The Caps close out their five-game homestand tonight against the high-scoring Buffalo Sabres and are assured no worse than a 2-2-1 record over that stretch. In fact, over their last 21 games the Caps are 9-10-2, a respectable mark and a good measuring stick as to where the team stands right now.
Speaking of where the team stands right now, majority owner Ted Leonsis has indicated that this coming offseason will not likely feature any big-ticket acquisitions, but rather "two or three" prudent additions (namely a veteran blueliner or two and a first-line center to play alongside Alex Ovechkin). To me this makes perfect sense as the Caps are more than a Wade Redden or Brad Richards away from being a contender (though either of those studs would look great in a Caps' sweater) and next year's free agent class is expected to be much deeper and more impressive and thus a better buyer's market. And, don't forget, the Caps will be getting Alex Semin back next year (knock on wood), which will be like adding a top draft pick or free agent on the cheap.
For a look at tonight's matchup from the visitors' perspective, head over to Buffalo's Best Blog.
Thread of the Day: Leonsis Has Summer Plans For The Caps! (see what Caps fans are saying about today's WaPo article about the team's coming offseason plans).
Elsewhere 'round the rinks:
- Ottawa superstar Daniel Alfredsson has kind words for AO, but I'm not sure which quote is my favorite. Either “He can make chicken soup out of chicken (bleep),” or “He doesn’t get frustrated if he gets hit, either. He gets up and keeps playing. Not like the other rookie, who starts crying.” Read the article - there's more good stuff in there.
- Hart: Jonathan Cheechoo (3 goals, including the game-winner, 5 shots on goal, 2 hits, 3 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 2 blocked shots)
- Ross: Jonathan Cheechoo, Joe Thornton, Mike Modano, Jussi Jokinen, Sergei Zubov, Jay McClement (3 points each)
- Norris: Sergei Zubov (3 assists, including primary assist on the game-winner, +1)
- Vezina: Sean Burke (Win, 31 saves on 32 shots against)
- Richard: Jonathan Cheechoo (3 goals)
- Calder: Jay McClement (Assists on all 3 goals in 3-2 OT win)
- Aiken: Alex Auld (Loss, 4 goals against on 28 shots)