It's pretty well understood that line combinations are only worth so much considering how long the Capitals groups have stayed together lately. But Thursday night against the Islanders, Coach Bruce Boudreau admitted that he thought Jason Chimera "is looking pretty good on that line."
The line he was referring too was the Capitals' top group with Chimera alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Granted it was only one game and it's really a guessing game to wonder how long the trio might continue to skate as a unit, but for that one game it was hard not to like what they were able to accomplish.
All three players drove the net, they combined for five points a plus-6 rating, nine shots, three hits and Backstrom won 10 of 14 faceoffs. For Chimera, it's a new but welcome experience to try to play on a line with arguably the Capitals' two biggest stars.
"It's fun playing with those guys, you get the opportunity to shoot the puck in good spots," Chimera said. "They back so many guys off and you find yourself with more time than you usually do on other lines.
"I think the main thing with me is, I can't change my game. I've got to play the same way --I've got to use my speed," he continued. "I think I can back some guys off of them as well. [opponents have] got to honor my speed when I'm going."
Who knows exactly how long the group will last but for the time being it's interesting to see if they might be able to build off the early success against New York. What did you think of the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Chimera combo?
--The Capitals canceled their practice for Friday in Toronto, where I've just arrived after escaping snowy Long Island. Earlier today, Washington returned defenseman Brian Fahey to the AHL's Hershey Bears so it looks like whatever was ailing John Erskine is no longer an issue.
Back in Washington, injured Capitals Alexander Semin, Michal Neuvirth and Matt Bradley were all on the ice at Kettler per the team.