Yesterday, we touched on the possibility of the NHL employing replacement players.
Let’s push aside questions of how likely or even possible that is for the moment and ask ourselves just this: How good would the replacement players be?
Given that this is a lockout and not a strike, it seems unlikely that many, if any, current NHL players would be part of this. Still, some might think that players on the AHL/NHL bubble would be warm to the idea.
Hold that thought.
“There’s no way. That kind of thing stays with you for your entire career,” said one such player in Joe Haggerty’s CSNNE report. “Guys want to make it to the NHL the right way and be accepted by the brotherhood of players. That would never happen for anybody that crossed the lines while the lockout is going on.
“Good luck finding players willing to do that.”
So if the NHL really attempts to put together replacement player teams, the quality of the players might not even be at the almost-made-it level.
Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?