Three games into the season and I am already loving this season's new schedule. Compared to a year ago where the Caps played the Eastern Conference 8 times before seeing a Western Conference team and played their division foes 10 times out of 15 games in one month (Nov. '07). It's nice to see some of those western sweaters at the phone booth.
Just in the first week of action the Caps have played two Western Conference teams, a divisional foe and now they face off with an Eastern Conference foe in Pittsburgh Thursday night. The diversity is a breath of fresh air. Plus it will be fun to stay up for some late west coast games when the Caps hit the road.
The previous two seasons, the Capitals were forced to play each team within their division a whopping 8 times, the games sort of lost interest after the 20th time they played their close foes. The NHL this year scaled back on the number of division and games and allowed more interconference play. I would like to see the League take it a step further, allowing a team to play the other 29 both home and away.
Well if you haven't already heard, Viktor Kozlov is out for a couple of weeks with a leg injury. That puts Eric Fehr back in the line up although Bruce Boudreau had already planned to play the forward this week.
Both Donald Brashear and Alex Semin did not practice today at Kettler as both were taking a day off to nurse some nagging injuries. The line ups for practice were a bit jumbled up, but Boudreau told reporters not to read into any of the changes. Fedorov was back up as a forward, partly because they were short with Semin, Kozlov and Brashear out. Gabby still has not ruled out using the former Hart Trophy winner as a defender Thursday night.
If you were following the red hard hat, Nick Backstrom was awarded the crimson plastic crown in last night's tilt. Although he was not envolved on the scoresheet, he did play a solid game and got a couple of good shots on net. While we would like to see him on the scoresheet more, it's tough when someone has to watchout for Mike Green's position when he too busy moving it up ice by himself.
Also the Caps are thinking about loaning out one of their prospect goaltenders to another AHL squad. Micheal Nuevirth may be lent to another team while Daren Machesney and Simeon Varlamov seem to be gobbling up ice time for the Bears. Tarik has the latest on that.