In all of the injury news yesterday, a final meeting between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference shifted to the back-burner in Washington for everyone except the Capitals. With a win over the Flyers or a loss by the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, Washington can clinch a playoff berth.
More important than that presumed conclusion, though, is that the Capitals, playing well and winners in 12 of their last 14 contests, would like another shot at the team that many believe is the best in the conference. Washington is 1-0-2 against Philadelphia this year.
“You look around the league and listen to people talk -- Philly’s the best team in the East, that’s what they say,” Matt Hendricks said. “So we get a chance to go up against what a lot of people think is the best hockey team. We get a chance to compare and rate on that standard. It’s a big two points, I’m not going to lie about that. It’s a big two points for us and for them. At the same time, I think it’s more about how we’re going to play and go in there and showcase what we’ve been working on all season.”
--Alex Ovechkin will miss 7-10 days with an undisclosed injury. In his latest On Hockey column, Tarik El-Bashir says the Capitals should hold Ovechkin out until the ‘Old Ovi’ is back for the playoffs.
--In other injury news, Jason Arnott’s previously undisclosed injury is a groin muscle strain, according to multiple sources.
--The Capitals never stopped believing in Coach Bruce Boudreau. [NHL.com]
--Neil Greenberg takes a look at the stats and says that when healthy, Semyon Varlamov gives the Capitals the best chance.
--The individual ups and downs from the week that was. [Japers’ Rink]