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Notes from the Capitals' morning skate

By Katie Carrera

Michal Neuvirth was the first goaltender off the ice at KCI following today's morning skate so it appears he will get his 12th start of the season against the Boston Bruins at Verizon Center.

It looks like Matt Hendricks will be back in the lineup after serving as the healthy scratch on Wednesday against the Maple Leafs, while D.J. King and Marcus Johansson are likely out tonight as both stayed on the ice for the usual scratches skate.

Johansson seems to be close, if not ready to go, after recovering from his hip-flexor injury and participated fully in drills again, but he did make one rookie mistake during the session. Midway through the practice, Johansson took a shot on what would have been Neuvirth's net without picking up his head to look at the target. The puck hit Mike Green instead and the veteran wasn't too happy about it, but said he should be fine for the game.

Other notes:
--Semyon Varlamov (groin) is out on the ice with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish and Arturs Irbe now for a workout session.

--Mike Knuble did not skate this morning but is fine, Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

--With Hendricks back in the lineup it's possible there might be another installment of his running disagreement with Boston's Gregory Campbell. Hendricks, who is sporting a black eye after a puck jumped off the cross bar and hit him in the face, said it's nothing more than a series of events that can be traced back to Campbell's hit on Alex Ovechkin in the preseason.

"I think he took a cheap shot in exhibition on our number one player and he answered the bell for it the next night," Hendricks said. "I don't know, I'm sure he wanted a little redemption the next time so I answered the bell for him. That's just kind of the way our style of play works out in games."

--Tom Poti (lower-body) skated this morning and I had a chance to catch up with him, so keep an eye out for a post on his status in a little bit.

By Katie Carrera  | November 5, 2010; 11:18 AM ET
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: Are you surprised by Michal Neuvirth's play?
Next: Tom Poti: 'My stubbornness hurt me'


The boys sure do seem to like to shoot the puck at each other at practice. Wasnt it Laich last year that took one off the crossbar and into the eye playing a post-practice shooting game?

Bad ice and friendly fire = Caps on the IR lol.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Heavyweight out, middleweight in. I expect Hendricks to play his butt off.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

From previous posts:

@JIM, my aplogies, I didn't realize you were responding to a troll. I go to the box, I feel shame.

@PhilR, watch the video, I think around the :33 mark, they show a replay. Crosby instigated nothing, and he attacked no one. They dropped their gloves at the exact same time. Niskanen could've skated away or said he didn't want to fight. Guys get asked to fight all the time when they line up. That's doesn't constitue instigating. Crosby even went to remove his bucket, but Niskanen kept his on.

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

rest up DJK, flyers come to town sunday

Posted by: _stevo | November 5, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

We will probably need both DJK and Hendricks against Cheap-Shot Carcillo, Sneaky Briere, The Mullet Monster (Hartnell), Darth Pronger, and the rest of the Philthy goons...

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Hendricks fights for a reason that benefits the team, not like the senseless exhibition matches that King gets involved in.

Fletch, you do love your little Cindy, don't you? Are you from Canada or Pittsburgh?

Posted by: zmega | November 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

DJK said that they fight for different reasons, sometimes it's strictly for momentum and sometimes because someone took a swing at number 1. The fights at the Devils game, much like the ones at Pitts shellacking the other night are out of nothing more than frustration by the losing team and doesn't show any sort of team toughness. What it shows is that the team is pissed because they are losing and losing badly.

Posted by: ags38 | November 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe someone on this board is defending Crosby, for anything other than being a good hockey player - allegedly fighting honorably one time hardly makes up for all the other dirty plays:

And cheap shots:

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 5, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks fights for a reason that benefits the team, not like the senseless exhibition matches that King gets involved in.

I agree...he can play and really only fights when there is a good reason. I like Hendricks style.

Posted by: capscoach | November 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse


how was the pelley/hendricks or campbell/hendricks (second one) and different then kings fights? All the fights serve some purpose, we just have no idea what is always being said or going on, on the ice

Posted by: _stevo | November 5, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse


how was the pelley/hendricks or campbell/hendricks (second one) and different then kings fights? All the fights serve some purpose, we just have no idea what is always being said or going on, on the ice

Posted by: _stevo | November 5, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@zmega, that's funny. You're one of those fans that showed up in '04 aren't you? Hopped on the wagon did ya?

I dislike Crosby as much as everyone here, and have said so on many occasions, but everytime he fights, it's some story about he jumped the guy, or he instigated the fight, or he cheated in some way. Watch the fight and tell me what he did. But you won't do that will you? Cause I just might be right.

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 5, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks was clearly retaliating for a cheap shot on Ovi. All of King's fights, as I recall, involved "goons." Now maybe that was just a coincidence and King was in some way sticking up for teammates - maybe Orr did something that I didn't see and that wasn't mentioned in any press accounts that I saw. But it sure looks like King is just performing in traditional "heavyweight" goon matches. I just don't see any value in that.

Now if a Matt Cooke or an Avery were to cheap shot one of the Caps and King were to then pound Cooke or Avery into oblivion, I would be leading the cheers. Or even if King just finished his checks hard on a consistent basis to send a message. I want to see something from him that contributes more directly to the Caps' success. At this point, I would rather have Della Rovere back.

Posted by: zmega | November 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse


I am similar to you I dislike Crosby but you have to respect how he plays. 50% of Caps fans just hate to hate and find any reason to say something bad or twist stories. It borders on an obsession that is sad. If this town really wants to be a hockey town, the fans need to realize you can hate and respect at the same time.

Posted by: ThePat | November 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Hendricks too, but why would he need to fight Campell twice? His first fight was the response to the OV cheap shot. I would think the point would have been made.

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

From the previous thread:

"With the year Semin has been having so far...if he takes a couple O zone penalties (some deserved and some questionable) I could care less. Especially with Backs in a slump and Ovie just a bit off, it's safe to say Semin has been our offensive driving force so far."

Just goes to show how good Ovi is. He's considered "a bit off" (I do agree) but he is still 6th in the league in scoring, and ahead of Semin. Backstrom has looked stronger to me of late. The save of the game ended up being the Monster's save on Backstrom when it looked like he missed an open net. Gustaffson did get his paddle on it. I think the old Backs is starting to shine through. He's up to 10 points (4g6a) and I don't think he registered a point in the 1st 3.

Rhino: The Mullet is gone! Hartnall cut his hair for charity.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 5, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Thomas is due for a stinker. He is 7-0 and has only given up 5 goals total. The Caps are going to light him up tonight. I predict 4 goals for the Caps before the game is half over and Thomas watching the rest of the game from the bench.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 5, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat, I agree, and it's the same thing as Pens fans, or that dork Damien Cox spouting off about OV this and OV that. Don't be a hypocrite is all I'm saying. Trash talk is fine, but blind hatred is another thing altogether.

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 5, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the articel about semin is very on point...he seems to just be working harder this season, and he did work his butt off in the playoffs. Hopefully he is maturing and this isn't just to get a good contract. Whoever ends up getting him, I would not sign him for more than a 3 yr. deal at a time. He may very well end up being the difference maker in the season.

Posted by: capscoach | November 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The second Hendricks-Campbell fight was initiated by Campbell, according to Hendricks.

Respecting Crosby's talent is perfectly legitimate and reasonable. Trying to make him into some inspirational gladiator is just ridiculous, IMO.

Posted by: zmega | November 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Fletch, give it a rest - of course he's a good hockey player, noone's saying he's not - but the Canadian hockey propaganda machine has built him into some Gretzky-Orr-Forsberg hybrid, it's ridiculous.

The man has no honor, is the point.

And ThePat, if you think DC is hard on the guy, you should see his reception in Montreal, Minneapolis, Boston - or especially Detroit. Or do none of those count as hockey towns?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 5, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse


Booing the guy and trash talking is fine. If you dont think those towns respect his play on the ice, I completely disagree with you.

Posted by: ThePat | November 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse


Exactly, even when he is "a bit off", its still insane the numbers, skill and talent. I was trying to put it the best way possible without sounding like I was coming down on him etc haha.

As for the Semin is an enigma thing, using translators for interviews, all can be traced back to when he was starting to accept the spotlight/fame and made the Patrick Kane vs Cindy Loowho Crosby comment. Where it was totally warped and misconstrued by writers and then blown out of proportion. They came at the guy hard after that, you cant bad mouth Canada's 2nd national pride (sorry 1st place still goes to Brian Adams) and not expect reprecussions. The result? Semin now plays the speak through translators and stay away from the english speaking media.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 5, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo, I won't give it a rest. Mind your own business. PhilR addressed my post in an earlier topic, I replied to him. Zmega came in and made a snide comment and I addressed him. ThePat addressed my comment as well and I responded back. I shouldn't even be explaining this to you.

And i'm not trying to make Crosby into anything. I'm talking about one incident where people are saying he jumped a guy, he instigated, etc, but they haven't seen the fight. That is all.

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 5, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Once you develop a rep as a "from behind nut puncher", it is hard to escape that bias. Crosby will have to work hard to overcome that. :)

Posted by: _Mark | November 5, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Once you develop a rep as a "from behind nut puncher", it is hard to escape that

Yeah, crazy how a move like that'll stick with a guy!

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse


how was the pelley/hendricks or campbell/hendricks (second one) and different then kings fights? All the fights serve some purpose, we just have no idea what is always being said or going on, on the ice

Posted by: _stevo | November 5, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch - you seem to be pretty thin-skinned for a guy who freely tosses around insults.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 5, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse


He we be known for that until he one-ups himself....two words...The Shocker.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse


I've got to disagree. DJ King has gotten in staged fights such as the one with Colton Orr of the Leafs on Wednesday. He comes onto the ice to get in a fight with the tough guy on the other team to try to establish momentum. IMO there is no place for this type of player (Orr, Shelley, DJK) in hockey anymore. DJK has no discernible skills and is not even feared like Brashear used to be.

As for Hendricks, he's gotten into some fights to stick up for the Caps star players such as with Campbell due to the cheap shot on Ovie. Hendricks has some skills and can play on the 3rd or 4th line. His fights have not been staged and were of the retaliatory nature. He's an agitator who's going to also get into some fights for taking jabs at the other team's goalie. We need that type of presence on the Caps.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo, I'd like to think I'm not thin skinned, but unless you run the comment section, I'm not sure it's your job to moderate the discussion, or dictate to other posters what they should post or not post. I'm pretty sure the idea is to respond to those who address your comments.

I don't think I've ever insuled anyone on this board, and if I did I would apologize immediately. Who exactly did I insult?

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Fletch22: I think what's rubbing people the wrong way here is your insistence to convert us from our views of Crosby. For you to insult anyone who hasn't been a long-time Capitals fan like yourself, is an insult to not just that poster but others, like myself, who supposedly jumped on a bandwagon that they didn't even know existed. For someone who lives in Southern California, like myself, I get shat on a lot and called a "bandwagon" fan or a "homer" simply because I'm not at a point in my life where whining and complaining about something I allegedly love can be chalked up to me being old and having nothing better to do.

With that said, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who will give Crosby credit for being anything but a feminine hygiene product, even with his skills, because he's proven to be anything but a immature 5-year old when things don't go his way. Could you honestly tell me his fight could have helped in the least bit to bridge that 3 goal deficit his team was in? Can you?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

wow, all of this cindy talk is funny. but riddle this: he will fight, OV won't.

Posted by: doughless | November 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Katie, why does yoru paper sow the NY Rangers vs duh Flyers tonight, on CSN? with no listing for the Caps? what's up with that?

Posted by: Hattrik | November 5, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

>>Wasnt it Laich last year that took one off the crossbar and into the eye playing a post-practice shooting game?
Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

Correct, sir. From the Post Archives:

Posted by: blackjack65 | November 5, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

OV probably would fight but he knows that's not what they're paying him to do. I suppose people will plug their pie-holes if he did fight and then find another reason to hate on him. Never-cycle of ignoramic idiocy.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 5, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

DJK has been misused thus far by the coaching staff; those claiming his "senseless" fights against the other heavies haven't quite grasped the uniqueness of the fighting subculture....against the Isles, Gilles wanted a partner to spark his team and DJK obliged so that no one else had to; against Orr, DJK was trying to spark his team/fans and Orr obliged him; he's doing his job but in his defense, it's got to be hard getting spot-duty only when we fear another team's players....why not give him some continuity (orr, gilles, shelly, thornton, et al all play regularly and DJK can certainly hang w/them skill/skating wise)...why do we always try to match up w/other teams instead of doing what w/do and letting other teams try to match up against us?

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@doughless - Ovie better not fight.

I'm sure he'd fight Niskanen and Crosby (prob both simultaneously) but I think a more manly way to settle in (maybe they should try it in the AHL first) is a vodka drink-off at center ice.

Not sure why #87 did fight. Clearly, he was wise in his choice of opponents. He must be buying into all that canadian crap about fighting lifting the team, etc.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

DJK played 5:17 and was a -2 against the leafs. He had a great view of both goals as well. The other team has scored a goal shortly after 2 of his fights this year. Remind me again why we traded for him?

Posted by: pebowers | November 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

we traded for DJK because we were embarassingly meek, passive, and soft last be SC champions, we better be able to play any style of game and not let other teams dictate the physical i said earlier, he's been misused and perhaps we'd see another side to DJK if BB would give him 8-10 minutes a game....Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley didn't have problems skating on the best team, but we can't figure out how to best utilize DJK??

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

As for his -2 against the leafs, the first goal DJK was on ice for lays w/BB in my opinion...what's he doing putting the 4th line out while the 3rd d-pairing was on the ice?? The second goal occured because our d-men didn't clear the zone when they had the opportunity,lost one-on-one battles in the corners, and subsequently EVERY Cap on the ice looked out of position and had "great views" of the goal...I suppose it's easier to blame DJK for the goals then to point out how awful Green was the other night

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 5, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

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