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The Narrative: What the Eller?, Carlsen and the Boy is Back in Town

Three things we’re talking about today when we’re talking about the Caps

NHL: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

1. Rough day for Lars Eller, starting with pegged jorts car trouble...

... and ending with a far more curious early departure from practice.

No concern for Game 1 availability? Cool. But any time a guy (a Stanley Cup-winning goal-scorer, no less... remember when he did that?) starts but doesn’t finish practice, it warrants at least a small eyebrow raise.

Thankfully it appears as if Le Tigre is just fine:

2. The Caps seem committed to at least starting with John Carlson on the left side of the top defensive pairing alongside Nick Jensen (and be sure to check out a brand new episode of Japers’ Rink Radio with superstar guest Isabelle Khurshudyan for much more on this topic).

This... doesn’t sound great.

And it doesn’t sound great, because it hasn’t been great (but also because it really just doesn’t sound great).

via HockeyViz

Obviously that’s a tiny sample... over which the tandem is sporting a 31.1 Corsi-For percentage and a 27.2 expected Goals-For percentage (per Natural Stat Trick). By the way, when reporters talk to the Caps’ top blueliner about his new partner, they’re talking to Carly re: Jensen.

Anyway, whatever the answer, the Caps had best find it ASAP:

That Kempny injury sucks so hard. The good news? The left-for-dead second pair of Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen has gotten their stuff together nicely without much fanfare:

Stay tuned.

3. Our old friend Stanley was in town yesterday, looking as sharp as ever...

... and the ice at Cap One is ready for a couple of months of action.