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Tonight the Penguins come back from the holiday break hoping to make it two in a row against the Caps at home in Pittsburgh. As is the case in any Sidvechkin game, the NHL hype couldn't be greater. Never mind the fact that if the playoffs started tomorrow both the Caps and Penguins would be watching the games from home.
I don't want to turn this into a who's better match either. I really hate the constant Sid vs Ovechkin battle. Personally, I feel Ovechkin is lost on the Caps. He's an amazing player trapped on a crappy team. Similar to Sid's predicament in his rookie season, the team is struggling to get out of last place in the conference. However, unlike the Pens' 2005 season, the Caps failed to rebound the following year. Or even the year after that. Comparatively speaking, the Caps are the Pittsburgh Pirates of hockey. Ovechkin is to the Caps and Freddy Sanchez is to the Pirates. Rookie of the Year and Slugger of the Year can't do it all.
Ty Conklin has really been holding his own in net, much to my surprise, but I'd expect Sabu in net tonight. Conklin goaltended that almost unspeakable display in the 5-4 Bruins shootout match that nearly led to a loss, but we'll just remember that as a win and move on from there.
Then there was the other 4-2 win later in the week against - you guessed it, Boston. Seems Therrien wants to make Conklin the go-to-guy for Boston matchups. Don't blame him when the kid goes 2-0 in two games against them...
Sid is both hot and cold so far this month. Clearly not his best play of the season, but after all, he's only human. Perhaps the thrill of competition against Ovechkin will really help Sid take off again.
Scary Gary nets two in the last game against the Bruins. Laraque gets another. Now all we need is the first two lines to score. I don't know about you, but I'm missing Max Talbot right about now. Some quality scoring depth would work wonders for this team. That and some solid goaltending...
Lastly, when talking about the aspect of a pattern and potentially falling into a somewhat superstitious state, let's not consider the last six games. (I'll just throw it out there anyways.) If you needed further explanation, then here you go.
Here's to a W...