Remember way back when (i.e. last season) when hardly a week would pass without a Caps/'Canes matchup on the slate? Well, on the off chance you miss that, you're in luck, as the Hurricanes appear on the Caps' schedule three times in the next 18 days (a span of ten games). It's not quite the three head-to-heads in four games the two teams had back in late January of 2007, but it's still more than enough time for these pseudo-rivals to get plenty reacquainted.
How are our old buddies from N.C. doing these days? Well, they're fighting for their playoff lives, and not doing a great job of it. They're in the bottom half of the League in goals per game and goals against average, five-on-five ratio, power play percentage and penalty kill, and have lost to Ottawa and Atlanta (and beaten Buffalo) in the last week.
But they've got one thing the Caps don't: desperation. The Caps - unbeatable at home through the early part of January - are just 7-6-0 in their last thirteen at the VC, with some big wins (Detroit, Boston, Philly) and some bad losses (Colorado, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Columbus) thrown in there.
So you tell me - does this Carolina team more closely resemble the kind of team the Caps have beaten at home lately or the kind that has given them fits? Yeah, I thought so. Get ready for a nail biter.