- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Capitals well-prepared for busy week
Managing minutes in rout of Panthers could prove helpful in back-to-backs
Question of the Day
What should the Washington Capitals take from a thorough beating of the Florida Panthers?
“We’ve got to throw the tape away,” coach Adam Oates said. “The league’s not that easy.”
Don’t take confidence from a 7-1 victory or get too high off it. Just like a bad loss, the Caps simply want to move on.
The one thing that could carry over to this weekend’s back-to-backs at the New York Islanders and against the Rangers is a lighter workload that Oates was able to give defenseman John Carlson and other big-minute players.
“That was probably the best thing about the game,” Oates said. “In the big picture, hopefully those minutes matter down the road.”
Down the road could be March 31, when the Caps play their 14th game in 25 days. Or it could be this weekend amid back-to-back afternoon games with plenty of travel mixed in.
Carlson, whose duties have been ratcheted up in the absence of No. 1 defenseman Mike Green, played a season-low 16:49 Thursday night. Captain Alex Ovechkin played just 17:32, center Mike Ribeiro 16:29 and center Nicklas Backstrom 16:20.
Because the game was so out of hand, recently signed defenseman Steve Oleksy led the team in ice time with 22:13.
That’s some good experience for a guy playing his second career NHL game. And it’s even better for Carlson to have a rest, given how heavily the Caps are leaning on him in all situations.
“I think that’s going to help a lot in the end, taking probably seven, eight minutes away from Carly, which can do a lot of damage to a guy,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “That’s huge.”
Carlson, who played as much as 30:34 in a game as Green is out of the lineup with a groin injury, isn’t worried about the extra ice time.
“I don’t make those decisions,” the 23-year-old defenseman said. “I just go out there and play when my number is called. And maybe a little rest will help me. I felt good today. So who knows? It’s gonna be a whacky month. So I guess any time you can get a chance we really got to take care of ourselves this month.”
With 16 games crammed into March because of the compressed schedule, Caps players were well-aware of this grind and how to handle it.
This particular stretch of three games in four days is a challenge.
“You’ve just got to take care of the body, get a lot of sleep, eat healthy, be ready to go and play smart,” forward Matt Hendricks said. “We don’t need to come out and play run-and-gun hockey. We need to play our system, play smart and it’ll take care of itself.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Eugenie Bouchard pulls out of D.C.'s Citi Open
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq