Good ProblemsPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
In the late night hours of Wednesday after the Caps’ 4-1 win over the Bruins in Boston, a decision to move Thursday’s practice time back was made. Having played (and won) two games in as many days and with a busy weekend (two home games, Caps Convention) looming, it was nice to have a couple extra hours this morning. I’m sure the players felt the same. Tomas Fleischmann returned to the ice today, and Mike Green was out on the ice for a second straight day. Both players have played in just one of the Caps’ first four pre-season contests. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov did not skate the sheet today, but it sounds like he must be feeling at least somewhat better. Goalie Braden Holtby – recalled from AHL Hershey yesterday – was returned to Chocolatetown today. Holtby played the second half of last night’s game and earned the win. Defenseman Lawrence Nycholat was also sent to Hershey, and center Cody Eakin was returned to his junior club, the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League. Eakin had a terrific camp and appears to have a terrific future. But right now, this organization is stacked with depth up front. Difficult decisions must be made in the next few days. Three goaltenders remain on the roster. There are still eight defensemen. One will be trimmed from each of those numbers. There are still 18 forwards, and four of them will have to be trimmed. Only two pre-season games remain. Coaches like to have the last few exhibitions to run out their regular season roster for final tune-ups, but the Caps’ brass does not have that luxury. They still have personnel decisions to make, and some difficult ones at that. For an organization four years removed from a “Jakub Klepis or Kris Beech as second line center?” conundrum, these are very good problems to have.
It has been more than seven years now since the Washington Capitals spent their first-round (18th overall) choice in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft on Eric Fehr, a right wing from Winkler, Manitoba. Still a few months shy of his 18th birthday at the time, Fehr was one of the youngest players available in