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Injury updates and Boudreau on Michal Neuvirth

I'm getting ready to watch the Bruins' practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning but there were a few notable updates to come out of Washington's optional practice.

--Michal Neuvirth was among those who took the option to rest rather than practice, and Coach Bruce Boudreau noted that the 22-year-old goaltender looked "a little tired" to him against the Maple Leafs last night.

"I told [goaltending coach Arturs Irbe] after the second period that Michal looks a little tired [Wednesday] and even though they only had one goal, I was a little worried about it," Boudreau said. "They got ahead and when we tied it up, Michal, in the shootout, was outstanding. Maybe the best in history was Gerry Cheevers. He could let five in but make the great save at the end of the game to preserve the win, and Michal seems to be grooming the same way."

Boudreau said that he expects Braden Holtby to play "sooner than later." Holtby's NHL debut likely won't come against either the Bruins on Friday or the Flyers on Sunday, a team source said.

--Tom Poti (lower-body injury) did not skate this morning and he won't play this weekend either. Poti has played in just four games this season, hasn't dressed since Oct. 21 in Boston and Boudreau said his recovery has taken a little longer than initially anticipated.

"I'm hoping he's back for next week, that's best case. He's going a little stir crazy as well," Boudreau said. "When he's on top of his game he's a tremendous asset and we miss him."

--Tyler Sloan and Marcus Johansson, who have both been sidelined with hip-flexor injuries, said they'll be ready to go against the Bruins tomorrow. While there's a good chance Sloan will be back in the lineup, Boudreau was less than certain about Johansson.

"I think he'll potentially be ready," Boudreau said when asked about Johansson. "Whether we use him or not, that's another thing."

By Katie Carrera  | November 4, 2010; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Michal Neuvirth, Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sports Illustrated nominates Brooks Laich for Sportsman of the Year
Next: Caps reassign Brian Fahey to Hershey



I've have a couple hip flexor injuries and they are not fun at all. They are also similar to groin injuries in the sense that they are extremely easy to re-injure. You have to give them proper time to heal or they simply dont heal. One of those nagging stay around injuries. It's better to keep them sidelined a little longer in order to let it heal properly. And yes, the pain is in the front side and high up (on the hip part, go figure)...makes you take short strides and I cant even figure out how one could skate with a pulled one (I hurt mine in soccer not hockey).

Also, I have no doubt that the poor ice is at fault for all the "lower-body" injuries. I think it was Poti that said a year or 2 ago how crappy the ice was, and was the reason everyone kept pulling groins.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 4, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bruce - its November, give the kid (Neuvirth) a rest. If he gets hurt, you have no goalies.

Posted by: Rhino20 | November 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to start giving Neuvy some rest early in the season or he'll be burned out by the All-Star break. I realize that games against Boston or Philly are a tough way to break in Haltby, but he's going to have to play sooner than later. It was pretty clear that Neuvirth looked worn down by the 3rd period and one of the goals he usually would have cleared the puck on the initial shot.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 4, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

He's what, 22, 23? Days off practice should be good enough. Suck it up.

On the other hand, Green-OV-Semin-Backs should be bag skated until their balls fall off every time they commit a neutral-offensive zone turnover that leads to a goal.

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The SI article of Laich....if would be a bigger upset is he wins than Montreal.

Posted by: RichC3 | November 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

So I know this is late but just had to put my two cents in for the optional skate banter...Ov and the staff know what works for him a heck of a lot better than any of us. I know you all think BB is a push over, but I truly believe if he thought it was important for Ov to be there he would say something to the guy. A lot of the time he is there but not on the ice. Green skated 30 minutes last night...he needs a break or he will burn out again by playoffs. The only player I REALLY would have liked to see on the ice was Backstrom...he is still not clicking 100% and I think it would help for him to get some individual attention. I get the whole Ov needs to set the example, but more importantly he needs to do right by him! He is a 3 time MVP 50+ goal scorer, and an optional practice with mostly healthy scratches and injuries wont improve his D!

Posted by: capscoach | November 4, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse


quick suggestion for the "morning roundup" post: T.E.B. always had a link to the other team's city paper story. Thus, this morning, could see a link to the Globe and Mail story, etc. (We can do it ourselves but it saves us the effort...)


Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 4, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

how in the world does anyone expect ovi to get his average shift time up to 75+ seconds - UNLESS he takes these optional skates off?

this message approved by "the ovi for 90 second shifts ommittee"

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse


ok i'll give u that one! but although I will get chewed out for it...I don't want ovie taking really short shifts...not 90 second ones, but he is the kind of player who seems to need an extra 20 seconds to maximize his effectiveness.

Posted by: capscoach | November 4, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, how about every one of you complaining about Ovi not working today stop screwing around on CI and get to work. I think Ovi, Backs, Green, Flash, and the rest of the Caps are up on a blog complaining about people that don't work at work.

Hey BigGameSid: Maybe Sid will actually become Big Game Sid someday. If memory serves, Malkin won the Conn Smythe, Talbot scored the two decisive goals in game 7 and Sid didn't skate the last half of game 7 that year. Of course he skated the Cup around that his team mates won without even limping. Yup, he has won a Cup and Ovi has not but in the decisive game 7 he was not a factor. As a matter of fact, when the crap hit the fan, he had a front row seat on the Pens bench.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 4, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse


Some of your criticisms of the Caps have some validity, but you squander all of your credibility on this board when you refer to any Caps player as a "fairy".

Enough of you already! While you are so busy disrespecting our team, let's talk some about yours:

--3rd in Atlantic division (only NYI and NJD are worse)
--2nd-worst home record in division (only NJD are worse--How's that shiny new building workin' out for ya, huh?)
--If the season ended today Pens would make the playoffs. Just barely. And not at all if CAR, TOR, or OTT had their act together.
--Crosby's 5th career fighting major (if you can actually call it that) last night was typical of the spoiled-brat behaviour we (and I don't just mean Caps' fans, either) have come to expect from him: Pitching a tantrum whenever things don't go his way. Instead of matching up with someone who was ready and able to "go", he performed his usual sneak-attack on an unsuspecting victim, right off the draw. For someone who is supposedly anointed as the Stalwart Guardian of Old-School Canadian Hockey Traditions, Sid-the-Id has no f***ing Code at all, and no excuse (e.g., his failure to lead his team in the postgame handshake after winning the Cup) . And BTW, any other player in the NHL who fights with a visor on is supposed to get an extra deuce for instigator (after all, it's what the rules say), but not Crosby?

What a big baby...

Oh, and keep repeating that tired mantra about how The Pens Have Cups And The Caps Have None (And Never Will)--blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, right.

Since you are so good at predicting the future, how about sharing some stock tips, @$$#@+?

My guys may not be "built for the playoffs", as some of the haters are fond of saying...But at least the trend so far leads us to expect that they will--at the very least--make the playoffs.

Pittsburgh? Not so much...

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 4, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's be fair, Sid had (as much as it gags me to say) the GWG in the Olympic Gold Medal game. Doesn't get any bigger than that.

However, I've still put him in the Doofus Brigade for several of his fighting "antics."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"...should be bag skated until their balls fall off..." Fancy that. A Pens fans uttering the word balls, given Sid's familiarity with that particular anatomy of other male skaters. It's funny. It really is.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 4, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

But, Canada was lead by Toews though...he was the star of that team. Not to mention Cindy's celebratory goal dance negates any praise for said goal. It was also a softie flutter type shot, just kind of threw it on net after Iglnia did all the work in creating that play.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 4, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Crosby's fighting antics were two seasons ago Tom. He fought Zidlicky last year where they both were swinging the sticks and they both dropped the gloves at the same time. His first NHL fight was against a pretty tough Andrew Ference.

He fought Niskanen last night straight up, off the draw, and despite what some folks might say, Niskanen is the same size as Crosby. If there's a player that doesn't belong the doofus brigrade, it's Crosby.

Posted by: Fletch22 | November 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

You don't know the status of the players, making the statement they should skate the
optional is unfair. Have you ever played full contact hockey? It's easy to get nicked up and time is the best healer.
As for the defense, Green has 30+ TOI and Fahey has 10. You think this may have something to do with Green being -3? Fahey has to go as the 8th and we need to find an NHL player for 7th d-man and Sloan as 8th in Hershey. GMGM needs to figure something out, this is getting stupid!

Posted by: chriscaps | November 4, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Crosby doesn't even fight, he grabs their jersey and throws little girl punches.

Plus the wearing of the visor, that was a bunch of crap.

He definitely without a doubt belongs on the doofus brigrade.

Posted by: digster1013 | November 4, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the argument isn't so much if Crosby should be on the doofus brigade but moreso, whether he should be in a brigade with other females and not so much the standard male-centric brigade. Imagine the complications of him finding an appropriate place to shower and change into his frilly frocks and petticoats.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 4, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Someone's Pens' jersey is showing under their Caps' jersey. Hmm.

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

Someone's Pens' jersey is showing under their Caps' jersey. Hmm.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 4, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

just gotta say that "BigGameSid" is undoubtedly a closet caps couldn't pay me to visit a pens site even to comment negatively! in fact, i won't waste my time watching them play another team (unless, of course, it's against a juicy opponent and then i'll watch, hoping some unfortunate incident will befall the pens)...yet BigGameSid seems obsessed with our team and our newspaper; clearly repressed, why not come out of the closet? it's ok, it's a different world we live in....

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 4, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@ Fletch22

Steckel is much bigger the Konopka, but we all knew he wasn't going to win that fight. Kovalchuk is Ovi's size, yet Green held his own (in a hilarious manner). Experience is much more important than size. That's why so many didn't want Ovi to go with Downie.

Sid thought he had to make a statement and hand picked a guy he knew he could beat. It wasn't like the two were jawing back and forth during the game. According to Niskanen, they had spoken once before Sid asked him to go. To me, it's like Erskine beating the crap out of Hamhuis, then H. Sedin trying to go with Flash for no reason.

I think Sid is one of the best players in the league, but this was a gutless move. There was no reason for him to fight. I've seen Sid cheap shot players, then skate away and let teammates handle the dirty work. Why fight now against a team he plays once a year? And if he thought he needed to make a point, wouldn't it have been better to make it against a foe like the Flyers? Or even if he wanted to fight in this game, he could have gone after Morrow or pulled a Steckel and drop them against the toughest guy on the team. This is the worst type of fight in the game.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 4, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Crosby will fight (more like try to jerk opposition down by sweater), OV won't. Whether you like Cindy or not, at least he will fight.

Posted by: doughless | November 4, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Ovie being on the ice > then ovie being in the box for 5 minutes.

It's as simple as that.

Posted by: digster1013 | November 4, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse


I'm with you on the fact that Holtby should get a start sooner or later. Don't really want to burn out Neuvy who's already feeling somewhat tired (and less than sharp).

I personally would have started Holtby for the Minnesota game and last night's game. The team's performance had nothing to do with that fact as I had that opinion before the games. Admittedly, starting Holtby against either Boston or the Flyers would truly be baptism by fire.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 4, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse


And, here I am, putting in my two cents worth on optional practices even later than you. (And even after another thread got started.)

I know Ovi's watched game videos on days he wasn't on the ice.

Not surprised Neuvirth didn't practice. The kid probably would benefit more from rest than extra practice, given that he'll likely be starting both the Bruins game and the Flyers' games.

And, given that Semin was ill last night, he probably was getting some much needed rest (and will hopefully be ready tomorrow).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 4, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Brooks for SI athlete of the year ??? Huh ?? Because he changed a tire. I watched all 7 Habs games on the NHL network replay. Laich was a major reason we lost that series. He needed to be throwing elbows with Hal Gill at all times in that slot. Instead, he's camped at the side of the net. We needed ONE mike Green power play shot to bounce off of Laich or Knuble's rear end and in. Green wasn't on net, and Laich and Knuble were not in the slot enough. Laich needed to set up a lawn chair in the slot to break the Halak "hex".

This team doesn't know how to play playoff hockey, and Laich is one of the main problems. If he isn't scoring UGLY goals in front this playoff season, trade him for someone who will play playoff hockey.
I'm realy surprised that people have not analyzed these games. It's real clear who wants to win a cUp, and who is here for a check. Jury is still out on Laich.

I'm sorry. I call 'em as I see 'em. I want to like Brooks, but he stunk in the playoffs. Let's win a cUp and get a coach and GM who know how to pull it off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 4, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Backy is playing like monkey dung. The kid's been around long enough to know BB's style isn't gonna' win a cUp. He also knows the regular season doesn't matter any more. It's a shame. I enjoy watching him play, but not at half effort.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 4, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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