Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ready For The Flyers

It just maybe a scrimmage. There is nothing at stake. Teams won't get points, or find out who will decide their division status or conference superiority. The game won't be held at the Verizon Center or the Wachovia Center. It is just one team's prospects versus another team's prospects. But if you think there will be no emotion behind this game, you would be mistaken.

Both teams' players have seen the heated playoff series between the Caps and Flyers last season. And as far as the prospects are concerned, this might as well be an extension of the playoff bad blood since the summer. And while there will be no Daniel Briere or Alex Ovechkin, there will be some passion in this game.

Sure players will want to make an impression on coaches and managers on a individual basis, but I would imagine that winning will be much more important for both teams and that means a lot of "team first" play. While fighting is rare, I wouldn't be surprised to see the mits drop once or twice during this game.

What to watch for:

This will be Simeon Varlamov's first real look at NHL style of play. The smaller rink and faster pace should humble the goaltender, but I expect him to shine. He needs to make a good impression early to solidify a number 3 position on the roster and his future as a Capital.

I will be watching for Oskar Osala's big frame and how he uses it against the Flyers rookies. If he can make space for himself, he will be an invaluable aspect in this game for the Caps. Also it will be interesting to see Stefan Della Rovere, the 18 year old, play in this caliber game.

I am not sure if Anton Gustafsson will be on the ice, but it would be nice to see him just once with other prospect players before he reaches the Training Camp stage. Although, his injury may keep him from the line up.

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