Friday, April 1, 2011

Caps Face Sabres with Depleted Blue Line

Jason Chimera had the last laugh against his old team last night with his overtime game-winning goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the win came at the expense of another Capitals blueliner. John Erskine took part in a pretty pointless fight in the first period, then left the game due to injury. Erskine is now listed as day-to-day, not good news for an already overtasked defense corps. Despite getting the win and surpassing the 100 point mark, thoughts in the post-game locker room were with team mate Dennis Wideman. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported late yesterday that Wideman (who's been one of the ice time leaders and a much needed cog in the power play since Mike Green's been out) is in a D.C. hospital with a serious hematoma. The injury was a result of the brutal collision between Wideman and Tuomo Ruutu on Tuesday. HM joins her fellow fans in Capsland in wishing him a speedy recovery and keep our fingers crossed that he's back (along with Mike Green) for the playoffs.

Speaking of Mike Green, there is good news to report on that front. Green has been skating with the team and may take on a full practice as early as Monday. Meanwhile, the boys take on the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow (in what may turn out to be a first round playoff match) without Green, Wideman and possibly Erskine. The Sabres are without their star netminder, Ryan Miller, who has been bitten by the injury bug himself. A win tomorrow could propel the Caps to the top spot in the East, as the Flyers fell to the Devils in a 4-2 loss this evening. Overseeing tomorrow night's festivities for his final night wearing stripes will be veteran  NHL referee Bill McCreary. The site will be appropriate as McCreary began his four-decades-spanning NHL career by working a Capitals home game. McCreary’s debut as an NHL referee was on November 3, 1984, when the Caps hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. Tomorrow night’s game will be the 1,737th of his accomplished career.

McCreary’s long list of accomplishments includes refereeing 15 Stanley Cup Final series (13 consecutive from 1994-2007), the 1991 and 1994 Canada Cups, the 1994 NHL All-Star Game (New York), and the Winter Olympics in 1998 (Nagano), 2002 (Salt Lake City) and 2010 (Vancouver) -- drawing the gold medal game assignment each time.

And as we count down the hours until tomorrow's 7 p.m. puck drop, I leave you with some fun stuff courtesy of some of favorite Caps peeps:

  • Just one more reason to love the guys who represent this organization, get ready to break into a huge smile when you watch Semyon Varlamov minding the net against the adorable William. Thanks to Russian Machine Never Breaks, @rinkrebel and @itallfallsdwn.
  • Ovi is truly the man about town, hanging out with DJ Pauly D and now, Michelle Obama. Thanks to Capitals Outsider.

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