It's Military Appreciation Day, and what better time to take an opportunity to give thanks to our men and women of the Armed Forces than when the Washington Capitals come to town to take on the Hurricanes!Â Â Sometimes, we are quick to criticize this organization when we feel they have messed up, but here is something that I think most everyone can agree is a very worthwhile and noble undertaking. Kudos to the Hurricanes for hosting this event.
Members of the military are eligible for discounted tickets, but good luck in finding them at this late hour. The game was nearly sold out a few days ago. It most certainly will be "standing room only" by game time.
This is another very important game for both teams. Erik Cole was quoted as saying that it was even more important than the Atlanta game on Thursday night because of the 3 games in hand that the Capitals possess. The Canes currently have a 4 point lead in the division. If they can win tonight, they will erase that extra advantage for the Capitals.
Washington coach Bruce Boudreau agreed with the importance factor himself. "It's a big game for us," Boudreau said. "We have to understand that it's a big game, and I think we do."
The Hurricanes are coming off a dominating performance over the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night as they won 5-3. Carolina has pummeled the last two goalies they have faced with over 90 shots on net. If they can continue on that pace tonight, they will be very tough to beat. The Canes are 5-0-1 in their past 6 performances at home.
The Capitals lost their last game to the New York Islanders, 3-2 after a shoot-out. Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin has been in a mini-slump of late and hasn't graced the scoresheet in 4 of his past 6 games. Our friends over at Japer's Rink have a theory and they are blaming it on his new, hottie Russian girlfriend, Katja. Who can blame them? Wait until he gets married guys, his production will fall off the chart!
In the meantime the other Russian sniper, Alexander Semin apparently has no distraction because he has been red-hot of late.
It was projected earlier this week that newcomer, Patrick Eaves could make his debut for the Canes tonight, but that will not happen. Eaves couldn't practice yesterday and will not suit up for this game. Carolina will probably run with the same lines that played Thursday night.
Once again, Cam Ward will be the man in goal. It should be an exciting game tonight with not only playoff implications, but a playoff atmosphere. It's a great day to be a hockey fan!
Don't forget, there is an early start time of 5PM. This game will be televised locally on FSN.