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!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Updates From the Morning Skate
Nicklas Backstrom's career-opening streak of 341 consecutive games played will come to an end tonight, as he will be sidelined with his thumb injury. Backstrom did not skate this morning either because of the hard cast on his thumb. However, coach Bruce Boudreau stated that the hard cast is merely a precaution to keep his thumb "as quiet as possible," and that it can be taken off at any time. So the news is certainly not all bad. In addition, Backstrom is expected to skate tomorrow during practice. There is, however, no word on his potential return to game action. Marcus Johansson will take his spot on the top line.
Braden Holtby will receive the start in goal tonight. Boudreau had been hopeful that Michal Neuvirth would be able to go, but he was at the doctor's office this morning and missed the majority of the skate. He will back up Holtby tonight, however, and should be able to go on Friday night. Semyon Varlamov, who is currently out with a knee injury, skated for about 20 minutes before the formal skate, which is certainly not a good sign.
Eric Fehr will make his return to the Capitals' lineup tonight. Fehr has been out since mid-January with a shoulder injury and should skate on the second line with Alexander Semin and Jason Arnott. As a result, Brooks Laich will move down to center the third line with Marco Sturm and Jason Chimera. The fourth unit of Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon, and Matt Bradley will remain intact, which means that DJ King and Jay Beagle will be healthy scratches up front. Tyler Sloan has been confirmed as the odd man out in back.
Lastly, Mike Green did not skate today and and remains out indefinitely; there is still no timetable for his return to game action. Tom Poti took the full skate as well, and did some intense drills after practice with Dean Evason, which hopefully indicates that he is getting closer. There is, however, no concrete timetable for his return to the ice.
That's all for now. Check back after the game.
Thanks to Mike Vogel, Sky Kerstein, and Katie Carrera for information in this post.