WSH vs TOR January 31st Pregame
Washington Capitals (1-4-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (3-3-0)
Arena: Air Canada Centre
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Radio: Fan 590
Last Season: (1-3-0)
While many have been harping on the Leafs and calling their start to the season a let down, the Washington Capitals come into the game looking for their second win, and first on the road. Not exactly something you would have thought likely coming into the season but the Capitals are struggling in all 3 zones.
The Capitals are coming off a 3-2 loss against the other Ontario team, the Sens. After jumping out to a two goal lead, the Capitals, doing their best Toronto impression, blew squandered their chance and dropped to 1-4-1.The Leafs meanwhile, are coming off a thrilling OT victory against the Sabres, and are looking for their first home win of the season. The game marks the first of three straight at the ACC for the Blue and White.
While he hasn’t exactly been lighting it up, Alex Ovechkin is a superstar who loves a big stage, and Toronto is the biggest of platforms in the hockey universe. The Leafs, led by Reimer and Phaneuf, must find a way to shut down number 8 if they want to win.
Establish Home Ice:
Since day one of training camp, which was only a couple weeks ago, Carlyle has preached about making home ice an advantage for the Leafs, and not a place where they got booed off the ice. Whatever the reason, it appears that has not been the case as the Leafs are 0-2 at home so far. With a 3 game home stand on their hands, now would be a good time to display some of that home ice dominance Carlyle talked about.
The Young Guns:
With excellent play so far this season, will Kadri and Frattin be rewarded for their hard work with more ice time and more powerplay minutes? These two have quietly been carrying the team offensively and make continue to find a way to make things happen. Brian Burke deserves a shout out for not rushing these kids to the NHL and letting them improve in the minors at their own pace.
Check out the postgame shortly after the game is completed.