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John Carlson recalled (update)

Rookie defenseman John Carlson has been recalled from the Bears and will be in the lineup tonight in St. Louis, I'm told.

It's unclear if someone is hurt and unable to suit up. Or if this is Coach Bruce Boudreau's way of sending a message to a blue line, that in the his own words, has been "horrible" the past two games. I'll know once the players hit the ice, but I'm willing to bet it's the latter.

Update:Chris Bourque, I'm told, has been returned to Hershey.

Jason Chimera has been put on IR, meantime, and won't play. Also looks like John Erskine, who is nursing a sore shoulder, will be out.

I'll have more after the skate.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 13, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
 
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Comments

hmm, wonder who sits out if Carlson plays.

Posted by: elicea | February 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Green-Schultz
Morrison-Alzner
Pothier-Carlson

Sloan is garbage. Erskine can't pass or skate. Poti is injured. I guess Erskine is in for Morrison if he's still sick though.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 13, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see BB sending a message to his players! I am confident that he will have worked out the kinks of our D by playoff time! Once our D is playing as they should (which they are more than capable of) we will be THE team to beat for the cup.

Posted by: capscoach | February 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I love the move to call up Carlson and send a message! BB is hopefully pushing the right buttons tonight...I shall see first hand...there is a group of Caps Road Crew members who will be taking in the game from the Scottrade Center.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | February 13, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Finally, placing one of our top 4 dmen on the roster.

Erskine and Sloan should not be playing consistently.

Posted by: BACKS | February 13, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to se JC get a game in , but I have no problem with him playing major minutes in Hershey for the time being for his development.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Well, I don't think that the game tonight will be a good test for our defense. The Blues are a low scoring team ...

... however, it is good for Carlson and Alzner to gain experience ...

... it's more or less a game, where they can work out the d-kinks ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 13, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

they're NOT going anywhere in the playoffs with Erskine and Sloan as their 5th and 6th d-men, saw that movie last year.

they need to decide if Carlson and/or Alzner can help them in the playoffs this year. if the ansswer is no then they need to go get someone else.

Posted by: joek443 | February 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

According to Tarik on twitter, Erskine is the one who'll be out due to a sore shoulder

Posted by: elicea | February 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

My recommendation on the blue line. (And several people on Japers concur.)

Go ahead and team up Alzner and Carlson together tonight. I realized BB does not normally like to put rookies together and would rather team a vet with a rookie. But we're talking about a pair of rookies who have experience playing together (in pre-season and at Hershey) and make a good team. Alzner can play the "big brother" role to Carlson.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 13, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@elicea

Oisk has not been in great shape health wise, as of late. I bet he probably only played in Ottawa due to the not so great health of certain other people.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 13, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's probably a combination of the two.

1) We have ailing blue liners (Poti who's out and Oisk who probably played when ailing)

2) The defense has been horrible, as of late. The kids can't do any worse, frankly.

Recommended Defensive pairings (I know. I know, BB will probably not wish to go with them at the moment)

Green/Schultz
Pothier/Morrisonn
Alzner/Carlson

My question. Why wasn't Carlson recalled sooner, given the health of the defensive corps?

I'm assuming that Oisk and Poti are out with injuries at the moment.

I don't know if Pothier and Morrisonn are opposite handed players but essentially stuck them together by default.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Someone please explain the logic of......
sending a message to the team about playing defense by calling up Bourque who goes -2 and sitting Laing who is near the top of defensively responsible forwards and letting every lazy forward we have play the pk except Laing who actually puts effort into the pk....why embarass Laing by playing him then sitting him for Bourque? Does BB really feel the need to rip Laing more than the other forwards who are brutal defensively? Completely confuse by this .........

Posted by: wendel2 | February 13, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

BB doesn't make the call-ups.


:)

Posted by: richmondphil | February 13, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with butcherbaker on the d-pairings. I expect that Green-Sarge will log a lot of minutes. Although I think that Carlson-Alzner would make a good long term pairing, I don't think you pair two rookies (I still consider Alzner a rookie).

Posted by: zmega | February 13, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2

Did BB make a comment about Laing and why he benched him? I mean Laing playe no worse than the other guys...I thought maybe Laing was injured or something. I mean BB is sending a message to the D. We really needed Laing's shot blocking Thursday!

Posted by: capscoach | February 13, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I like seing Carlson, he brings more hitting from our blue liners. I disagree with the Erskine bashing. He has been hitting, shooting and passing out of the D-zone very well. He may be a bit slower, but he is smart in his end.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | February 13, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Per twitter

"Looks like the Fleischmann-to-center experiment is over based on the a.m. skate. Flash is a wing on the second line with Morrison and Semin."

about 1 hour ago from UberTwitter

Posted by: elicea | February 13, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I interpret the demotion of BMo to try Flash, then moving Flash to wing to and bringing back BMo, to mean that BB is not happy with the second line center play. I don't think there are a lot of great options out there for a trade deadline move, but it wouldn't be surprising if GMGM tried to bring in a veteran center.

Posted by: zmega | February 13, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Besides faceoffs , I thought Flash was doing well.

Posted by: capscoach | February 13, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Yea, but maybe his lack of face-off wins, and therefore, lack of puck possession is exposing some other weaknesses he has as a center?

I understand the need to shake up the lines a little, especially in the last couple of games when things have not been going so well, but is there any value in keeping the lines together and letting them work their way out of a funk. Maybe its just been too many games now.

I hope the team come out re-focused and hungry tonight!!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 13, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

erskine is the closest we got to a clear-the-crease D-man, they cant all be Green (thank god)and, just a feeling, that Carlson is overtaking Alzner as #1 rookie?

Posted by: peabody2 | February 13, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@peabody2

Pothier clears the puck way better than Erskine.

Posted by: capscoach | February 13, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I love Flash but he's a defensive liability. His goal scoring is also down since he's been at center.

I'm guessing this is what we'll see tonight:

Ovi-Backstrom-Knuble
Semin-Morrison-Flash
Laich-Gordon-Fehr
Laing-Steckel-Bradley

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 13, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@peabody2

Erskine is clearly our worst regular defenseman. He's moderately useful against teams like Philly and TB but a huge liability against fast, skilled teams (e.g. Pittsburgh). He's ridiculously slow and doesn't know how to play the puck.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 13, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach & Wendel

Ted even hinted in one of his posts that Laing was injured. I would not be surprised if that were true. Given the fact that he only played between 4-5 minutes against Montreal leads me to believe that was the case. (And also given the fact that Laing's style of play lends itself to injury.)

Laing has always been a guy who everyone has praised for his effort. He is not generally a guy benched in favor of a call up in order to send a message.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@zmega & capscoach

I figure Bruce had to do something about the 2nd line since:

1) They were on the ice when Montreal scored their first goal

2) They were on the ice when Ottawa scored their first two goals

3) Flash's faceoff percentage has been abysmal, as of late

4) Before the 2nd line had gone in their defensive funk, the third line has started off that way in the previous two games and, with the third line already having personnel changes, those were the logical places to juggle personnel.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 13, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

One of our general quandaries we have is that the Caps have more second line caliber forwards than they know what to do with.

We have the following situation.

Flash is most productive on 2nd line as left winger and had played center in junior leagues

Laich is most productive on 2nd line as left winger but seems to energize the third line

Fehr is most productive on 2nd line as right winger but can handle being on any other line.

B Morrison was our 2nd line center most of the time

Chimera can function on either 2nd or third line

Semin is a first line caliber player who can play either left or right wing but is on the second line for strategic reasons; i.e. figuring that our overall productivity is better by having him and Ovi on separate lines.

Therein lies our dilemma on how to make the pieces work.

Hence, the creative solution of Flash at center, between Laich and Semin. And moving down our 2nd line center to the 3rd line to be with Fehr and Chimera. Creating a 2nd line caliber third line.

It worked well for a while. But the 2nd line got out of kilter and needed a break from each other. (It's not the first time I've wanted a line broken up and probably not the last.)

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

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