Earlier in the series I had mentioned sitting Hendricks and Aucoin for Knuble and Halpern, but after last night I believe Hendricks needs to remain in the line up. If Backstrom is available for game 4, I'd go with sitting Perreault and Aucoin for Halpern and Knuble. Need some veteran presence and smarts in the line up. If Backstrom's a no go, then it's obvious Halpern should get the sweater but still Knuble for Aucoin.
Addition by subtraction Tex. Its more about sitting Sarge more than fearing Lucic and Alzner anyways. Erskine is built for guys like Lucic more than any other player to worry about. And I don't want Alzner as the only one on our blueline willing to stand up to Luke. Not that I am worried in any way, but I am thinking it may help our team more to trade off Lucic in the box with Erskine, especially since Lucic challenges him.
Sarge + Alzner, Alzner in the box.
Erskine + Alzner, Erskine in the box.
It comes down to, is Erskine with rust better than Sarge -4, and who you want out 4 on 4. Do you want Sarge out, or Alzner. At home, where Dale can ensure Erskine is out versus Luke, I say go for it. If he sucks, roll 5 D and go Orlov in game 5.
The sooner the Caps know the better practice wise and lineup wise I would think. I mean it's only the season on the line. But if the league had a better reffing contingent there probably wouldn't be a need for a million hearings either. IMO the league has itself in quite a quandary.
I'd be down for Erskine. He can't do any worse than Schultz, and can handle Lucic if he gets out of hand.
And considering that the 4th line guys barely touched 5 minutes of ice time, I'd be fine calling up Rechlicz.
The meathead side of me agrees with this. However the more rational side gives me little faith in Erskine's conditioning to go at this time. Rechlicz when he was called up, mustered what 40 seconds of TOI or something . All of this would translate into us sacrificing two roster spots just to go mano y mano with the Bruins for a brief moment. Pretty much playing into the Bruins hand.
Still listening to Vancouver's Team1040 from when Alzner was on this morning. Dreger was just on and said that Pierre McGuire told him today that he can't remember a harder hitting series than this one. Called it "savage" - but in a good way. Bruins I get, but I never really thought the Caps would be involved in a series described as savage.
Preparing myself for a suspension. Campbell, Washington and the no justice thing, are all in play here. And I suspect the Pitt Fly series has Shanahan all geared up to nip old school playoff hockey in the bud.
Dale has done wise damage control but George and Ted need to do their part as well. Make some calls, at least try. Like others have stated, I fear Dale is not the best coach to do damage control.
Sorry Tex but the masses have spoken. They love the Pitt Fly series.
I say Nicky gets a $2500 fine, just like Weber. Per Shannahan quoted recently regarding the Weber/Hank hearing.
On the Shea Weber fine, rather than a suspension:
"I looked at that one, and I'm not happy with that play. I'll say on the bigger picture too: If I made a decision that people didn't agree with, or a day or two later, you got that one wrong, a week later they'd try to hold me to that standard and question by consistency if I move forward.
"The playoffs evolve. The game evolves. I have to try and keep evolving with them. It's not like the regular season where every team has 82 games to play, and there's equal footing. They change depending on the score of the series or how many games are left in the series.
"I investigated that hit. I called Detroit that night. I think that he pushed his face in the glass. I was very close to a 1-game suspension on that. When I talked to Detroit [GM Ken Holland], he basically said that the player was fine.
"I think it's a fair argument. A $2,500 fine is as high as we can fine a player."