GAME 8It's been a very busy morning here in Del Ray on game day, so this post is going to be quick and dirty. After what has been a forgettable week for the Washington Capitals, they are looking to right themselves tonight in only their second divisional match up so far this young NHL season. The Atlanta Thrashers (3-4-0) fly into Verizon Center tonight looking to keep the Cap's winless in divisional play. The Caps fell to the Thrashers in Atlanta in their season opener, and only division game thus far. Tonight's game isn't just important for getting back on track and back into the win column, the Caps now trail the division leading, and NHL leading Tampa Bay Lightning (5-1-1) by 3 points in the standings. All games count, but points taken away from division rivals and added to the Caps totals are even more important, even this early in the season. If the Caps are going to go for the division title for a 4th straight season, all divisional games are a MUST WIN. Many times we have seen where standing points given away early on in the season have come back to haunt a team at the spring that is in the hunt for either a playoff spot, or a division championship.
Matt Bradley is still out and is day to day. Marcus Johansson and D.J. King will not play tonight, and Mike Green will be a game time decision. The Capitals called up both Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perreault from the Hershey Bears for tonight's game. They were on the ice for the morning skate, and presumably will play this evening. Here is Caps365's Mike Vogel's video report from the morning skate:
I have to say, I for one hope that Green is ready to come back and plays tonight. I know many Caps fans rag on Green, and complain about him, or just do not care much for him but I think he is a KEY PIECE that is missing right now. Sure, he has his faults, but the bottom line is he is big, he is physical, he does play decent D, and, he puts the puck in the net regularly. When I hear people complain about Green's defencive work, all I can think to myself is this: I would take Green over Sergei Gonchar ANY DAY, PERIOD! Perhaps its just me, but I seemed to have noticed that Alex Ovechkin has seemed to play more defence lately in Green's absence, and has struggled to find the twine of late. Perhaps getting Green healthy and back in the starting lineup is what this Caps team needs right now to get themselves and their anemic power play jump started. I think this will free up Ovechkin some, and will allow him to focus just a bit more on what he has done best since his arrival here, and that is score goals. The added goals from Green, especially on the power play should help out considerably as well. I'm rocking my red and heading out to Verizon Center here shortly so enjoy the game tonight and LET'S GO CAPS ! ! !