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Tom Poti says there's no timeline for his return

By Katie Carrera

It was a very optional and sparsely-attended practice for the Capitals at KCI this morning but one of the players who did head out onto the ice was Tom Poti, who has been in and out of the lineup with what is believed to be a groin injury.

Poti skated about 30 minutes but was "not even close to 100 percent" and said that right now, there's no timetable for his return. This is his third time out of the lineup this season after he first missed three games straight in October before returning for two tilts against the Bruins only to miss the next eight contests. His most recent comeback attempt came on Nov. 11, when he played 16:43 against Tampa Bay only to not feel well by the end of the game.

"I felt OK at the beginning of the game and once the game progressed, it just got worse and worse and worse," Poti said. "The next two days after that, it felt almost as worse as it's been, so we kind of got together with the doctors and trainers and [they] just said stay off the ice for a few days."

If there is a bright side to Poti's injury, it's that the setbacks have come in the first two months of the season, which come with the small luxury of a little more time to heal than might be possible later on in the year. But when asked if there was any timetable for a return, Poti said no.

"Just kind of taking it day to day," Poti said. "Today was my first day on the ice; I probably skated for 30 minutes -- not even close to 100 percent, so I'll reassess it tomorrow and see how it feels."

--Among those who did skate this morning were both Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, Mike Green, John Carlson, Tyler Sloan, Nicklas Backstom, Marcus Johansson, Mike Knuble, Jason Chimera, Boyd Gordon, Matt Bradley, Matt Hendricks, Tomas Fleischmann and D.J. King.

--Johansson wasn't the only player who didn't see much time on the ice late in Wednesday's game against the Sabres. While he didn't play the final 9:53, Hendricks didn't appear in the final 6:11 and Eric Fehr the final 5:08.

"It's a one-goal game in the last six minutes, there's certain players that play at the end and certain players that don't," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It went down to three lines and you just want to keep putting [Johansson] in positions to do well, not in positions to fail....we put [Boyd Gordon] up with Semin's line and Nicky back with Alex just for the last couple shifts."

By Katie Carrera  | November 18, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Tom Poti  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Holtby, Neuvirth each to start a game this weekend for Caps
Next: Matt Hendricks a 'great shot of energy' to Caps


Nice to see Backie and Green practicing. Good idea for BB to build MaJos confidence by not putting him in too many situations he could easily fail!

Posted by: capscoach | November 18, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I hope Holtby gets the start against Atlanta. Philly might be too big a step for our young goalie...although he is very agressive about defending his crease, which is something a goalie needs against those bullies.

Posted by: capscoach | November 18, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

capscoach: He got the start and won when the Caps played Philly back on the 7th of November. I thought the same thing you just did before the last Philly game but he proved he was up to the task. Looked a little shakey on Zherdev's goal but looked good the rest of the way.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 18, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

GMGM really does need to do something about this situation NLT Christmas IMO. They can not continue to put someone that should be an AHLer on the ice every night. Pull the trigger on a trade for a dman soon GMGM!!

Posted by: PhilR | November 18, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

PhilR...Do you know any team trying to trade defensemen?

Posted by: nimrodrsp | November 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse the way, this is probably the best time to have a minor league d-man on the ice. Trading deadline is the end of Feb. Plenty of time to make changes.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | November 18, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I read a rumor somewhere that Colorado may be trying to move one of their dmen, but it didn't say who

Posted by: _stevo | November 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

This makes you really question the Poti extension. I seem to remember extended groin pull problems last year and maybe the year before. By committing $2.85M for two more years, that prohibits you from spending that money elsewhere. The good news, at least, is these injuries seem to happen early in the season with him. He's a decent enough player, he's just not getting any younger.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 18, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse


I'm not the gm being able to rattle other gm's phones so I'm not sure who is willing to deal at this point but I would think there are teams who if they are not looking now will be very soon due to cap constraints. I'm just tired of watching Sloan more than anything else, the guy is really bad.

Posted by: PhilR | November 18, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I checked and they have Varly listed "inactive" with no cap hit at present. This tells me he isn't sent to Hershey for conditioning but officially assigned there (which means lower pay). Typically, a conditioning assignment is like 2-4 games so I believe this. Is there any confirmation?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 18, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure all of the reports did say that Varly was assigned to Hershey. There's no point in sending someone who is waiver exempt on a conditioning stint.

Posted by: koalatek | November 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse


I think I either read, or someone else here posted that GMGM or Bruce said to keep Varly there (Hershey) until he's 100% healthy. I think they're a little miffed at him and his glass groin.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

We can almost form a Caps Frankenstein: The Glass Version. All we need is...

1) Poti's groin
2) Green's shoulder
3) Varly's groin
4) Gordon's back
5) Fehr's shoulder
6) Bradley's nose
7) Semin's wrist
8) Flash's spirit
9) Boyd's knee
10) King's hand

Couple more parts and it will be ALIVE....ALIVE.

And yes, I know these boys play a rough sport and I would be destroyed after a few games...but lighten up, Im just trying to make light of guys that tend to have reoccuring injuries. =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 18, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Fehr and Flash would make a good trade package for a second line center. Tired of both of them.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 18, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"They can not continue to put someone that should be an AHLer on the ice every night. Pull the trigger on a trade for a dman soon GMGM!!"

Yes, a 14-4-1 record is basically a death sentence. They MUST make a move soon or there will be irreperable harm and the season will be lost.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI: You forgot Ovechkin's tooth.

BTW, does a person have two groins or one? Just what is a groin anyway? Do girls have them too?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse


It's your groin muscles. The generally referenced term "groin pull" covers a group of muscles in that region of the body. I think it is 6 muscles.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 18, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse


I wanted to add Belanger's teeth...but apparently he gave his moving company wrong directions. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@tom - I'd think Varly would be on a standard one-way deal at this point [same salary whether he plays in the N or A] - if not he needs a new agent.

A groin pull's the freaking worst for a hockey player, in HS I missed half my soph yr with one [didn't seem to affect the team though, we won states]. They can take a long time to heal, and you feel it with every stride. Brutal.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 18, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Timbo: Varly is not on a one-way deal. He is in the third and final season of his entry-level contract. He is eligible to be sent to Hershey w/o waivers. Same as Neuvy, Alzner, Carlson and Johansson.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse


you missed:
Poti's face (orbital body injury)
Erskine's brain (from the concussion)

or are we just going on injuries for this season?

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 18, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse


Good also made me realize a HUGE gaffe of an omission:

MaJo's hip flexor

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 18, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Tom: We might be talking about two different things. Unless something has changed very recently, even rookies on entry-level contracts have been eligible to sign "one-way" deals, where they're paid the same rate, even if they get sent to the A. Nothing to do with clearing waivers. Otherwise, it's seen as a management-friendly deal and an incentive for management to send them down to save $.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 18, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Timbo: I believe most/all entry-level contracts have two pay scales, one for NHL and one for AHL. Pretty certain on that and think it's written in the CBA that way. Maybe there's exceptions for top draft picks, don't know, but Varly was a late first rounder. He doesn't even have any incentive bonuses.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 18, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

In practice that is probably how it often works out, but it is not in the CBA that I'm aware of. While most young guys do sign two-way contracts that is because that's the best deal they're going to get offered, not due to any CBA prohibition.

My understanding is they're available for anyone but only very high-end young guys get them because mgmt is loathe to give them out [you're basically tying the coach's hands - i.e., this guy's on the team, like it or not].

But I don't think they're that rare for 1st-rounders, although maybe in practice they're reserved for the Ovie's,
Crosbys, Forsbergs and Malkins of the world, and even late-firsters don't often get 'em.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | November 18, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Varly makes $62,500 if he plays in the AHL this year.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 18, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

ohh, the hip flexor, nice catch as well.

It's aaaaaall starting to come together. yep! One ugly weird looking beast of a hockey player.

it should be able to give Scott Hartnell a run for his money, ugly-wise! :-D

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 18, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov was assigned to Hershey (I think it was BB that said for conditioning). He makes 62,500 in the AHL (
Groin pulls suck. I had a bad one about 7 years ago. I couldn't skate for 3 months, I couldn't complete a 1 foot hockey stop and turn for almost a year. I had on and off pain for over 2 years. It was still getting sore faster than the other 5 years after I did it.

Posted by: chriscaps | November 18, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse


It sounds like we're in the same boat home-wise, I respect your passion and knowledge of the game. Because I have a dear friend who's a HUGE Flyers fan, I guess I always measure us against them and it invariably boils down to old-school hockey. They have Pronger, we thank the heavens for Shultz and Alzner; Erskine is our d-man always on the bubble because he's slow, yet O'Donnell has no issues w/playing time; Shelly plays everynight, yet DJK has played 6 games?, and when the Flyers are flat, Carcillo knows how to spark them and we NEVER initiate a fight for a fights sake. I agree w/you that no team can endure such intensity on a nightly basis, I just don't think we do it enough

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 18, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY fights once the real season starts in April so what are we talking about here??

The focus should be NOT to let those brain farts such as the one in the second period last night happen on a consistent basis.

And those who will say "well we won the game anyway." clearly haven't paid much attention during the playoffs in the last 3 years.

Posted by: joek443 | November 18, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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