Everyone has voiced their opinion about the NBA and resting players. It’s a touchy subject. The old school is saying the new class is weak, not to mention the science and trainers are pushing coaches to rest players. Really, the issue is the season is so long, it’s natural to try and find way to fight fatigue. If you want your team to perform come playoffs, sacrifices need to be made. There are plenty of ways to keep teams fresh and competition at a higher level, but let’s be honest…none are easier than resting a player.
Enter the NHL. Just like the NBA, the NHL has 82 games a season. Coach Barry Trotz has been “resting” his top line for most of the season. Yes, I am aware that playing 17 minutes instead of 19 is not the same as sitting a star player during a marquee primetime matchup, but the concept is the same.
The Washington Capitals are getting ready to fight it out for first place and secure 1st place in the Metropolitan division. Thankfully our coach had the foresight to rest his stars. Consideri the month of March; Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie are logging more than 19 minutes per game. This may not seem like a lot from their average of 18.30/game but it’s making a difference. Each one of those guys has been hitting the ice harder and their productivity and skills are shining through.
Tonight’s game versus the Blue Jackets is a pivotal Metro division clash. Entering Thursday’s games, the Caps have 102 points, the Penguins with 101 and Jackets clocking in with 100. A win tonight will give us some much needed breathing room. It would also help eith that whole playoff seeding format. A win tonight would help ensure dont face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. If you’re familiar with the Caps, you know we don’t like the penguins come playoff time.
Tonight’s game will be 4 out of 5 between the two teams. Last game we snapped the Blue Jackets 16-game win streak. Translation — tonight’s game won’t be a walk in the park. A division rival, a close playoff race, a bad taste in Columbus’ mouth, all with one more matchup come April 2. Thankfully our coach rested our players and can now play more minutes in these important games.