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Mike Green, Matt Bradley getting closer to returning

Mike Green said Friday that he is progressing in his recovery from an undisclosed upper-body injury he suffered against the Islanders on Oct. 13 and that he will definitely travel with the team for next week's road trip. But while Green said he hopes to be back in a game soon, there isn't a definite timetable for the defenseman's return.

Meanwhile, Matt Bradley participated in the duration of practice for the first time (he's taken part in morning skates) since leaving the Capitals' game against the Senators back on Oct. 11 with a lower-body injury. He has been on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 12, since the game against Nashville but is eligible to return to the lineup at any time.

"It's nice to get through the whole practice. I felt good out there so it's definitely coming along," said Bradley, who added that there hasn't been a decision on his availability for Saturday's contest against the Thrashers.

As for quantifying his health as a percentage, "I don't know about a number," Bradley said. "I felt good all practice and I made it through a whole practice, which is a good thing, so obviously it's quite high."

Said Coach Bruce Boudreau when asked if there was any schedule for either player's return: "They're getting better, and if this was Game 74 and we needed it, they'd probably both play, but the last thing you want is something that's not one hundred percent and to re-injure it. They will let us know when they're one hundred percent. If it's tomorrow that they feel one hundred percent and they can go full out, then it will be tomorrow. If not, hopefully at the latest, it will be in Carolina."

On to some other notes from practice before I get to work on a story about the Capitals' not-so-powerful power play.

--Boyd Gordon did not practice again today and Boudreau did not offer any update on his status. Tom Poti, the only other player not on the ice for practice, received a maintenance day, Boudreau told CSN's Corey Masisak, and will be be in the lineup against Atlanta at Verizon Center.

--Matt Hendricks said his right leg was still pretty sore after blocking a shot by Zdeno Chara last night but that he'll be fine. I'll have more to come on the power play for tomorrow's paper, but Hendricks was added to the second power-play unit in practice today as Boudreau wanted to add a little extra toughness.

"He's a physical guy. He blocked Chara's shot and is not going to be afraid to stand in front of the net," Boudreau said. "I thought we needed a little more grit on that second unit and he's a guy that will do anything to succeed. So just more of an experiment to see how he would be."

--Marcus Johansson mentioned yesterday morning before the game against the Bruins that it was nice to get his first NHL goal out of the way. Whether it was having that concern behind him or perhaps just an ability to blend in with Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin, the rookie had easily his best game so far against the Bruins on Thursday.

"I felt, especially [Thursday], it went better for myself," Johansson said after the 4-1 loss to Boston. "But I think the line played good and we worked very hard and got the puck deep. We created chances but we didn't get it in and it's the goals that count. So we can't be happy."

By Katie Carrera  | October 22, 2010; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Matt Bradley, Mike Green  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Leonsis: Caps 'aren't a very good team right now'
Next: Statistical analysis: When less Ovechkin is more

Comments

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

That needs to go down. And Ovi should never play the point. Good finds, Cap'n.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

ovi through 7 games - toi/per shift 67 seconds - currently first in the league

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112ALLSASAll&sort=avgTimeOnIcePerShift&viewName=timeOnIce


2009/10 - toi/per shift 66 seconds - lead the league

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20102ALLSASAll&sort=avgTimeOnIcePerShift&viewName=timeOnIce

-------------------------------------

I'm not surprised at all. The question is, is BB trying to get him to shorten his shifts, and Ovi isn't listening? Or is it that neither sees how ineffectual he is for a good part of the game because he's gassed? I'd like to see BB limit Ovi to 19-20 mins a game (including power play time) for a bit and to keep his shifts under 55 seconds. I'd rather have him out on the ice less and be humming around when he's out there than to log a ton of ineffectual minutes.

Posted by: cainoo7x | October 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

this team did just fine without Green or Ovi when they were out last season, in fact they did better without them as far as the record and the PP.

hockey ain't basketball, you're automatically in trouble if you have to depend heavily on any one or two players.

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Thanks for taking the time to do that. And just to make sure...67 is MORE than 66 correct? :)

Could have sworn someone said that if you compared last year's average shift time to this years, this years would be much lower. Hmmmmm.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil2:
i can understand late in the third, down by one, that BB would let ovi stay out for an extra 10-15 secs a shift - and maybe let him go out every other shift.
i think he spends too much time on the ice per shift and becomes less effective at the end of the game

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

joek,

ShaMo was around last year to step in and fill the hole at D, this year they have Sloan filling that role. I think that is enough said right there, GMGM fails to sign a Dman during the off season and the team is paying for it now.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for taking the time to do that. And just to make sure...67 is MORE than 66 correct? :)


Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 2:42 PM

i think it is ok with this seasons small sample (7 games) and getting stuck on the ice for a two minute shift could put toi/per shift over last season - but it does need to go down around the 55 level cainoo7x mentioned

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I think 45-50 second shifts are optimal for all the players to include Ovie. I know the guy is an extremely special talent but those long shifts are going to catch up to him eventually.

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

just to get an idea of toi/per shift over the years

ovi:
08/09 - 64s - second behind kovalchuk's 66s
07/08 - 65s - 1st - kovalchuk was 2
06/07 - 53s - 26th
05/06 - 54s - 23rd

pre ovi:
03/04 - Lidstrom 59s
02/03 - Adrian Aucoin/Tomi Pettinen 63s (both on D)
01/02 - Lidstrom 63s
00/01 - Weight 63s
99/00 - Prochazka 68s (wing), Pronger/Niedermayer 67s
98/99 - Nordstrom 69s, Bourque 68s
97/98 - Bourque 69s

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Avg time is avg time...stuck shift or not. He could have changed earlier on that shift, but chose not to. To get a more "accurate" measure of his ice time you would have to look and see when he actually looked to the bench as if to say "hey, I need off now". Not really a plausible solution. So for all arguments sake, his current shift average is slightly above/the same as last year and can be said with certainity that it is NOT lower than last years. True?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

it's not really about these long shifts catching up to Ovi later on in his career, it's about him hurting the team by doing that right now.

I'm sure Ovi thinks he's helping the team by staying out longer but either BB and/or GMGM need to sit him down and explain to him that he does NOT help the team at all by taking these long shifts and that he's actually hurting the team by doing so.

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Ovi looked totally gassed the last few minutes of yesterday's game. You have to blame the coach for overuse of some players and underuse of others.

During the summer, sentiment here was pretty evenly split three ways between Dark Siders, middle-of-the-roaders and then the Kool-Aid drinkers.

To this point, the Dark Siders are winning. Lack of #2C hurts, lack of depth on D really hurts, the coach keeps getting outcoached almost every game and the GM looks like a, well, idiot for not addressing team needs in the offseason and for not shedding certain players.

I was wrong though on Johansson who has looked decent enough.

Also, losing to Boston not the end of the world, I had them ranked #3 in East behind Caps and Pitt, but the style of play (very sloppy) is certainly cause for concern.

Katie should put up another poll - how long does BB survive if the play doesn't improve? The boss is already mad, so the clock is ticking.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Tom is back. Tom, they chased cstanton away. Granted his more polite clone (tmac2yao) has been around in the later parts of the day/during games, but we miss his opposing voice on here during work hours. Some of us believe he may be in a coma from seeing Semin have 3 hits in a game.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I still think these comments from Ted hit the most:

"Our team is getting opportunities to score and we aren’t finishing.

We had many good chances last night. We didn’t finish."

However, I am of the belief that the lack of finishig is due to the lack of ability of certain players (Laich being the main culprit, but Flash, Semin, Knuble and Backstrom all falling into it as well).

The Caps have too many play makers(guys who can set up great scoring chances) but not enough finishers(guys who can bury the great scoring chances at a decent rate).

While I didn't focus on it before, it was a main culprit for the loss to Montreal.

The Caps create plenty of scoring chances, but they do not finish on them consistently.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"The Caps create plenty of scoring chances, but they do not finish on them consistently. " - sgm3

You're kidding right? How many goals last year more than the next closest team? We have slumpped a little this year, but we are 7 games in. Holy s@&t. And the fact that you keep questioning Semin's, Back's, (ugh and I hate you for making me do this) Flash's accuracy is just comical. Go poll every goalie/coach in the NHL and ask if they think those guys miss-fire often and shoot wide. They are trying to pick corners of goalies, it happens. You dont score as many goals as the list you provided did if you arent a "finisher".

Who hacked sgm3's account?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1 - yay, a new name for the "Haters". "Dark Siders" much better.

Dark Siders have been wrong about Semin, though. He's playing pretty well both sides of the ice. (I never have heard them acknowledge any good thing or play he makes...) But right they are about lack of D or 2C. Question is in the age of the cap, were these bad decisions? Willie Mitchell for 2 years at 3.3 per?? (Nah. Not for me.) Maybe if we could've snagged Lombardi. Too bad couldn't get that Islanders player (one they snagged from the Nucks...)

An optimist sees a glass that's half full, a pessimist sees a glass that's half empty, and an engineer sees a glass that's twice as big as it should be.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1:

FTR, I find myself in agreement with much--heck, nearly all--of what you have to say.


However, I think it's a bit much to paint all motorsports with the same broad brush.

NASCAR: definitely the province of Good Ol' Boys who want to drive in circles "rill, rill fast".

FORMULA 1: Formula 1 requires actual driving skills. For example, it involves both left AND right turns, as well as variations in speed other than when entering or leaving the pit area. Also, putting other drivers "into the wall" is not allowed...

NASCAR: The cars are hot rods bearing a passing resemblance to street legal passenger cars.

FORMULA 1: There is no mistaking an F1 car for anything other than a pure racing machine.

NASCAR: Started by mooonshiners in the 1950's

FORMULA1: Traces its lineage to the earliest days of motorsport (the moment that cars started being made by more than one company, guys started claiming that "mine is faster than yours").

It will help to understand that, having spent most of my formative years in:

--Southern California before the Kings or Ducks existed,
--Denver before the Nordiques came to town,
--The Bay Area before the Sharks existed,
--The Deep South and Southwest before the Trashers, Lightning or Panthers existed (The Stars were still the NorthStars, the Yotes were still the Jets and the 'Canes were still the Whalers)...

...I knew next to nothing about hockey before coming to DC in 1986.

So, one of my most enduring childhood fantasies was to become a Formula 1 driver: Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti were my heroes.

I guess that's why I have gotten so many speeding tickets...LOL

So make no mistake, hockey is my favorite sport, but please remember that NASCAR and F1 are very, very different.

(end of rant).

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

hey Rhino, think Senna was better than all those drivers you mentioned? maybe except Jim Clark...

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@RedLitYogi

Actually "the Dark Side" has been around all summer. Coined by the infamous tominsocal. And the "Dark Siders" have paid many compliments to Semin, but they complain about his inconsistency and lack of grit (arguable). The Darth Vader of the posters (if you will) cstanton often says Semin could be our best player hands down if he played "hard working Semin" all the time, rather than half the time.

Just to clarify. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

Last 10 games if you count the last 3 playoff games.

Ask yourself a simple question, when a Cap has the puck 10 to 15 feet away from the goalie with the goalie squared up how much confidence do you have that they will score.

Ovie is the only one. Semin has a great release and a hard shot but no accuracy. Flash whiffs or misses the goal on most of his. Laich cannnot get the puck off the ice when in close and fires it into the stomach of the goalie when he is a few feet away.

In the last 10 games the Caps have played, they have only scored more than 2 goals in regulation ONCE. In those games the Caps generated numerous scoring chances too. So the reason is the inability to convert scoring chances.

Besides Ovie and possibly Semin(who is terribly inaccurate which is a big reason for his hot and cold play), who on the Caps has a good shot. Not great but good. Good means everything. Not just hard, but everything.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ also @SAOTI

While that shows that Ovechkin has been taking slightly longer shifts this season if you take out the last 5 or so minutes of games where BB has been keeping him out almost the entire 5 minutes and putting him on D he would be at a shorter shift than last season. Of course this season is still a small sample size so the shifts at the end are a major factor. I would be interested to see if there is somewhere that has the average shift in the 1st/2nd periods because I think in those two periods he is taking shorter shifs than last year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ also @SAOTI

While that shows that Ovechkin has been taking slightly longer shifts this season if you take out the last 5 or so minutes of games where BB has been keeping him out almost the entire 5 minutes and putting him on D he would be at a shorter shift than last season. Of course this season is still a small sample size so the shifts at the end are a major factor. I would be interested to see if there is somewhere that has the average shift in the 1st/2nd periods because I think in those two periods he is taking shorter shifs than last year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 22, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

sgm: I keep reading people here putting down Laich. He had 25 goals last year. That makes him one of the better #2 LW in the league. Plus he's played very well defensively.

It's possible Knuble is getting old. He's had many great chances but hasn't cashed in. Lose one step and that's what happens.

The biggest problem with this team, so far, is it seems undisciplined. And we know who gets the finger of blame for that.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

SMH, its ok though. The rest of us at least see the absurdness of your claims.

FYI...2009/2010 Shooting % NHL Rankings:
2) Mike Knuble
6) Tomas "Flush" Fleischmann
31) Nicklas Backstrom
36) Alexander Semin
50) Alexander Ovechkin

You're right, those guys are just too inaccurate for the NHL level. Trade them.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fehr has a very good, if not great, shot.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 22, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

You hit the nail on the head re: the Caps lack of ability to score on excellent scoring chances. I counted at least a half dozen shots within 10 feet of the goal where the Caps made Thomas look good (Knuble 3, Laich 2, Ovie 1, Semin 1, and Flash 1, and Backstrom 1). There were probably more than those that I recalled, but the reality is that the Caps more often than not fail to bury close in shots that are "layups" in the Craig McLauglin venacular. I'd like to say that Thomas played out of his mind, but some of those saves were on shots where the Caps player simply failed to get the puck off the ice.

If the Caps convert even half of those easy in close chances, they easily score 3-4 more more goals and win. BB doesn't want to admit it, but only Ovie and Backstrom are truly accurate shooters. Boston, on the other hand, buried almost every easy shot when they had good in close opportunities.

It's also very noticeable that the absence of Green forces the Caps to use subpar defenseman (Sloan and Erskine) since Morrisson and Corvo left as FA's and we signed no one. An injury to Poti at this point would be catastrophic considering the lack of experience we have on the blueline. That's something that should been addressed by GMGM in the offseason.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 22, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The one thing OV and Semin seem to be doing a lot this year is fanning. They try and take a wrist shot, but leave the puck behind.

Posted by: underpants2 | October 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

McPhee needs to be talking with Ottawa. They need a goalie extremely badly. Phillips is a UFA after this year, and Fisher is a good 2c option. We're gonna need to move a goalie to improve this team.

Posted by: underpants2 | October 22, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Fehr has a very good, if not great, shot.

Posted by: tominsocal1

I agree which is why I think they should switch Fehr and Laich. Fehr may have the second best shot on the team behind Ovie. I put him above Semin because Fehr seems to be much more accurate.

Laich is a good player, but, IMO, he does not have the finishing ability to be on a scoring line. He is a high end 3rd line player. I think he should be used in that role.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 22, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

No Joek443....Senna definitely had some mad skillz...

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 22, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Super-Stats guy:
Have you ever read a book called "Freakonomics? The book offers alternate explanations for why certain outcomes take place.
Have you considered that the reason Ovie logs more minutes in losses is because the coach uses him more when the team is losing?
hmmmmmmm.......
Just a thought that might not have crossed your mind.
(duh)

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | October 22, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

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