Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Matt Bradley makes his return to the lineup tonight, part 700

Okay, I'm serious this time. Tarik has reported that Bradley will make his return to the ice tonight against Philly. I can finally repost my nearly month old comment on him. So, drumroll please.....

"The checking line should get a boost from the return of Matt Bradley, who had been sidelined with a hand injury. I happen to think Bradley is one of the most underrated forwards on the team. Although not particularly big or fast, he plays great positional hockey and his all around game is strong."

Just to add a personal note, when I was at a game a couple weeks into last season I told my brother that if I had to pick a jersey to buy from that particular Caps team, I'd go with Bradley . I probably still will. It's not that I wouldnt' wear an Ovie or Clark or Semin jersey. It's just that I like to collect jerseys of players that reflect the way I think I play (though at a much, much, much, much, MUCH higher level than I). Well, that and my brother has an Ovie jersey and my father has a signed Captain Clark Clarkson University jersey (which Clarkie was kind enough to sign for my brother and I after a practice before we gave it to pops for his birthday).

So welcome back Matt.

The return of Bradley will probably see Jakub Klepis scratched from the lineup. Klepis has very good offensive potential and should one day make a fine second line offensive forward, but he's young and still has a tendency to 1) play too soft and 2) get absolutely CREAMED once a game (much like Gonchar used to). Until he learns to read how defensemen are playing him in the neutral zone, that's going to continue to be a problem.

I'll be spending part of tonight's game with folks who donated blood to the Red Cross a couple weeks back, and a part with Barra Brava and the Screaming Eagles. Should be a party and a half. Don't miss it.

Late Edit: Need another reason to like Matt Bradley? Read this.

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