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Marcus Johansson week-to-week and other injury updates

Rookie center Marcus Johansson didn't practice this morning and Coach Bruce Boudreau said he is week-to-week and "definitely out for the weekend" after blocking a shot with his foot in the first period against the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

Matt Hendricks, who is a natural center, skated on the third line between Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr in practice.

As for defenseman Tom Poti and right-wing Matt Bradley, who are both day-to-day with undisclosed lower-body injuries, Boudreau said he doesn't expect them to play on Wednesday when the Capitals host the New York Islanders, but that they might be available for Saturday's contest in Nashville. While Poti did not hit the ice this morning, Bradley skated on his own before the rest of the team.

"We've got enough guys here right now," Boudreau said when asked if the team might make a call up from Hershey. "Eventually it might happen, but we're at home. If we were going on the road...it would probably necessitate something. We're hoping the other guys will be able to be back by Saturday, so it wouldn't happen."

--Boudreau said that Michal Neuvirth will get his fourth straight start against the Islanders on Wednesday.

--More to come in a bit.

By Katie Carrera  | October 12, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
Categories:  Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Matt Bradley, Tom Poti  
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Next: Boudreau shuffles lines in Tuesday practice

Comments

Does that mean King/Steckel/BGordon will be the 4th line?

Having Steckel and King on the same line makes for a very slow line, but they do have size.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 12, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Matt Hendricks, who is a natural center, skated on the third line between Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr in practice.
--------------------

i hope this line gels because it has a lot of potential. 3 players who potentially are aggressive forecheckers and hustle all over the ice.

and if our 4th line is Steckel centering King and Gordon, its no slower than the Rangers' 4th line of Boyle centering Boogaard and Prust.

And the Isles 4th line has Konopka with Trevor Gillies. 2 fighters on that line.
Matchup-wise we should still have the advantage if you're worried about skill or speed.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Where is Quintin Laing?

Posted by: Bagher | October 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If the lineup v the Isles has King-Steck-Gordo as the 4th line..

King v Gillies = even. Both tough guys skate about the same level.

Steck v Konopka. Konopka's a good faceoff guy, and of course tougher than Steckel. But I still call this fairly even.

Gordo v Jon Sim -- edge maybe to Sim. He finishes his checks way more effectively than does Gordo and he's got good speed as well. He's going to get 3 to 4 hits per game. Gordo will be lucky to get 3 hits in 3 games.

Just hope Steckel doesn't get put on wing. And Konopka will probably try and fight him as well so hopefully he does a better job of it this yr than last.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet in Canada reports that NHLPA Executive Director in waiting is going to conduct an internal review of the collective bargaining agreement to see if the Devils were in violation by dressing only 15 skaters for Monday’s 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh."

Hehe would LOVE to see more fines imposed on these guys. Talk about crappy GM. Rumor is Rolston might be headed to the LTIR and someone said they read somewhere the Devils cant add anyone else to the LTIR without clearing some cap room. Any truth to that (a limit on the # of players you can place on the LTIR)?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 12, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the NHLPA is going to get anywhere with this. Here's Bill Daly stating the NHL's position on what qualifies as a legitimate emergency:

"Emergencies have historically included games missed due to player injury, games missed due to player suspension and games missed due to roster/cap situations. This is not an unprecedented situation. It has happened before, both pre- and post-lockout."

How often do you see the NHL state their position and then back off of it? While the NJ situation is certainly extraordinary, technically it does not fall outside of precedent. I'd love to see NJ get hammered by karma, but I don't think it would be fair to create a new rule to punish them. This will simply have to be addressed in the new CBA.

Posted by: struggler | October 12, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

btw, just an observation, nothing more.

there are 5 forwards currently in the NHL with zero registered hits after 3 games. 2 of the 5 are on one team - the Caps. Without looking it up, can you guess their names?

I'm assuming the Penguins again lead the league early in the season since they have 6 of the top 30 hitters. The 7th Penguin, Crosby, has more hits than 16 of our players. Their commitment to finishing checks, win or lose, home or on the road, is the one consistent trait they've had over the last 3 to 4 yrs. And integral to their overall successes.


again, just an observation.

I hope to see the Caps improve their hit total by about 200 this season. That's an achievable goal and shows a tangible commitment to a more grueling brand of hockey. Losing Mo on the backline will affect that a little but maybe Erskine, Green, Carlson and hopefully Sarge chip in more this yr than last.


Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Struggler,

If they don't get hammered by Lady Karma, they'll get hammered by the result of skating less than full squads...injuries, 3rd period fatigue etc.

Posted by: jeets | October 12, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Interesting point about the CBA. What if teams started dressing say only 10 forwards (3 full lines + 1 spare) and 5 D-men (2 pairings + 1 spare) and as a result they only carried 19 or 20 guys on their rosters.

Not likely to happen, but it would be a way to circumvent the cap (in a way) and it would also reduce the number of NHL jobs (something the NHLPA would no doubt be opposed to).

Posted by: chombie13 | October 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yea, what a horrible track record that what's-his-name GM of the Devils has...

GMGM is a far more proven visionary in his field.

Things look awful for the Devils after 3 measley games. It's amazing how much changes from month-to-month.

You may want to wait a few months before dancing for joy.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 12, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Flash is probably one. Possibly the other being Semin.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 12, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

That physicality, particularly on the forecheck, is what did the Caps in as the series progressed against the Penguins.

They slowly and surely tilted the ice and it started showing even in the 2nd and 3rd games.

Our defense struggled with their aggressive forecheck and their total team effort in all 3 zones. Their forwards were backchecking and they were doing a lot of simple things that ultimately beat us. Even their skill players were willing to dump pucks in and bully our defense by outworking them and playing more physical.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If "emergencies" include injuries (regardless of when they occurred), suspension (regardless of when it occurred), and roster/cap situations, then the term "emergencies" has essentially no meaning. This would be another example of the Mickey Mouse level of effectiveness of the NHL on the administrative side.

Posted by: zmega | October 12, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Who said anything about comparing him to GMGM? I think his poor cap management, his blatant attempts to circumvent the cap, and bad contracts (huge $$$ and nmc, etc) speak for themselves. And are embarrassing the franchise, imo.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 12, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton01 - I'm guessing Semin is one?

Alas, he's been one of the better players on the team, also. I do like to see people finish their checks, including #28 and #14, but there are valid and good reasons why they might not agree with me: making that bump does hinder or take out of the play the guy they bump, but it takes them out as well. Both have certainly shown the willingness to take hard bumps and go into traffic on offense, so I can't call them soft (soft players avoid getting hit and avoid traffic).

They're most dangerous when they're creating in space - that is their role, and they've been the line that has generated the most good scoring chances thus far. I'm thinking Barcelona: lightning quick, think the game at high speed, and stay clear of entanglement.

And glad to see that NJ had dropped the evil double hyphenated one (J-L Le-Le): maybe they thought he was as crazy as we did.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 12, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Red Wings and Blackhawks have also exploited the loophole.

I actually credit GMs for using every angle possible to give their teams and advantage.

Sitting back and playing nice usually leaves you in the dust.

It's like slot allowances in baseball. Some owners try to play fair and listen to Selig's recommended allowances. Others are aggressive and overpay to bring in talent.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 12, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

i'd say you're probably and possibly right :)

Gordo isn't far behind that zero total. Neither is Alzner.

"Things look awful for the Devils after 3 measley games. It's amazing how much changes from month-to-month"

GMs can also change, nothing is static. No question that Lou L has proven to be a great GM for several years for obvious reasons. He's also constructed very good defensive teams, something I've never seen under McPhee. And he's proven he can find nhl players after the 1st round (colin white, martin, commodore, voros, rupp, engelland, even a janssen).

I just think he's in a bad streak and doesn't deserve a lot of praise for what he's done over the past 5 yrs. Maybe his time is over. Maybe he needs to move on. He's made iffy trades and hasn't drafted well over the past 5 yrs aside from one or two players. I don't see much in their system and I think they need to rip it up and start over. Its time to cut ties with the Rolstons, Arnotts, and Langenbrunners. Lou was unable to fill the coffers from within (i.e. drafts) and is left with a bare cupboard.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@ jeets: that's exactly what I meant by karma. ; ) Although, it was interesting looking at time on ice during the Pens/Devs game. Throughout 2 periods, a couple Pens forwards had logged more ice time than any Dev forward. I was just watching the box score and didn't see the game itself, so I don't know if that was a result of lots of special teams play or what. But, I was surprised either way.

@ chombie: This type of "strategic" cap circumvention would be impossible, unless the team was also carrying a couple of guys getting paid the league minimum, for the sole purpose of breaking their legs in the locker room in order to keep them on the IR. It's not really an issue. No team wants to dress less than 18 skaters.

Posted by: struggler | October 12, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

not counting DJ as a healthy scratch:

Flash
Chimera
Alzner
Backstrom
Semin
Schultz

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 12, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

my bad, you asked for only forwards...

not counting DJ as a healthy scratch:

Flash
Chimera
Backstrom
Semin
Gordon???

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 12, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

That physicality, particularly on the forecheck, is what did the Caps in as the series progressed against the Penguins.

They slowly and surely tilted the ice and it started showing even in the 2nd and 3rd games.
--tmac-

bigtime. The difference in the series was offensive zone time generated by a forecheck. Every line for the Pens except Malkin's did a dump and chase. And they'd win the puck battles, and keep the play alive just by dumping, chasing, and HITTING.

btw Kunitz currently leads the nhl in hits. 13 in 3 games. Approaching Clutterbuck numbers.

no reason why the Caps can't finish 3 more checks per game and end up with an add'l 200+ hits for the season. That'll put em in the top 10 for a change.

also disagree that hitting will somehow ruin Flash and Semin's games. It doesn't ruin any other skill player's games so why those two? Datysuk had 90 hits last yr.

more than Chimera.......:)

Semin + Flash had 66 hits total all of last season. That's pathetic.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe his time is over. Maybe he needs to move on. He's made iffy trades and hasn't drafted well over the past 5 yrs aside from one or two players." - cstanton1

That's kind of even a bigger issue with all the NMC/NTC he has thrown around, he may be leaving a big big mess for the next GM. The 3 players you named, all have one...as does Volchenkov, etc. Although I think Langs is over after this year, and Rolston 1-2 more years.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

my bad, you asked for only forwards...

not counting DJ as a healthy scratch:

Flash
Chimera
Backstrom
Semin
Gordon???
-----------

Definitely not Chimera. But the rest are good guesses. Backstrom in general averages a hit per game so he'll end up somewhere between 80 and 100 this yr once he heals up.

Gordo, Flash, Semin, Alzner are the most hit-challenged. Schultz by nature of his minutes on D will probably rack up 1 hit per game and pass up the chance for another 6 or 7. Last night though he did a decent job of playing gritty without the benefit of it showing up on the stat sheet. He stood some players up as they skated in, and he knocked a couple down in the crease. I think I saw him make 1 or 2 hits as well along the boards. So if he doesn't get a lot of hits but still keeps boxing players out in the crease and standing them up as they skate in, I'll be kinda happy with it.

overall, BGordo has no reason to pass up opportunities to finish his checks. He has the speed, and he's supposed to be on an energy checking line.

MaJo's development in that area will be interesting to watch. I saw him finish 2 checks deep in the 3rd pd last night. He also came back in a defensive situation and kinda gave a player a little shot in the back to keep him out of the crease because our D was occupied elsewhere.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 12, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't follow the Devils enough to speak on everything that has happened recently but I'd still hesitate to call a guy with his track record "crappy."

And again, no matter what things look like 3 games into the season, a lot can and will change.

It's premature to jump for joy.

On the Pens' forecheck, I actually remember Malkin's line dumping and chasing on occasion as well. Maybe it was to a lesser extent than their other lines but it was still probably as effective as any forecheck we were able to apply for the most part.

Part of that is that our defensemen weren't good enough and gritty enough and part of is that Boudreau didn't adjust and demand that we get more of a total team effort to counter their increasingly aggressive forecheck.

The Penguins didn't outskill us. They outworked us and played a more physical brand of hockey that our coaches and players couldn't respond to.

The early signs this season are that we're more committed on an individual and team level to playing with more desperation and responsibility in all 3 zones but let's see if it lasts.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 12, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Where is Quintin Laing?

Posted by: Bagher | October 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse


I'm curious also. Does anyone know?

Posted by: ttn703 | October 12, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Where is Quintin Laing?

Posted by: Bagher | October 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious also. Does anyone know?

Posted by: ttn703
----

he's a UFA... so probably on his couch or at the gym! :-|

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton01 >

His first shift on Friday looked great: beauty little flick backhand along the boards set up one rush, etc.

I do also prefer that Semin and Flash finish checks - once again, they don't have to be big hits, a good bump that stops a player's progress tires that player out and removes him from the play. I'm just imagining rationales for them not doing so.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 12, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Chicago finished 25th in hits last year. Lets not overreact to hit totals after three games.

Neuvy looks very good, the PK looks much improved and the team looks more committed to playing better defense this year. I think that is a good start.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 12, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Agree with cstanton's review of Schultz. i was at the game last night, but watched the 5 minute overtime again this morning & Schultz was amazing in defending playrs in the neutral & defensive zone. I don't think he recorded a hit during that time, but Ottawa could not get past him, one time he came out with the puck off the half boards against two Senators. Maybe it wasn't as sexy as a big hit or Erskine's takedown of Ruutu, but it was shutdown defense all the same.

Posted by: boomer44 | October 12, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if LL was directed by his owner to do the Kovy deal?

Posted by: NorthFork1 | October 13, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

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