Reports from today's practice are that Nicklas Backstrom is "under the weather" but Caps sources are stating that he is not suffering from the dastardly swine flu. Swine flu sufferer Quintin Laing has apparently emerged from the worst of it and was back on the ice at Kettler this morning (good news)!
Our splendid young center Backstrom will be lending a hand to D.C.'s homeless population as he participates in The Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol program alongside Mix 107.3's Chilli Amar and Comcast SportsNet's hockey reporter extraordinaire, Lisa Hillary on Monday, November 2. The trio will help the Salvation Army by making stops at eight different locations in northwest D.C., delivering meals and blankets to those in need.
The Grate Patrol program started in 1985 and operates 365 days a year with service to more than 1,000 individuals each month. Originally the program offered meals alone, but today an outreach coordinator helps homeless get back on their feet.
The Washington Capitals would like to encourage fans to volunteer with the Grate Patrol program by either preparing or delivering meals any day of the week. Go to www.SalArmyDC.org, Facebook, or Twitter for more information.
Meanwhile, the Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets for an early evening matchup tomorrow. The Jackets are coming off a loss at the hands of our arch rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins in a shootout. Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason thought he'd gloved one on Sidney Crosby's shootout attempt, but lost sight of it and the puck with a mind of its own made a slow, wacky slide across the line. That bugger, let's hope the Caps can have the same kind of luck against Mason tomorrow. Washington and Columbus met twice last year and both games ended as 3-0 wins for the Blue Jackets. The Caps fired a combined 71 shots, which included 18 from the Great8, on the Calder Trophy winning Mason, but could not score. Let's bounce back from that loss to the Islanders boys and play a full-force 60-minutes tomorrow (and don't indulge in too much candy tonight - don't need any sugar hangovers)!