Well, the Caps ignored my advice and took the flight down to Big D anyway. Ordinarily, this might be all you would need to know about tonight's game: Olie Kolzig is 0-8-1 with a 3.45 goals against average lifetime against Dallas, while Marty Turco is 2-0 with a 1.51 goals against average lifetime against the Caps. But with back-to-back games in Dallas and Anaheim, might the Caps turn to Brent Johnson, who is 2-3-1 with a 2.46 goals against average and a .907 save percentage lifetime against the Stars, on Thursday night? For that matter, will Dallas go with the ice-cold Turco or throw Johan Hedberg, who has made three straight über-impressive starts for the team, at the Caps? We shall see.
Today's WaPo has an article detailing how Alex Ovechkin will likely hit every incentive in his contract and thus make him the second-highest paid Cap (behind Kolzig) by year's end. Obviously, that would be money the Caps would be happy to pay, but AO certainly has the right attitude towards it, saying "If I win the bonus, I'm glad. If I didn't win this bonus, it's okay. I came here for my dream. If I want money, I could stay in Russia and make three million bucks."
The WTimes faked me out this morning with this headline that could easily have been taken from the Stars' game plan for tonight, but wasn't. Instead, Dave Fay has a fairly optimistic look at where the Caps are at the midway point of the season.
Oh, and Dallas... how 'bout them Cowboys?
In other NHL news:
- Are you a CCM hockey player? Alternatively, have you ever wondered how Vincent Lecavalier, Martin Brodeur or Alex Ovechkin pronounce their own names? If you answered yes to either or if you just want to see a pretty cool ad, click here.
- I'm largely done piling on Jeremy Roenick, but this interview can't go unmentioned, as Roenick blames his equipment for his slow start this season and later says he's the best American-born hockey player of all-time (in fairness, he says it's a tie between him and Mike Modano). I liked JR better when his jaw was wired shut, how about you, Patrick Roy?
- Rink Trivia: Who is the only player in NHL history to have all five vowels (a, e, i, o, u - not y this time) in his last name? Click and drag over the next space for the answer. John Vanbiesbrouck
- Wondering who the lightest / heaviest / tallest / shortest / oldest / youngest teams in the NHL are? James Mirtle's got you covered.
- Another must-read over at SI.com regarding Sir Divesalot.
- Today is Jocelyn Thibault's 31st birthday. Happy Birthday, JT! Hope you like hip surgery!
- The Islanders have fired head coach Steve Stirling and replaced him (in the interim) with assitant coach Bradshaw, err, Brad Shaw. Hey, "Mad" Mike Milbury - maybe it ain't the coaches you keep firing that are the problem. See Off Wing Opinion for further discussion on this point.
- Hart: Rick Nash (G, 2A, fight... you know what that is)
- Ross: Rick Nash, Sergei Fedorov (G, 2A each)
- Norris: Marek Zidlicky (2A)
- Vezina: Pascal Leclaire (W, 28 saves on 29 shots against)
- Richard: Jaroslav Balastik (Jes Gölbez celebrates), Yanic Perreault (2G each)
- Calder: Pascal Leclaire (W, 28 saves on 29 shots against)
- Aiken: Dany Sabourin (L, 4 goals against on 14 shots in 20:33 before being pulled)