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Optional practice before Caps travel to Buffalo

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals had an optional practice at KCI this morning before getting ready to head to Buffalo for their game against the Sabres on Saturday night. There was a fairly sizable group on the ice, but it didn't include many of the big-minute players, such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Tom Poti or Tomas Fleischmann.

>> Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't divulge whether he is planning to start either Michal Neuvirth or Braden Holtby in goal. Last week, when Holtby appeared in games against the Bruins and Flyers, Boudreau said the team intended to start him against the Sabres. We'll see if that remains the case.

>> HSBC Arena hasn't been the easiest place for the Capitals to play during Boudreau's tenure. Washington lost 3-0 there in December 2009 and 5-0 in November 2008, so Boudreau wasn't happy to hear that the Sabres, who are 2-0-1 in their past three games (both wins in shootouts), are still seeking their first win at home.

Also, it looks like Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Ryan Miller may be ready to return to the Sabres lineup after missing the past six games because of a knee injury.

"I think the arena will be jazzed, I love it because it's close to home even though the first two times the last two years that we've gone in there we've had about as little success as you can. ... Hopefully we can change that trend a little bit tomorrow."

>> I'll have more shortly on Marcus Johansson's return to the lineup, a move that was scheduled Boudreau said but is now necessary with Boyd Gordon (lower-body) expected to miss the next week.

By Katie Carrera  | November 12, 2010; 12:48 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Buffalo Sabres  
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Next: Marcus Johansson to return to Caps' lineup against Sabres

Comments

No! We're losing our lucky charm, Boyd Gordon, again?? Crap.

Posted by: pirate1 | November 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

This will be embarassing if we beat TB, Bos, and NYR only to lose to Buffalo...a team that has not won at home yet is very dangerous.

Posted by: capscoach | November 12, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

pebowers: How do you figure? The Caps have 3 of the top 10 scorers in the league. Two of those 3 are in the top 5. They have the guy with the 2nd best +/- in the league. They have the 7th ranked PP and 12 ranked PK. They are tied for the leagues best +18 in goal differential. They are 1st in total goals for and 12 in total goals against. They have done this with having to have Sloan, Fahey, and Erskine for a few games.

PhilR: I just don't know. He drowns himself in misery. I guess the cool thing for new fans to do was cheer for the Capitals, now the cool thing to do is complain the entire. I'm not saying that fans don't have the right to be bummed or even mad if the Caps don't do well. My problem is when every single pass is critiqued. It's just dumb.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Boyd "Paper Mache" Gordon.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | November 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Jordan strap them on and hit the ice against NHL calibre players. Let's see how long you last. That comment coming from a guy who uses a music supply store as a handle. Yeah, I know Jordan Kitts provided the organ for the games for years. Still doesn't make it any less geeky.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 12, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The Sabres fans hate us with a passion ever since the Ovi hit on Briere. Expect Ovi to get his biggest boos ever.

Not sure the "ice time leaders" tag above fits much this afternoon. Did you see the minutes last night? Hendricks with 15:11; Fehr, Chimera, and Bradley all with less than 13 and a half; no forward other than Backstrom cracked 18; Stecks must have been doing something right (faceoffs aside) to get over 17 and have over a minute more than Semin. In fact, I thought Steckel had a good game.

Great distribution, really.

Posted by: Justafan | November 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@pirate1

I am pretty sure the Caps are perfect when Semin scores a goal too. So just as long as Vasily Zaitsev scores, we are all good. Get it???...the famous Russian sniper...yay history jokes.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 12, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

Music = geeks? Strong work! You're probably the first person to make that connection!

It's not my job to play professional hockey. It's Boyd Gordon's job and he's oft injured, meaning there's a disconnect between how he prepares and what's expected of him.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | November 12, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Katie, I submitted a very tame entry that got held twice. What gives?

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 12, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Look, BGordon (when healthy) this year has been great but he has only appeared in about half of those games due to injury. He further only played about 30 regular season games last year due to injury so him be ing considered brittle or glass is actually a valid point IMO. The guy is good when healthy but to me I would rather have a guy from Hershey that can stay healthy all season.....just my two cents worth.

Of course, everyone knows I felt that was a bad off season signing to begin with but I must say, if he could actually stay healthy he would be an asset, unfortunately he can't.

Posted by: PhilR | November 12, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I've been anxious to read the sharp analysis on our last six games and season from BigGameSid. Funny, he/she has been pretty quiet for the past week or so. Oh Sid, where are you? It's ok to come crawling out from beneath the bridge. The sunlight will lighten you green troll skin color to a healthier shade.

Posted by: AADCDERM | November 12, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@ AADCDERM

He's heart broken they selling his fav models stop from the igloohttp://auction.nhl.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=137760296&prmenbr=12717464&aunbr=138107006 , he's scared there will be no where to put his hand bag

Posted by: bqts | November 12, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@bqts

If I had the money, I'd buy the item, paint the whole thing red, and store my recycling bin and trash can on them in my garage. Such disrespect! :-)

Posted by: AADCDERM | November 12, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@ AADCDERM

I've been "talking" with BigLameCindy in a couple threads from yesterday before the game. He's just a broken record on how Ovi is pretty much a cancer to the team because he's such a bad person and has flaws.

That's his one and only statement repeated ad nauseum. He thinks we just pray to Ovi so much that we overlook any of his potential faults.

He's around, he just doesn't have much to say. I wonder what he'll say after he buys the new Ovechkin Dvd that's coming out.

For a person who hates Ovi so much he sure knows a lot about him.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 12, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

What, no complaints about the Caps having an optional practice? That odd. It wasnt but a week or so ago that folks were complaining about certain players taking optional practices the days after games. Odd that no ones bringing that up now.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

Fine, I'll reach into my dark sider pocket and pull out a couple quotables for ya, however I had a Goat Bomb to get me past my hangover this morning, so there might be a little kool-aid residue on some of these statements (sorry that is what happens when you're a fence sitter)...

1) Optional doesnt mean optional for a captain. A true captain would be out there every practice, like Crosby and every other Canadian. Euros...plehhh. Ovie should give the C to Sloan. That guy never misses a practice, including the ones for the scratches.

2) BB cannot adjust his lines. With the exception of almost every game this year, he just cant. Granted he did last night and the game before, but really...when has he ever?

3) Ovie is only on pace for 47 goals. He's lost it and will never find it, his game that is. Trade him now while he still has some value. Or better yet, lets develop him in the player we need him to become. First step, we need him to move into Mario's basement. Maybe then he will hoist.

4) Trade Green and Semin. They both are growing into exactly what we have always wanted them to be, and we just cant have that.

Now...on a true note, recently in my section, there has been a plethora of hot blondes and brunettes (and they're drinking beer). Good work people who sold them tickets. Keep it up please.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 12, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, so the NHL just released the All-Star Ballot. Is this the final list or is it just for the starters? Regardless, way to give the big F U to Semin. Especially with some of the names that are actually on that list. What a joke.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 12, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

ASB - What a crock - no Semin, Carlson or Shultz. I know some of you are going to be what shultz, well his number at this stage are better than 50% on those on the d list. What a rigged joke

Posted by: bqts | November 12, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI (a name never more appropriate than last night),

Thanks, I was beginning to think some sanity had fallin upon this place.

Please to enlighten me on what a Goat Bomb is.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 12, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

the ASG ballot is just for the six starters. a bit surprised that Semin isn't on the ballot given the guy had 40 goals last year and is playing even better this year. probably suffered because the Caps had three other locks on the ballot.

schultz was never going to be a starting dman in the ASG, so leaving him off the ballot was no surprise. Carlson will no doubt be added to the rookie list.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 12, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

count me in as those surprised semin is not on the list for the all star game. guess that means the caps fans will have to write his name in on the ballot!!

Posted by: bcatron11 | November 12, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Please to enlighten me on what a Goat Bomb is.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1

A goat bomb would be a shot of goat's blood and kool aid.

Posted by: ksaul79 | November 12, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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