Wednesday Roundup/Gamenight: Caps @ 'Canes

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview - Official Game Day Thread]

After three days off - the longest non-Olympic break since December - the Caps head back to Raleigh for game two of their best-of-five-game set with the 'Canes. Had the Caps dropped Saturday night's game, these three days would have been unbearable as the team would have been mired in a nine-game losing streak. As it is, the time off has given the team a chance to recharge the batteries a bit and to feel good about themselves after winning on the road for only the eighth time this season in a building where visitors have only left happy six times this season. Will the Caps be rusty or energized? Tune in and find out.

Both of the local papers have again taken the day off from Caps' coverage (it must be like in junior high when you and your buddy would both agree not to do your homework - "I won't do it if you don't," "OK"), but if you're jonesing for some new Caps news, head over to NHL.com where they have an article on Shaone Morrisonn's emergence on the blueline, complete with a classic Glen Hanlon "I love my guys so I have no problem making a borderline-ridiculous claim about their ability" quote:
"I think one year he might score eight or nine goals."
Based on the fact that Shaoney Boy has only scored one goal in his 112 career games in the NHL, scored only ten times in 162 game in the AHL and had only 30 lamp-lighters in 239 games in the WHL, I'll take the under. But I'm more than happy with a 23-year-old defenseman who has played to an even plus/minus rating on this year's Caps while getting more than 20 minutes per game. In fact, only one other Cap who has averaged 20+ minutes per game has a better plus/minus. Guess who.

Oh, and the Caps were officially eliminated from the Playoffs last night with Montreal's win. Guess I can stop holding my breath now. On a related note, the 'Canes can clinch the Southeast Division with a win tonight.

Thread of the Day: Can Washington Ever Be A Hockeytown?

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
  • The Carolina Hurricanes will have to wait at least one more year for Jack Johnson. Johnson, who "thought long and hard" about turning pro in time for this year's NHL stretch run and playoffs, will return to the University of Michigan for at least his sophomore season, leaving the 'Canes to finish things off on their own this year.
  • In my on-going effort to make The Rink (and, by extension, the world) a better place, I've made some graphical upgrades. Some you may have noticed, others you might not have. If you're curious as to what's new (or which Caps are featured in the new banner), click on the screen cap thumbnail.

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