Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kronwall's Leagal, NHL Notes

Staffan Kronwall maybe seeing some significant playing time now that his green card as gone through. Kronwall adds size and some puck moving capabilities to the Capitals' blue line. And being pulled off waivers from a team struggling in tenth place in the Eastern Conference and going through a rebuilding phase to a team that has a commanding lead in the Southeast Division is not a bad transition.

Kronwall saw some significant time on the Caps' second unit power play during practice on Tuesday. Which leads me to believe that he will play a pretty big roll on the blue line and see some significant ice time this weekend. Now With Brian Potheir getting his sea legs back, the Capitals could be looking at a 9 man defensive unit going into the trade deadline. Remember, there is no salary cap past the deadline.

However, the defensive line still looks unsure of itself. That was painfully obvious in the Ranger game when the Caps lost a one goal lead twice against a team that was struggling offensively coming into last night. Their goaltender Jose Theodore has even given the Caps some outstanding goaltending, but in return the Caps still need to be responsible on the defensive end.

NHL Notes:
  • Penguins' Sergei Gonchar has been cleared to play. That is welcome news to the Pittsburgh faithful but is it too little too late? Hey, any way I can rain on their parade, I will. The Pens are still on the outside looking in, but they are only a point away from 8th place. With a big win against San Jose, we can't count them out just yet.

  • In the Southeast Division, the battle between Florida and Carolina is red hot. Florida leads the fight with one point more than the 'Canes. But the Panthers are still 13 points from division leading Capitals. The pair play tonight and can be seen for free on Yahoo Sports. A good deal especially if you do not have Center Ice package or NHL Gamecenter Live.

  • Things in Ottawa have turned from bad to ugly. Former head coach John Paddock called out GM Bryan Murray. Per the Camden Courier-Post:
    "I think now he's [Bryan Murray] next in line. We were 14 games over .500 when I was fired. They're seven under now. Somebody needs to take responsibility for that. Whether the coaches he hired and fired were good or not, they're his players and they're either not playing good or can't play, one or the other."
    Ooo, snap!

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