The Washington Capitals come to town tonight for the first matchup between the two teams in nearly two years. Gotta say, I do like that part of the scheduling that brings every team through the AAC at least once a year.
The Stars over the past eighteen years are 9-0-2 against the Caps in Dallas. Which bodes well, although we saw a similar point streak, that for opening night games, end with the loss to Florida on Thursday.
The only projected change to the Stars lineup will be the insertion of Rich Peverley, who participated in full-contact drills for the first time yesterday. He’s projected to play on the fourth line, centering Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt. Initially he’ll be seeing reduced minutes as he works up his conditioning.
There are no anticipated changes to the defense however, which went through some growing pains on Thursday as the players try to adjust to the new system. Lindy Ruff though says that his patience is at a minimum and voiced some of his displeasure.
"I hate 39 shots. When you start the game the way we started (one shot against in the first eight minutes), so you are looking at 38 shots in the next 52 minutes. For me, there's no excuse for that. Our puck management, some of the things we did with the puck, we didn't do even in camp. Some of the high risk stuff, you're not going to win games playing like that. We know that. The good part is that the players know that. They're angry today, as well they should be." [Stars Inside Edge]
Following tonight’s game the Stars will have five days off. Here’s hoping they go into the lengthy break with the confidence that follows a win.
* * *
The esteemed Mark Stepneski has a preview of tonight’s matchup on Stars Inside Edge.
And the Capitals have had a couple of roller-coaster matches to start the season. I guess you could say the Stars had one of their own. ESPN’s preview of tonight’s game. [ESPN]
So the Panther’s GM was somewhat displeased with the simultaneous ejections of Ryan Garbutt and Dmitry Kulikov early in Thursday’s game. Is the ‘secondary fight’ rule gonna be something we see called more often this season? [CBS Sports]
Fairly in-depth article on that guy who’s going to win us all those back-to-backs. [Fox Sports SW]
Anybody here still living in the past? Still sporting a Jamie Benn jersey with an ‘A’ on it? Details here on the free upgrade to a ‘C’ being offered. [Stars.com]
Sergei Gonchar ranks his all-time Russian team, and Sergei Zubov has a place on it. [Sports Day DFW]
Stat alert. Somehow Ovechkin manages to combine quality and quantity. 20 shots over his first two games, and three goals to go with it. Can the Stars keep him out? [Japer's Rink]
Seth Jones made his debut with the Predators on Thursday night. Finished plus-2 in a 4-2 loss. Not bad. Nathan MacKinnon and Aleksander Barkov, as you all know, both had fairly impressive debuts as well. [Sunbelt Hockey Journal]
Interesting take on Tim Thomas’ performance Thursday night from Sports Illustrated. Rusty? Really? I wish he had been. ‘Rusty’ usually isn’t a term I associate with the first star of a game. The article also offers this priceless quote from Thomas: ‘I try to stop every puck.’ Profound. [SI.com]
But the quote of the day was this one from Mikhail Grabovski when asked about Ovechkin’s driving: "Whooeeh. Like in the game, you know? Always machine. I put seatbelt all the time." [The Washington Post]
And if you thought that commercial displaying Patrick Kane’s stickhandling skills the other week was impressive, wait ‘til you see Brandon Bollig’s version. [YouTube]