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Posted at 1:02 PM ET, 01/17/2011

Mike Green sick but will be on the Capitals' road trip

By Katie Carrera

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Mike Green missed practice because of a cold and will be on the Capitals' week-long road trip, which begins with a flight to Philadelphia this afternoon. The defenseman's absence from practice "had nothing to do with the hit" by Nick Foligno late in the game against Ottawa, Boudreau said.

While Green will be making the trip with the team, Boudreau said that the rest of Washington's injured corps -- Matt Bradley (broken finger), Eric Fehr (shoulder), Tom Poti (lower body) and Alexander Semin (lower body) -- will not travel.

Boudreau was asked about what he weighs when he opts to juggle the Capitals' line combinations, which has been a hot topic as the team continues to struggle to manufacture goals. Boudreau mixed it up several times last night against the Senators.

"I'm just looking at what guys are going, who's creating chances, who's got their legs underneath them," he said. "If it's not happening, maybe throwing somebody else [in] that can jumpstart them. Believe me, I don't like doing it, but when they start slow and they're not scoring any goals, you have to find ways to score goals."

Caps vice president of communications Nate Ewell tweeted possibly the most interesting note of the day this morning as Washington prepares to face a team equal to or above its place in the standings for the fifth time in eight games. During the 2009-10 season, the Capitals never played a team higher than them in the standings after Dec. 30 against San Jose.

Heading into Monday night's games, Washington sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 57 points, seven behind the first-place Flyers and seven ahead of ninth-place Carolina. But the Capitals are tied in points with Tampa Bay for the lead in the Southeast Division.

"I think from Day 1 it's a battle this year," Boudreau said of the tight race in the standings. "This is what the salary cap does: It makes teams better, while the better teams, they sort of stay the same. Detroit's probably the exception to the rule in the last 15 years, but people make ground and that's why it's close. Too many people expect at Oct. 1 to say this is how the standings are going to end up, and it doesn't because teams improve."

By Katie Carrera  | January 17, 2011; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, Mike Green  
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Next: Alex Ovechkin: starting 2011-12 in Russia would be 'pretty cool'

Comments

Soaringcaps - Ov skated this am! :)

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 17, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Katie...what is up with DJ King? Is he still on IR? Is he actually injured? Has GMGM or BB said anything about him and why he never plays?

Posted by: capscoach | January 17, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"This is what the salary cap does it makes teams better, while the better teams they sort of stay the same"

-----------------------

bullsht

You still have to know WHICH players to acquire and what kind of style to play. There's a helluva lot more that goes into it outside of simply opening up the checkbook. You don't see guys like Poti or Pothier getting contracts.

BB's gonna blame the salary cap to explain why other teams have closed the gap on the Caps. What a dip.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

just find it silly that a 5 minute a night pylon is the answer to what ails the Caps. The problems are a wee bit deeper than that.

Posted by: Steve_R

absolutely. In fact I'd say DJK is about 5 deep on the list of potential improvements this team could make.

But his type of player could definitely add a little boost to the lineup.

And re: his only usefulness being "fighting". We'll never know his potential here if he doesn't get used. Again, there's many similar players who started out looking like King who turned into a lot more. If you'd written those guys off without giving them the proper chances....see what i mean?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Who is this DJ King you speak of?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 17, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Dubinsky on Shelly's back is a perfect example of what we are not ! PERFECT !!!

Torts knows how to get a team to the playoffs and win. Laviolette, the same thing. BB knows bird calls, that neither of these "cup hoisting coaches" would even think about doing. Why? They are in the league to manage big, nasty men and hopefully win the prize. Torts is a bad ass, and wants to keep his reputation in tact. LaViolette knows that those ads are not something his troops would respect. Man, why can't we hire a cup winner ?????????????????????

----hunts-----

I think if you watched the Tampa teams under Torts, you'd agree that he certainly doesn't preach any type of toughness whatsoever. When they played Calgary in the 7 game series, that was the first time Torts actually awakened to the fact that his vastly more talented team was losing games because the Flames were running them thru the boards. Torts totally misused Andre Roy. He made him a 3 or 4 shift per game player. He chastised him when he got into altercations on the ice. Torts definitely is not the kind of coach you want with the Caps.

The Rags toughness is similar to the Leafs toughness. Its espoused by their GM, not their respective coaches.

I agree with you on Laviolette though. His teams have always been physical.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: patljr7 | January 17, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

just picked up my youngest from the slopes, he made it down some intermediate runs...sunny but brrr cold today!

Did you see my comment about Locker pumping-up Poti's inevitable return? Unbelieveable. And ****55 added to his negative +/- totals last night. Can't wait to get Poti back in the mix...

BTW, Bruins destroying the Canes 3-0 after one. And how about that speed, I mean grit, in their lineup? Thornton, McQuaid, Chara, Lucic, Stuart, Campbell, Boychuk, Marchand, Horton.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 17, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The Rags toughness is similar to the Leafs toughness. Its espoused by their GM, not their respective coaches.

I agree with you on Laviolette though. His teams have always been physical.

Posted by: cstanton1

But most of those players on TB were acquired before Yzerman got there.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 17, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Is BB trying to show how smart he is with all the changing line combos? How the heck are guys supposed to get any chemistry whatsoever if they never know who will be with 'em from one shift to the next.

And what does poor Nick have to do to shake free of Knuble, man he's been brutal most of this year. Good guy, no longer a top-6 on a good team.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 17, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

http://www.twitvid.com/5HOW9

why is this a suspendable offense? Shane O'Brien got 2 games for this. The NHL is crazy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Good thing this is the last yr of his contract.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 17, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

But most of those players on TB were acquired before Yzerman got there.

Posted by: sgm3


what are you talking about? We're discussing Peter Laviolette and John Tortorella. Not the current version of the Lightning or whatever point it is you're trying to make. Did you get confused again or something?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau's line combinations are hilarious. I get promoting a guy to more ice if he's playing effectively and has some jump. I noticed Laich was playing well on the boards, deserved a few extra shifts etc. However, putting MAJO on the first line - I simply don't get.

There were entire shifts in the first two frames where the Caps seemed disinterested in fighting for the puck, challenging / forechecking.

Mike Green is a shell of himself, he gets to the opposition blue line and passes it or dumps it in the corner. I remember when he used to drive the net and fire a shot or create a scoring chance off rushes.

DJ King - who knows - I do recall McPhail espousing him as someone who could both "play and fight" - a "rarity" - but we never see him.

The Scott Hannan thing is getting old - he's clearly not the guy we needed.. not a difference maker at all.

The Flyers game should be interesting. We'll hear on Ted's blog about the injuries and colds and how he's satisfied another key deliverable by introducing "Hat Trick", Slapshots new side-kick (most likely his kid).

Anyways - the new defensive system (another key deliverable) is working amazingly - keep it up BB!!

Posted by: Jaymagz | January 17, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

DJ King - who knows - I do recall McPhail espousing him as someone who could both "play and fight" - a "rarity" - but we never see him.

---------------------

he was sort of an unknown commodity because he had been injured the better part of 2 yrs. And he didn't have much NHL experience anyway.

I still think given the right development, King can be of value. If anyone ever watched Zack Stortini in his first year in the NHL, he looked BAD. Not a great hitter, horrible fighter, looked awkward on skates. But the Oil worked on his game with him and now he's an effective bodychecker who can fight and play decent minutes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes we won, but that can't hide the fact that we played terrible again barely able to generate any shots or scoring chances. I've said it before & I'll say it again. Stop playing Hanlon style hockey that the critics convinced Boudreau to switch to & get back to how we used to play. We used to dominate teams, outshoot them by a 2 to 1 margin & score tons of goals. I can't watch this crap we're playing now. The players are afraid to make a mistake & we're not going after teams like we used to. Our defensive numbers improving are also misleading. The only reason they're better is because Theo is finally off the team & the 2 kids have been tremendous. We're allowing a lot more scoring chances than before because we're not hemmed in our own zone for most of the game instead of playing most of the time in the attacking zone like we used to. If not for Varly & Nuevy standing on their head on most nights we'd be letting in boatloads of goals with this so called improved defensive play. This team was build around offense. Screw the clueless critics & go back to playing that way!

Posted by: ranndino | January 17, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

what are you talking about? We're discussing Peter Laviolette and John Tortorella. Not the current version of the Lightning or whatever point it is you're trying to make. Did you get confused again or something?

Posted by: cstanton1

I misread the comment. It was my mistake. I apologize.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 17, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

I hear what you're saying. I guess it just comes down to weather or not he'll get the chance. I doubt he will and honestly would rather see Hendricks or Brads (when healthy) every night on the 4th line.

And on to another topic. Pick one:
-2C
-the lack of a second line
-the PP scoring woes
-the PP stalling when entering the zone
-the overpriced beer at Verizon
-why Ov won't dump the puck deep when double teamed at the blue line
-optional practices, are they optional

Have at it

Posted by: Steve_R | January 17, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

BB is a comedian. To paraphrase: It's a battle from day one this year. Everybody's better because of the salary cap. Detroit is always good. We made no significant moves because we were great already. If we win I say this kind of stuff. If we lose I blame others or spin.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 17, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

apology accepted.


--------------
team was build around offense. Screw the clueless critics & go back to playing that way!

Posted by: ranndino | January
---------------

you think Boudreau listened to US and changed his game? What critics are you talking about? Certainly not any Washington media.

btw, how many teams have won Cups by playing wide open, screw the D, type of hockey? not the Wings. Not the Pens.

The Caps already tried that type of hockey in the playoffs. And all it proved was they had no idea how to play lockdown defense in a game they had a lead in.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

honestly would rather see Hendricks or Brads (when healthy) every night on the 4th line.

--------

me too. I've always favored a hard forechking hitter over a fighter who can't do that.

But if you look around the league, you'll find that many teams have both elements. It should never be a situation where Hendricks and Brads are fighting for ice time with a DJK type. One of those guys should be on a 3rd line, the other winger should be on the 4th line with a bigger bruiser like King.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

why Ov won't dump the puck deep when double teamed at the blue line
-----steve--

imo, any coach worth his weight would have been able to address that a long time ago.

For whatever reason, BB has a hard time effecting change in his top players' playing style. Either that, or he doesn't really see it as being a problem. Some of the fans have certainly noticed it.

In the Pens series 2 yrs ago, our top line had a very hard time breaking into the Pens zone. Ovechkin and company were repeatedly poke-checked or had someone in their face right as they crossed the blueline. Many times they could't even get to the blueline cleanly. Which is why the Laich-Steck-Brads line was so effective. They dumped, chased, and cycled the puck down low.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Just love that Wise article defending OVI. Typical Caps org BS and propangada.

OVI's play has fallen off the cliff and still the media isn't calling him out, aside from the one Tarik article. Anywhere else in a real hockey market and OVI would have been crucified by now, and rightfully so.

The arrogance and blindness of OVI sure is showing. I guess it's expected since the Caps org bend over backwards for him. OVI can do no wrong no matter all the partying, binge drinking, lazyness, and unprofessionalism this guy continually displays. It's just that he's getting paid 10mil per well ahead of everyone else including the by far greatest player in the NHL today....

To do what exactly? What exactly is OVI the gr8 doing that is helping his team win a championship? By being mediocre 1st rd fodder for real teams who have true reliable superstars, depth and team play? Hello Jagr II?

OVI is a pathetic afterthought now, he's good at nothing, at least before he was an excellent 1-dimensional player, the best goal scorer in the game. Now he's just a has been, can't score and can't skate anymore, still can't play defense or lead, no heart, work ethic, conditioning a joke yada yada... but he can still hit and put up meaningless SOGs, which makes him a great 10mil 3rd line player?

Worry about yourself instead, says OVI. Except these fans are contributing to your joke of a 10mil sal per year, and you're playing like a total stiff. Would a North American player say stuff like that to their critics and fans? Go back to Russia you fat, heartless, unprofessional scum.

What a disgrace to former legends by calling this guy a "best player in the world" so early.

Posted by: BigGameSid | January 17, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I invite you to reconsider whether or not you'll say DJK's name again. You get it with the role-slot, and maybe DJK's not the best person for this team, but he's all we've got at the moment and we'll never know how the team would respond to a player of his ilk. Gotta keep his name alive until the situation is resolved, one way or the other.

I say give the man 4 or 5 games in a row, starting in Philly....maybe Shelley would find him early, and then there'd be no excuses. We'd find out real quick if DJK has any value to the team.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 17, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Sid,

How's Sid's mellon feeling?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 17, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

mellon collie and the infinite sadness


vcaps, the problem with the whole DJK situation right now is if he does eventually get put in, he's going in cold and he won't get any free reign on the ice to make mistakes or whatever. So if he looks out of sorts or ends up taking a penalty, you'll get the predictable response from a certain crowd that he doesn't deserve to play, etc.

He's going to need to play in something like 6 of 8 games, and get progressively more ice time. And be allowed to break a few eggs in the process (even if it means a penalty here and there).

Without that kind of comfort zone provided to him, you're not doing justice to him or the team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Torts should be eternally grateful for Khabibulin for that Cup win, no way they get close without him playing at that level for such a sustained period. No coincidence they went from a SC-winner to nada once he left.

Vinny, Richards, Kubina and Fedetenko played some of the best hockey of their careers [MSL of course played great] but no way they beat CGY without Khabi playing like he did.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 17, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

What a disgrace to former legends by calling this guy a "best player in the world" so early.

Posted by: BigGameSid

at the time, he was. Now, he's not. If you look at what he does on a per shift basis, I wouldn't call him one of the top 20 best players in hockey. Hell, he's probably not in the top 20 best FORWARDS in hockey.

but there's plenty of time for him to rediscover his game and i bet he will. Just needs a different team chemistry to play within and he'll get motivated again. You don't really put your heart and soul into the game (unless you're Ray Bourque) if you don't truly believe in the direction of your team.

Sid would be doing the same thing. If he didn't have the supporting cast and system in Pitt, he'd be one of the game's classic underachievers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Vinny, Richards, Kubina and Fedetenko played some of the best hockey of their careers [MSL of course played great] but no way they beat CGY without Khabi playing like he did.

Posted by: Timbo_1


I thought Modin was phenomenal as well. Looked like a real power forward in that playoff season.

On D, the tone was set by Cory Sarich, Nolan Pratt, and Brad Lukowich. Those guys did all the dirty work/heavy lifting. I thought at least Sarch and Pratt outperformed Kubina. Kubina had a lot of turnovers in the Cup finals. I didn't think he was that great.

wasn't there a d0uchebag on this board a little while ago claiming that Fedotenko wasn't a physical player?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 17, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

No coincidence they went from a SC-winner to nada once he left.
---------

And by "he" I'm referring to Khabibulin and NOT Torts, just in case that was unclear.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 17, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

claiming that Fedotenko wasn't a physical player?
---------

If so it certainly was not I, I've always liked Fedetenko's game. And while's not a big hitter, he uses the body effectively and he's always willing to take a hit to make a play; ie., in front of the net, the corners, etc. And he absorbed some heavy ones that series. I thought he would thrive alongside Malkin but for whatever reason it never really clicked.

And yes Modin was excellent that series as well.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 17, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

You don't really put your heart and soul into the game (unless you're Ray Bourque) if you don't truly believe in the direction of your team.
------------

Hilarious, and true. That's officially when I lost whatever little respect I had for Sinden and Jacobs, after trading Bourque [at 40 or whatever he was] after telling him he wouldn't get an invite to camp the next fall, but then criticizing him for "not staying here to try and win with us." Whatever Harry the Hat, you're a glorified con man, is all.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 17, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I really need to stop reading this board. Way too much negativity. I do not know how far we will go in the playoffs but I can say that I like our chances for a deep run this year. We are in first place, we are playing better defense, have a fantastic PK, all this in spite of our star players not performing well. Apparently folks will not be happy unless we win the "meaningless" Presidents Cup again this year...

As for Ovie... he played a great game last night. Sick pass to MJ in the first period, great forecheck that led to first goal, amazing breakaway chance 1 min after the first goal...

Posted by: allCAPS | January 17, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

allCAPS,

Caps have 21 of 36 remaining games away. They're playing .500 hockey away from Verizon. Doesn't give me the old warm and fuzzy feeling.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 17, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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