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Thursday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Wild Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Nate Schmidt will play for the first time as a pro in Minnesota, unless Brooks Orpik is ready to go, in which case Nate won't.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Previews of tonight's visit from the Wild from Vogs (plus game notes), NHL.com, and be sure to check out our SB Nation pals over at Hockey Wilderness for the other side of tonight's matchup.
    • The league's best power play is facing the league's best penalty kill tonight. Also, Minny goalie Devan Dubnyk is making his 29th consecutive start. YOLO. [Star-Tribune]
    • #FreeNate - Nate Schmidt would reallyreallyreally like to play in his home state barn tonight, pretty please with a cherry on top. The multitude of his friends-n-family who are "on standby" would like Nate to play too, please and thank you. [TwinCities.com]
    • From the same article, Schmidt's teammates reveal that there is happy, and then there is Nate Schmidt Happy.
    • Also looking forward to a Minnesota homecoming: Matt Niskanen. [Rinkside Update (video)]
  • News and notes from yesterday's pre-flight practice:
  • The Caps' coaching staff has a system for puck retrieval, and the team's blueliners are practicing what has been preached, with success. [WaPo]
  • Related: Puck management drives possession and here's some Minny plays in gif form to illustrate. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • All the cool kids are filling out their three-on-three overtime line combo brackets. [WaPo]
  • Here's the brass ring, Caps. Go and grab it. [Stars and Sticks]
  • "Built for post-season success." Brooks laichs his squad. [106.7 The Fan]
  • Today in "Trade Re-Sign Mike Green" :
    • He wants to be @Cap4Life52, you guys, but contract negotiations are so-o-o-o distracting and stuff. [RMNB, Sportsnet]
    • Gentlemen, start your checkbooks. [NHL Free Agents]
  • Braden Holtby and Olaf Kolzig are making their long-distance relationship work. As always,  communication is key. [CSNW]
  • That was a nice game for you in Buffalo, Evgeny Kuznetsov. Is it sustainable? [THW]
  • Speaking of Kuzya, we learn he will be a new daddy sometime in the next months, as will John Carlson. John Erskine and Troy Brouwer are expanding their broods as well. [RMNB]
    • Oh, and Curtis Glencross's wife is due in mid-April, so it's a darn good thing that Alex Ovechkin has an empty house all handy for the Glencross clan to move into. Mazels and tovs for everyone plus an extra mitzvah for the Gr8. [CSNW, theScore]
  • Somebody get Tom Wilson and Michael Latta a teevee show already. [106.7 The Fan and this twitter convo]
  • Philipp Grubauer returned from his Caps callup to post a 44-save win for the Hershey Bears. [Patriot-News]
  • Finally,here's a somber stick salute to the memory of Patrick McDarby, who passed away recently at the age of 57. If his name doesn't ring a bell, that's understandable. McDarby was a sports logo designer who provided the Caps with their "Screaming Eagle" logo. Rest well, sir. [NYT]