- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 1, 2009

THURSDAY’S BEST BET ON TELEVISION

The Capitals open the season at Boston. 7 p.m., Versus

LOCAL POWER RANKINGS WHO’S GENERATING BUZZ IN THE D.C. AREA?

JIM ZORN

He says the Redskins have “improved” and possess “tremendous talent.” This glass-is-half-full mentality is selling well on talk radio.

NICKLAS BACKSTROM

Tenth in the NHL last year with 88 points, he’s going to reach 100 this season with Mike Knuble and Brooks Laich in front of the goal.

JAMES FRANKLIN

Maryland football’s coach-in-waiting may end up being the odd guy out if the losing continues and the decision is made to go in a different direction.

ALBERT HAYNESWORTH

His off-the-field nonsense continues: His ex-wife is requesting a restraining order and says Albert isn’t paying the bills. Is he short of cash already?

MIKE JAMES

The 34-year-old point guard might be the odd man out of the Wizards’ rotation in favor of Randy Foye and Javaris Crittenton.

TWT FIVE CAPITALS PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2009-10 SEASON

1. They’ll win their third straight Southeast Division title. Carolina will make the playoffs, but Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida are still skating in circles.

2. The top two lines will change on a game-to-game basis. The top six forwards — Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Knuble, Brendan Morrison and Brooks Laich — better get used to the juggling.

3. Jose Theodore will play more regular-season games than Semyon Varlamov, but Varlamov will be the goalie when the playoffs start.

4. John Carlson will play 27 games. He’ll get a taste of the NHL and then become a full-timer next year.

5. Semin will be traded at the deadline. The salary cap situation will probably mean the Caps have to choose between Backstrom and Semin for a long-term deal. That’s a no-brainer.

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