Thursday, October 16, 2008

Game 5: Caps/Pens...the opening salvo

Thanks to geography, we're in the middle of Capitals country...The Penguins and Capitals both feature some of the best and most active blogospheres around and we have friends on both sides. Our circle of hockey buddies is split: 2 Penguins fans (and the editor) and 3 Caps supporters.

With all this mixing, we're stuck right in the middle. So even though tonight's game is just one of 82, and in the big scheme of things not that important, anytime you've got Crosby vs. Ovechkin vs. Malkin, it's a big deal. Each one of those guys wants to be the one to shine the brighest anytime they share the stage together. Bragging rights personally are on the line. It's what the sport is all about.

So, for our Penguins readers and comrades, here's a look at the Caps with things you need to know:
  • Viktor Kozlov is out with injury, and Caps captain Chris Clark is on the top line now. Clark's kind of like an undersized (but more mature) version of Ryan Malone. His precense in front of the net and down in the corners should mesh well with the skill of Nicklas Backstrom and Ovechkin.
  • If the Penguins forwards don't challenge Mike Green, he will rush the puck all the way up the ice into a scoring area. Green's off to a ridiculously frantic start (3 goals in 3 games) and if unchecked will do damage.
  • Alex Semin, the enigmatic but extremely talented winger, has been one of the hardest working players on the ice this season. That is a scary thought, when he wants to be one of the best players in the sport he can be, but his work ethic (be it from injuries or disinterest) hasn't seemed all there in the past.
  • The Caps have experimented with Sergei Fedorov on the blueline but appear to have him as a forward tonight. This is good news as it means that the dim-witted and slow skating John Erskine is back in the lineup and probably paired with the not fleet-of-foot Milan Jurcina. This could be a great matchup for the Pens speedy 3rd line with players like Tyler F. Kennedy and Max Talbot.
  • Jose Theodore settled down a little after the second game but the fact remains he's given up 6 goals on 48 shots and has been very shaky early in games.


Anonymous said...

As a Caps fan I couldn't have summed up Erskine and Jurcina any better. Why Alzner and Lepisto aren't in their place is a disgusting mystery.


Anonymous said...

@Eric: Disgusting it may be, but a mystery it isn't. The reason Alzner is not in the lineup is $$$. His cap hit is too big to carry him on the roster until the second half of the season, unless someone goes on IR.

With Brash questionable thanks to taking a puck in the hand Monday night, we don't have enough forwards on the roster to leave Fedorov on the blueline, so we've got to go with what we've got, so unless Koz or someone else goes on IR, we're stuck with Juiskine.

I don't hate Jurcina after seeing him Monday night. He isn't hopeless, and I can deal with him on the ice. I'd love to get rid of Erskine, but I see why we can't get rid of him right now.

DMG said...

I agree with anon #2. Jurcina isn't great but he's definitely adequate for a sixth defenseman.