Thursday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Panthers Game Day

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previews of tonight's visit to Sunrise, delving into the dysfunction that was Russia's hockey team and more.

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Previews of tonight's clash with the Cats from VogsNHL.comAP, the Sun-Sentinel and Peerless, and be sure to check out our SB Nation pals over at Litter Box Cats for the other side of tonight's matchup.
    • Finally stateside, Marcus Johansson met the team in Florida last night but is a gametime decision for tonight's game. [WaPoCSNW]
    • Meanwhile Jack Hillen is getting closer to a return every day, but is slightly less convinced of his readiness than his coach is. [CSNW]
  • Your Capitals Minute for today. [Capitals Voice]
  • Really fascinating look at how Team Russia's hockey team was run, and why Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin might be particularly happy to be back in the NHL. [TribLIVE]
  • Sittin' at the end of the (Caps) bar, talkin' playoffs and goalies and blueliners and the like. [Rink]
  • News and notes from yesterday out at Kettler:
  • Mikhail Grabovski still needs a new contract, Martin Erat still needs a trade, and the next week could be a busy one for George McPhee. [WaPoCSNW]
  • With a weak crop of UFAs this summer and a stagnant trade market, GMGM's first priority should be on re-signing Grabovski. Hells to the yeah. [Talk the Red]
  • So what exactly are the Caps' plans at the trade deadline? [ESPN ($)]
  • McPhee hasn't exactly had to field the tough questions from the local media these days. [The Fingerman]
  • The Caps are currently three points out of a playoff spot, but the road to the playoffs involves much more than just accumulating a few more points. [Express]
  • Check out how the Metropolitan Division is shaping up after the Olympics. [Puck Daddy]
  • After everything he's been through and everything he's achieved, Nicklas Backstrom deserved - and deserves - better than what he's been going through. [CSNW]
  • A look back at the fateful trade that sent Peter Bondra to Ottawa for Brooks Laich... which was a decade ago, if you can believe it. [WashTimes]
  • A pissed-off Alex Ovechkin could be something to see down the stretch, especially since it's not like he was having trouble scoring goals before the Olympics. [Puck Daddy]
  • Erat didn't win a medal with the Czech Republic, but he still had plenty to celebrate last week, as he and his wife welcomed their second child. [WaPo]
  • A scoring bonanza from the defense in Sochi has all eyes on the League's offensive defensemen. That's right, fantasy hockey enthusiasts, Mike Green is one to snap up. [NHL.com]
  • Get a glimpse into Backstrom's childhood...a more innocent time, to be sure. [RMNB]
  • Finally, happy 57th birthday to Mike Kaszycki.
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