There are no 70-goal scorers on the Washington Capitals, but Terry Murray said he is pleased with the forwards he will take into the season, which begins Friday against Pittsburgh at Capital Centre. The trouble is deciding who will start and who will sit.
Murray said he hasn't decided on line combinations, but there are some solid possibilities. Alan May, Peter Zezel and Dino Ciccarelli make up one. Kelly Miller, Mike Ridley, Steve Leach are a second. Michal Pivonka, Dale Hunter and John Druce are a third.
Even if he doesn't change combinations, Murray is left with five players -- Rob Murray, Tim Bergland, Nick Kypreos, Peter Bondra and Dave Tippett, who was aquired Sunday from Hartford -- and three spots on the fourth line.
Bondra and Tippett are the most likely to move to other lines -- Bondra because of his offensive abilities and Tippett because of his defensive skills. The Capitals gave Hartford a sixth-round draft choice in 1992 for Tippett. As for Bondra, indications are that the Capitals had to pay about $150,000 to the Czechoslovakian hockey federation and Bondra's former team, Kosice, to gain his release. . . .
Defenseman Rod Langway, who did not practice Monday or yesterday because of back spasms, said he hoped to skate today. If Langway can do so without pain, then he probably will be able to play Friday. "That's how I'm looking at," he said. . . . Bob Joyce, who sprained his ankle a week ago, also is hoping to skate today. . . . Murray has named Dale Hunter as the Capitals' second alternate captain. Kelly Miller is the other alternate and Langway remains the captain.