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Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Scott Hannan skating with Mike Green at practice

By Katie Carrera

In the Capitals' first practice without Jeff Schultz, who is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with a fractured thumb (read more about that on Homer McFanboy), Scott Hannan is skating with Mike Green. It will be interesting to see how Coach Bruce Boudreau chooses to align the pairings in Schultz's absence, but if the Hannan-Green combination sticks, it's probably safe to guess it would be a similar style as what the two-time Norris Trophy candidate is accustomed to.

Lines, or groups where there is an extra forward, are the same at KCI this morning as they were on Monday against the Maple Leafs:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Perreault-Semin
Chimera-Johansson-Bradley-Fehr
King-Gordon-Hendricks-Steckel

Hannan-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Poti

Tyler Sloan is skating as the extra defenseman but participating fully in practice. He's not eligible to come off injured reserve until Sunday against the New York Rangers at the earliest.

By Katie Carrera  | December 8, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Jeff Schultz, Mike Green, Scott Hannan  
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Next: Scott Hannan will help lessen the blow of Jeff Schultz's absence

Comments

Im rooting for MP to have another good game. Hope Ovi scores again too and what's up with the defense and all the injuries. Guess it better now than in April/May.

Posted by: instinct227 | December 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

With any luck Esskay will get to stay on IR or continue to do product research for tostitos. :) Sorry would you like some salsa or cheese with that :)

Posted by: bqts | December 8, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

When will Fahey get recalled, tomorrow in time for the next home game?

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 8, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Hannan should be skating with Green anyway so maybe this pairing will stick even when Schultz comes back. That being said they could still use a nasty sta at home dman to bash players out of the crease. There are still pieces that could be dealt so lets get it done GMGM!

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@MReilly

No need to recall Fahey. They have 6 healthy guys and are at home. Unless someone comes down with the flu, I doubt he will be recalled.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

That being said they could still use a nasty sta at home dman to bash players out of the crease. There are still pieces that could be dealt so lets get it done GMGM!

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I agree, JOHNNY E. COULD USE A LITTLE HELP IN THAT REGARD. KICK SOME A@@ AND SHOW EM (once again) WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF #4!!!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but IMO Knuble is no longer a first line wing. I liked Laich up there. Hell, even Chimera might be better with his speed.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

here's a hypothetical for everyone:

If Erskine maintains his play while ****55 is out (let me remind everyone: 1st on backline in hits, blocked shots, fights AND THE ONLY DMAN W/A PHYSICAL PRESENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO STICK-UP FOR TEAMMATES; T-2 in goals, 3rd in pts, solid +/- that'd be undoubtedly higher if not for ahl partners, etc...) and the team goes on a Penguins-like roll starting now, what then? Would everyone here then agree that he's deserving a regular spot?

I hope Hannan doesn't turn out like every other trade GMGM pulls in-season...said players are automatically given jerseys and are incapable of playing themselves out of the lineup even when warranted. (see corvo, and same would've applied to Walker last year if not for his insatiable appetite for eating fists that fateful game)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Erskine-Poti looks a little disastrous. And if that pairing gives up goals, no matter whose fault it is we know which player will likely get the shaft.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps,

It really doesn't matter if we agree that Ersk has earned a regular spot it's up to the short, chubby bald guy that is calling the shots. Schultz is BB's boy and will be back in the lineup when he is healthy no matter how Ersk plays.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

That was a great send-off the posters here gave Wilbon. May I add a hearty "amen?"

Posted by: zmega | December 8, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

By the way, when will it become apparent to GMGM and Ted that BB isn't a disciplinarian and certain players a running amuck and doing as they please? The more I watch this team the more I see another early exit as much as I hate to say it. I guess the Verizon Center has to collapse on top of GMGM and Ted before their eyes get opened.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter if we agree that Ersk has earned a regular spot it's up to the short, chubby bald guy that is calling the shots. Schultz is BB's boy
--------------

He's as much GMGM's boy, that guy won't ever admit he made a mistake - even after he spending a first-rounder on #55. BB is very loyal to GMGM and loathe to do anything that might reflect poorly on him - hence we're sure to see plenty of Fehr and JS once he heals.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

there goes Vermon again. you can not resist bashing Schultz to make a point. I like erskine too and I thought they should have benched Corvo for Erskine but come on take it easy with your obsessive bashing of Schultz. I knew even before I read your post that you would beat up on Schultz again. Please be more original. this team is better defensively this year. There offense is inconsistant.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hannan-Green = good. I like all the d-pairings actually. Erskine with Poti puts together a mean sob with a smooth-skating passer.

Now for some consistency, please. A full game of consistent play, please. If the Winter Classic was tomorrow, I would bet my house on the Pens. The Caps have got to tie together a few good games, not a few good periods here and there.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps:
"If Erskine maintains his play while ****55 is out...and the team goes on a Penguins-like roll starting now, what then? Would everyone here then agree that he's deserving a regular spot?"

If they go on a Penguins like roll then yeah you kinda gotta stick with that lineup. If Erskine kept his current level of play AND improved on his outlet passes I'd be more inclined to be on the Erskine bandwagon, but I don't think I'll ever be at your level. :)


"I hope Hannan doesn't turn out like every other trade GMGM pulls in-season."

From what I've seen so far Hannan is a fine stay at home NHL defenseman and a good aquisition by the Caps. In other words a far cry from the Corvo situation.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 8, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS2

I thought when they made the trade that a Hannan/Green pairing made the most sense. We will get a few weeks to see how it works out.

Also, on BB playing to his favorites and playing players for GMGM. Didn't BB scratch Fehr and Steckel last game? Isn't Steckel one of BB's guys and isn't Fehr one of GMGM's precious draft picks that he is so depserate to play to prove he is a good GM?

The cynicism is really starting to get ridiculous. That Mike Commodore quote is looking better and better each day.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd actually like to see Fehr traded for a veteran center. I think the Isles have one or two.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If they are planning to resign Semin then trading Fehr wouldn't hurt at this point at all. I think they may be able to get a good 2C for Fehr and a pick or prospect. Another D, a 2C and if not replacing BB at leats make sure one of those two is a grizzled vet who will not allow this losing three goal leads crap or fire an assistant and bring in that type or personality. Some of these players obviously need a different approach to keep them motivated.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen anything to get excited about Hannan yet, and his performance last game was, well...just need to let that game go, so no comment. That said, Hannan was a good acquisition and I've got no beef w/him. I don't expect him to get preferential treatment just because GMGM traded for him in-season, but WE ALL KNOW HE'S GUARANTEED A SPOT IN THE LINEUP OVER THOSE WHO HAVE DONE FAR MORE FOR THE TEAM OVER THE YEARS.

I vow to continue highlighting all that #4 does and means to the team...ya'll aint seen nothing yet!! :) GO CAPS, KICK FLORIDA'S A@@

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So far Caps are winless in the Scott Hannan Era. Hope that changes tomorrow and it will be very interesting to see how Green does with a vet partner.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I vow to continue highlighting all that #4 does and means to the team...ya'll aint seen nothing yet!! :) GO CAPS, KICK FLORIDA'S A@@


Posted by: vermontcaps

I've always liked Erskine because he is an easy guy to root for. He gives a full effort on every night and definitely tries his best to succeed.

However, after reading your consistent Erskine loving, Alzner/Schulz bashing posts, I find myself starting to like Erskine a lot less than I did before I read any of your posts. Maybe posting like you do has not created more fans of Erskine, but actually less.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If the new defensive pairings work out, maybe we could package Fehr and Schultz for Richards.

Posted by: LetsGoCaps2 | December 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Trading Fehr could only help...especially for our defensemen who have to go fetch all of his shots that miss the net and go all the way back down the ice. He sucks. Getzlaf!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

your description of the short, chubby, bald guy who calls the shots overlooks some of his finer qualities. For starters, he is excellent a mimicking exotic bird calls. He also throws mean parties, although the carpets do get dirty on occasion.

Posted by: PSD1 | December 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If they are planning to resign Semin then trading Fehr wouldn't hurt at this point at all. I think they may be able to get a good 2C for Fehr and a pick or prospect.

@PhilR

That wouldn't be a bad idea as center is a more important position than wing. It may depend on what the team will do with Knuble because if he and Fehr leave, then Semin is the only RW who is top 2 line worthy and maybe the only one who is top-3 line worthy.

But I definitely think that move would be a plus for this season.

It is an interesting thought.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

They are also winless in the 2 games in which Ovie scored goals after his drought - should we hope he stops scoring???

Posted by: Thisistheyear | December 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If the new defensive pairings work out, maybe we can package Schultz and Fehr for Brad Richards.

Posted by: LetsGoCaps2 | December 8, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"I'm I late for the party?"

Start Hadeed - his stare will scare any opposing team!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 8, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Rumor has it that Dallas is asking for the moon for Richards and Schultz/Fehr certainly is not the moon.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I understand that the Stars are in a financial bind, but it is hard for me to imagine them not at least making a serious effort to re-sign their best player. What message would that send to the fans? That situation would be different from Kovy-Atlanta, since Atlanta made every reasonable effort to re-sign him at it seemed like Kovy never wanted to stay in Atlanta. Of course, now the Atlanta scenario looks like pure genius.

I suppose if the Stars made a strong offer and Richards declined, then the team would be off the hook and could make a trade.

Posted by: zmega | December 8, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

Another point is they are in 1st place right now. So if they still are come the deadline or are still in playoff position they wont be trading him.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"I understand that the Stars are in a financial bind, but it is hard for me to imagine them not at least making a serious effort to re-sign their best player. What message would that send to the fans?"

@zmega

They don't have an owner and are trying to find one. Signing an expensive, long-term deal(which is likely what Richards will get) is not something you can do when you about to sell the team off. That will drive down the value of the team some.

The lack of signing Richards has nothing to do with hockey and only has to do with the legal and financial ramifications of the mess the Stars are in(I think they went bankrupt, but I'm not sure).

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

However, after reading your consistent Erskine loving, Alzner/Schulz bashing posts, I find myself starting to like Erskine a lot less than I did before I read any of your posts. Maybe posting like you do has not created more fans of Erskine, but actually less.

Posted by: sgm3

go figure. I have the same experience reading some of your comments on Flash and Semin.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

So far Caps are winless in the Scott Hannan Era. Hope that changes tomorrow and it will be very interesting to see how Green does with a vet partner.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 12:33 PM


@tominsocal1:

Cause and effect, my friend, cause and effect. But you already know this. FWIW, I don't see Hannan's individual play being in any way contributory to the losses.


RE: Erskin vs. Schultz...perhaps I am ignorant to even suggest this, but might the League rules allow us to dress 8 defensemen instead of 6? If so, I can see some benefits:

--Minutes get more spread out leading to higher energy levels for all, throughout each game.
--This could also (perhaps) lead to fewer fatigue-related injuries.
--Once we have all of our quality blue liners healthy, BB won't have sit someone who can otherwise contribute positively.

I know, maybe it is a silly idea, but why not? Both Schultz and Erskine bring important qualities to the Caps overall defensive scheme, when healthy.

I offer as an exmample, a baseball team that uses a 5-man starting rotation vice a 3- or 4-man rotation. Over the course of a 162-game season, you may not end up with any 40- or 50-game winners, but those 5 pitchers are less likely to get tired or injured. Needless to say, it's not enough just to get to the playoffs; you also want to get there as healthy as possible.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

go figure. I have the same experience reading some of your comments on Flash and Semin.

Posted by: cstanton1

Don't care

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40 - nothing at all in the league rules to prevent such a scenario; they only distinguish between how many "skaters" you are allowed to dress and how many goalies, with a max of ___ total.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

However, after reading your consistent Erskine loving, Alzner/Schulz bashing posts, I find myself starting to like Erskine a lot less than I did before I read any of your posts. Maybe posting like you do has not created more fans of Erskine, but actually less.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, right......it's fans like you, SGM3, that drive me to post here. That my continued support for him is making you less of a fan of his speaks volumes to me. If what I write bothers you so much, why subject yourself to such torment? Please, don't read my posts :) peace all

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

If the new defensive pairings work out, maybe we could package Fehr and Schultz for Richards.

Posted by: LetsGoCaps2 | December 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

you've got my support to be new gm!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

If what I write bothers you so much, why subject yourself to such torment? Please, don't read my posts :) peace all

Posted by: vermontcaps

I don't read most of your posts anymore. But I catch a few. What you write doesn't bother me or torment me. It also has not led to me being less of a fan. All it has done is has led me to be less of a fan of Erskine, but I am fine with that. It doesn't bother me in the least. Just wanted to let you know.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notict that "The Goat" has now decided to do his cheer multiple times during home games?

Anyone else get sick of listening to him?

Posted by: dsterp931 | December 8, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

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