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Matt Bradley returns to practice

The last time we saw Matt Bradley, the checking line winger was being helped off the ice in St. Louis after being knocked woozy by a Cam Janssen elbow to the head.

This afternoon, he's back for the Caps' first practice of the break -- and so far -- looks fine. He is wearing a green jersey, which means he's medically cleared to participate. Bradley might be a bleeder, but I think we can all agree that he's got one hard head.

I'm hearing that the NHL is still weighing what to do with Janssen, and that a decision won't come down today.

Two other injured players -- defenseman Tom Poti and winger Jason Chimera -- are also on the rink for what figures to be a light skate since most of them haven't seen a sheet of ice in more than a week. Poti and Chimera both missed time with groin injuries.

None of the three players who were demoted Feb. 14 -- Karl Alzner, John Carlson and Michal Neuvirth -- have been recalled from the Bears. Neuvirth is said to be nursing a minor injury.

I'll have more later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 24, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
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Thanks Tarik...

It's nice to have a Caps update...
As great as the olympic action has been I can't wait for the 2nd half...


Posted by: rdiehljr | February 24, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Not trying to be pedantic, but "demoted"? Really? I know that's the word you usually use, but in common usage I think it generally implies something negative--for example, in John Jakes's book "Love and War" Elkanah Bent is demoted back to the same rank he held when he graduated from West Point as part of his punishment for starting a riot and ransacking a brothel in New Orleans. In the case of Alzner and Neuvirth the Caps made it clear all along that they would be assigned to Hershey during the Olympic Break to allow them to continue to play and gain valuable experience. Thus, their assignment to Hershey wasn't a reflection on poor play in Washington--if anything, it indicates that the team thought they'd be valuable additions to the Bears' roster.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What is taking the NHL so long on Janssen? They sure moved quicker when it was Greenie! And Janssen is a repeat offender, with a hit that was far worse than Green's. I'm so sick of double standards. But I'll take it all back if he gets a 10 game suspension!

@1995hoo - loved the reference to John Jakes' book - I loved that one and North and South! Haven't thought about them in years. What a literate group we Caps fans are.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 24, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Way to be pedantic.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on 1995hoo. Give poor Tarik a break. We're not in a court room, nor are we writing legal briefs.

When you are a minor-leaguer in any sport and "go up to the big club", you are "promoted". In the reverse scenario, "when you go back to the minors" you are "demoted".

Posted by: Dougeb | February 24, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Two thoughts: 1. The Olympic break came at a very opportune time for Bradley and for the Caps, and during the winning streak I was thinking that would not be the case. 2. No need to announce a suspension now, with the hockey world's attention on the Olympics and no games until next week. But there SHOULD, AND WILL be a suspension. Classic cheap shot, with a blow to the head area and Bradley nowhere near the puck. I'm thinking three games, minimum.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 24, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Since folks seem to be in a picky mood today, we are actually entering the 4th quarter of the season with only 20 games left. BTW the Caps magic number to clinch a playoff spot and the division is 15. To clinch the East is 29.

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 24, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I just saw Alzner and Carlson play here in Cleveland, with the Bears winning 3-2 in a shoot out. Bears weren't so good today, and wore a groove to the penalty box. I was surprised the Monsters outworked and outshot them most of the game. And they weren't "demoted" they were reassigned so they could play more during the break, get the experience.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | February 24, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Anybody got any juicy trade rumors? Perhaps we could find the retired "Watergate Plumbers" to tap GMGM's phone...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 24, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Giving the NHL the benefit of the doubt, maybe they just want to wait on Janssen to avoid negative publicity amid all the good publicity that hockey is getting during the Olympics. If they are really having a hard time deciding what to do with him, that would be a sad state of affairs. What Janssen did was the moral equivalent of a drive-by shooting into a random home by a career criminal.

Posted by: zmega | February 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Brads is the man

Posted by: doughless | February 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

heres hoping he can break his career goal mark for a single season this year

Posted by: doughless | February 24, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Got my Sports Illustrated in the mail today. It features a two-page spread of Ovie's monster hit on our favorite ex-Cap. "Bounced Czech" is the caption. You gotta LOVE that! Go Ovie, Go Rossiya, time for Canadian beatdown tonight!!

Posted by: CAP-lanta | February 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

a) Hiller is playing lights out through one period. As a Canadian, I am hoping he can continue this for the rest of the game (sorry).

b) There has been talk of Hamhuis likely being available, as the Preds won't take on him, Suter and Weber, and if this is the case it would be sweet if the Caps made a push for him. He's a real solid player, and maybe ShaMo and a 2nd or something could land him in Washington. Might have to throw in a prospect (Bourque maybe), but I, personally, think it would be worth it.

Posted by: Aldred15 | February 24, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Has Varlamov suited up for a game in the Olympics? That is the only requirement to get a medal if the team wins one isn't it?

Posted by: tim-n-VA | February 24, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I expect the Canadians to run Ovi tonight, maybe by one of the Flyers. Anyone else expecting that?

Posted by: zmega | February 24, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

zmega: if they focus too much on Ovie, that just gives Semin and Malkin a lot more room to operate.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The Swiss just caught a big break on that no goal. Talk about close!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | February 24, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Canadian fans look like a bunch of D-bags cheering for the Swiss. just like Cyndy: whiners!!

Posted by: doughless | February 24, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Yowser. We finally get one past Hiller (32 saves through 2!) and it's (correctly) disallowed. We need to blow this open in the third.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 24, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

i was prepared to remain neutral in the Canada v. Russia game, but I may be rethinking

Posted by: doughless | February 24, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

you can easily see why the Caps are such a terrible PK team... they just don't have anyone who can consistently block shots

guys like Drury are shot-blocking machines

Posted by: joek443 | February 24, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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