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Banged up Caps expected to recall two

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't divulge much about his team's mounting injury woes. But he did acknowledge the team has recalled "a couple" of players from the Bears.

While the identity of the call-ups is being kept under wraps, Karl Alzner and Chris Bourque reportedly missed the Bears' practice this morning. So it appears they'll be the additions.

It's unclear whether one or both will play, or whether the moves are strictly precautionary. But there are a number of Caps nursing injuries. He are the guys who could be sidelined tonight:

*Jason Chimera missed last night's game with a groin muscle injury. Boudreau said the injury is not as bad as initially feared and that the left wing will be a game-time decision tonight.

*Defenseman Tom Poti played sparingly in the third period last night. I'm told he tweaked a groin muscle, which is bad news for a player who was dogged by groin muscle issues most of last season. He appears to be out.

*John Erskine has been nursing a sore shoulder, I'm told, and he's been borderline for each of the past two games. He missed the Penguins and suited up against the Canadiens, but his status for tonight's game remains unclear.

*Boudreau also hinted that there is one more player who is nursing an injury. But since today's morning skate was so lightly attended, it was tough to figure out who else is ailing.

Some other notes and quotes from this morning's skate:

*If the Caps are the hottest team in the league, the Sens are a close second. They've won 12 of their past 13 games. Washington and Ottawa are only teams with 10 game winning streaks in the league this season.

*Boudreau on the last night's loss and whether the pressure had begun to weigh on the players: "It's disappointing. Once you get that feeling of winning you always want to win. I take no solace in the fact that we lost. There's not a sigh of relief. We would have liked to have won every game for the rest of the year."

"There was internal pressure on the players," he added. "And the only reason I say that is because the last two games when we tied it up late or won it late, you could see the reaction on the bench was a lot greater than normal. They all knew about it and wanted it. If there's any good out of the bad, it's that we can start playing better hockey. We've been pretty bad the last four or five games and have been getting by on great saves at the right time or a certain player scoring three goals."

*Boudreau was also still steamed over the multiple breakdowns in Montreal that cost the Caps the chance at history. His No. 1 complaint?

"In our own zone," he said.

The Caps have allowed 17 goals the past four games after allowing five in the four games before that. Boudreau was pretty hard on the defense after last night's 6-5 overtime loss to the Canadiens. Today, he said the forwards share the blame.

"The reality of us scoring five goals every game, so now the forwards are saying, 'Just get me the puck and we'll score,'" Boudreau said. "And the 'D' are being left stranded by themselves so our structure in our own zone has all gone to hell. We have to get back to taking care of our own zone first."

"It's hard [for the defense] to make a pass from the goal line to the red line every time and hope nobody is going to intercept it," he added. "And when there is a turnover, they aren't coming back and protecting our own net."

That's it from Scotiabank Place. I hope to get more info on the injuries/callups before the opening faceoff.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 11, 2010; 1:04 PM ET
 
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Next: In-game chat: Caps at Senators

Comments

a fourth man is hurt? What is this? Glad the Olympic break is coming.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Great post! BB is dead on too. They have been very sloppy with the puck in their zone recently. What BB described is part of what led to Crosby's first goal on Sunday and it led to multiple chances last night.

Posted by: zyvo23 | February 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Thought you all would like to see the effort underway at KCI today to remove the 2+ feet of snow from the roof today...
does anyone know if I can attach a JPG on this post or if there are email addresses avaiable for Tariq or Lindsay?

Posted by: Caps16Fan | February 11, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

from Ecklund:
There is also news today of more talk involving Washington and Souray


Last guy we need is Souray? thoughts?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 11, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

It would be great to see Chris Bourque on the ice and it will be great to see Varly. I guess BB has answered definitively the blog debate of whether our D has sucked or whether it has been the forwards. While he blames both, he spends more time criticizing the forwards for not getting back and helping out enough. I guess when you are scoring 5 goals a game, you are really eager to get down the ice and put the puck in the net.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 11, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Please no Souray. Caps does not need another puck moving defender who has difficulties playing in his own zone.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Great to see Varly back in action. Perhaps now that Theo has picked up his game lately that might generate some interest in him before the trade deadline.

I'm not really sure why people are all over BMo. I think he's done fine. You just can expect him to put up the same numbers he did when he played on the 2nd line with Semin and Fleischmann. With all due respect to Fehr and Chimera that is a huge drop-off in skill level on the wings for him. I think he's doing what he's been asked to do and is professional about even though I'm sure he doesn't like being demoted to the 3rd line. IMO, moving Fleischmann to C the 2nd line and dropping BMo to 3rd has been key to our huge success lately. We now have 3 dangerous scoring lines which is 2 more than most teams can say. Hence scoring tons of goals and winning 14 straight.

Posted by: ranndino | February 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@zyvo23: While there was definitely a bad turnover on Crosby's first goal, if you go back and watch the play carefully you will see Guerin tripping Poti as he is moving in to stop Crosby as he moves to his right away from Sloan. The play should have been blown dead at that point.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, the experiment with Flash centering the second line needs to end. While that line was responsible for the first Caps goal last night, that goal resulted from a bad giveaway by Montreal in their own zone. This line hasn't been able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone or generate many scoring chances lately.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 11, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to say this about the disallowed goal last night: Nuts and Bolts, Nuts and Bolts, WE GOT SCREWED!!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | February 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Glad Bruce isn't glossing over our weak areas like some fans are. Just because we had a 14 game win streak and scored goals seemingly at will means we will be able to do this when it matters most - in the playoffs. the Caps will not average 4 goals a game in the playoffs, meaning they need some defense.

I hope they make a move. It's time for GMGM to take a risk and trade a prospect for a solid D man.

Posted by: GoCaps08 | February 11, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the Red Rocka Recap of last night's game if you haven't heard it yet:

http://capseye.typepad.com/capseyeblog/

Posted by: meagle | February 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"rise up, rise up, Caps nation; give the boys a standing ovation" - Nice!

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 11, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's from Eklund, who is not accurate when it comes to trades

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 11, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Eklund is a joke...that just means the chances of Souray actually going to the Caps is less that 3%...

And to reiterate the Caps DO NOT NEED HIM, please no Souray...please.

Posted by: netminder71 | February 11, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It's from Eklund = It ain't gonna happen.

I confess I am not the NHL über-knowledgebase, but frankly, I could pull better predictions out of my ---.

I can't help wondering if Eklund is operating on permanent "Opposite Day"...just so his pitiful blog can get more hits...

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 11, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

You know Eklunds rumors have hit rock bottom when he has Marty Turco heading to Buffalo.....to replace who? Patrick Lalime?


Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 11, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

whats the opposite of "Eklund"?

Posted by: jeets | February 11, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

whats the opposite of "Eklund"?

Posted by: jeets | February 11, 2010 3:11 PM


@jeets:

ummmm....let me take a stab at it...would that perhaps be "Facts"?

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay folks, my bad. Yesterday I posted

"If someone is going to get hurt, now is the time to do it". I didn't realize the boys read these posts and took my advice seriously, but I take full credit for these injuries.

Posted by: Aldred15 | February 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Our top three centers average 6'0 190 lbs- need to get bigger and nastier down the middle...the Flash experiment is ok for now- during the playoffs he will get eaten alive, and he sucks at faceoffs.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 11, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually glad that the streak ended when it did. This way it gives GM/GM the green light to make a move or two without worrying about messing up chemistry with a streak on the line. The fact that they couldn't have broken the streak until after the Olympic break was a huge negative in my mind as well. Just put a nice winning streak together during the playoffs!!! 16 games sounds good!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | February 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@Ranndino: I agree with your assessment of BMo's situation.

Hey Varley---it's my birthday! How about a win? Welcome back!

Bruce Boudreau pulls no punches. He is so honest and a great coach.

Go Caps!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 11, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Interesting discussion with Burnside and Lebrun on possible blue line additions...
http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/nhl/id/4905304/which-defenseman-help-deadline

Posted by: jakopz | February 11, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to repeat some data JSchon put yesterday - BMo has 2 goals and 9 assists in like the last 32 games. The pace he was before that was great, but this current pace is not. Additionally, the trend is getting worse. We are seeing a learning curve in reverse. Now he's taking penalties. Maybe the break will revitalize him, I don't know. Meanwhile Chimera and, especially, Fehr are putting up decent enough 3rd line numbers w/o a "quality pivot" as JSchon put it. I honestly think if no deal then Aucoin comes up after the break and gets some playing time. He can't do any worse than BMo has done over last 15 or so games.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 11, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@ Ranndino -- I disagree, Brendon Morrison has been pretty lousy on his defensive play. Back-to-back hooking calls on the 2 goals 12 seconds apart. The second was called but not assessed because MTL scored, so even the hook was lame. He was a fast, defensively sound center 2-3 years ago, but age and injuried have caught up with him. He's a UFA with limited value, so I doubt anyone will take him. Then again the caps got rid of Clark and Jurinca for a serious upgrade in Chimera.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | February 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Aucoin is not coming up for any extended period of time. He is an injury replacement for a few games and then an AHL guy. There is a reason a 31 year old guy is still in the AHL. Lets call a spade a spade.

But I do think enquiring about another center to possibly replace BMo is a good idea.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Still the biggest concern is a serious S@H blueliner.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | February 11, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

give me hamhuis. a 2 mil cap hit for a serious upgrade on d? yes please.

With the rest, id like a center. a scrappy vet with playoff experience.

i think we have the assets/picks to trade for both of us these things without giving up much or any of the current team.

Posted by: brian58 | February 11, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: In the limited games Aucoin has played for the Caps, last year and this, his production has been very good. I think they will bring him up after the deadline date because then no one can claim him if he goes up and down. He's not a panacea put could play a few games here and there. He'd absolutely have to be more productive than BMo has been of late.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 11, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@meagle

That was an interesting post on that blog site. Suggesting the acquiring Boullion (?) for our blue line since he has a lower Center of gravity as an antidote to Crosby.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

So who's our other ailing person?

Is Sasha's wrist bothering him again?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Caps are too concerned with someone claiming Aucoin. If a team really wanted him to be on their NHL team, Aucoin would have signed there in the offseason.

I do agree he is fine for a game or two when there are injuries, but I really don't see the point in doing that if everyone is healthy. I would much rather have BMo be playing the playoffs so it would seem wise to keep BMo playing on his line and maybe he can play himself out of the slump he's in. And IMO I think Aucoin is significantly worse than BMo. BMo is better positionally, defensively, bigger, more skilled and has more speed, and is only 3 years older than Aucoin.

If the Caps want to give BMo a game off here or there to rest him, I am fine with that. But I would much rather have MP come up for a game here or there than Aucoin. He provides more speed and skill and has significantly greater upside, so why not give him more experience?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe after he retires from Hockey Bruce can work for a three letter agency. he tends to keep everything very secretive...

Posted by: samb99 | February 11, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

There are several Intell agencies he can join: CIA, FBI, or NSA.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Semin played very timid last night...maybe he is hurt. Or, Bradley from the slash.

Posted by: hoyadoc91 | February 11, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Brash has been put on waivers there is the enforcer everyone keeps wanting.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 11, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

When we get right down to it, the Caps were playing a playoffs like schedule during January and February; i.e. during the "streak". On the average, they had one game off between games.

January: 15 games in 31 days

February: 7 games in 13 days

Total: 22 games in 44 days

Most opponents were either just inside (or outside) the bubble for the playoffs, with some good teams thrown in for good measure. No real pushovers in the mix, except possibly Anaheim. So, we were talking the equivalent of playing the first round of the playoffs times 3, with tougher opponents on the average and no break between series.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

No Brash...come one...he was totally ineffective up in NY...and he's done. Did his job w./ the Caps for a while, but not needed.

Let Chimera, Bradley, Erskine, and Knuble show their toughness if required...

Agree the Caps need:

(1) solid two-way center for line #3. Aucoin won't cut it, B.Mo isn't hauling the mail, and MP is small and not seasoned enough for the role right now.

(1) gritty, middle-clearing, smart defensive minded defenseman. Make Pothier a reserve, make ShaMo a reserve. Bring in mystery D-Man, and put in Karl.

Green/Schultz
Poti/New Guy
Alzner/Erskine

Reserves: Pothier, ShaMo, Sloan (D/F)

You can have 25 guys on the roster for the playoffs, and have a bunch of healthy scratches.

After the Olympics I do not believe we will have to worry about the waiver-claim ability on our two-way contract players, because most have fewer than required games of service and the rules change a bit. Only people to go through waivers would be on NHL-only one way deals with certain years of service...

GO CAPS! Focus...

Posted by: netminder71 | February 11, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

There are several Intell agencies he can join: CIA, FBI, or NSA.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 4:28 PM


I'm not so sure about that, since I think you have to bve a U.S. citizen...perhaps those agencies' Canadian counterparts?

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe in 10 years after a lot of success w/ the Caps BB can join CBC broadcast team and they can put Don Cherry out to the loony bin. Then there can finally be a broadcast point of view that likes the Caps...besides Joe B. and drunk Locker.

Posted by: netminder71 | February 11, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@netminder71

I would have both Potheir and ShaMo over Erskine. IMO, Erskine is not skilled enough and too slow to play in the playoffs. With the exception of being a temporary injury replacement.

I like Erskine, I love his effort and that he has gotten everything out of his physical ability. But I do not want him on the ice against the Pens, Devils, Blackhawks, Sharks, Red Wings or Canucks.

I do think his style would be useful against Buffalo though.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hope nobody tries to claim Bourque, again.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 11, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: In the limited games Aucoin has played for the Caps, last year and this, his production has been very good. I think they will bring him up after the deadline date because then no one can claim him if he goes up and down. He's not a panacea put could play a few games here and there. He'd absolutely have to be more productive than BMo has been of late.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 11, 2010 4:10 PM |
-------------------------

tominfl1:
The Caps can't have Aucoin. We need him in Hershey for our playoff run. :)

Now before anyone gets hostile toward me, I know that the needs of the big club come first and the Bears are secondary. But really I can't see any point in calling him up. To replace BMo? Really? If he was better than BMo, he would have been in the NHL sooner than this. I like Aucoin, but I agree with whoever said he's basically a career minor-leaguer.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@netminder

98% truth.

Our top 3 C's, actually, the C's on our top 3 lines are well below 50% on draws over the last couple of months, Flash has taken a nose dive.

Winning draws are so damn important, I do not need to tell you that Ovi has many goals on set plays on the offensive end. Defensive end draws lost have accounted for a lot of goals as well, more than a few the past 3 games.

Steckel can't take every draw.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday dccitizen1! How old are you? jk ;)

GO CAPS!!! Can't wait to see Varly.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

don't fret Caps fans. the winning streak may be over but your franchise still holds some untouchable all-time records:

- fewest points in a season
- fewest wins in a season
- most goals against in a season
- longest losing streak in a season

Hold your heads high!

Posted by: puckheaded1 | February 11, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

puckheaded1:
thanks for the update.
slow day in the steel city?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

can I pet the troll?

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice for you to drop by puckhead! How did I know it would be after our streak ends?! Keep on digging up the past you moron since that's what you love to do. You think any of us care about that at this very moment? No.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

replace('puckheaded1','pu','di')

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 11, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on your streak puckhead1, 1 game.

Posted by: JSchon | February 11, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

There's also DIA, NRO, TFI, INR, and NGA, not to mention the DOD versions like ONI and CGI.

-----

There are several Intell agencies he can join: CIA, FBI, or NSA.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

AleksanderOMunchkin:
or ...
substring(replace('puckheaded1', 'p', 'f'), 1, 8)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 11, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

WOO great streak! They beat the crappy Islanders! What an accomplishment! Pens haven't put together a 3 win streak in like over a month. LOL.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we share that with the 92-93 Sharks!

-----

- longest losing streak in a season

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Even better Capt.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Two goals scored that were very similar but different outcomes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q87-INLAIs

Remember Patrick Thoresen...one hung low?

Posted by: meagle | February 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I am reminded that they still have a point streak going. Anybody know what the record is for the most consecutive games with a point? Or how about without a regulation loss?

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 11, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we share that with the 92-93 Sharks!

-----

- longest losing streak in a season

Posted by: JohninMpls

Yeah puckheaded1: get your facts straight!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 11, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Poti's groin condition could end up being a blessing in disguise. It's pretty clear GMGM isn't inclined to make a move before the trade deadline for a defenseman because he just doesn't want to upset things. This could give him an excuse.

Posted by: jck747 | February 11, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice Meagle. Please forward that to the commish.

Despite the undesired outcome of that play, the hit on Gill makes me smile. He's almost flying through the air in slow motion.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 11, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@AleksanderOMunchkin

35 games by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Posted by: elicea | February 11, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, according to Tarik's latest tweet, looks like ShaMo was the other key player that should be out tonight (flu).

Get some rest and get well soon 26!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 11, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Scheiße! That's almost half a season.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

not sure if this has already been posted but jim kelly at SI gives the caps some love

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jim_kelley/02/11/capitals.eastern.conference/index.html

Posted by: pwcpat | February 11, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@The_Stanley_Caps

Too bad about ShaMo. Get well soon. Not good for him to play when ill.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Must confess that I'm not familiar with the Canadian Intell agencies. Unless Bruce is willing to naturalize himself as an American citizen. (No, that probably won't happen.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I would be shocked if McPhee doesn't make at least one deal.

The Sharks were something like 8-1-1 in their last 10 games when they added reinforcement on the blueline.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Nothing has ever been permanent in the NHL--not in the pre-lockout times and not now in the era of the salary cap.

Ignore the trolls who say things like "The Caps will never win the Cup" or "Pens always have been and always will be better, just because"...I know it's hard, but you can do it...leave the anti-troll activities to the experts (opens weapons locker and takes out anti-troll flamethrower).

If you ask me, the Pens past dominance of the Caps is more than likely because the residents of Pittsburgh "signed a pact to (sic.) Satan"...and guess what, folks: that debt is now coming due!

Let's get serious: if teams from places like Tampa, Carolina, Dallas and Anaheim can win the Cup, then so can the Caps!!

Remember, folks: just as the Streak has ended (as we all knew it eventually had to), so too will end the Sequins fans' ability to lord their Cups over us.

Count on it.

CAPS ALL THE WAY!

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 11, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think it's possible that ShoMo is about to be traded and not sick...just wishful thinking on my part.

Posted by: capscoach | February 11, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau is right. The D was horrible last night and has been for many games now. Not Stanley cup material. They will get lit up by good teams, which the Canadiens are not. Not sure what was up with Shultz. He looked more like Sgt. Shultz - slow, confused and timid.

Posted by: la_terp | February 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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