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Thursday Roundup/Gamenight: Caps @ 'Ning

[SeSo Open Thread]

And so begins the [Brent] Johnson Administration, on the road in Tampa against the surging Bolts. Quick trivia: who is the winningest goalie in the NHL since January 7? Martin Brodeur? Bzzt. Marc-Andre Fleury? Good guess, but no. It's Tampa 'tender Johan Holmqvist with 11 wins, precisely 11 more wins than you and I... and Brent Johnson. Some numbers to chew on:
  • The Caps are 0-4 in their last four games as underdogs. The Bolts are 4-0 in their last four as favorites. Guess who's favored in this one.
  • The line of Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Vaclav Prospal has 14 points in Tampa's last two games.
  • Brian Sutherby is pointless in his last 14 games.
But there is good news that has nothing to do with saving money on auto insurance - both Brian Pothier and John Erskine have been cleared to play, so expect at least Potsy back in the lineup against the Bolts. Hopefully his return can help get the atrocious-of-late power-play back on track.

Sorry for the abbreviated preview, but the weather has conspired to give me limited (and intermittent) internet access. Head on over to SeSo for more analysis throughout the day, and, as always, check out Washington Hockey Daily to see what everyone else has to say about the Caps.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
  • Thanks to Dan Steinberg for getting on the case of AO's artwork. He's like the love-child of Nancy Drew and Tarik El-Bashir, that Steinberg.
  • Shane Doan, who is on pace for fewer than 30 goals and 55 points, signed a five-year deal to remain in Phoenix on Wednesday. I'm sure Dainius Zubrus smiled when he heard that Doan's deal is worth more than $4.5 million per year, and that collective "Are you kidding me?" you heard was from owners and GMs, League-wide.
  • Wanna waste a lot of money on crap you don't really need? Go here.
  • I usually stick to hockey around here, but I've gotta ask - am I really to believe that a salad dressing cures homesickness? And if so, why didn't the Caps just hook Petr Sykora up with some Hidden Valley Ranch?
Daily Awards
  • Hart: Henrik Zetterberg (GWG, 2A, +3, 4 SOG in 3-2 win)
  • Ross: Patrik Elias, Henrik Zetterberg (3 points each)
  • Norris: Brian Rafalski (2G, including game-winner, 6 SOG, 2 hits, 1 takeaway, 0 giveaways)
  • Vezina: Martin Gerber (28-save shutout win)
  • Richard: David Backes (2G)
  • Calder: David Backes (2G, including game-winner, +2, 2 SOG, 2 hits)
  • Aiken: Vesa Toskala (L, 2 goals allowed on 5 shots against in just 10:02 of work)