It's here - opening day of the 2010-2011 season for "our" Washington Capitals, yep that's what today is. October 8, 2010 - mark it on your calender or something like that, anyway. In addition to going down in History for future generations as the day the Washington Capitals started the 2010-2011 NHL Regular season, a lot of people also remember this day because it's the day that:
The Great Chicago Fire erupted. No we're not talking about the big "fire sale" that the Blackhawks have had this summer to clear salary cap space. We're talking about the real Great Chicago Fire that happened in 1871. The blaze destroyed four square miles of the city, killing about 250 people and leaving some 90,000 homeless, so it's really almost as significant as if something happened to Da Bears to Chicago sports fans (i.e. way more significant than the shuffling to the Blackhawks' roster.)
Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, died in Concord, N.H., at age 64, on this day in 1869.
American Army Sgt. Alvin York almost single-handily killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 in the Argonne Forest in France, on this day in 1918.
And perhaps one of the greatest moments in sports history occurred when Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series as the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0 in Game 5, on this day in 1956.
While tonight's Capitals-Thrashers season opening game in Atlanta won't rise to those levels of significant events, it... well it really just won't, but it will be fun to have NHL hockey back in our lives as Caps Fans.
Peerless has a great prognostication and preview on the game already up. I'm not sure I'm as optimistic about the score but I agree with his keys to the game and that the Capitals cannot "sleepwalk" their way through this game. I also agree that on the Caps roster one of the key guys we'll be watching will be Tomas Fleischmann as he starts the season on the second line in the Center's position. After all the resolution of the quandary on who the second line center should be for the Caps is probably one of two or three keys to the Caps season this year, not just tonight's game.
The Capitals have apparently been in Atlanta since yesterday afternoon so they should be focused and ready to play.
The lineups for tonight's game that I have are as follow:
So I'm thinking the Caps Lines and Pairings tonight will be:
Ovechkin - Backstrom - Knuble
Laich - Fleischmann - Semin
Chimera - Johansson - Fehr
Hendricks - Steckel - Bradley
Neuvirth though I wouldn't be surprised to see Dany Sabourin get the nod so Neuvy is in net tomorrow for the home opener.
In any case - it's Hockey Time and hockey time is time to get psych'ed.
LETS GO CAPS!!!