- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 28, 2004

Seen and heard last night at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.:

AND ONE MORE IS 50 — With veteran defensemen Brendan Witt (leg) and Brad Norton (hand) ailing, the Caps recalled defenseman Jakub Cutta from Portland (Maine) of the American Hockey League. Norton played, but Cutta went in for Witt, easily the team’s most experienced blue-liner. Cutta, 22, was Washington’s second pick in the 2000 draft. The Czech Republic native has four points and 47 penalty minutes in 52 games for Portland. Cutta, the 49th player to play for the Caps this season, skated in two games for Washington in 2000-01 and three more the next year without registering a point or penalty minute.

WHAT A DISCREPANCY — The 46-point gap in the standings isn’t the only gulf between Tampa Bay and Washington. The Caps have lost 315 man-games to injury compared to a league-low 33 for the Lightning.

STRANGE BUT TRUE — The Caps are fighting to stay out of the NHL cellar while the Lightning are battling for the President’s Trophy awarded to the league’s top team, but Tampa Bay came into the game with two more points in Southeast Division play (25) than did Washington. Even considering that the Lightning has two more division games remaining, the similarity is shocking. The good news for Tampa Bay is that it can’t face any of its Southeast rivals in the playoffs since all will be golfing by April5.

David Elfin

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