Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pre-Cap: Capitals vs. El Diablos

Washington Capitals (32-15-4, first in SE, second in EC, last game 7-4 win over Ottawa)
New Jersey Devils (32-15-4, first in ATL, third in EC, last game 4-3 win over Pittsburgh)

If there is one team that has been proving critics wrong, it has to be the New Jersey Devils. When franchise goaltender Martin Brodeur went down with an injury early into the season, many people wrote off the Devils as a team that was destined to miss the playoffs. Now they are in a battle for first place in the conference with the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.

This Devils team is not without heroes that have made their rise to the top possible. Backup goalie Scott Clemmensen is without a doubt the most valuable player on this Devils team. With 22 wins, nine losses and a .920 save percentage, those look oddly enough like the numbers Devils fans are used to with Brodeur in net.

Clemmensen stands at 1-1 against the Capitals this season, who will be taking to the ice without team captain Chris Clark. The Capitals may also be without the services of backup goalie Brent Johnson, who is still suffering from a nagging hip injury. Hershey goalie Michel Neuvirth has been recalled to take Johnson's place for the moment.

Clark's injury means Eric Fehr will see more playing time than he is used to, it will also mean the Capitals are no longer crunched against the salary cap. The next few games in Hershey will likely decide which, if any, players will be called up to make use of the extra amount of cap. Tyler Sloan, Karl Alzner and Chris Bourque all impressed in their stints with the Capitals and, with Johnson injured, one can only wonder if Simeon Varlamov will make a return to the District.

The injury to Clark also has bred some speculation that a new captain will be appointed for the remainder of the season. Our likely candidates if a new captain is to be named? Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, Donald Brashear and Sergei Fedorov. Feel free to add your own speculation in the comments section.

YouTube is acting up today, so no videos at the moment.


1 comment:

  1. Leonhardt for Captain! Let the dream continue...


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