The Washington Capitals recalled defenseman Nate Schmidt on Sunday, and it’s not yet clear if the move was injury or performance-related (or perhaps some combination of both?).
One could see why it could be about improving Washington’s mix. Much has been made about this series being about physicality/structure (perceived advantage: Capitals) versus speed (expected edge: Rangers), but few teams want to risk being exposed too much in one area. Schmidt, 23, is considered pretty swift – or relatively so – which could be helpful if Washington believes the pendulum swung too much New York’s way in Game 2.
It’s the playoffs, so you can’t really rule out bumps and bruises, either. (Even for a team with remarkably good injury luck in 2014-15 like the Capitals.)
It sounds like it could go either way, as the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt reports:
This seems like a reasonable move by the Capitals, one way or another.