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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Monday morning practice update

By Katie Carrera

The Caps are back skating at KCI for the first time since before their holiday break and here are some quick observations and notes.

--Tom Poti, Mathieu Perreault (broken nose) and Marcus Johansson are not out on the ice this morning. I'll have updates on all of them once the session finishes, though Perreault's absence may likely be related to his broken nose.

--Matt Bradley (broken finger) was on the ice before the start of practice working out with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. Boyd Gordon is still not skating and is walking with a boot on his right foot.

--Seven defensemen are participating fully in practice: Mike Green, Scott Hannan, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, John Erskine, Tyler Sloan and Jeff Schultz. Last week Schultz, who fractured his right thumb on Dec. 6 against Toronto, had the cast on his hand removed and began practicing with a plastic splint on his thumb.

Lines this morning are:



By Katie Carrera  | December 27, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault, Tom Poti  
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Next: Boyd Gordon out with infection, Jeff Schultz still hoping for a Winter Classic return


They are slowly but surly figuring it out.

Posted by: capscoach | December 26, 2010 12:39 PM


Nice Freudian slip you have on there--did you get it at Victoria's Secret™ or Frederick's of Hollywood®? (hahahaha)

I kid you, of course: "Surly" is quite right--our Caps have shown lots of grit and meanness the last few games--in spite of the injury parade.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

King on the 4th line! Too bad it's just a practice...

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Enough with the "BigBaby" this and "BB Must Go NOW" that, already.

If there's one thing you can count on, it's that there are basically two kinds of coaches in/aroud the NHL:

1) Those who get fired and
2) Those who (eventually) are going to get fired.

Guys like Ruff in Buffalo and Babcock in Detroit are legendary mutants, hence the exceptions.

BB is the Coach for several good reasons, I'm sure. Let it be.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised they let DJK even practice with the team...time to see if we can move him w/a pick and pick up someone like Neil, Clarkson, Mair, Mayers, etc

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Luckily the Caps are going to get a little reprieve from the schedule as they only have 4 games scheduled over the next 15 days. That will be useful in helping some of these guys heal.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 27, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


He's been on IR... No mention of it here so I assumed he was simply being benched. On the HBO 24/7 I noticed he was icing what appeared to be an ankle.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

merry xmas! hope everyone got some nice gifts. I got a Trip8 snowboarding helmet with headphones built in. The sound coming thru them is unbelievably crystal clear. Streaming Pandora thru a smartphone into the helmet is quite the experience.

Didn't see the Canes game but did see the hit on Perreault. Bad call by the officials. That's a picture perfect hit on a guy who has the puck. It wasn't a charge, wasn't an elbow. Nothing but a totally clean hit. The fact that Perrault stayed down is what put pressure on the officials to make that call. Classic case of penalizing the end result, not the action.

Good to see Hendricks jump in. Alzner did as well. Semin and Carlson looked a little unsure.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 27, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Curious if Caps fans think Hendricks's penalty was worth it. Yes, one could say he was sending a message by sticking up for Perrault. But we could have had a 5 minute PP instead of only 3. I, personally, would have rather had the 5 minute PP, but I am anti-fighting and believe in making them pay on the PP (although the Caps have not been too good at that lately). What say you all?

Posted by: chevychase10 | December 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse


Agreed, HORRIBLE call. I am pro-fighting, but anti the stupid jumping a guy after a clean hit. It seems to be the league norm now, a player takes a clean hit and you MUST respond.

Back in my day if you got leveled you simply went to the bench. Worse than the hit was you're teammates saying "Keep watching those pretty passes D-head" or "Go ahead, keep skating with your head down A-hole".

It's a physical sport, always has been and if your heads not a swivel at all times you're inviting trouble. Even then you WILL get caught occassionally. If one of our D men would have leveled a Cane with a hit like Gleason delivered (Ok, I can dream...) he would have got a high 5 from Hendrick's.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse


whoops! I can't type in the mornings!

Posted by: capscoach | December 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Just read that rain is expected in Pittsburgh on Saturday and that the NHL has Heinz Field reserved for Sunday too, just in case. If its a full rain out, the game will be rescheduled and played at Consol Energy Center.

Posted by: griz0615 | December 27, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Kattie wrote: "...though Perreault's absence may likely be related to his broken nose." DUH !!!

Posted by: rock-o | December 27, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

At the very least the game misconduct was unwarranted. The hit was borderline at worst. I think Hendricks has to stand up for a teammate who's down on the ice holding his face. With the speed of the game Hendricks can't be expected to tell a clean hit that accidentally caused an injury from a dirty hit. On the ice you have to err on the side of over reacting. Besides the way the caps power play has been going lately we're better off with a 3 minute PP than a 5.

Posted by: psujohn | December 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little write up on the possible outcomes for the Winter Classic...

Winter Classic Drama

Not to mention the money wasted by ticket holders on hotels, driving, food, etc.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse


I really want an answer from you. You get on here all the time as a know it all and never back up what you say. I am begging you to actually show us that you know more than me or other people on here.

I guess you might know him personally and have secret correspondence that the rest of us don't have, but:

Does he have a history of concussions?

Does he not fight as much as he used to?

Do other tough guys know this and therefore he is less of a threat?

I love E's toughness and I love him as a player but he is not feared by any tough guy.

In the spirit of Christmas answer these questions for the rest of us. Give other CAPS fans on here the gift of your great hockey knowledge. PLEASE!

Posted by: will111 | December 27, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse


Hey sorry man, I just saw that you did a great job answering my question the other day. Thanks. Please disregard post above.

You said: "The very nature of tough-guys on other teams is that they're fearless and not scared of anyone not name Boogaard. Erskine commands as much respect as the other noted heavies in the league, no question there."

I think you're splitting hairs. True everyone fears fighting. 200+ Lb guys throwing punches is a tough job. But tough guys for sure rank who is toughest to fight and E does not make the top 10 on any list. I love the guy but his concussions hold him back.

If you had to pick 10 guys you would not want to fight in the NHL, would he be on your list? Seriously....

Posted by: will111 | December 27, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse


just curious...where do you board? I was just at Liberty on Christmas Eve.

Posted by: capscoach | December 27, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"I love E's toughness and I love him as a player but he is not feared by any tough guy."

That's a bold statement from guy calling someone else out. One name IMMEDIATELY comes to mind to dispute your claim... Milan Lucic.

You don't have to be rocket scientist or have a phone under a glass cover 'ala Batman' wired directly to Erskines house to know about him.

*He has a concussion history.
*He doesn't fight as much because he has become more valued for his play than fists over the years.
*Other tough guys are aware of his concussions and still know he's a dangerous man to fight.
*Your 'not feared' was answered above. It should be noted Lucic is a feared fighter and Erskine has owned him twice (breaking his beak in the 1st fight).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


When Erskine fought regularly he was in the Top 10. In order to stay there you have to be active. Erskine was also regarded as the best enforcer amongst blueliners. He is still one of the toughest, but Carkner with his size and Engelland with his two KO's are at the top this season.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse


Agreed. E true fighting days are probably behind him. He'll throw them now and then, but can't put himself at risk as much as he used to because of both his concussions and his value on the ice.

Engelland is a better fighter but not a better d man. I see that as growth for E.

Posted by: will111 | December 27, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse


Engelland reminds me of Erskine. He earns his keep with his fists (for now) and should continue to grow as D man. Same path Erskine started on in Dallas.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse


Carkner and Engelland are legit heavyweights on the backline, but surpassing them both this year is John Scott. Someone to watch coming-up in a year or two is Dylan McGrath w/the Rangers.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 27, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

It should be noted Lucic is a feared fighter and Erskine has owned him twice (breaking his beak in the 1st fight).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game in Boston last week, and we were totally dominated in the first. With about a minute left, Erskine went hard at Lucic and challenged him at length. Lucic denied, and it was the only positive in the period I could point to while gabbing it up w/Bruins fans during intermission.

I believe the team fed off that (just the way the B's fed off Steckel's cowardice 90secs into the game) and that was a big reason for our inspired play the 2nd and 3rd pds. that game.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 27, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse


Is Chicago using him exclusively on the backline??? The guy's a freaking beast, Boogyman and Scott on the Wild made for a scary team to face last year! John Scott is one of the Top 10 (arguably a Top 3) fighters period. In today's kinder and genteler NHL it's amazing how many teams have embraced these monsters.

He's @ 6'8" 260lbs, when I played at 6'2" 240lbs (a monster at the time) and he would have dwarfed me. I still would have taken him on though :) I've always had more balls than brains...

Lucic knows better than to try Erskine a 3rd time. There are certain players that simply have your number and Erskine has his (even though Lucic is the bigger man). In today's league with the likes of Scott, Boogy and others they are like light heavyweights.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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