Friday, March 02, 2018

2018 Stadium Series Preview

There's one more outdoor game left to be played this season and it goes tomorrow night at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD and the Washington Capitals will play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It's a little bit of a later start, 6pm MT on Saturday, but it will still occupy the Hockey Night in Canada slot on CBC, so this one will get plenty of coverage tomorrow night.

There's no question that the match-up in the standings is a pretty good one, as the Maple Leafs are 3rd in the Atlantic Division, while the Capitals top the Metropolitan Division, but the Leafs have a better record, with 6 more points in the overall standings.  There won't be anything holding these two teams back, especially since this could work out to be an Eastern Conference Finals match-up.

Toronto Washington
Benson Auston Matthews Alex Ovechkin
Clayton Dmitry Orlov
Dale B. Mitch Marner
Derek B. Tyler Bozak
Connor Brown
Eric William Nylander
Grant Nazem Kadri Braden Holtby
Jake Gardiner Philipp Grubauer
Jeremy Evgeny Kuznetsov
Mike Frederik Andersen
Scott Nicklas Backstrom
Stacey C. Nikita Zaitsev Lars Eller
Morgan Rielly Matt Niskanen
Steve Zach Hyman T.J. Oshie
Tony Ron Hainsey John Carlson
Troy Patrick Marleau
James Van Riemsdyk

There's a pretty good gathering of hockey pool players in this game, with Grant and Stacey C. leading all teams with four players, but Grant will have one of his Washington goalies to start on the bench tomorrow and we already know that Braden Holtby has been given the nod for the start.

Benson would have had the better representations, if Auston Matthews wasn't dealing with a shoulder injury.  He's not expected to play tomorrow night, while Alex Ovechkin will still be good to go.

And you know, if you have been watching all season long, you'd know that I'm still counting points from the outdoor games, as if there was a mini-game going on.  There isn't, but what if there was?!?

Tony goes into the Stadium Series game with 5 points from Craig Anderson of the Senators in the NHL100 Classic and then a goal from Sam Reinhart of the Sabres in the Winter Classic, leading the way in the mini-game.  Tony has one player from each team in tomorrow night's game, Ron Hainsey from the Leafs and John Carlson of the Capitals, so he'll be looking to defend tonight.

His nearest challenger at the start of play is Wes and Wes is shut out of any more points in this game.  Next up on the list... Brian?  Nope.  Stacey M.?  Nope.  Benson has 2 points!  That would take a big game from Ovechkin to challenge, I guess.

Nevertheless, it should be a pretty fun game, I'm thinking.  Hopefully, the ice stands up to the speed.

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