The Capitals were on ice this afternoon at about 2:15 for their outdoor practice at Heinz Field. The team took to the ice in their gameday gear and jerseys for a team photo before changing into their practice equipment and skating. Everyone skated for the third consecutive practice, and it was revealed that Tom Poti is indeed expected to play tomorrow. That likely means that John Erskine will unfortunately be a healthy scratch.
Even though it was 60 degrees today in downtown Pittsburgh the ice held up pretty well. After the skate, however, players had different opinions on the ice conditions. Brooks Laich, in classic Brooksie fashion, said "Any ice is good ice." The Captain, however, was not impressed. "It was soft, no good. But they still have 24 hours." Actually, Alex, they have more than that, as the NHL announced late this afternoon that the game will start at 8 ET tomorrow due to projected rainfalls of up to one inch and temperatures on the wrong side of 50 degrees during the day. That will be a truly electric atmosphere - hockey under the lights, you can't really ask for more than that. The forecast also calls for cold, dry air to push the rain out of the area by early evening, leaving good weather for hockey. Hopefully. Fingers are crossed here, folks.
Bruce Boudreau has not yet announced the starting goalie for tomorrow night's game yet. And he probably won't. Conventional wisdom says Semyon Varlamov, but you never know with Bruce.
That is all for today from soon-to-be rainy Pittsburgh. Enjoy New Years with your friends and family, and get ready for the event of the year tomorrow night.
Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!