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, February 28, 2011
Practice: Feb. 28
Neither Mike Green nor Semyon Varlamov took the practice or worked out before the rest of their teammates. Green is still in Calgary mourning the loss of his grandmother, while Varlamov is out with what is believed to be a knee injury. Yikes. As a result, goaltender Jared DeMichiel was on ice for the Capitals as the second goaltender, although he has not officially been recalled from Hershey of the AHL.
Marco Sturm, the Capitals' new number 18, skated for the first time as a Cap, taking reps on the second line in place of Brooks Laich with Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin. Laich moved down to center the third line between the newly recalled Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera, while the the fourth unit was also changed: Matt Hendricks is now on the left wing with Dave Steckel in the middle and Matt Bradley on the right. Steckel did, however, leave practice after about 40 minutes after "tweaking something." Lastly, the Caps broke out the rarely used baby blue "fifth line" jerseys today, to account for the extra bodies. The recently waived DJ King skated on that like with Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr; however, about 25 minutes into practice, Fehr began taking reps with the third line, and King and Gordon began to take reps with the fourth line. That is good news for Fehr and the Capitals because that means he is cleared for contact, which means he is one step closer to returning. The top unit of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mike Knuble stayed intact.
Tom Poti skated with the team for practice for the first 20 minutes, wearing a standard practice jersey, the first time in over a month that he has participated in practice drills with his teammates. However, the fact that he left 20 minutes in, when the contact part starts, is not overly encouraging. The defensive pairings remained the same: Schultz-Hannan, Carlson-Alzner, and Erskine-Sloan, followed by Poti (until he left).
The Capitals have acquired Dennis Wideman on this trade deadline Monday. More to come.
Information from Caps beat writer Sky Kerstein was used in this post.