The unfortunate suspension of newly acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has forced Barry Trotz into making a tough decision for Thursday night’s game against the Predators. Who to play and who to scratch on the back-end, when Shattenkirk returns.
Nate Schmidt’s play in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild just may have garnered another start for Nate. Schmidt showed strong defensive play and scored the Caps first goal of the game, giving the Caps an early 1-0 lead.
Trotz was asked about Schmidt’s play after the game, and if he was considering playing Schmidt again on Thursday night:
Trotz has commented that he likes to have his defensive pairs configured with a left-handed and right-handed shot in each pair. If Schmidt, a left-handed defenseman, returns to the lineup against the Predators, and Trotz desires to stick with his left-right pairings, Another left-shot defenseman would have to sit: Dmitry Orlov, Brooks Orpik, or Karl Alzner.
Another factor, which shouldn’t play into it, but does and will certainly be considered by Trotz, is Alzner’s “Iron Man” status. Alzner, as is the case with many players, could certainly use a game off, if nothing else, to reduce wear and tear, and rest up. Trotz would have to end Alzner’s streak. Alzner will be looking for a new contract this summer, so any word about an injury will likely be downplayed by all parties. Again, its human nature.
So who would you sit?
By Jon Sorensen