The Caps are just wrapping up the morning skate here at Philips Arena. It looks like Tomas Fleischmann will make his season debut, and Semyon Varlamov will be in net for the Caps.
“There’s two trains of thought there — the quicker we throw him to the wolves, the quicker he’ll get up to speed or you can bring him in slow,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said of Fleischmann. “I haven’t really decided yet. Last year he killed penalties, was on the power play and was a top-six forward. We might do a combination [but not all] of that.”
Eric Fehr was on the ice briefly with the rest of the team this morning, but Tyler Sloan said it looks like he is going to play forward again tonight for the second straight contest. If Bruce Boudreau doesn’t want to get complicated, he will just put Fleischmann in Giroux’s spot on the third line from the previous game and this is how the lineup would look:
The Thrashers haven’t played since Sunday, and this is their first game since losing Ilya Kovalchuk to a broken foot. Boudreau warned of his “team playing it first game without an injured player is more dangerous theory.”
Kovalchuk had 36 percent of the team’s goals so far this season. It looks like the Thrashers will have top assist man Nik Antropov, who missed three straight practices this week with a wonky groin.
Still, finding offense without Kovalchuk isn’t going to be easy. I am especially interested in watching how their power play works out. No team in the league tries to set up one guy to bomb away more than the Thrashers do with Kovalchuk.