Monday Roundup/Gameday: Caps @ Isles

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians, and Happy "I don't care if there were already people here, I discovered it" Day, Yanks. In honor of these holidays, the NHL has scheduled a couple of day games, including the Caps' visit to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (assuming the arena hasn't been renamed Blackwater Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum or something similar), where both teams will be looking to improve to 3-0 on the season.

The Islanders have looked impressive so far, taking both games of a home-and-home series from the Buffalo Sabres this weekend. Led by newcomers Mike Comrie (4 goals, 6 points) and his linemates Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko (5 points each) and familiar faces Brendan Witt, Jon Sim and Andy Sutton (already minus-3), the Isles are gelling much more quickly than most would have thought, and the credit there goes to bench boss Ted Nolan.

Between the pipes, today's game will feature a pair of netminders who have had tremendous success against their opponents, as Olie Kolzig is 25-9-2 with a 2.27 goals against average and a .912 save percentage in his career against the Isles, while Rick DiPietro is 6-2-1 with a 1.99 GAA and .930 SV% against the Caps (with numbers like that, New York should start thinking about a contract extension for DiPi, as his current deal expires in just under 14 years).

Are the Isles really this good - is Ted Nolan really this great a coach - or is their start a fluke? Those are likely questions many are asking of the Caps and Glen Hanlon right now as well, and we might get some answers this afternoon.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Paul Stastny (Game-winning goal, 4A, +4, 4 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 54% faceoffs won)
  • Ross: Paul Stastny (4 points)
  • Norris: John-Michael Liles (A, +1, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Peter Budaj (W, 24 saves on 26 shots against)
  • Richard: Milan Hejduk, Ryane Clowe (2G each)
  • Calder: Torrey Mitchell (-1, 2 shots on goal, 67% faceoffs won... hey, he was the only rookie who played yesterday)
  • Aiken: Evgeni Nabokov (L, 6 goals allowed on 23 shots against in 48:06 of work)


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