Hockey Mom is slowly catching back up with my life and the hockey buzz after being in Mickey and Minnie's backyard in sunny Florida all last week for a work conference. And apparently I missed a humdinger of a win by the boys against the Flames on Saturday - those are the Caps we all know and love!
And to start the new week off right, please join me in a festive toast to our own Michal Neuvirth, who was named the league's Rookie of the Month for October. Neuvy currently boasts a .926 save percentage and has performed brilliantly in the crease while Semyon Varlamov has been sidelined with nagging injuries.
Speaking of injuries, hopefully some of the Capitals nursing bumps and bruises might be back in action soon. The injury bug is biting several teams around the league, with New Jersey Devils star Zach Parise the latest to go down - three months with a knee injury. And the Penguins' Jordan Staal just can't catch a break. Staal has been recuperating from complications that emerged after having off-season foot surgery only to finally return to practice and suffer a fractured hand.
And thankfully no injury was suffered by Frans Nielsen of the Islanders after Danny Briere's latest act of spineless thuggery (the aforementioned pint-sized Flyer has never been particularly high on HM's list of favorite players). The incident has been front-page news in the hockey media the past few days and Briere was slapped with a three-game suspension, after which he denied deliberately cross-checking Nielsen. Yeah right Danny Boy - go tell it to the judge. Briere should be back on the bench when our friendly pals from Philly visit the Verizon Center on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Capitals are preparing for a visit from the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night. The Leafs may be without the services of their captain Dion Phaneuf, who left tonight's battle with Ottawa with an undisclosed injury.