Washington Capitals Monday Madness: The Boys Say Cheese And Get Ready For Columbus

Skinner Bachs

Monday Madness at Kettler started off with Washington Capitals team Picture Day. You remember picture day. Your mom sent you to school groomed, clean, and ready for that moment when your visage at that age was set in film for the ages. After a couple of hours of class, crayons, recess, and wrangling the undead stuff that was school food, you finally lined up for the photographer.

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Beyond the photo session, it was business as usual for the Capitals. No crayons and tater tots in evidence, but Mike Vogel of Dump n Chase wrote that they kept their morning skate short and sweet. There was some interesting speculation about the lineups for tonight's game against Columbus. The Capitals' shiny newest action figure, T.J. Oshie, is in as of Katie Brown's projected lineup at NHL.com posted earlier this afternoon. Then came the good news: Oshie is in. Anyone who was disappointed by Verizon's failure to be the setting of a real-life version of Batman vs. Superman on March 26 will be rewarded with the welcome sight of a healthy Oshie who is ready to play.

"We've gotten over the hard part. The hard part for us was game 50 to game 70. Anybody who has played will tell you that's the real hard part of the year. If you're in that playoff push, you just push a little earlier and you get in that mode. For us, it was a little different. That tunnel looked really long and really dark, and I think we've gotten through that."

Under Torts, the Columbus Crew is playing wicked hard, wicked smart hockey. Moreover, they're still feeling more than a little bruised after what could only be called an unnecessary loss by misadventure on Nashville's home ice last Saturday. In the purview of observers of both the Capitals and the Blue Jackets, these are teams who may have some of the important things cinched, but the trick is to not to wander off into the seasonal badland of an early Spring clinch. Call it March Madness on ice, call it that last scramble for points, pride, and bragging rights, one thing is certain: the Blue Jackets will not be there to make friends.

[Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]

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