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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!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Updates from Practice - Jan. 31

The Capitals were on ice this evening for practice at 5 as they prepare for tomorrow night's tilt with the Montreal Canadiens.  Some personnel updates from Kettler Capitals Iceplex:

Brooks Laich did not skate with his teammates due to an issue with his plane back to Washington from Saskatchewan.  Laich is expected to be available for tomorrow night's game.  The two Caps who are currently on injured reserve, Tom Poti and Eric Fehr, skated before the rest of the team hit the ice in gold non-contact jerseys and are not expected to play tomorrow night or at all this week, though Bruce Boudreau did say that Poti could be back next week.

Alexander Semin skated beforehand in a gold non-contact jersey as well, but then took it off when practice started and took full reps on a line with Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault.  Semin also practiced on the first power-play unit with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin up front, and John Carlson and Mike Green on the points.  Despite all of these positive signs, however, Boudreau would not commit to Semin suiting up tomorrow night, saying that it will be the Russian's decision after the morning skate or maybe even after the warmup.

Michal Neuvirth and Tyler Sloan also returned to the ice for a full practice with their teammates.  Neuvirth made it through just fine said that he felt "Ok" afterwards.  He acknowledged his participation as a big improvement and hopes that he will be able to suit up tomorrow.  Sloan is back from his conditioning stint in the AHL and has not played in over two months, and he will almost certainly be the odd man out tomorrow night as a healthy scratch.

Lastly, Boudreau continued to tinker with his top line, adding Mike Knuble to the right wing alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom.  It remains to be seen at the moment how Brooks Laich's arrival tomorrow will affect this trio, but I doubt that it will.  Laich will probably end up on the third line with Matt Hendricks and Marcus Johansson.  That means that Boyd Gordon will be bumped off the third unit to the fourth line with Dave Steckel and Matt Bradley, sending DJ King to the press box.

That's all for now.  More in the morning.

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