Spell to be Broken

The Florida Panthers are 0-14-1 in their last 15 visits to RBC Center. Carolina is 18-4-1 in the last 23 meetings between the two teams, and the Hurricanes have won 12 of 15 over the last two seasons.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance.

Florida’s last win at the RBC Center came on Dec. 6, 2002. Roberto Luongo blanked Carolina that night in the back end of a home-and-home set between the Cats and Canes. Mike Keenan was coaching the Panthers and Paul Maurice the Hurricanes in those days. Valeri Bure netted the game-winner, and Olli Jokinen added a late empty-netter. Caps center Viktor Kozlov was a plus-2 for the Cats that night.

Jokinen, Stephen Weiss and Jay Bouwmeester are the only Panthers from that game who are still with the team. The only members of the Hurricanes from that game who will suit up tonight at RBC are Erik Cole, Bret Hedican, Glen Wesley and Niclas Wallin.

Not to worry, kid. This thing is on the verge of turning around.

So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.

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24 Comments on “Spell to be Broken”

  1. Kris Says:

    Oh Hell Yes! Special shout out to the Florida Panthers and most especially their PK. And thanks to Carolina for wearing them down for the Caps tomorrow night.

  2. Reg Dunlop Says:

    Holy Harry Potter, Batman! Those Cats did it!

    Now the boys need to take care of business.

    Gabby, you need to make room for the Adams . . .

  3. AJD Says:

    That. Was. AWESOME!!!

    Finally, the Caps hold their fate in their hands.

    Gonna be looooooouuuuuuuud at the Phone Booth tomorrow. Can’t wait.

  4. JW Says:

    Yes thank you Florida but also thank you Gary Bettman…..you have to think they made sure Carolina lost since the CAPS have Ovechkin. If you are the NHL… do you want your biggest star this year sitting home during playoffs or helping you promote the game during the playoffs???? You want his face out there in the playoffs especially since you took a big hit during the strike a few years ago. Either way ….LET’S GO CAPS!!!!!!

  5. TomZ Says:

    Great call on this one. I never thought it would happen. So the CAPS will get in, despite the horrendous officiating in DC last night. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s game

    LET’S GO CAPS….LET’S GO CAPS……..LET’S GO CAPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  6. Curtis from CureSearch Says:

    Wow, our best case scenario is there for the taking! Thank You FLA!

  7. rags Says:

    Division title or nothing followed by Stanley Cup or nothing!

  8. Mike L. Says:

    The Panthers did what they needed to do. Now we have to reward them by beating them into submission.

    To quote a certain member of the Delta House, “Let’s do it!”

  9. CapitalSpirit Says:

    Let’s not thank the Panthers too much just yet. If we beat them tomorrow night, THEN we can thank them. Sometimes the toughest teams to play are the spoilers. We can’t look past this game, and we can’t rely on them being worn out from their win in Raleigh. We still need to play the game the way we know how to play it. It’ll be a privilege to be in attendance.

  10. dumpnchase Says:

    JW,
    If you think “they” made sure Carolina lost the game because the Caps have Ovechkin, then you damn sure didn’t watch the game. And the Caps still have to get a point against Florida on Saturday, or else the Canes are division champs.

  11. notfadeaway Says:

    With respect to the comment from JW and the officiating during that game… it would appear that the NHL has done everything it could to keep Ovechkin OUT of the playoffs.

    Canes with 9 power plays, Panthers: none. And it wasn’t as if there weren’t any opportunities to make calls vs. Carolina, who sometimes look more like an olympic diving team than an NHL club.

    Hurricanes have had questionable goals go their way, while the Caps have had legitimate ones taken away…

    Zubrus’ goal against Boston taken away when it appeared that Boston was the team for us to catch…

    The two game stretch where the Caps had no PP vs. Buffalo, and then the lopsided end of the game versus – again – Boston…

    If this team makes it to the playoffs, they will have done it after facing nearly every type of adversity imaginable: From the awful start to injuries to officiating to the stretch run where they couldn’t get any help in the standings…

    I love these guys. WIN AND WE’RE IN!!!

    LETS GO CAPS!!

  12. Andrew Says:

    Don’t forget the end of the Caps-B’s multiple 5-3 fiasco.

    Go Caps.

  13. M.D. Says:

    I agree with you, notfadeaway. And not just the NHL and the officiating – – I would say NBC, too. All we ever hear about from NBC is the Pens and Crosby. Well, is Crosby #1 in points? No. Is Crosby #1 in goals? No. Have the Pens worked their way up from months in the cellar earlier this season to currently tied for division champ? Nope. Has their coach engineered the most awesome turnaround of the season? Nope again. NBC’s broadcast of the Caps/Pens game was so over the top pro-Pens it was sickening. And the NHL’s wesbite is pretty much the same: all Pens and Crosby, all the time. At least the guys at Versus actually acknowledge that Ovie is the true #1 talent of the NHL, even if they don’t seem so high on the Caps. But we’ll show ’em all – – Go Caps!!!!

  14. jason Says:

    if we can manage to win tonight, i dont see us losing before the conference championship. we are THE HOTTEST team in hockey, with one of the best records around since bruce took over. you better believe all the other teams were rooting for carolina.

  15. Capsfan Says:

    Great call on the turnaround! Now we have to face the team that beat Carolina. Florida has played us tough this season, as well as the past few years. We have a lot of young players, but the veteran players should be able to settle things down. I agree with the lousy officiating. Let’s hope it does not decide the game tonight.
    Without a doubt, Ovechkin deserves the MVP. His leadership and skills have carried over through the entire team. I do not know why Crosby is always mentioned. My only guess is because Ovechkin is with the Caps, and for some reason our team is not a league favorite, such as the Penguins. That’s a shame, it stinks, but it is reality. But as Caps fans, we all know who the MVP really is. And as classy as Ovechkin is, I do not see him whining or crying should he not get the award.
    After all, he is after only one thing that matters right now, which just happens to be a much bigger piece of hardware.
    LET’S GO CAPS!!

  16. BC Caps Fan Says:

    I must say the NHL and Gary Bettman have problem with Ovy and its very obvious to see. Crosby was supposed to be the next Gretzky and the NHL has dumped a lot of money into him since before he was drafted to promote the game. So simple Crosby is the face of hockey now. Next thing you know everyone starts raving about this kid from Russia who is a phenom himself great at first because now theres a rival for the media fire, but with everything already going to Crosby he has to come out number 1. Also lets not forget Penguins were very close to being sold and moved last year so they need the fan base even more to bring in the revenue. I also believe that after this year things are really going to turn on the Pen because a lot of the young talent comes off their rookie contracts pretty soon so Crosby’s big bring a cup to the igloo is coming to a close and fast, and the Caps are the hottest team right now and could up set that especially since the Pens don’t seem to do as good with Crosby’s in the line up. Remember that surge when he went down and Malkin took over. Anyways the one thing I don’t like is this think if the Caps and Pens went head to head in the post season that would be the highest rated american series ever, and I wont get to watch it cause im too far northwest.
    O and I totally think that the caps will down Florida tonight yes they struggled this year against them but since BB took over they only lost once out of the last 5 meets and I believe it was a close game too. And if they win wow think of the hardware. Hart, Art Ross, Rocket, Calder, Jack Adams, Lester B, A division title, possibly a Prince of Wales, a Conn Smythe o and dare I say it Stanley Cup. So I want someone to point out and explain why they think this team shouldn’t be in the playoffs cause I’ll need an explaination for it.

  17. Funkyglovefacewash Says:

    It definitely seems like there’s a conspiracy to keep the Caps out sometimes but the rational part of my brain says the powers that be wouldn’t be so foolish as to try and stop a generational talent like OV from reaching the post season. Then again, they were foolish enough to put all of their eggs in one basket by only hyping up their pet player Crosby for the last few years. As far as the Hart goes,even if OV were to put 3 pucks into our own net tonight and single handedly cost us the game and a playoff berth, he would still be the MVP. I thought Pierre Mcguire was one of the dumbest hockey analysts but Barry Melrose is nipping at his heels. His hair is no longer just badly outdated, it seems to be leeching his brain of common sense.

  18. Funkyglovefacewash Says:

    It would also be a crime if Boudreau doesn’t get the Adams. Unfortunately, I don’t think Backstrom will get the Calder, as much as I’d like to see it. I believe Kane is going to get that . Oh, and one more thing, GO CAPS !!!!!!!!!!!

  19. JW Says:

    They may have been trying to keep the Caps out early and if the only way Carolina could stay in the game last night was penalties( pretty bad and shows how much Florida was playing spoiler)…they had to do it so the Carolina fans and such couldn’t call it a “conspiracy” last night( in other words to keep it tight). Ovie is NOW a huge name….I mean look at the buzz not only here in DC where Hockey is virtually ignored for a “certain football team”; but people around the hockey world are sitting up and taking notice. For Bettman, this town and this guy is potential pick-up for revenue and notice not only for here but the NHL overall. If you are the NHL and you have a guy as talented as “Ovie” and generating the buzz; aren’t you going to as much as possible (penalty calls excluded with the sick refing last night) to continue to have a chance to showcase him. That was my point….otherwise I agree with y’all we still need to point to get in.

  20. Funkyglovefacewash Says:

    Bring on Ottawa or Philly, it doesn’t matter the result will be the same, Caps will win!

  21. Tom in FL Says:

    I watch all national telecasts – NBC, Versus and Center Ice – and the NHL definitely “co-promotes” Crosby together with Ovechkin. You should hear non-Caps complain about all they hear is “Ovechkin this” and “Ovechkin that.” My believe is the league is WAY HAPPIER having a national face like Ovechkin in the playoffs rather than the neameless Hurricanes (who already won a few years ago to very low ratings). You can tell who they promote by which teams get the national games. Caps lately a lot have not been on Center Ice but rather the NHL Network. You get “all games” for like $139/year in the Center Ice package, except now this year they had about three-five games/week on the NHL Network (one channel over from VS) and you need to pay an extra $1.99/month for that package, which also includes NBA Network and a bunch of college channels. BTW, for $1.99/month that package is actually a good deal as they run minor league hockey games; NHL on the Fly; and other specials. Starting tonight they will have hours and hours worth of pre-Playoff special programming, and about two weeks ago on a Sunday they played Ovechkin highlights, plus his best games (the 4 goal games) continuously from like 5 pm to about 11 pm. You can bet the NHL and Gary Bettman love Ovechkin and would like nothing more than “Ovechkin vs Crosby Playoffs Round 1” in either the 2nd or 3rd Round. By Playoffs Round 1 I mean this would be the first time they would go head-to-head in the Playoffs, the first of hopefully many, many times. Then years from now when they are both grizzled vets headed to the Hall they can run a two-hr special featuring all the playoff series in which the two played against each other.

    My belief is that if the Caps play Ottawa it will not get top billing because that would mean Pitt has beaten Philly today and is #1 seed and is playing the Flyers at #8. If Philly wins today though they go to #6 and play the Caps. Ottawa nobody in the Sates cares about but Caps-Flyers would be a feature, but it would share with Pitt-Boston and of course NY-NJ. Montreal would playing Ottawa then and truly the States would not broadcast that series as much.

    I really haven’t paid any attention to the West so far since I’ve totally absorbed with Caps making the Playoffs, which has kind of rivaled the Ravens winning the Super Bowl and the “Why Not?” Orioles of 1989 as top events in the history of my fandom. Caps making it to the Finals in ’98 is in there too.

  22. Tom in FL Says:

    Correction:

    Apparently, Boston plays Montreal regardless of today’s outcomes (either #2 vs #7 or #1 vs #8). Only thing to be decided is whether Pitt wins and gets Philly (and Caps get Ottawa) or loses and gets Ottawa (and Caps get Philly).

    If you were the Penguins, would you want to win today?

  23. Tom in FL Says:

    Also:

    Mike Milbury just said the Caps are the “Feel good story of the season.” He added the Caps “did us a huge favor by letting us watch them a few more weeks.”

    You can bet the NHL and the networks are much happier to have the Caps than the Canes.


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