also, where's his physical game this season? Maybe they told him to stop running guys and taking penalties, but it doesn't look like he's ever hitting anyone with any force this year. There were some ill-advised hits last season but he looks like a completely different player this year. You can be a physical player, just don't stick your knee out, hit when you see the numbers, or leave your feet.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Who cares who wins??? Wake me up in May.

Posted by: JamWhitt | December 23, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"I think Washington might come out too fired up tonight and make some mistakes early."

The way they have been starting games recently I am not sure they can be "too fired up".

Posted by: eorr53 | December 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Does it really matter? The winner of this game will not be guaranteed a spot in the Stanley Cup. I think Philadelphia, Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, Tampa, Atlanta and even Carolina will all have a say in that! 9 points between 1st place and 8th place is not a lot of separation, especially with Boston and Carolina still having 4 games in hand on the number of games still to play. All we can derive from this game is whether the Capital's new emphasis on defense will work on the Penguins, and if not, it is off to the old drawing board again (as well as more series of experimental set-backs) before the playoffs. The key is to just get in the playoffs, period! And of course have Ovechkin crush the face of Crosby every chance he gets!!!!

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

pens 6 caps 1

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 23, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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