Just the facts
When: Tonight, 7 PM
Where: CapitalOne Arena - Washington, DC
How to follow: TNT, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SBN site: Japers’ Rink
- Here we go, folks! After weeks of waiting, having nothing to talk about, arguing about prospects, floating different line combinations, and generally getting on each others’ nerves, Opening Night is here! Drink it in.
- Here’s to hoping that tonight’s season opener in DC goes better than the last one — though that season ended up being a pretty remarkable run in the end.
- Alex Ovechkin is still here, still scoring a whole bunch of goals, and still very good. Sometime relatively soon, Ovechkin will pass Gordie Howe (801) and claim the #2 spot on the NHL’s all-time goals list. The only question is can he keep it going long enough to pass Gretzky (894)? Not this season, but I think he’ll get there.
- The Capitals return the same core that has carried them for the better part of a decade: Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetzov, etc. They’re probably not quite at “one last ride” territory yet, but they’re certainly approaching that point — the Caps have the league’s second-oldest roster.
- Like the Bruins, the Caps will be dealing with some injuries as the season starts: Backstrom, Wilson, and Carl Hagelin will all start the season on injured reserve.
- Speaking of “good runs after that last season-opening blowout,” old pal Marcus Johansson has landed back with the Capitals, his home for his first seven NHL seasons.
- The biggest change for the Caps heading into this season will be in net, where Darcy Kuemper is expected to be the #1. The Caps have had a bit of a revolving door in net recently, so they’ll be looking to Kuemper for stability.
- For the Bruins, it’s a season that starts with excited: David Krejci is back, Patrice Bergeron is back, there’s Czech fever, a new coach...let’s have fun out there.
- As it’s the first game, there will be plenty to watch: how does the Charlie McAvoy-less defense hold up? Will Krejci be the Krejci of old? Can the goalies continue to push each other? Will special teams take a step forward with a new coach? Time will tell.
- Taylor Hall appears set to play tonight, barring a pre-game setback.
See ya tonight!