J.J. Gets the “C” in NY
I’m watching the Caps and Rangers in pregame warm-ups right now. There is no letter on Jaromir Jagr’s sweater, not yet anyway. But he’s likely to pull on a sweater with the captain’s “C” on it before the player introductions and opening faceoff tonight.
For the Capitals, Dainius Zubrus and Brian Sutherby are sporting the alternate captains’ “A.”
Although John Erskine is in uniform and on the ice for the warm-ups, he is expected to be a healthy scratch tonight. The Caps will go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment we could see a lot of in 2006-07. Bryan Muir is the seventh defenseman tonight; this will enable the Caps to give more ice time to top forwards Alex Ovechkin, Zubrus, Richard Zednik and Alexander Semin.
One more thing regarding the lineups, Rangers head coach Tom Renney has apparently abandoned — for now anyway — the idea of playing Brendan Shanahan on the left side of a line with Jagr and Michael Nylander. Martin Straka will play with Jagr and Nylnader while Shanahan will skate the left side of a unit centered by Petr Prucha with Adam Hall on the right side.
Also, Darius Kasparaitis will be scratched tonight for New York and Thomas Pock will replace him on the Rangers’ backline.