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Wednesday Caps Clips: Sabres @ Caps Game Day

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Your savory breakfast links:

  • The Caps and Sabres face off for the third time this season, and if the first two meetings are any indication, scoring the first goal will be pretty important - both games ended up as shutouts for the home team, first in D.C., then in Buffalo. Here are previews of tonight's game from Vogs and, and be sure to check out our SB Nation partner Die By The Blade for coverage from the other side of tonight's match up.
  • It looks as if the Sabres will be without Tomas Vanek tonight, while Patrick Kaleta is iffy.
  • Speaking of injuries, why the Caps are always so coy with theirs. [WaPo]
  • Stop the presses - is OFB coming around on Jeff Schultz? [OFB]
  • One year ago tonight, birthday boy Shaone Morrisonn capped "The Miracle in Manhattan" with his overtime goal (do yourself a favor and watch the highlights, after the jump). Including that win, the Caps have gone 52-21-11 in the regular season since, outscoring opponents by an average of 3.43 to 2.83, scoring on 25.4% of their power play opportunities and killing off 80.3% of their times shorthanded.
  • "10 Things You Should Know About..." Brendan Morrison. [Capitals]
  • Here's a bonus 11th thing you should know about BMo: he has one goal in his last dozen games. When asked about his slump, he responded, "It's been a tough stretch. I have to get out of it. It starts in practice, bearing down in practice and it carries over to games. I don't know why it has got to this point. I don't think I've been comfortable; I'm trying to prove myself every night. Obviously, it's a big year. I need to show I can still do this. It's a funk. I'm frustrated. I guess the silver lining is we're winning." You guess? [Capitals Insider]
  • Brooks Laich is also looking to get back on track. [TWT]
  • Steve Kolbe "Takes 5" with Mike Green. [Caps365 (audio)]
  • Green is neither trending up, nor down for Team Canada... [CTV]
  • ... Though Mike Babcock said of his defense, "I think we got a real good balance of youth and experience, and I also think we're gonna be able to get up and down the rink which is very, very important as well." That sounds good for Number 52. [CTV]
  • Bruce Boudreau talks snow. [Capitals]
  • Caps fans rocked the vote for D.C. Athlete of the Decade, now it's time to go to the polls for Reliable Source Person of the Year. [WaPo]
  • Should we send Sheldon Souray a Christmas card for not blowing up Alex Ovechkin? [Sportsnet]
  • AO takes time after practice to meet with a Ukrainian youth team. [CSN Washington]
  • Ovechkin on his style of play: "I play hockey and enjoy it. If you don’t smash somebody, then you’ll be smashed." [RT]
  • Adrian Dater has some holiday wishes, and one involves seeing the Caps playing in late May. [Versus]
  • And what do the Caps want for Christmas? "An improved defensive game" says Lyle "Spector" Richardson (though the Caps already got their Christmas gift, no?). [FOX Sports]
  • The Top 10 Shootout Goals of the Decade feature the Caps a couple of times, including in the top spot. [Puck Daddy]
  • Could Mike Knuble make the U.S. Olympic squad? [ESPN]
  • Nicklas Backstrom with an attractive young lass. []
  • David Steckel is on Defending Big D's Christmas wish list. [Defending Big D]
  • "At 21-8-0-2, 44 points, the Bears own the AHL's top points percentage (.710). They've scored the most goals in the league (116) and are tied with Manchester for allowing the second-fewest (70)." Yowza. [Patriot-News]
  • Down a level, the Stingrays have the most points and goals for in the ECHL. []
  • Speaking of the Stingrays, they've got one of the League's top rookie, a Russian forward named Nikita Kashirsky who just so happens to be "best buddies with fellow Moscow native Alexander Ovechkin since they both were barely old enough to hold a stick." []
  • For you minor league fight fans, here's a look at the Top 10 AHL fights of the decade (including an appearance from a guy who played 50 games for the Caps in the 2000s). [Penguins Insider]
  • A look at Russia's WJC squad, which includes a couple of Caps prospects (who were born well after this Christmas card was in circulation). [Hockey's Future]
  • HF's also got a look at the U.S. team. [Hockey's Future]
  • In other WJC news, Marcus Johansson has been selected to captain Team Sweden. [Aftonbladet]
  • Per the HHoF, on this date back in 1983, "Bengt Gustafsson scored his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead the Capitals to a 7-3 win over the New York Islanders in Washington," and 17 years later, "Olaf Kolzig became the winningest goaltender in Washington Capitals' history, when his 129th victory with the team came in a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Kolzig broke the mark of 128 wins set by Don Beaupre." Kolzig would end his Caps career with 301 wins.
  • Finally, did I mention it's Shaone Morrisonn's birthday today? He's 27 today.