In what is always a very spirited contest, the Capitals take on their arch rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, tomorrow night at the Igloo. Hockey Mom watched part of last night's Penguins/Flyers game last night and one thing you'll notice is that Sid the Kid is accompanied by a new posse. Pittsburgh has lost some key players to either injury or trade, and it remains to be seen whether they're the same team that went to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals. Gone or out: Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Jarko Ruutu, Marian Hossa, Georges LaRaque, Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar. Some of the talent that the Pens added to their roster in the off-season include Ruslan Fedotenko, Miroslav Satan, Michael Zigomanis and former Caps short-timer Matt Cooke. They still have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin so we'll see if they have the same fiery chemistry from last year. One thing's for sure, the Caps will come out swinging.
The Caps line up will look a bit different with Viktor Kozlov out with an injury. We'll find out more who's starting tomorrow but this is always one of my favorite contests (HM has relatives in the Burgh and I love to call up and harass them after a Caps win)!
On a totally unrelated note - Ryan Hollweg, you are a complete thug and I can't believe the league only gave you a 3-game suspension. Hockey Mom wanted to give a shout out to The Hockey News' Ken Campbell when he expressed his views that the NHL should have made an example out of Ryan Hollweg for his most recent and heinous hit from behind. This guy is a "repeat offender" and shows absolutely no regard for the safety of his fellow players. We all know there is a lot of hitting in hockey and to say it's a "physical" game is the understatement of the century. But there are reasons that you don't charge or check an opposing player from behind - this irresponsible type of action can cause extreme injury or possibly worse (besides showing a complete lack of respect for your fellow players). HM would have given this guy the Chris Simon smack down - no less than 20 games and keep it up, you're suspended for the season. Remember, young players emulate the pros' actions on the ice whether you like it or not.
So that's it for the Hockey Mom soap box portion of this post. Can't wait to see the men in red take on Sid and his refurbished flock of birds tomorrow night - puck drops at 7:30 p.m.!