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Posted at 3:08 PM ET, 12/28/2010

Keith Aucoin glad to be back in Washington

By Gene Wang

Keith Aucoin was among the last players to come off the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after the morning skate, partly because he was savoring every moment of having been recalled to the Capitals in light of injuries to fellow centers Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault.

Aucoin's journey back to the NHL has taken longer than the reigning AHL MVP would have preferred after a left knee injury on Nov. 7 while playing for Hershey forced him to miss an extended stretch for the first time in his career.

"It was kind of a slow process," said Aucoin, who found out about his call-up yesterday afternoon around 2. "I had no timetable because nobody knew how long it would take, and it was two weeks before I could even move my big toe, so it's kind of frustrating. I've never been hurt before, so it was a new experience for myself, and hopefully I don't have to go through that again. The doctor said it could be as much as three months. I'm back a little early, so it's good."

The also timing couldn't be better for the Capitals, who will be without Johansson and Perreault tonight. Johansson did not participate in the morning skate and is nursing an undisclosed injury. Perreault, meantime, did participate and was one of the last three players off the ice, along with D.J. King and an ailing Tom Poti. All three players worked on shooting drills with assistant coaches and goalie Michal Neuvirth before finishing up with conditioning drills.

Perreault is out with a broken nose, suffered when he absorbed a hit from Carolina's Tim Gleason on Sunday. He got x-rays yesterday that revealed the fracture but also confirmed that there was no head trauma.

"I should be back in the lineup not tonight, but the next game," said Perreault, who has a gash of several inches running along the left side of his nose. "I practiced today hard, and I felt good."

By Gene Wang  | December 28, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  Keith Aucoin, Mathieu Perreault  
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Next: Victory against Montreal Canadiens could go a long way for Caps

Comments

previous thread:

The vast majority of us hate the Penguins with the White-Hot Intensity of a Thousand Suns. Atlanta? Though they have given us "fits" so far this season, not so much.


ergo: the Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend...Go Thrashers!

Posted by: Rhino40 |

I gotta agree...my hatred of Pitt has gone WAY past rational thought. If it were the end of the season and Pitt had to win a game in order for the Caps to make the playoffs...I would BARELY be able to wish them a win.

As for Ovie...

I have accepted that number wise, this will not be a good season for the guy...it is not the end of the world. But if he turns it on come playoff time and even wins playoff MVP...well then I think we would all agree it was worth the frustration.

Even if he doesn't turn it on at all this season...this is a team sport...1 player does not make a team.

Crosby has had plenty of dry spells in his career...it's just that nobody talks about them...we only here about Crosby when things are going his way...not saying that he's not playing spectacular hockey right now b/c he is. But as soon as Ovie starts to struggle there are 15 articles about it and when Crosby struggles....nothing...they just wait until he turns it around and pretend like nothing ever went badly for the kid.

Posted by: capscoach | December 28, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

we have had so many injuries lately it is getting ridiculous! MoJo, Perrault, Gordon, Poti, Schultz, and I think Green and Semin are both not 100% yet.

PLEASE get healthy for the playoffs.

Posted by: capscoach | December 28, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Regarding last thread:

Not sure where I stand on whether Schultz should rejoin Green as a D-pair or not. Each side of the argument has some merit. Both 23 and 55 are responsible in their own zone, which is what you want paired with 52 at all times anyway regardless of "which" MG52 shows up, but especially since the goal-scoring Mike Green is poised for a return...

On one hand, Hannan is here for a couple of years at the most, while Schultz is likely to be around for awhile, which would argue for not interrupting the 55/52 chemistry any longer than necessary...

OTOH, sticking with a combination that is is currently working would seem to be the path to success for the balance of this season.

As for the Alzner/Carlson (or Carlson/Alzner, or Carlzner, or whatever) pairing, I believe that it would be unwise for BB to split them up unless it is unavoidable.

Granted, they are both very young and therefore subject to their fair share of rookie mistakes.

However, I feel that the chemistry they have formed from years of skating together goes a long way toward offsetting their relative lack of NHL experience; being in a "comfort zone" with your partner is an important component of being effective on defense, after all.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 28, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I have a random question. Does anyone on the current Caps roster have a no trade clause? How does that work? I'm reading about the whole Sutter/Flames disaster and was wondering.
For all the grief the GMGM gets, I'm glad we have him.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

OV is the only one I'm aware of that has any type of NMC/NTC. I believe as he gets later into his contract he can submit a list of 10 teams he'll accept a trade to etc. These contracts (NTC/NMC) will be few & far between due to the Nyls .... uh situation that is all but behind us now.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 28, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks @pokerface.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The clause in Ovie's contract doesn't go into effect for a few more years.

Posted by: pstenigma | December 28, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

True but he's the only one that has any type of NTC/NMC in his contract was my point. I do remember that being in OV's contract I just don't remember which yrs it comes into effect. I do remember it's towards the end of the contract tho (like yr 10 of 13). Needless to say it's not gonna be an issue. Well let me take that back, ANYTHING's possible on this board! :)

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 28, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I believe Backstrom has a similar clause. I want to say it's a list of 5 teams he won't go to but it could be the other way around. GMGM talked about it during the convention - both about how he didn't want to give NTCs and also about how a superstar like Ovie having such a limited NTC that it gave him a good bargaining position when other asked for an NTC.

As for Caps being injury ridden I seem to remember the Flyers being pretty beat up most of last season and have a very questionable goalie situation as well and things worked out ok for them in the playoffs.

Posted by: psujohn | December 28, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for providing answers.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 28, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for providing answers.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 28, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

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