Monday, March 9, 2009

Ovechkin’s Capitals Invade Nashville

A Preview of What to Expect From Ovie?

The star studded Washington Capitals have arrived in Nashville for a 7 p.m. match with the Nashville Predators at the Sommet Center. Both teams are coming off losses in their last outings, the Preds at Philadelphia on Saturday and the Caps in overtime versus the Penguins on Sunday.

The Capitols not only have the best player in the world in Alexander Ovechkin, but also have a strong supporting cast of stars that includes Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, and record breaker, Mike Green.

Ovechkin, who was the first overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft, leads the NHL in goals with 47, nine more than anyone else. Last season, Ovechkin was named the NHL's Most Valuable Player when he led the league in goals and points. He is a multitalented player who is a scorer, playmaker, and will take and dish out a hit with anyone in the game.

The one feather in Ovechkin’s cap that sets him apart from the other great players in the game today is his is his magnetic, free for all personality. His “mini show” at the NHL skills competition at this year’s all-star game was the highlight of the evening. Dressed in an odd hat and Elvis-like sunglasses he easily captured the heart of hockey fans worldwide.

Caps Defenseman, Mike Green, along with Nashville’s Shea Weber, is a contender for the Norris Trophy, given annually to the NHL’s best defenseman. In spite of missing 13 games due to injury, Green leads all league defensemen in goals (23) and points (58). Earlier this season, he set an NHL record for defensemen scoring in eight consecutive games.

The Capitals are currently leading the Southeastern Division with 86 points and will likely be the second or third seed in the Eastern Conference when the playoffs begin next month.

The Predators are coming off a disappointing 4-1 loss on Saturday in Philadelphia after having won six in a row. The Predators remain the leagues hottest team going 13-6-1 since the all-star break and are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference with 70 points.

After tonight’s game, the Predators play the New York Rangers at home on Thursday before leaving for a critical four game road trip to the west coast that will be a true test to see if they will hold on to a spot in this year’s playoffs. For now, the Predator’s focus will continue to be the game at hand as they can ill afford more than five or six losses in the 16 remaining games.

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass and The Columbia Daily Herald

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