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Backstrom had a Headache; Mo Might Play; Olie to Start

I'm supposed to be watching the Caps practice right now at ACC. Instead, I'm blogging from the back seat of a cab.

Snow in Pittsburgh and Toronto delayed my flight by a few hours, but I'm still hoping to catch some players at the team hotel and scratch out a story.

I'm told that defenseman Shaone Morrisonn did skate this afternoon, so I'm assuming he's recovered from the bruised foot that kept him out of the lineup last night in Pittsburgh and could play tomorrow. I'll confirm his status -- and hopefully the rest of the lineup -- later today.

Update:Still waiting to talk to Coach Bruce Boudreau, but I hear Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom did not skate today. I'm not concerned about Ovechkin, because he plays a lot of hard minutes and often gets a day off. But Backstrom did miss a few shifts late last night. General Manager George McPhee told me earlier today that Backstrom is "okay" and will play tomorrow, but he didn't go into detail. I'll see what else I can find out.

Update:Okay, I just talked to Boudreau. Backstrom, he said, was suffering from headaches last night and that's why he missed a few shifts late and didn't play in OT. Boudreau said he doesn't have a concussion, it was just an "everyday sort of headache". He's expected to play tomorrow.

Boudreau also said Morrisonn should play tomorrow and that he's sticking with his plan to start Kolzig tomorrow in Toronto and play Brent Johnson at home on Thursday against the Maple Leafs.

Boudreau also said he's excited to be coaching in his hometown at the NHL for the first time, and that he got chills when he stepped onto the ice at ACC for practice. He's also expecting 50 or so friends and familiy members to attend tomorrow's game. Boudreau was drafted by the Maple Leafs and played parts of seven seasons here.

"It's something that only a Toronto boy can understand," he said. "Especially a Toronto boy who was a passionate about the Maple Leafs as I was growing it. It's a dream come true."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 22, 2008; 2:53 PM ET
 
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