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Capitals vs. Kraken PREVIEW: Red vs. (Deep) Blue

Player Photography provided by @Jennthulhu_Photos on Instagram

The Need to Knows

  • The Time: 7pm PT
  • The Place: Climate Pledge Arena in Beautiful Seattle, Washington
  • Place to Watch: ROOT Sports Northwest, Monumental Sports Network, ESPN+/Sportsnet+ if you hate the feeling of being sane and normal
  • Place to Listen: KJR 93.3 FM
  • An Opposing Viewpoint: Japers’ Rink

Know Your Enemy

  • The Capitals have a nice 69 points off of a record of 30-25-9; but that isn’t nearly nice enough to be in the playoffs; they’re 5th in the Metropolitan Division, and are a mere 3 points back from a 2nd wildcard spot.
  • You’d think Alex Ovechkin; scoring wunderkind, would be the principal goalscorer for Washington, but not so! He only has 18 goals this year. The leading goalscorer for the Caps this year is Dylan Strome; who has 22 goals in 64 games. He’s also the leading point-getter for the Caps at 51 in that time.
  • The Caps’ offense issue is both team wide and very harsh on them. They’ve got a rough power play, and at evens one could make the argument that they’re worse; their team Expected Goals-For% is 27th in the league at 46.79%, and their Expected Goals-per-60 are 26th. A high flying team this is not.
  • Charlie Lindgren is probably the best possible goalie for the Caps; with a .912 SV% in 32 starts. Darcy Kuemper is sub-.900 and not getting much better.

Game Preview

So, what happens on a player’s 1000th game, where you manage to rally from being down 2-1, blow a 5-3 4-2 lead and then lose in overtime, almost assuredly making it impossible for you to make the Playoffs?

You get up and play the rest of ’em anyway. You signed up for it, after all.

The Capitals are in much the same position the Kraken were in some time ago; they’ve got serious flaws in spite of their good points, but getting to the wildcard spot is, theoretically, a possibility for them, what with NYI dropping a shutout loss to Los Angeles, and Detroit deciding they’ve had enough of being decent and dropping a stunning six games in a row; none of them especially great. The chance has been there for a hot minute.

Washington proceeded to take this opportunity to get their spine ripped out the front way by Connor McDavid and company. Can’t say I don’t know the feeling.

Still, Washington needs this. Seattle needs it bad, too. The Kraken have a near impossible task ahead of them if they plan on making the playoffs, and while they don’t have much of a chance now, they can absolutely still scuttle another’s chances along the way, and with NYI and Detroit playing non-competing teams; there’s a chance they could cause Washington a lot more emotional damage than most tonight. That means they have to not only capitalize on their chances in the offensive zone; something that has been extremely hard to come by, but they need to press that advantage; no more response goals in the vulnerable two minutes after a goal-for. No more abominable, easy to avoid penalties.

Win this game because, against all odds, you are absolutely better than the Washington Capitals. The Numbers don’t lie, the play doesn’t lie and if you got a good look at what that Edmonton game looked like, you know that to be true.

Let’s go Kraken.

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