So it may not count for all that much in the grand scheme of things, but for the first time since last April, the Washington Capitals (or some approximation thereof) will take to the ice tonight against an NHL opponent (or some approximation thereof) as they head to Raleigh to play the Hurricanes (or some approximation thereof).
Remember the last time these two teams met? If not, here's the recap and the video evidence:
Awesome (and note the game's three stars - what a truly magical run).
Back to the here and now and on to tonight's the rosters, Tarik reports that Bruce Boudreau et. al. will choose from among the following players when putting together their lineup:
Goalies: Johnson, Varlamov and Machesney.Presumably this means that a trio of Russians and the new netminder, among others, will be available for the preseason home opener when these two teams meet again on Thursday night. Also, is it odd that Viktor Kozlov is on the list (but neither of his expected linemates is), while Michael Nylander and Tomas Fleischmann's expected right wing (Chris Clark) isn't on this roster? Probably not.
Forwards: Bradley, Bourque, Beagle, Fleischmann, Fehr, Aucoin, Laich, Kozlov, Giroux, Steckel, Osala, Laing, Joudrey, Andrew Gordon, Morin, Perreault, Nylander.
Defensemen: Jurcina, Morrisonn, Cutta, Lepsito, Alzner, Schultz, Godfrey and Carlson.
Carolina may counter with a group that looks like this:
I say "may counter" because the source of the lines is an "educated guess" from a guy who apparently doesn't know much about hockey.
Sergei Samsonov - Matt Cullen -Drayson Bowman
Ryan Bayda - Jeff O'Neill - Scott Walker
Chad LaRose - Brandon Sutter - Dan LaCouture
Matt Murley - Dwight Helminen - Jakub Petruzalek
Joni Pitkanen - Tim Gleason
Niclas Wallin - Joe Corvo
Casey Borer - Brett Carson
As for the game itself, Bowman and Sutter are probably the 'Canes two best forward prospects, so keep an eye (or whatever) on them, and note that those top four defensemen and the starting netminder will all be in Carolina this year, so it will be interesting to see what an Alex-less, Backstrom-less, Green-less offense can do against them.
Note: Per the team, audio of all seven preseason games will be available on WashingtonCaps.com, and fans in the D.C. market can watch the three preseason home games live online. The final four preseason games (starting Sept. 29) will also be available on WFED 1500 AM and WWFD 820 AM.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Those Nylander trade rumors won't die, will they?... The Caps' video shoot from Monday night (which will no doubt end up here some day) has been covered pretty extensively, and I have nothing to add (but only because it's too soon to make a Travis Barker joke about this YouTube gem).... Speaking of videos, Josh Godfrey was mic'd up for the rookie game, and the feature is definitely worth checking out, if for no other reason than to hear an f-bomb dropped at WaPo.com (just after the 3:00 mark, and right after he calls a Flyer... "bung sauce?").... Sergei Fedorov: Fantasy Hockey Kryptonite (for what it's worth, I've got Feds pegged for 14 goals and 29 assists).... Jose Theodore has something to prove.... Building the (then) MCI Center in downtown D.C. was a good idea. Building the (then) Palladium 28 km from downtown Ottawa? Not so much.... Stefan Della Rovere's OHL team is expecting a lot from him, which is good.... The Pens like Matt Cooke and will skate him with Maxime Talbot and Ruslan Fedotenko.... Know who's not making the Bruins? The guy whose name they misspelled on his jersey.... Staying in New England, want to read about Bruce Cassidy begging for a job? Of course you do.... Nolan Yonkman (who - surprise - is currently injured) is apparently part of the Predators' plans.... I really dig Lowetide, but go vote for our good friends at Bfloblog (and while you're there, vote for Peerless and PPP too). Think of it as practice for November.... My alma mater is finally getting a D-I hockey team. Now if they could only get a D-I football team.... Finally, I know it's a region out in B.C., but I still think "Kootenay" sounds like a euphemism for, um, girl parts.