The trade deadline is done so it’s back to work for the Caps, who host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m., CSN). Here are three bold predictions for the game.
1. The Caps will trail after the first period
With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, Kevin Shattenkirk in tow and the best record in the NHL, some of the players are likely asking the same question you are: Is it the playoffs yet? The New Jersey Devils, however, are facing another long summer with no hockey and may catch the Caps by surprise early on.
2. Kevin Shattenkirk will not register a point
In some ways, the first game with a new team is easier than the second. Shattenkirk did not have a single practice with the Caps before putting getting into the game on Tuesday. That first game is all about instinct. There’s little thought that goes into it because you don’t know the system yet. You’re just playing. Now Shattenkirk is trying to adapt to his new team and that’s not an easy task. Just look at the start Lars Eller had to the season.
3. Jakub Vrana will score
Vrana had a few good looks on Tuesday against the Rangers. Against a much softer New Jersey team, he will take advantage and find the back of the net.
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