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Laich Expects To Play; Erskine Out

Winger Brooks Laich participated fully in the morning skate and said he expects to play tonight against Florida, despite the bruised calf he suffered Thursday while blocking a shot. If Laich does suit up, that probably means Alexandre Giroux will be headed back to Hershey.

I'll try to get some confirmation of this from Bruce Boudreau after the team meeting.

*Also, Staffan Kronwall did not practice this morning. I just figured out why. The FedEx guy just walked in carrying a Marlies hockey bag and about 20 sticks.

*John Erskine will be the healthy scratch on 'D' tonight.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 7, 2009; 10:54 AM ET
 
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Next: Morning Skate Update

Comments

Good news about Laich. Wondering if Neuvirth will start this weekend?

Posted by: bucknelldad | February 7, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Hope Laich can suit up. We need his grit.

Posted by: cbs75 | February 7, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

From the last thread:

@ kitty

I'm hoping the Caps realize the importance of this game. If we beat the Panthers tonight it will serve as a good message that the Southeast is ours, and no one will be coming even close. They need to bring their A game tonight, of course. With a lot of Southeast games on the horizon I'm not too nervous though, we tend to own them. Ovi especially.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 7, 2009 10:59 AM

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 7, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@ kitty

I'm hoping the Caps realize the importance of this game. If we beat the Panthers tonight it will serve as a good message that the Southeast is ours, and no one will be coming even close. They need to bring their A game tonight, of course. With a lot of Southeast games on the horizon I'm not too nervous though, we tend to own them. Ovi especially.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 7, 2009 10:59 AM

Last season, yeah. This season, not so much. We have a nasty habit of playing down, but hopefully as you said the guys realize how important this is and show up.

The fact that Laich is playing reassures me some on that point, though.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Also, heh on Kronwall. Yeah, that'd be a good reason why. It's enough for the moment that he gets to meet the guys, meet the coaches, watch the practice, and learn how things go around here.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Also, @VampireCorndog: I think that the more we crush them by, the better. A close game or one that goes to overtime (G*d forbid) won't send the kind of message I'm looking for. I don't usually want to humiliate teams - that's boring - but I'll make an exception this time.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

BB should be scratching #55 JS or #26 SM not #4 JE.

Basketball this afternoon means terrible ice this evening. Thanks WSE! :(

Posted by: puckman | February 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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Bid on one here:

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Last Post I Promise....

Posted by: WhyGo | February 7, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@kitty

That's what I was thinking too, we should aim to blow them out for the message to really get across. I don't tend to call for blow outs either, but I think in this case it's plausible.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 7, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

So Erskine is out and Dave Pylon Schultz "plays"? I must say Shultz must have qualities I'm missing! I just don't get how really slow skating, really bad passes, and poor defensive decisions fit in to our games plans. Shultz just looked like a deer in the headlights the whole game last time.

Posted by: majiksea | February 7, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@ puckman.

I totally agree with you, Erskine has done everything he's had to lately and eliminated his bone head penalties which plagued him last year.

Schultz and Mo on the other hand just can't seem to get their confidence going lately, and both have had some bad bounces in recent games.

I'm super excited for the trade deadline!

TJ CAPS8
http://feartheweagle.blogspot.com

Posted by: TJCAPS8 | February 7, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

won't send the kind of message I'm looking for. I don't usually want to humiliate teams - that's boring - but I'll make an exception this time.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:10 AM

_________________________

Starting on defense, Kittypawz.

Posted by: Leeguru | February 7, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

John Erskine will be the healthy scratch on 'D' tonight?! So we'll use Schultz and Mo instead of Erskine - we're so screwed.It's going to be a painful game to watch

Posted by: Tondi | February 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

About the only good thing losing tonights game would mean is that the Panthers would be 2 more points ahead of keeping the Pens out of the playoffs

Posted by: BLUELINER34 | February 7, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"About the only good thing losing tonights game would mean is that the Panthers would be 2 more points ahead of keeping the Pens out of the playoffs"
Now that - "John Erskine will be the healthy scratch on 'D' tonight" makes perfect sense :)

Posted by: Tondi | February 7, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Question on Kronwall... So since we picked him up off re-entry waivers, does that mean he has to stay in DC the rest of the season or can he go to Hershey? I guess the danger sending him down would be that he would probably be re-claimed? Chances are that there are going to be several healthy scratches on D from here on out?

Posted by: WVPhil | February 7, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@Blueliner,

Win/win in that case.

Posted by: _jordan | February 7, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@ Phil

he has to play either 10 NHL games or stay with the club for 30 days before he can be assigned to Hershey waiver exepmt.

Posted by: TJCAPS8 | February 7, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@ _jordan

I wouldn't go as far as to say that, losing today would be a bit of a sign to Florida that the division isn't as in a firm hold as originally thought.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 7, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

TJ,
Thanks. So do we know anything about this guy?

Posted by: WVPhil | February 7, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Corndog. If this were the end of the season and a win by florida would keep the pens out, then by all means, play Stretch in goal, make Schultz a wing, and scratch Ovi. Otherwise, as a fan, i would like to see the boys beat a team they should, and play to their own talent level instead of the level of the opposition. But then, i am only a fan.

Posted by: Leeguru | February 7, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I was only half serious.. so, agreed.

Posted by: _jordan | February 7, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I think Erskine has been great - I can't believe he is going to be a scratch! Why is everyone so blinded by love of Alzner? I think he's horrible and always in the goalie's way - please send him back to Hershey!

Posted by: jmb9778 | February 7, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

but we are all bored, so....

Posted by: Leeguru | February 7, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@ Phil

Living in Winnipeg Manitoba, I've seen him and the Marlies come to town a few times over the past few years.

I've always been impressed with his skating for his size, he's got a pretty fluent stride and a decent shot to go with it, although nothing overpowering.

Like his older brother, he likes to stand up forwards at their own blue line with sometimes devistating hits. He also won't shy away from chucking him and once got royally tuned by Sheldon Souray in the lockout year (Youtube Souray v Kronwall)

Most importantly he's rather sound in his own zone and is really good on the break out, which the Capitals will love if he pans out.

Led all Marlies defensemen in points with 25 in 42 games and should make a good 3rd pairing guy.

Posted by: TJCAPS8 | February 7, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

must say, love the comments almost as much as I love the blog (thanks T & K).....
I live in S FL..... am secondly a Panthers fan (CAPS FIRST)!!
The mindset here is not to unseat washington, just be 7th or higher and get to the playoffs before we no longer have a team......
oh, and the other day, some joker tossed the idea of you guys getting Bouwmeester and Horton....... JBo's great! would love to cheer him in DC... now Horton would cost you over 4mil a year.... you guys complain about Feds.... a guy who actually PLAYS hockey and is damn good -even at 39. Horton must be good at something to still be our GMs favorite, but it ain't hockey

Posted by: seryogaSone | February 7, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit of an Erskine hater but I can admit his play as of late has been good. Schultz had a good stretch too, but last game he sunk into his bad habits and I saw one goal where he skated back into Theo's sightlines and created a huge screen for a King's goal. I'm not sure why Erskine is first in line to be scratched, but we have all read the quotes from the past from GMGM thinking Schultz is close to form.

I hope he's right, and I know sitting him won't help, but it's frustrating to watch him play the way he does at the expense of the team.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | February 7, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

oh, I forgot to add- Go CAPS!! Hope you can hear me yelling from here (and the family arguments that occur because of that!)

Posted by: seryogaSone | February 7, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

my thoughts on why the lumberjack is scratched are that he played so well after getting rest then he kind of slowed down. So give him a rest.

i dont like the thought. Especially when jeff "pylon" schultz is playing instead of the sexy lumberjack

Posted by: _stevo | February 7, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I guess there's some kind of love affair between Schultz and BB. How else is this kid playing game after game, after all the errors and damage he's making on our D and after all the goals he's responsible for.

I'm hopeful sooner or later BB will see the light... he did play OVI less on the PK. He did entrust Fehr more... and maybe he'll scratch Schultz eventually. I expect him to play bad tonight particularly cause of the way FLA plays.

Posted by: mauree | February 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Super, you're sad. We understand. have steve give you a hug tonight.

Posted by: Leeguru | February 7, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Leeguru: I know, right? We can play D when we want to (see: Boston) but sometimes it's just horrid (see: Kings). I think half of the reason for grabbing Kronwall is the salary cap and the other half is to put the rest of the D on notice. If Kronwall could play tonight there'd be two D scratches.

Yeah, I'm nervous about this one. Let's hope we can get our crap together.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Caps and Caps fans will be hungry for Panther blood. They should have been hungry for Kings blood but they put out a good effort regardless of the loss. Let's gird our loins for an exciting match-up tonight. I'm in agreement - bury the Panthers. Send the message out - the Southeast Division is our "female word for dog". Sitting behind the Panthers bench and will definitely be smelling fear. It's that or body odor. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 7, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

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