In just a few hours, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will face off for the second-t0-last time ever before the playoffs in a few weeks.  The stakes are not as high as they have been– both teams are sure things for the post-season, D.C.’s win streak has ended, and NBC’s Pierre McGuire won’t be leaving drool streaks on the glass barrier between him and the Pens bench.  Still, any meeting between these two rivals guarantees an exciting game.  Except that one time.  But unfortunately, both squads have modified their lines to accommodate injured players.  And when our hockey heroes cannot play, we must toast their immortal memory in a feature we like to call… Russian Machine Sometimes Breaks!

  • Please.  Not the face.

    Please. Not the face.

    As we regurgitated yesterday, Brooks Laich got brained by an errant puck and left the ice in pain.  Following a game of Juice Boy, John Carlson rang the post that deflected straight into Brooksy’s noggin.  Laich was visited by trainers and then taken to the hospital, where X-rays revealed he has a fracture in his face.  Tonight’s absence will end an ironman-sized streak for Brooks, but the real worry is borne by the Scarlet Caps, who fear that pretty boy Brooks may lose his chiseled good looks as a result.  Coach Bruce Boudreau wins Quote of the Day:  “It’s not a pretty face. And it was a pretty face.”  We expect/hope that Brooks will be back in action by next week.
  • Boyd Gordon is still out with a back problem.  If this is a re-injury to the persistent back issue Gordon spent the earlier part of the season fighting, this may be a lengthy break for the center.  This is doubly disappointing as the right winger seemed to be having a good year in the games he did play.  Hopefully we’ll see him for more than half of the season next year.
  • Turf toe is no laughing matter.

    Turf toe is no laughing matter.

    Scott Walker tweaked his knee sometime during or after his fight with Zenon Konopka at Tampa Bay.  My practice spies have not reported a sighting of him since.  Wherever he is, we hope he’s practicing not looking like a bald version of character actor Richard Tyson.
  • If it’s any consolation, Pittsburgh superstar Evgeni Malkin is out with a bruised foot.  Geno’s ’09-’10 season hasn’t reached the same epic heights as last year, but he’s still a dynamic force on the ice.  And don’t give him a hard time for missing a game because of a toe injury; those things can be bad.  Check out this case of “turf toe” my college roommate got playing Ultimate Frisbee (right).

The puck drops on the Pens and Caps a little after 7 PM.  For those of you looking to synchronize your World of Wings Cafe and Wingery carryout, 7:43 PM is looking like the sweet spot.

[Ed. note - Thanks to Emily Karol for additional reporting.  See her perform in Frederick this weekend!]

  • Emily Karol

    Walker came out at the end of practice and skated for a bit yesterday, and shot a few pucks that Knuble and Laing took turns deflecting into the net. All of this was over-shadowed by the Scarlet Caps weeping for our Fallen Hero. — No. I. Did. Not. Weep.

    Clearly, my spying skills need some work. *hangs head in shame*