The Washington Capitals have enjoyed a short break before having to lace up the skates against the New York Islanders tonight. The Caps are coming off two big wins against Eastern conference opponents this past weekend, and will look to make it three in a row – it would be the second time this season that they string three wins together.
News of Alex Ovechkin‘s return has been surfacing, and all signs point to a healthy Ovie in the line-up tonight. That is not the end of the story though, apparently coach Adam Oates is moving around a few players within the four lines. Capitals Insider reported the line changes, and at practice on Monday this is how they appeared…
- Laich — Backstrom — Ovechkin
- Johansson — Fehr — Brouwer
- Chimera — Grabovski — Ward
- Erat — Latta/Beagle — Wilson
The changes raised several questions, most notably: “how can one justify dropping Erat back to the fourth line after he tallied two assists and meshed as well with Backstrom as any left wing has this season?”
Is Oates punishing Erat for not performing up to par overall this season? Or could he be limiting his time on the ice so that he doesn’t get injured so the Capitals can trade him? Just yesterday I posted about Erat potentially being on the trading block. Maybe a move is more imminent than us fans are led on to believe.
Have a comment about the line juggling, leave one below! Moving on now…
Need a break from the daily grind? Russian Machine Never Breaks has just the antidote! – Get involved in their “Photoshop Challenge: Angry John Carlson Yells At Things” [RMNB]
Jason Chimera was selected as the NHL’s third star of the week! In three games last week, Chimera had 2 goals and 4 assists. One would think that type of performance could earn a player 1st star, unfortunately Jason Pominville bested him – scoring 4 goals, and adding two assists in 3 games played. [NHL.com]
Bleacher Report’s Dave Ungar points out some of the biggest concerns for the Capitals so far this season – not to worry, solutions to the problems are also included. [Bleacher Report]
Around The NHL
Nathan King of Union and Blue has an interesting outlook on the Columbus Blue Jackets rivalries since moving to the East- and you might even find yourself wondering if the same type of outlook could be applied to the Capitals. [Union and Blue]
Eyes On Isles discusses how important winning on the road has become for the New York Islanders. The Islanders come to Washington tonight, which is the start of a four game road trip for New York. [Eyes On Isles]
Tags: Washington Capitals