And Down The Stretch They Come!

“And down the stretch they come!” It’s one of the greatest recurring calls in all of sports. It never fails to raises goosebumps on my arm during the Kentucky Derby when the call is made as the horses enter the clubhouse turn and head for home. To me, there is no better call that frames the ultimate defining moments that await immediately ahead.

Now that the 2022-23 All-Star Game “festivities” are a distant object in the rear view mirror, the NHL’s 2022-23 season enters the clubhouse turn and heads for home. And while the Capitals have just 29 games remaining in the regular season, they continue to deal with quite a few unknowns, some of which they have been dealing with since the end of last season.

Back In The Saddle

The Capitals will continue soaking up sun and sipping margaritas until Wednesday night when they will be required to return to the District. The team will hold their first practice Thursday afternoon and practice again on Friday morning before departing for Boston Friday afternoon.

The Capitals will then re-ignite their 2022-23 campaign Saturday afternoon against the league’s best team at 3PM, then return home for a critical three-game homestand, as the Capitals enter the final two weeks of decision-making for the 2022-23 roster.

Measuring Sticks and Trading Tricks

The Capitals have just 10 more games before the NHL trade deadline at 3PM on March 3. That includes “measuring stick” games against San Jose, Florida and two games against Carolina the week after next.

It’s likely Capitals GM Brian MacLellan will begin locking in his plans for the trade deadline following those games, if he hasn’t already. Maclellan will need to have his plans in place no later than the Rangers game on February 25, although he should be well into the strategy planning process at this point.

Healing Ways

All eyes will be trainied on Thursday’s first practice to see if Tom Wilson and/or Nic Dowd return to workouts. Any kind of “serious” run will require both players playing at their best.

The Capitals said we won’t get an update on John Carlson until the end of February. Hopefully there is some kind of resolution or actionable intelligence prior to the trade deadline.

Buckle Up

Ready or not, he we go. Get your high blood pressure medicines topped off and buckle up. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

By Jon Sorensen

[Virginia’s greatest athlete of all time, doing his thing. Goosebumps.]

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to And Down The Stretch They Come!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Secretariat’s ass whooping the field at the Belmont may be one of the greatest ass whooping win sports history.

  2. KimRB says:

    Islanders resign Horvat. 8 yrs/$68 mill


  3. hockeydruid says:

    Trade thought: Mantha and Eller to Seattle for a 2nd and a 5th round pick.

    • KimRB says:

      Is Ron Francis that dumb, to want Mantha’s almost $6 mill cap hit?

      We paid a high price to get him, and we’ll have to pay a high price to get rid of him. Bad asset management

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