Saturday, October 18, 2008

And then there were two

Two top tier defensemen, that is. Tom Poti's groin injury had better not be serious, because the Caps don't have the depth on the backline to have him miss more than a couple games.

If there's any good news regarding the injury, it's that the Caps did not choose to call up a defenseman from Hershey, which they would have done if they believed Poti was going to be out more than a few days. The decision to put Poti on the shelf is much more likely a preventative measure, as it doesn't take much to turn a groin pull into a serious injury (just ask Chris Clark).

In other defensive news, it looks like one of the Caps has finally decided to step up and become a physical force in the defensive end. Mike Green has clearly decided that it's not enough to be one of the league's top offensive threats. He has his sights set on being the league's top defenseman, period.

If you need any proof, ask Evgeni Malkin how his gut is feeling following Greener's classic hip check in the third period. Although he didn't land the shot flush (Malkin wouldn't have finished the game if he had), it's clear that Green has made the decision to be a physically intimidating force in his own end. As Green's timing improves, expect to see more than a few devastating hits this season from the lightning quick defenseman.

Also, Kudos to Matt Bradley for taking one for the team. Sometimes it's not about winning or losing the fight, but sticking up for your teammates, taking your lumps and then going right back to playing hockey. Way to gut it out through that gashed up mouth, Matt.

The Caps look to carry over the momentum from their third period surge against the Penguins to the start of tonight's game against the Devils, who once again bored a crowd (and the opposition) to sleep with a 1-0 victory. Expect Sergei Fedorov to once again distribute from the backline as the Caps look to break the god-awful neutral zone trap. Game time is 7 PM. Unless you're one of the folks who bought the all you can eat and booze Dewars club tickets, in which case you'll probably want to get there earlier.

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