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Aucoin Recalled and Green Returns (Updated)

With Donald Brashear still recovering from a sprained left knee, the Caps have recalled center Keith Aucoin from Hershey. Brashear is practicing with the team this morning, but he's doubtful for tomorrow's game against the Islanders.

Mike Green is also on the ice after missing yesterday's practice with the flu. I'll check on his status later, but he appears to be participating fully.

Update: Here are the forward lines that Bruce Boudreau is using in the scrimmage:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr
Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin
Laich-Nylander-Kozlov
Brashear-Steckel-Bradley
(Aucoin is rotating in the the fourth line).

I'll have a little more after practice.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 31, 2009; 10:29 AM ET
 
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Next: Green Set to Play

Comments

Come on Aucoin -- light the lamp tomorrow night!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 31, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

That pic from the last post...I can see Brash's gears turning - "Sh**! This is gonna hurt!"

Posted by: Greg S. | March 31, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Bruce was at the Bears game Sat night and Aucoin put on quite a show: 2 goals + 3 assists.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 31, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

aucoin has done well, and I'm glad he's being rewarded. I also think it would be worthwhile to sit Flash or Fejr and put Giroux on the 2nd line. Let's see him in an offensive capacity rather than a grinder. The dudes no grinder.

Fehr has a knack for stealing the puck, and I like his hardwork. His shot has all but dissappeared. He's missing empty nets and that's not good for his future with the caps. Instead of a raise there are others to replace him. I really want to see him turn it on these last few games.

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@ 007

no one can miss an empty net quite like matt cooke did against the bruins i believe

Posted by: _stevo | March 31, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@007 - Have to disagree with you on Giroux. Maybe Flash could use a night off, but I don't think Giroux is going to bring anything to the table that Flash can't.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 31, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Heh. Lots of guys are missing empty nets right now. Too much going high. That's far from just Fehr.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 31, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Flash played great against Tampa. He needs rewarded and more opportunities not a break.

Posted by: mikesfan | March 31, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

No one misses shots like Steckel -- thank goodness goals are not his game. It'd be nice, but he is an assest on the fourth line, on the pk, and in the circle.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 31, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

not blaming fehr, just pointing out what could harm him as an RFA. And what could help, as he's a puck stealing machine!

As for Giroux, I just want him to get a reward for his season in Hershey. Sitting Flash one night for some rest isn't going to hurt the Caps too much, and gives us the opportunity to see Giroux think only of scoring. The guys red hot! Am I the only one interested in that? hmm...

good luck in the finals, Sombrero!

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Flash played great against tampa?! He played better than he has, but far from great. He has been pretty much garbage since December. Fehr actually surprised me on the top line, but I agree that next season others should get a chance. Fehr has not shown that he can handle the NHL, as bad as Flash has bee at least he has close to twenty goals.

Posted by: bestpilotonearth | March 31, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Aucoin is getting the go ahead again. Love those Hershey guys!

Posted by: mikesgirl1 | March 31, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

good for aucoin, but gotta say I was hoping to see Osala again even though I know he plays winger, we could still move some people around.

Posted by: caps28fan | March 31, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Being that it's the Isles, does Varly start?

Posted by: caps28fan | March 31, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Enough with the cowbell; more Osala!
(Does every NHL city have a 1/2dozen fan favorites in the A? Who's yours?)

Posted by: redlineblue | March 31, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, don't know if I'd say flash played great against TB. His goal was deflected off his skate. He did crash the net, though. As far as playing well, Fehd has the edge there as he causes havoc and forechecks hard and effectively. He just can't seem to find the net often. It's his first full year so i cut him slack but our second line of scoring has evaporated and those two are pretty consistent 2nd liners. Maybe lighting a fire under them and playing Giroux would be good motivator.

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

put Giroux in the lineup. the guy always seems to be getting scoring chances (he might lead us in breakaways! lol). he hasn't capitalized on many of them yet, but when he does start cashing them in, he could be a beast!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | March 31, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I imagine varlamov would start vs NYI.
And yes, cooke's empty net miss was pretty gobsmacking!


Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I agree, sarge, and if he was getting the majority of his feeds from Semin, Backstrok, Fedorov and Ovie, not Bradley and Brashear ( he was lined up with them last, wasn't he? can't remember) his chances would be much better. I do remember this: Girlux was always going to the net, not staying up in the circles.

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

No real objection to those lines.

Dunno that I'd necessarily start Varlamov vs. the Isles. The Isles have been pretty good at the role of spoiler lately, and I'd sooner see us put away the division first. I'd consider the Islanders game to be pretty important for that reason, so I'd go ahead and start Theo.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 31, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

so how many think OV is netting 60 this year?

how bout 30 for Green?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 31, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Girlux was always going to the net, not staying up in the circles."

Actually I think that Giroux has skated more with Circles than anyone else.

Posted by: chuckatcws | March 31, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Don't know if it was nerves or not but Osala had about 3 very bad turnovers because he couldn't simply get it out of the zone which of course is the job of the 4th line. He may not be a grinder, but he fumbled too many times.

Giroux had plenty of time to prove himself earlier in the season. He played on the 2nd line if I remember right. He had two break aways in two games and missed the net completely. He also had many other chances. I understand people want to see Giroux, Osala, Bourque, Aucoin, and probably forwards get a chance but their NHL time will probably come on the 4th line this time of year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 31, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Nyls? Really?
I can't keep 76 games straight in my head.
I can't keep much of anything straight up there.

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Not that I am complaining but SC1907 has been missing lately which has been awesome. Probably has a lot to do with the Caps winning last Friday's game by crashing the net. Then while our boys have had time to heal other teams haven't really closed the gap. If the Caps can nail down the second seed it could change the outcome for the Caps drastically. I believe the Caps can beat any team in the Eastern Conference but it sure would be nice to save the physically demanding, or emotionally draining series until at least the second round. If they can draw Montreal, Florida, or the Rangers in the 1st round our boys will have a better chance of running the table IMO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 31, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So, with a win tomorrow night we MIGHT walk into Verizon on Friday night as Southeast Champs if the Rangers do in the Canes on Thursday. I can smell it...

Posted by: saintex | March 31, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Not that I am complaining but SC1907 has been missing lately...

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 31, 2009 11:40 AM |


I'm here, and gayer than ever.

Posted by: StanleyCup19O7 | March 31, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

hahaha!

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: Exactly. The difference in echelon between Habs/Rags/Kitties and Pens/Flyers/Canes is not to be sneezed at. The second seed means quite a bit, both in first-round opponent and in home ice advantage through two rounds at least of the playoffs. Also, if we can seize the day and gun to lock up the second seed, the division will take care of itself. Look forward, not back, and chase as many points as possible.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 31, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I think OV gets 60, exactly. He needs 7 in 6 and I'm hoping for five in the last three home games. Scores his 60th in Tampa on April 9th and actually lights his stick on fire.

Posted by: saintex | March 31, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

There's no doubt the #2 seed is more important now than it was a month ago when I coudldn't have cared less. The Canes and Pens have brought two much better 1st round opponents into the mix and the Rangers or Habs to open would be much better. We aren't chasing #2 anymore, we are #2. Play 'em out and get that seed - it'll matter in the first round more then ever.

Posted by: saintex | March 31, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

the schedule certainly afford ovie the chancefor 60.
And I think we allahree that 2nd gets a more favorable 1 at round than 3rd does.
Here's my question? Do you sit ovie and get jim some rest if 2nd gets locked up? Do you sit him without second locked up? Do you within at all? At what point do you rest your top guys this year?

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

stupid spellcheck . this iPod is killing me.

Posted by: oo7 | March 31, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I think BB plays the starters every game but maybe spreads out the minutes a bit more once the division (primarily) and the #2 seed are secured. I don't know that he'd work them really hard to get the #2 if it meant extended minutes - I think he'd let #2 go in order to be more rested an healthy. I don't think AO scoring 60 is on his radar. Having said that, I said earlier this month that if AO got to the upper 50s (56-57 goals) and was within a half-dozen points of Malking - and, in second in scoring - that he'd win the MVP. It'll be close but I think it'll happen.

Posted by: saintex | March 31, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

>>Scores his 60th in Tampa on April 9th and actually lights his stick on fire.

StX owes me either a coke, or a monitor.

Ovechkin 2G tomorrow. Scores 59 for the season and enters the playoffs Quite Dissatisfied.

Posted by: redlineblue | March 31, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

oo7: I don't think BB will be able to get OV to sit out as a healthy scratch. The last game of the season against Florida might very well determine the fate of playoff qualifiers. Even if 2nd is sealed I say the Caps do the right thing and make Florida earn their way in by beating our top line-up. I have never been a fan of a team in any sport putting a second rate team in the game when there are playoff implications.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 31, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@oo7: I think you'd have to put Ovi in a straitjacket and tie him to a chair in the basement of the Pentagon with truck chains to get him to rest in these last few games.

Given how close 2/3 is right now, I don't think it'll be locked up for sure until the last day, one game before at the most. And given the importance that we've outline, Bruce may opt not to.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 31, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The Pens could easily land in 7th spot so if Caps are # 2...be carefull what you wish for...

Lots of good games on the remainder of the schedule for playoff seed positioning...its the best time of year for Directv and Center Ice - flip through all the games at roughly mid 3rd period

Posted by: NJNJ | March 31, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@bestpilotonearth - Flash, garbage? Yeah? I'd like to see you play hockey after a bout with pneumonia, and see how well YOU do. :-p I'm not gonna knock anybody on our team, especially not Flash. He's a real trooper.

Posted by: irockthered | March 31, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@NJNJ: Very true, but it's possibility vs. guarantee. I don't think the Rags slide past the Pens, realistically. Could happen, but I doubt it.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 31, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I just don't want to play Pens in 1st round....

Posted by: NJNJ | March 31, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

aside from the Habs, are any of the choices better than another?? Caps need to get their playoff heads together and go out there and play a disciplined, physical game.

Posted by: doughless | March 31, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Glad Aucoin's back up. He played some awesome minutes Friday night, and is obviously enjoying success in Hershey.

I'd like to see more call-ups, particularly against these cellar teams. They bring the energy and make a W more likely, I believe.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 31, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@doughless: I'd say they are. Canes give us hell and have all season. Pens are much better with Kunitz and Guerin than without. Flyers ... well. Nuff said. Florida doesn't have the offense, Montreal doesn't have the goaltending, and although the Rangers did a great job against the Devils, I don't think they have the speed as a whole. I'd consider the Rags the most dangerous of those three. A higher seed guarantees home ice and gives us a better shot at a winnable first round series. (Of course, the possibility exists that the Pens drop to 7th. Nothing is sure in politics and hockey.) But, 2nd seed is worth going for simply because of more favorable odds.

Regarding disciplined, physical play - I think they'll find it. I saw a start in Tampa. Let's see what happens vs. the Isles.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 31, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

yay, no fluffy bunny line today!

Ovie has 53. Is he going to come out and just tear up goalies for the remaining 6 games to get 60?

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 31, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens drop to the 7th seed that would probably mean the Pens big run, and honeymoon, have come to a hault. So if the Pens settle into 7th so be it. Still would rather have at least the first two rounds with home ice advantage.

I disagree that we need to bring minor league players up to guarantee wins down the stretch. Our worst month of the season was last month and still went 6-5-2, and that was after an 0-3 start. These guys are going to be OK. I really don't know if we have a heavyweight enforcer in Hershey or not, I don't think we do, that looks like the only hole that needs to be filled for the playoffs. Brash's knee will probably not hold up for a long playoff run. If it's sliding around when he skates, which for those of you lucky enough never to have suffered a leg injury, that's what he means by tweak, he is FAR from returning to the line-up. He is one big tweak from tearing his menicus and ACL. The knee isn't stable enough for hockey yet and the only cure for a strain is rehab and time.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 31, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Fanohock

Pens are 1 pt from 7th seed so it wouldn't need to be a slump that gets them there...

I'll take Panthers, Rangers, Habs, and Canes (yes Canes) before I'd want to see Pitt. That's my opinion, I respect all others

Posted by: NJNJ | March 31, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

so how many think OV is netting 60 this year?

how bout 30 for Green?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 31, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Thats the trouble with no "NO CUP CAPS"
Too many individuals with personal agenda's in a team game!....Until this changes it remains the NO CUP CAPS

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 31, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Caps will score 270 goals this season.

Posted by: saintex | March 31, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Jump/comments are not working for me on the subsequent post...

Posted by: CapsChick | March 31, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Much better lines today.

Let's hope they throw Fedorov back out there with the PP1 unit, the young guns need that calming presence out there.

Oh and I agree with the above, the #2 seed is very, very, very important for the Caps in round 1.

I think they double their chances of advancing, actually, if they win that #2 seed.

I would love to see WASH vs MTL in round 1.

Posted by: DrAdamson | March 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we need to worry about who is gonna be where in the play-off seeding. Lets play the rest of the games and see where we sit. If we are in second and the Pens are is 7th...so be it. Alot of people are afraid to play the Pens, some don't want to Canes, some don't want the Flyers, untill recently, some didnt want the Devils. I don't care who we play.....it's not like we are gonna change it anyway.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 31, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Lets go Caps!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 31, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@oo7

Yeah, would be great to see Giroux get a shot on a scoring line, I'm with you, he's got a knack for getting into good positions. That guy looks like a national leaguer.Also, Osala impressed on Friday - great wheels, pretty nimble for his size. Looks like we're set at wing for the 2nd and 3rd lines, depending on whom we sign for next year.

Posted by: WritingLight | March 31, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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