Goalie Jim Bedard uses two brands of stick. After Wednesday night's game, he was asked which to pack for the Washington Capitals' weekend road trip that takes them to Detroit tonight and Chicago Sunday night. He replied, "Just take six bvrooms."
Bedard knew as well as anyone that the only way he would play would be if an injury struck the man with the hot glove, Gary Inness. Nothing happened to Inness, so yeaterday the Capitals pulled out their oft-used broom and swept Bedard off to Hershey of the American Hockey League.
Other changes will be evident tonight to those who tune in WDCA-TV-20 for the 7:30 faceoff. Defenseman Rick Green, who bruised a knee in the 8-3 vicotry over Los Angeles Wednesday, was pronounced unfit for duty and will be replaced by the team's tenacious captain, Yvon Labre.
Center Ron Blalonde, called up Thursday from Binghmton, N.Y., of the Ahl/, also will play tonight. The Capitals took six defensemen and 12 forwards to Detroit last night, with the idle player to be designated after this morning's practice. Former Red Wings Bryan Watson and Michel Bergeron were left at home.
"Jimmy Bedard is only 22 years old and he just has to play," General Manager Max McNab said of the goalie's second demotion in five weeks. "Gary has the hot hand and he'll be seeing a fair amount of the action. We have no doubt about right now the only place he's going to get much game action is in Hershey."
Bedard, the Capitals' No. 1 goalie at season's start, was sent to Hershey Dec. 2 and recalled 11 days later. Since Inness was signed Dec. 18, Bedard has played only once, in a 6-1 loss at Minnesota Dec. 27.
In five games, Inness has managed a victory and three ties, stopping 176 of the 195 shots directed his way. His outstanding play has lifted the team's spirits considerably and prompted a return to the deeper forechecking pattern of the early season.
It was in Chicago Oct. 25 that the Capitals rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 tie with the Black Hawks. The first Washington goal was scored from the slot by Tom Rowe after Bob Girard kicked the puck loose along the boards behind the Chicago net and Ryan Walter grabbed it and fed it out to Rowe.
That type of offensive-minded fore-checking disappeared with inconsistent goaltending, one forward often hanging at the blue line, but it noticeably revived, with considerable success, in the Los Angeles victory. several times Washington forecheckers were trapped, but Inness came up with some marvelous glove saves.
"We've been able to take calculated risks, gambling in their end, because we're confident that Inness is going to make the save if need be," said Coach Danny Belisle. "If we'd had that kind of goaltending all season, we'd have another 10 or 12 points."
Labre has not played in two months, sicne dislocating a shoulder at Long Island Nov. 4. He has been skating in practice, but wanted to be sure the shoulder was sound before risking it in a game.
"It's been hit so many times that one more will probably mean an operation," Labre said. "So I wanted to wait until I was sure I was ready before coming back."
Labre was a member of the original Capitals, but missed the club's first two games in 1974 because of a similar shoulder problem. A dislocated shoulder kept him idle for five weeks in 1976. Last year he missed most of the season because of knee surgery.
The Red Wings defeated the Wings of the Soviet, 6-5, Thursday in their only game since blowing a 4-0 lead and losing to Pittsburgh, 5-4, at home Sunday. After that one, Coach Bobby Kromm left the postagame press conference in tears for a meeting with General Manager Ted Lindsay. The Wings then had to endure a two-hour New Year's Eve practice that concluded with lengthy wind sprints.