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Boudreau shakes up Caps' lines for practice

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals have some interesting line combinations out on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning, beginning with rookie Marcus Johansson centering the "top" line of Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble.

The full list of the combinations follows, but remember that there are extra players out there and there's no guarantee that these groups will play together Wednesday against the Sabres.

Ovechkin-Johansson-Knuble
Laich-Backstrom-Semin
Chimera-Fleischmann-Steckel-Bradley
King-Hendricks-Fehr-Gordon

--Speaking of which, Boyd Gordon is participating in practice after missing the majority of the past three games with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Gordon left the Nov. 11 contest against Tampa Bay after playing just 1:42 and did not return, but Coach Bruce Boudreau said afterward he expected the centerman to miss a week.

--Tom Poti, who has been in and out of the lineup with what is believed to be a groin injury, is the only player not on the ice for the Caps this morning.

By Katie Carrera  | November 16, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  Boyd Gordon  
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Next: Video: From Alex Ovechkin's Russia, with love

Comments

Poti is frustrating the H-E double hockey sticks outta me! We need someone who can play fairly regularly...Sloan can not be a regular on this team and he should not be in the playoffs!

Posted by: capscoach | November 16, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@ capscoach

So on that basis how long before GMGM puts the Flash/Sloan package together and get s a D guy and also maybe frees up spaces on the cap to work with Semin

Posted by: bqts | November 16, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@bqts

do u think another team would take sloan :)

That would be an ideal situation for me. I think MaJo will be a serviceable center by playoff time and he is already showing the makings of a very responsible defensive C. Losing Flashes 2.6mil salary will be a big help for this team.

Posted by: capscoach | November 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I think they could put a package bundle together but as to who would want them I don't know :)

Posted by: bqts | November 16, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Bieksa is available and it would only take a pick or prospect to get him. They dont want to take on other salary. So if you find a team to take Flash, and get a pick or prospect and then flip that for Bieksa. Then we are in business.

I have been hard on Sloan in the past, but he is playing good enough for me right now. Also, he is healthy. Ideally you want 7 healthy D, so I wouldnt even contemplate trading one until Poti is back to 100%.

Posted by: ThePat | November 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I love how they keep calling Gordo's injury undisclosed, yet say they know how long he will be out because he has hurt this before, etc etc. Gee, I wonder if it's his back. I dont think we will every solve this "mystery". Scooooooby doooo where are you?

Btw, I attended the Ovie video release party last night. Talk about fun. The finger foods were delish and the expensive free scotch was ever flowing. And I knew Ovie was a big guy, but up close the dude is massive. Funny, my brother weighs about 240 and doesnt dwarf me like Ovie does. He did decline my offer of doing a shot though (although he did laugh when he respectfully declined)...for those who thinks he parties to much. Also he did a photo op with Ted, it was funny to see them standing next to each other...of course I just kept thinking "heeze a Wario, heeze a gunna win."

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 16, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

thats awesome! Ovie may be a partier but he is not compeletely stupid...he won't get sloshed in front of a media frenzy he gathered :)

Ovie has a very distinct physical presence...I don't need to see his face or # on the ice to know it is him.

Posted by: capscoach | November 16, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

Yeah I knew it would have been a long shot for him to accept, but I had to try. That would be the coolest profile pic ever haha.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

its Boyd Gordon's knee that is hurt. He is wearing a brace on it.

Posted by: ThePat | November 16, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

That is just to throw us off the scent. =) But I'd still wager it is his back.

Just because the fog machine, sheets and lanterns make the ship appear to have ghosts, it's really the old guy on the dock that was causing the problems. Sorry, Im on a Scooby-Doo high for some reason.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

If it is his back they wouldnt allow him to practice today. They would be overly cautious with it. Its his knee, trust me.

Posted by: ThePat | November 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that putting MaJo on the first line a bit might be a good idea? Backie is not shooting enough...maybe without Ovie and Semin to fall back on he will start shooting again.

I had thought we had broken him if that pass first mentality last season! Old habits have a way of resurfacing!

Posted by: capscoach | November 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Problem with Poti (and it doesn't seem likely to get better over the next two years) is he takes up a fair amount of cap space (not like Gordon who doesn't) so when he goes on extended groin injury time, long but not enough for LTIR, it uses up the space but gives nothing in return.

Jagr had groin problems and went to acupuncture to help.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 16, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I think it's clear that Boudreau wants Ovi to carry a line on his own and just have a swede to feed him (like backstrom did his rookie year) and knuble to put in any rebounds...

MaJo is fast, and playing with ovechkin could seriously speed up his development (like it did backstrom)

and backstrom, for his part, well, it's about time for him to carry his own line...and semin seems to be in a shooting mood, recently...

Posted by: cotelloer | November 16, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Per Teds Take...thought it was funny about Ovie, his personality, and his work ethic

I also believe the HBO 24/7 series will also show an unfiltered Alex Ovechkin. He was mic’d for Sunday’s game and as he said to me, “I wasn’t happy when I turned the puck over on the power play and they scored short- handed. I cursed too much and then the coach wasn’t happy with me and he was cursing too. I bet George wasn’t happy either. I have work to do on my game. I promise I will play better. Don’t trade me yet Ted.”

Humble; funny; and he curses really good in English.

Posted by: capscoach | November 16, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/b73Ba

Posted by: pittshater | November 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pittshater | November 16, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Shocker...D-bag Campbell is a D-bag. Who woulda thunk it? But it is nice that it has been outed like this. Hope this finally gets him ousted.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised? Ovi was suspended for the same thing Hossa did in the playoffs last year. Do I think either was a penalty? Let's put it this way, Ovi's questionable hit happened early in a regular season game with the score tied 0-0. Hossa's happened at the end of what appeared to be a certain loss at the end of playoff game. Tell me who had more anger built up? Especially since Hossa was a no-show up to that point in the series.

The crappy thing is Kane scored to tie it up while short handed, and then Hossa, who should have been ejected for his it if Ovi was scores the OT winner. Hamhuis was out for the rest of the series and Hossa ended up winning the Cup.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 16, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I doubt anyone will be surprised by this. I was just pleased to see someone finally had the balls to expose Campbell so publicly.

Posted by: pittshater | November 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Flush needs to go. If for no other reason to have cash to deal with UFA issues over next year:

2011
Flush
Semin
Knuble
Laich
Bradley
Gordon
Hendricks
Erskine

don't know how folks feel about it here, but there are several names on the above list that are much more important than Flush.

Posted by: doughless | November 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't know the Western teams very well at all but somebody out there has to be light on the wing and heavy on at least #2 pair defensemen.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 16, 2010 11:23 AM

@tominsocal1:

...Which brings me back to Kevin Bieksa of Vancouver (on which I am in agreement with ThePat). The Canucks will--rather sooner than later--have surplus of quality defencemen. Vancouver needs:

1) Help on the wing, and
2) To move salaries when Salo returns from injury.

A Flash + Picks-for-Bieksa trade would accomplish these objectives for Vancouver. For the Caps, it would help clear a logjam at wing and give the blueline corps a needed boost.

Sure, there are better defencemen than Bieksa out there in the League, but I can think of no-one else who both a) has a skill set the Caps need and is realistically gettable in a trade that can benefit both parties. In other words, there is no-one better that would not cost a key roster player to acquire.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

continuing from the Semin thread, here's some projections...

2011-2012 Capitals reasonable Projected Cap hits...
Assumptions:
-the cap raises 2 mil!
-Fleischmann is traded for whatever!

FORWARDS
Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Alexander Semin ($7.000m)
Brooks Laich ($3.875m) / Marcus Johansson ($0.900m) / Eric Fehr ($2.200m)
Jason Chimera ($1.875m) / Mathieu Perreault ($0.900m) / Mike Knuble ($2.500m)
Matt Bradley ($1.100m) / Boyd Gordon ($0.900m) / Matt Hendricks ($0.775m)
D.J. King ($0.637m) / Andrew Gordon ($0.750m)

DEFENSEMEN
Mike Green ($5.250m) / Jeff Schultz ($2.750m)
Tom Poti ($2.875m) / John Erskine ($1.350m)
John Carlson ($0.845m) / Karl Alzner ($1.000m)
Tyler Sloan ($0.700m)

GOALTENDERS
Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m) /Semyon Varlamov ($1.150m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $61,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $56,721,795; BONUSES: $0
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $4,678,205

Using the above numbers, this is what 2012-2013 would look like trying to resign Green, Carlson, Fehr.
Assumptions for 2012-2013:
-the cap raises another 1 mil
-leaving Chimera in presuming an acquisition for a better option with him being let go!
-Green continues his all-around play making himself more valuable
-Carlson continues his development and is a top 4 D, possibly a #3 D
-Fehr's ice time is increased with Knuble's age at 39-40 and is getting swapped between #1 & #2RW and he turns into a solid 30 Goal scorer.

2012-2013 Capitals reasonable Projected Cap hits...

FORWARDS
Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Alexander Semin ($7.000m)
Brooks Laich ($3.875m) / Marcus Johansson ($0.900m) / Eric Fehr ($4.400m)
Jason Chimera ($2.000m) / Mathieu Perreault ($0.900m) / Andrew Gordon ($0.750m)
Matt Bradley ($1.100m) / Boyd Gordon ($0.900m) / Matt Hendricks ($0.775m)
D.J. King ($0.700m) / Cody Eakin ($0.660m)

DEFENSEMEN
Mike Green ($7.000m) / Jeff Schultz ($2.750m)
John Carlson ($3.250m) / Karl Alzner ($1.000m)
Tom Poti ($2.875m) / Joe Finley ($0.850m)
Patrick McNeill ($0.575m)

GOALTENDERS
Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m) /Braden Holtby ($0.637m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $62,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $60,285,000; BONUSES: $0
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $2,115,000

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

How much does Vancouver need to move when Salo comes off LTIR?

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

FrankM73: I see you are trying to do my job better than I can :)

Good work there. Looks like you used some of the same numbers I had projected, changed some others. You actually have Laich at my old number, I've moved him down to 3.75. I think you are a bit high (not literally) on Fehr at 4.4. I don't think BGordo will be back after this year, but who knows and no biggie anyway. Big projection on Carlson there, you have him at Hjarl money not a bad move. I think Orlov 800K will be here before Finley, no biggie. Hendricks is making a case to stay. Knuble? 2.5 next year? I would probably rather us upgrade the D but what I want (just like at home) means nothing.

You have projected a cap rise for next year and that's how you fit Knuble. I'm instead using same cap and a Hershey player.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach - not to try to out do nostrathomas (and I don't know who else may have called these changes) but I did think that BB might try Semin with Backs and Ovie with the number 2 du jour (which I did think would be Johannson). I think it's a good change - Semin works very well with Backstrom and the physical presence of Knuble and Ovechkin should allow the Majo to use his great speed.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

How much does Vancouver need to move when Salo comes off LTIR?

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 16, 2010 3:29 PM

Roughly $3M.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It might have been sgm3 quite awhile ago who suggested splitting Backie and Ovi.

Not to at all take away from sgm, but you could almost pick any three people on earth at random and eventually Boudreau will have them on a line together.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 16, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I did, but that was with MP playing and not MJ.

Personally, when BGordon has been healthy, I think the best line combonations have been

Ovie/Bakcstrom/Semin
Laich/Flash/Knuble
Chimera/BGordon/Fehr
Hendricks/Setckel/Bradley

For some reason, it seems that when those lines are together that each line knows its role and plays it very well. With each player on each line playing his role very well.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

FrankM73: I see you are trying to do my job better than I can :)

Good work there. Looks like you used some of the same numbers I had projected, changed some others. You actually have Laich at my old number, I've moved him down to 3.75. I think you are a bit high (not literally) on Fehr at 4.4. I don't think BGordo will be back after this year, but who knows and no biggie anyway. Big projection on Carlson there, you have him at Hjarl money not a bad move. I think Orlov 800K will be here before Finley, no biggie. Hendricks is making a case to stay. Knuble? 2.5 next year? I would probably rather us upgrade the D but what I want (just like at home) means nothing.

You have projected a cap rise for next year and that's how you fit Knuble. I'm instead using same cap and a Hershey player.

Posted by: tominsocal1
----
thanks man!

I put Carlson that high since he'll be an RFA and if (key word) his progression of play continues, he'll get an offer sheet if the caps don't get him sign before then.

Fehr is at 4.4 because I think he'll be at top 6 minutes in 11-12 with 30G's and he'll be worth it.

It's hard to project Orlov but given that the org seems to want players to play 2 seasons of pro (2 in the AHL, or 1 in Europe pro and 1 in the AHL), I think it's a safe bet we only see Orlov for a game or 2 in 12-23 before he starts fighting for a spot!

Finley is further along in dev for a big D and a cheaper replacement for Erskine.

Sloan was tough to leave out but I think his talent curve will have run it's course by the 12-13 season and a replacement will be found.

Laich is at 4 to be fair for his intangibles. I think he'll sign for 3.75-3.875 personally. Going high with some just to illustrate that we DO have room for Semin, Green, Carlson, etc...

Hendricks better be back, he was a great little find.

B.Gordon is gonna be a mystery to me. If he can put it together and string a healthy 40+ game + playoffs, then he's worth the 1 mil as #3 or 4Center. If not, he's not.

A.Gordon will be here next year.

Knuble not being signed now leaves a hole in the RW side... what if Semin or Fehr goes does with injury? your top 9 RW are who? one of Semin or Fehr and A.Gordon and whomelse. Depth wins championships WITH solid gaoltending and defense... Gotta have them all!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:
ouch 3 mil? Bieksa makes 3.75... a straight up trade of Sloan and picks/prospect for Bieksa would be the only option...

or...
Vancouver needs to give Bieksa AND another player away for another cheaper player and picks!

Tough spot for Vancouver!

http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=29

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

BXA! BXA! BXA! We Want BXA!

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me--that's "BXӘ"...I can see it now: After the trade Don Cherry goes off on yet another of his rants about how "nothing good can come of an NHL team having that many Russkies"...LOL

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 16, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

...except for the fact that Bieksa was born in...

Wait for it....


...w-a-i-t for it...


...

GRIMSBY, ONTARIO!!!...which (last time I checked) was neither part of the the Russian Repubic nor of the former Soviet Union...LMAO

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

D'OH...that's Russian *Republic*...

Great, now I'm gonna get goatlended because I fat-fingered the name of a country...sigh.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 16, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Watch out for Knuble, he's apparently looking for another one to slaughter.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 16, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I know Fehr hasn't been at his best lately but in general, it seems like BB will never give him a real chance. Why?? BB uses all possible line combinations except for putting Fehr on a line higher than third. I don't get it, but realize that I may not know the whole story here... Is there some history here I am not aware of?

Posted by: MeinMann | November 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Colin Campbell should be shatting in his pants. Hopefully, if the NHL is taking this seriously, they'll know that Campbell has to go. Period. End of story.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 16, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Rhino40: Re: Grimsby, Ontario and whether it's part of Russia. You might want to run that by Sarah Palin. In case she's facing the wrong way and is looking at Canada instead of the shores of Russia. jk.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom is on a pace for 23G-68A-91Pts +32 (not that I like projections with 18GP). No way he should move away from Ovie.

Posted by: chriscaps | November 16, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@pittshater: thanks so much for the article on Colin Campbell. I remember calling for him to recuse himself from decisions because he HAD to be biased last year, especially wrt to Ovi. Now we see evidence about his vindictiveness to Savard. Something I'm not glad to be right about, but now I know it wasn't my imagination. I hope he has to leave the league.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 17, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

While acquiring BXA for presumably picks/prospects is a step in the rigth direction... GMGM and BB publicly stated they won't carry 8 D... so would Sloan go out or maybe be sent down to the AHL if BXA is acquired?

seems a much safer bet to bet on nothing happening!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 17, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

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