Off-Day NotebookPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
King To Hershey – The Caps reassigned left wing D.J. King to the AHL Hershey Bears on Sunday. King, 27, had played in just 17 of the Capitals’ last 94 regular season games dating back to the start of last season and just one of the team’s 12 contests to date in 2011-12. King, who had cleared NHL waivers twice in the last nine months, had expressed the desire to play somewhere and should get the opportunity to do so with the Bears. The move also makes sense from the team’s standpoint; the Caps are one of the teams closest to the ceiling of the NHL’s $64.3 million salary cap for 2011-12. King’s cap hit is $637,500. It didn’t make sense for Washington to be using that cap space for a player who was playing as sparingly as King. Eighteen For Nineteen – Caps center Nicklas Backstrom is off to easily the best offensive start of his NHL career. With two assists on Saturday against the Islanders, he recorded his fourth straight multiple-point game and his eighth of the season. Backstrom has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in his first dozen games. He is third in the NHL’s scoring race and leads all NHL skaters with 10 power play points (one goal, nine assists). Offense From The Defense – The Caps continue to get consistent offensive contributions from their blueliners. A defenseman was involved on each of Washington’s three goals in Saturday’s game against the Islanders, and Caps defensemen have now accounted for 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) in the team’s first dozen games, an average of 2.75 points per game. That contribution is nearly double what the Caps got from their defense corps last season when the rearguards combined to account for 121 points (28 goals, 93 assists) in 82 games, an average of 1.48 points per contest. Streak Stopped – Caps forward Matt Hendricks was a minus-2 in Saturday’s game against the Islanders. Until last night, Hendricks had not been on the ice for an even-strength goal against this season. He had skated 107 minutes and 25 seconds of spotless even-strength ice time heading into Saturday’s game with the Islanders.
Sunday was an off-day for the Capitals, and today they were back on the ice at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, a day ahead of Tuesday night’s home ice contest against the Dallas Stars. During the team’s Monday practice session, word came from the NHL offices that Caps center Nicklas Backstrom had