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Saturday, April 3, 2010

PreCAP (4/3/10)

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(Photo from Yahoo)

The last time the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Washington Capitals met, the Blue Jackets won 5-4. It was November. Since then…..

  • The Caps traded their captain (at the time), forward Chris Clark, along with defenseman Milan Jurcina to Columbus, and received forward Jason Chimera in return.
  • The Capitals have charged to the head of the NHL standings.
  • They had a 14-game winning streak.
  • Traded a seventh-round pick to Columbus for defenseman Milan Jurcina, getting him back to Washington.
  • Clinched their division, their conference’s top seed, and are close to clinching the President’s Trophy.
  • Columbus was eliminated from playoff contention.
  • Chris Clark had an injury that ended his season.

So, we return in the beginning of April to play the Columbus Blue Jackets for the last time this season…..

This is the first Capitals game in a while where both themselves and their opponent have nothing left to play for. The Caps are already the top seed in the East, and the Blue Jackets are out of playoff contention. This game should be a nice chance for the Caps to work on areas that have issues, such as defense, goaltending, etc.

Brooks Laich returned last game, but Brendan Morrison, John Carlson, Scott Walker, and Boyd Gordon are still out. Milan Jurcina is apparently skating again, after his surgery a month or two ago, and could return early in the playoffs.

Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals writer for the Washington Post (check out Capitals Insider) reports that these are the probable lines for tonight…

Forwards

1st Line

Alexander Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Mike Knuble

2nd Line

Brooks Laich – Tomas Fleischmann – Alexander Semin

3rd Line

Jason Chimera – Eric Belanger – Eric Fehr

4th Line

Quintin Laing – David Steckel – Matt Bradley

Defense

1st Pairing

Jeff Schultz – Mike Green

2nd Pairing

Shaone Morrisonn – Joe Corvo

3rd Pairing

Tyler Sloan – Tom Poti

Goaltending

Starter

Jose Theodore

Backup

Semyon Varlamov
 
Some thoughts for tonight…
  • Jose Theodore is back in net tonight. Technically, he’s still on a 20-game streak without a regulation loss, going 17-0-3. Let’s hope he had a good performance tonight.
  • Alexander Ovechkin has the perfect opportunity to grab the NHL points and goals lead. He’s playing a team that’s been eliminated from playoff contention. He’s 1 goal back from the lead (for goals) and 3 points back from the lead (for points).
  • The other Alex, Alexander Semin, is only 1 goal behind his career-high. Will he set a career high in goals tonight? It’s possible.
  • Nicklas Backstrom has already set a career high with 92 points. With only 5 games left, I’m not 100% confident that he can reach 100 points, but with the big offensive totals the Caps have put up this year, 100 for Nicky is only a big game or two away.
  • Mike Knuble is 4 goals away from 30, with 5 games left. Definitely doable.

That’s about it…. tonight’s game starts at 7 PM, however, it’s in Columbus. Watch on CSN Washington. Enjoy!

Before you go, also remember to vote in the latest poll! Please!

You can follow Musings of a Caps Fan on Twitter: @musings_scores

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