The Washington Capitals brought top left defenseman Bob Paradise from Springfield of the American Hockey League yesterday as they returned home for a game with Minnesota at 7:30 tonight at Capital Centre.
Paradise, 20, was with the Caps last season but suffered a severely torn stomach muscle in the final game. He aggraved the injury in the next-to-last exhibition game this season. Although he has been with Springield for several weeks, he did not get to play until about Christmas.
General manager Max MeNab said of the Capitals having a disastrous week. "These growing pains hit you once in a while. We could search for one, but sometimes embarrassment excuses, but we won't. We just didn't function."
He was referring to the Caps not winning, but tying twice, in their last six games and 19 goals being scored against them in the last two games.
"The game of hockey is a humbling one," he went on. "We thought we were ready physically, but we didn't think defensively. For the 12 games before that we had the best defensive record in the league.
"It was an embarrassment for every-can be avery strong motivating factor.We do have a lot of pride on the club, individually and collectively."
The Caps have a 10-10-6 record at home.
After tonight's game they take off again for games in Minnesto on Thursday and in St. Louis on Saturday.
The North Stars, in fourth place in the relatively weak Smythe Division, nevertheless have been an improving team. The key to the improvement has been the play of second-year man Tim Young the NHL's fourth-leading scorer with 22 goals and 48 assists for 70 points. Two rookies also are playing well. Swede Roland Erisksson and former U.S. Olympic team star Steve Jension.
There wes some solace to the Caps' slump on the road. After losing to Los Angeles they were eight points behind the Kings, but now they are seven points back, 42 to 49.