Shorter Shifts in the Mile High City?
Capitals defenseman Jamie Heward said Denver's thin air is a concern for tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche.
"Whether you want to believe it, or you don't want to believe it, you could feel it in the pregame skate," the veteran said this afternoon at Pepsi Center. "The biggest thing is your recovery between shifts. You have to be aware of it, especially guys who take longer shifts. They may have to break those down to 40 to 45 seconds. It's a concern for everybody, the players and the coaches."
"You have to monitor it when you have back-to-back shifts, like guys who are going from a five-on-five, to the power play, then back to a five-on-five," he added.
It's going to be interesting to see how - or if - this has any effect on the Capitals' game plan. I'm going to watch Alex Ovechkin's ice time. He's skating an average of 22:03 per game, so if that's significantly lower, we may have our answer.
Tonight's lineup is expected to include Olie Kolzig in net, and center Brooks Laich watching from the press box. Coach Glen Hanlon said Laich was bumped by winger Matt Pettinger, who is scheduled to make his season debut. Pettinger missed the first seven games with a shoulder injury.
As if thin air weren't enough - I'm actually getting dizzy while writing this (not really) - there's a winter storm warning for Denver tonight. But it probably won't affect the Capitals' travel plans because the players leave town for Vancouver immediately following the game.
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