It's been 12 days since the Caps have dropped the puck at the Verizon Center. They have been on a 5 game road trip that did not treat them too well. One win in the last five, they have been outscored 26 to 18 and lost now seven players due to injury (I am sure we will find out how severe those injuries are today).
The Capitals' goals against are just about even with their goals for (67-68). Which puts the Caps in interesting territory. They are 27th in the league in terms of goals against, a stat I am sure they would like to see changed. Meanwhile, they are also 5th in the league goals for, a stat I am sure they would like to keep.
Venturing away from the phone booth, the team has been mortal. They are badly outscored 52 to 40 when they don the white sweaters. At home? They have outscore their opponents 28 to 15. Good not great.
This all sets up the Capitals to face a team that suddenly has found its scoring touch. The Atlanta Thrashers will be rolling into town after playing a physical high scoring game against Toronto. They put up 6 goals and Johan Hedberg stopped 33 including a couple of ten-bell saves to shut down the Leafs. This is also the team that scored a 7 spot against the Caps back on October 10th, the last time these two teams faced each other.
Injuries aside, the Caps will have to find a way to keep the puck from behind their own net.
With Jeff Schultz now out 4 to 6 weeks with a broken finger (no word on which finger and if he can still give the bird) the Caps most likely will put him on the IR. Making room for Sami Lepisto to join the club, who costs less that Karl Alzner. They also need a puck moving defensemen in the absence of Mike Green in the line up.
The Caps are hurting big time. Sergei Fedorov is listed day-to-day (ankle), Mike Green is listed day-to-day (may return this weekend), Boyd Gordon is listed day-to-day (back spasms), John Erskine is listed day-to-day (unknown), Alex Semin is listed day-to-day (may return tonight), Schultz is out 4 to 6 weeks (broken digit), and now Chris Clark may be out with inuries (status to be updated, retweak of the groin?).