Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Look Ahead at Tonight's Competition

So, tonight, it's the big night, McCain and Obama face off, polls start to close at 7PM EST. Play by Play and really cool map illustrations and graphics will start on multiple channels at 7:00:01 PM EST. Hockey moms everywhere will look to see how one of their own fares, regardless of party affiliation. There will be talk of blue states and red states; of the independent rushes to the goal by talented young people, etc. In the end what will we know and where will our interests be?

I suspect if you're reading this blog, they'll be centered in the nation's capital - that's right Ottawa, ONT, Canada where the Washington Capitals will be locked in battle against the Ottawa Senators. Face off 7PM EST. It will be the most intense and the interesting thing on TV for about three hours tonight and when it's over, thanks to Bettman's gimmick where, if necessary, a final result is determined by a professional hockey skills competition, one way or another you'll know decisively and definitively who won and who lost. As for that election thing if you are still interested and turn your TV's back to the numerous channels that will have pundit's talking about it when the hockey game is over at around 10PM EST, there probably still won't be a definitive, declared winner for at least a couple more hours. As I write this blog, all indications are that there will be a tremendously higher than normal turnout across the nation of people voting. As a self proclaimed patriot, I think regardless of who wins, that's a great thing for America as a nation.

The large turnout at the polls for the US elections also probably mean that historical trends, statistical polls with limited samples, and a host of other things will make early declarations of winners and losers by news organizations, harder and less likely to occur. So since those of us on the East Coast will either need or want to go to sleep before final results are really known, nobody should feel guilty about "Rockin the Red" and rooting for the Caps tonight. The three hours of hockey will not mean you are not patriotic, as long as you are a fan and rooting for the team from your own nation's capital. Tonight in Ottawa, I find it a bit ironic that it's CF (as in Canadian Forces) night at Scotiabank Palace when the Caps come to town; and at the same time in America we'll be finishing up voting in our national elections right before the game in Washington. Okay maybe it's not all that ironic but I think it is.

Looking ahead it will be all about "which team." No prognostications here, those are done by Peerless. Which team will show up for the Capitals? and which team will show up for the Senators? How will the Capitals react to the practice they had on Sunday that accoring to information posted over at the blog "Alex Ovejtkin", Sergei Federov said: "Last time I saw this was when I lived in Red Army baracks and trained under Victor Tikhonov." By all accounts, every one of the Caps present, basically expected to be worked hard at that practice and showed up ready to do so. That probably means, they understand they need to turn things around and show up ready to play from the time the puck hits the ice at the first face off until the horn sounds at the end of the game. It probably also means all of the Capitals are committed to solid team play and solid two way, nothing fancy hockey. As fo the Senators, they too seem to be ready to move forward and play the type of hockey they are capable of the rest of the way this season. They certainly can't enjoy seeing prognostications of upcoming games by their fans that forecast they will lose to their oppenets at home.

No prognostications here about the game, but on individual performances, I look to solid games by the following Capitals: Sergei Federov (especially if he plays center which it looks like he will since according to Corey both Erskine and Morrisonn will play tonight); Ovechkin (forecasting Ovie to play well against the Sens after a week away from the team is a no-brainer IMHO); Semin (happy the team is back and looking for more interviews so he can talk more about Crosby and Vaneck ;->); and Brent Johnson (Johnnie has been solid in his first several outings since the Atlanta game so I look for him to at least match save percentages with Alex Auld.) For the Senators I look for solid games from: rookie defenseman Nick Foligno, Center Mike Fisher, sharpshooter Jason Spezza, former Canuck & Penguin Jarkko Ruutu, and defenseman Filip Kuba. Prediction/crystal ball? if the Caps can contain Alfredsonn and Heatley contained like the did in the games between these two teams last year, while outshooting the Senators (a sign that overall the Capitals forecheck is working), as long as Johnnie can match Auld's save percentage the Capitals can indeed "win this game going away".

Welcome "Home" Alexander Ovechkin. Your family is in my prayers.

LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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