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Alzner recalled, others still hurting (updated)

Karl Alzner has been recalled and appears set to make his season debut tonight against Ryan Miller and Sabres.

It also looks like Milan Jurcina will return from a groin tweak that kept him out of the past six games. But the overall injury situation remains bleak. There was no sign of Alexander Semin (wrist), Tom Poti (bruised chest), Boyd Gordon (back) and Shaone Morrisonn (concussion) this morning at KCI.

Interestingly, Morrisonn had appeared to be getting closer to returning in recent days. And now he's not skating.

Tyler Sloan, meanwhile, was skating with the forwards, so it looks like he'll play wing.

Update:Semyon Varlamov came off the ice first, which usually means he'll get the start in goal.

I'll have more in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 25, 2009; 10:19 AM ET
 
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Next: Varlamov appears set to start, Alzner makes return

Comments

ok, I just returned from a week long vacation so I missed a good chunk of Caps news. What has happened to Nylander?

Posted by: Andoy | November 25, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

andoy, you didnt hear? he's now the first line center for the caps. all is well. he was willing to be traded to the flames for phaneuf but GMGM had a change of heart and decided to keep him. three assists in his last game.


just kidding of course. still in caps purgatory...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 25, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

they nylander situation continues to move in circles

Posted by: superpaqman | November 25, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Not a think Andoy. Not a thing.

I love that King Karl is getting a chance now. I am guessing he can play now because we have sent both Carlson (846K) AND A. Gordon (606) have been sent back down and therefore have the cap space.

Hoping for a good night tonight.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

so the obvious question is, who got moved to LTIR to make room for 27? i'm guessing knuble and perhaps it was done retroactively. clearly right now they need the help defensively. as much as i'd like to see knuble back out there, i think adding alzner to the back line will help out more in the short run even if it means 22 is out a couple more games than needed.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 25, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm kinda glad that Mo is looking to stay on the shelf. Not because I don't like his play, or I want to see one of the younger guys, but the fact that he kept saying he feels "fuzzy" isn't a good sign after a concussion.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 25, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Concussions are nothing to muck about with. I hope ShaMo is OK! Still, I'd rather have him not skating than skating "fuzzy." Post-concussion syndrome can get very ugly...

Posted by: irockthered | November 25, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Best guess is it has to be Knuble on LTIR. If he is out the full 4 weeks then that he would miss 13 games. And if he is on LTIR retroed back to when he got hurt then his 10th game missed would be on Monday 12/7 in Tampa which falls just over 3 weeks out.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I actually like Sloan at forward. I like that he's versatile enough to play both positions and be effective. He's a darn good skater who doesn't get enough credit.

Posted by: irockthered | November 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Morrisonn would be a guy on the trading block I would think.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 25, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon - He's going to have to come back from this concussion first...

Posted by: irockthered | November 25, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Sloan definitely seems to be playing better as a forward so far this year (although he and Carlson were the only + defensemen at the last game).

So I guess he will take the other wing with Beags and Stecks.

Oh and I believe I called it that I thought Beags was going to get on the score sheet. Talk about a lucky guess.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Here's the deal on Alzner. On a day-by-day basis, where the league ensures the teams are below the cap, his salary only counts, unlike last season, at the base amount of like $850K.

At the end of the year, if he makes any of the bonuses, they get added then.

Finally, if by adding bonuses, the Caps end up over for the year, they have their cap for next season reduced accordingly.

Day-by-day, Alzner is the same as Carlson. When the club says they didn't recall Alzner due to salary, they were thinking end of the year.

Naturally, if Nylander selects a road and gets off the roundabout and drives off, the cap issue becomes moot.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Alzner can take Mike Green's spot. He has been even worse defensively than usual and not making up for it with goals. I'd love to see him scratched for a game to send a message, but with the injury situation the way it is, that's not going to happen. Course, it wouldn't happen anyway.

Posted by: WVPhil | November 25, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

tom, true that. i believe they are already above the cap based upon backs bonuses, which i'm guessing he will earn...unless one of the bonus criteria is combing your hair before games. i dont think they want to mortgage next years cap if they can avoid it, so i doubt alzner stays too long unless, as you suggest, we say das vedanya (sp) to 92.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 25, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

WV, alzner needs to take some of 52's minutes not his spot. i think that's why he's recalled vs. keeping 74. i think they trust him to take more minutes and relieve the pressure on 52.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 25, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

WVPhil: Yeah, BB should bench Green. Great input. Have a nice day in WV.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 25, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1 - Agreed. That makes sense as Carlson seemed to be more offensive minded than stay at home. But if Green is dressed you know he's going to get his minutes. Maybe they will play together...

Posted by: WVPhil | November 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Let's Go Caps!!! C-A-P-S, CAPS, CAPS, CAPS!!!!

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Knuble has been placed on LTIR and is eligible to return on the 8th of December against Buffalo.

Posted by: irockthered | November 25, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

fanohock - Look the only way to get to these guys is ice time. They took power play time away from Semin before he got hurt. The only way to get to Green is going to be minutes. Ok, maybe scratching him is drastic, but somebody needs to get through to him.

Posted by: WVPhil | November 25, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I like Sloan at forward, but I liked the forward lines in the Ottawa game.

I'm glad to see Alzner getting the recall. I think that will help with some d men logging more minutes than they should.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 25, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

WVPhil: You have just been drafted into G Company, the Doofus Brigade, with a rank of private. If you'd like a promotion to sergeant, just put some similarly unfounded criticism of Semin.

"Scratched for a game to send a message..." You're right, it's never going to happen.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

One of the best nights of the year! Good game...booze...food...and no worries about being hung over on a Thursday!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 25, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Morrisonn would be a guy on the trading block I would think.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 25, 2009 10:47 AM |

Trade our most consistent hitter and d-man in general this year?

No thanks.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I like Sloan at forward, but I liked the forward lines in the Ottawa game.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov

Well Sloan will be taking A. Gordon's place from the lines of the Ottawa game so I see that as a wash.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, WV, you hinted at criticism of Semin.

But, since you only hinted, you only get moved up to corporal.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Knuble has been placed on LTIR and is eligible to return on the 8th of December against Buffalo.

Posted by: irockthered | November 25, 2009 11:13 AM |

Hopefully he's all ready to go by then.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

WVPhil: I realize Carlson and Sloan were the only two "D" that were "+" but their minutes were extremely low and getting the puck out of the zone was an adventure when they were out there. With Jurcina coming back and eating up more like 16-17 minutes vice Carlsons 11, and Alzner eating up about 16-17 vice Sloans 13, it will cut down ice time that Green has to take. That way he can get back down to 25 or less minutes minutes or so instead of pushing 30.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 25, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Tom - Very funny. I like that actually. :)So a turnover 10 feet in front of the goal right in the slot on a blind pass is ok and an unnecessary attempt to destroy someone at the blueline in OT leading to the game winner is fine?

Semin, I love Semin, but I call him Mr. 50-50 half the time he makes a great play, half the time you are just left thinking, what is he doing?

Posted by: WVPhil | November 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon: I never mix booze and food while watching hockey. Never.

BTW, in honor of my 52nd birthday, yesterday, I have swapped jerseys with my daughter for the next year. I gave her my Ovechkin and she gave me her Green.

I'm not getting a faux hawk though. Not under any circumstance. And no tatoos. Ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@WVPhil:

Yes, BB should bench the NHL leader in defenseman scoring.

I do agree that he's playing too many minutes, maybe taking him off the PK will help out there. But bench him? Ludicrous.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 25, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

WVPhil: Evidently you didn't read the threads from yesterday. Green is 12st in the league in turnovers this year. Last year he was 2nd (most) and happened to be Norris runer-up.

To summarize:

1) no, the turnover is not excuseable
2) however, turnovers happen
3) the caps employ fire-wagon hockey (forwards don't hang back to help)
4) this is the style the coach wants
5) the coach left Green out there for 31 mins the other night
6) he was exhausted 31 mins and it was 3rd game in 4 nights
7) coach now recognizes that Carlson wasn't quite ready and has brought up Alzner, who hopefully can log more than 11 mins (what Carlson had) and then Green can fall back to 22-24.

Hopefully BB can find a way to rest Green during PK so as not to burn him out.

Phil: The coach obviously disagrees w/you 100% or Green wouldn't be getting the minutes.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

tominfl1 -
Your daughter has a mohawk and tattoos? That's wild!
Happy Birthday.

Posted by: beeman | November 25, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

That was 21st so far this year...

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Richmondphil,

I see your point about big MO, but on the other hand...he's on a 1 year contract, and the fact he is playing so well could give him some trade value. If...and it's a big if at this point...we can get Nylander off the books, I think you trade MO and either Poti or Pothier in a package deal to someone who is rebuilding to try to get a shutdown D-man. I think he has been our best D-man this year as well, but he is probably not coming back next year anyway, so why not try to get something for him?

Posted by: capscrew | November 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Way off topic here, and sorry to bring up a dead horse to be beaten some more (or maybe finally put to rest depending on your point of view) but I found this when surfing around the links to other teams blogs:

Q: Why in the world is Chris Bourque in the Pens' lineup when you have two thoroughbreds in Eric Tangradi and Luca Caputi in Wilkes-Barre? He doesn't have one-tenth the talent that his dad had.

Brian Pietro, Weirton, W. Va.

MOLINARI: Bourque has done absolutely nothing during his time with the Penguins to suggest that he can be a significant contributor, let alone an impact player, at this level. However, the fact that his talents don't begin to approach those of his father, Hall of Fame defenseman Raymond Bourque, has nothing to do with anything. Judging Chris Bourque's work by the standards set by his father is neither fair nor meaningful. After all, it's not as if the Penguins had to choose between the two.

As for Tangradi and Caputi, both have a chance to fill prominent roles for the Penguins in coming seasons. That doesn't mean they're ready to step in and contribute at this level now, however. Caputi is in his second season of pro hockey and Tangradi is in his first. It would be downright irresponsible for the Penguins to retard their long-term development by putting them in the NHL before they are ready.

The bottom line is that the fact that Bourque is in the NHL while those two guys still are in the American Hockey League shouldn't be interpreted as a statement on what management feels about their respective potential.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09329/1016152-61.stm#ixzz0XtBRjcOh

Posted by: superpaqman | November 25, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday tominfl1

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

beeman: All three daughters have tatoos. None have faux hawks. I was referring to any attempt I might make to emulate Green, beyond the jersey, isn't happening.

Wait, I do recycle.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

pkendrick: Thanks. And now I'm headed home. The holidays are here.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 25, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I see your point about big MO, but on the other hand...he's on a 1 year contract, and the fact he is playing so well could give him some trade value. If...and it's a big if at this point...we can get Nylander off the books, I think you trade MO and either Poti or Pothier in a package deal to someone who is rebuilding to try to get a shutdown D-man. I think he has been our best D-man this year as well, but he is probably not coming back next year anyway, so why not try to get something for him?

Posted by: capscrew | November 25, 2009 11:27 AM |

And who are you going to get? If you haven't looked yet, the d-men available this deadline are pretty bleak, as it is almost every year.

You request to trade our Poti, Pothier, or Mo. I am on-board with Poti. Pothier has been solid this year, despite his recent brain farts, and I wouldn't mind seeing him go, but I don't see him going anywhere. Mo has been our most consistent d-man this year. I don't think we should trade him.

Now the second problem is, why would a "bottom" team trade their shutdown guy for mid-aged vet guys, like Poti and Pothier? They don't offer much value to a "rebuilding" team, and the only one who does (Mo), I don't want to trade.

I'll answer my first question for you;

An-ton Vol-chen-kov.

Trade for him....but it depends on how the Sens do, if he's healthy, and what we trade for him. Do the Sens want either Mo, Pothier, or Poti? Probably not.

Trades just can't happen. You just don't package a bunch of players for one player...the value may be equal, but the intangibles must match for a trade to work.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Good points, but Pothier also has some value as a point on PP, so I think that gets you something, as well as his experience. Poti and Poth both are good, but you have to give up something to get something, which is why if you pair one up with MO, you get some value, you get some offense to go with MO's grit. Our Defensive future is in Hershey, so I think there will be teams looking, and GMGM wanted Pronger. We didn't want to give up too much, but the fact remains that he wanted him. I'm not sure for who, I've been trying to figure that one out.

Posted by: capscrew | November 25, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

All that said, I would gladly trade ShaMo for another d-man. It all depends on who we would be getting back and what else/who else went with Mo.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I've heard JOVO from Pheonix, but I thought he was a bit more offensive minded, which we don't need with our talent at forwards

Posted by: capscrew | November 25, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@superpac

Leave the pens crap on their blog.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 25, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I had also heard Komisarek, because Burke's plan is blowing up in his face in Toronto.

Posted by: capscrew | November 25, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I wish the Nylander thing would just end so we could figure out what GMGM and BB have in mind.

Posted by: capscrew | November 25, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Like I said, I wouldn't care about Poti or Pothier going. They would provide us with cap space out, and (hopefully) Alzner and Carlson can step in for them next year.
I don't see the Caps org. trading Pothier though, and BB puts a lot of trust in Poti. ShaMo, I don't want to trade but we better be getting someone to fill his shoes +++ if we trade him.

Plan to get Volchenkov;

1) First he recovers completely from his concussion.
2) We waive Poti and some team picks him up.
3) Trade 2nd rounder for Anton Volchenkov.
4) Win Cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I had also heard Komisarek, because Burke's plan is blowing up in his face in Toronto.

Posted by: capscrew

I hadn't heard that one but isn't he injured right now?

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention that Komisarek is in the 1st year of a 5 year deal at 4.5M per year.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If you want a nasty D from the Leafs then Exelby makes the most sense this year. He is UFA after this year so they are more apt to trade him AND his cap hit is just under 1.4M.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday evening on NHL Home Ice (XM radio) they put out that Burke said he was going to stay with the players he has now. The only thing mentioned was if Bobby Ryan has problems negotiating with Anaheim that he just might try to lure Bobby Ryan. That probably won't happen though because Anaheim would be crazy to let him walk.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Some moronic Buffalo fan made the statement that Buffalo will have a predominant home crowd tonight in the VC....do those idiots follow the game at all?? That hasn't been the case in the last three years at VC...

Posted by: PhilR | November 25, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

That brilliant statement was on ESPN.com so maybe I should just consider the source...

Posted by: PhilR | November 25, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

f you want a nasty D from the Leafs then Exelby makes the most sense this year. He is UFA after this year so they are more apt to trade him AND his cap hit is just under 1.4M.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 11:53 AM |

Yeah, but he sucks.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | November 25, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - I know he sucks and I don't want him but he is the only one Burke might consider trading this year.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 25, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

A few tough games and all the D are on the trading block. It doesn't make sense to trade Poti or Pothier as they are the most experienced d-men. In order to improve the D they have to upgrade whomever is considered the weakest guy, certainly not P or P. IMO the weakest link is Schultz. I give him credit as he seems to be working hard to improve his game and is trying to be more physical this year. Even though he is not making as many glaring errors this season he still seems to be late getting into position, like he has to think about where to be instead of thinking about the play that is unfolding. He also seems to struggle recovering from mistakes because he is a slow skater with average footwork. That said I still don't think making a trade right now would be the best move. At least our guys have played together a long time and they know the mistakes the other guys are likely to make, so they can help cover them.

Trading for Volchenkov (someone on the board seems to have a man crush on him) is risky as he has missed the last 12 games with a dislocated elbow that included ligament damage. He may not make it back to 100% this season with that kind of injury.

3 below average games will not ruin our season and soon the Caps will be back to winning and this bump will be forgotten.

Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the games.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 25, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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