Capitals Insider: Speedy Jason Chimera will skate on Capitals' top line vs. Isles
The Capitals' forward lines against the Islanders should look like what they did Wednesday at practice, with Jason Chimera on the top combination with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
That exact alignment came about mid-way through Washington's 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia and the reasoning behind it is pretty simple -- add speed. While Ovechkin and Backstrom aren't slow skaters by any means, Chimera has a different sort of speed and stride.
"It just opens things up more," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When he's going down with the speed that he has and Nicky's got the puck, he's going to get it to him, and you have to honor the speed. That's what the great thing is about those fast guys -- it makes it awful difficult for the defenders."
Backstrom said he saw the benefit of playing with someone as quick as Chimera against the Flyers. The line had some successful breakouts that allowed them to get set up in the offensive zone.
"He's so fast, he's easy to play with because you just have to give him the puck and he goes. I think we need that sometimes," Backstrom said. "He's probably the fastest guy in the NHL and it's easy for me to see him, and because he's pretty much always first in the offensive zone with the forecheck, too, and that's what we need."