I spent last night at my cousin's house in South Philly (in the shadow of the Wachovia Center) just blocks away from Pat's Steaks & Geno's Steaks. After getting an early start, I got a little turned around finding my way back to Bryn Mawr Hospital on the Main Line but eventually got there at just after 9:00AM. When I got here my wife was clearly in pain and attempting to cope with it a little too aggressively, so every movement was a "10" on the pain scale 0f "1-10". After she took some more pain killer by early afternoon she was able to move her new knee much better; though we still won't know what the Doctor will be recommending for the full length of the next two weeks of rehab till tomorow. We saw some big snowflakes out the windows but that all quickly ended this afternoon with little to no accumulation. Today, trying to keep up with work was a lot more difficult since I work. As soon as I finish this blog post it's back to working a couple business capture items for the ICx Technologies team - I'm on vacation but some things have external deadlines and are best not transitioned back and forth over the course of a week prior to completion. This afternoon in my wife's group physical therapy session, I watched with amazement as seven patients who recieved a total of nine Custom Fit Total Knee Replacements yesterday all began to work their "renewed" joints. The courage and stoicism of these folks is really inspiring.
I did just have about five minutes to take a quick look at the Capitals website and the NHL standings on the NHL site. The eastern and Western Conference Playoff races are really heating up. As everyone knows the Caps (59 points) are first in the Southeast Division by 1 point over the Carolina panthers and Atlanta Thrashers and only two points in front of the Florida Panthers - with one game in hand on all three. The Tampa Bay Lightning lag the rest of the division slightly 7 points back of the Caps with 52 points but have a game in hand on the Caps. The only team in the East that seems to have broken away is the Ottawa Senators with 72 points and winners of their last two games following the return of Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley who are five points up of the Montreal Canadeans in the Northeast Division. The Pittsburgh Penguins - 6-2-2 in the last 10 games (all without Sidney Crosby or Marc Andre Fleury) are atop the Atlantic Division with 69 points, they are 3 points ahead of the New Jersey Devils and 4 points ahead of the Flyers both of whom are also playing solid, competitive hockey at this time as well. Basically 6 points separate 7 teams from the 12th place Atlanta Thrashers (57 points) to the 7th place New York Rangers (63 points) and the Caps in third by virtue of leading the Division with 59 points. If the season ended yesterday the only Southeast Division team to make the playoffs would be the Caps. There are 9 games tonight four are of interest to Caps fans: Carolina-Boston; Philadelphia-NY Islanders; Montreal - Tampa Bay; Buffalo - Ottawa. There are no matchups between Eastern and Western Conference teams tonight; all games are between in conference rivals.
Over in the Western Conference, the Red Wings are just inhuman with a league leading 87 points and a 41-12-5 record (7-2-1 in their last 10); the Dallas Stars have 75 points and lead their division rival San Jose Sharks by 6 points; though the Sharks have 5 games in hand on the Stars. In the Northwest division the Minnesota Wild lead the Colorado Avalanche by three points with 68 points in 58 games played. However, the fight for the final three playoff spots in the west is just as tight as the Eastern Conference playoff race. Only five points separate the 11th place Phoenix Coyotes (60 points 57 GP) from the 6th place Avalanche (65 points/56GP).
Tomorrow's Caps/Thrashers Match-up should be a battle, just like the last Carolina game since both teams will be treating it like a playoff game. Whether the Caps are one point up on the Hurricanes in first or one point back in second is up to the Bruins tonight. The Caps are only three points back of the Bruins for the eight and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, so let's hope for a clean victory and only two point game (vice a 'three pointer') for only one of the two teams playing tonight in Boston. LETS GOCAPS!!!!