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Mink Recalled (Updated)

The Caps have recalled right wing Graham Mink and he's on the ice for the morning skate. I don't see any other recalls, so I'm assuming that means that Boyd Gordon (back spasms) is good to go.

Injured players Mike Green (bruised shoulder), John Erskine (concussion), Sergei Fedorov (sprain ankle) and Alexander Semin (upper back strain) are all skating. But it doesn't look like any will play tonight against the Panthers.

Here are the lines:



Also looks like Jose Theodore looks will start in net.

I'll have more after the skate.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 2, 2008; 10:08 AM ET
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Next: Morning Skate Update


*Insert witty remark here*

Posted by: Krazijoe | December 2, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Bummer. Well, Mink looked pretty good last week. He had a nice burst of speed to the net. I was just hoping to get a look at Oskar Osala. Let's just hope we can pull off a couple of wins this week, keep the players on the ice that we still have left, and slowly get our wounded back into the line-up. I sure like that Nylander has proven his worth in a time of need. The Nylander/Flash/Fehr line looks like a keeper. When players come back it looks like we could have Federov/Semin/Laich as a line too and we'll be back to dangerous. Already have my RED on and will be at Verizon in good old Section 430 for both games this week.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So people in the other thread are calling each other idiots...I think its time for Boo! the peacemaker to initiate a group hug

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Super, my wife gave the ticket to a co-worker of hers who might or might not be able to make the game.... but it looks like kittypaws has one avail.

JSchon, will let you know if I have one avail for Boston.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm - not sure I like the move between Fehr and Bradley. The Flash/Nyl/Fehr line has looked really good together.

Posted by: Ames00 | December 2, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse


Great picture of Erskine in the dead tree version this morning. He's never looked better. Oh wait, that was because it was actually Tom Poti. I guess that means Poti is so hurt that he's actually now Erskine.

Just busting you photo editor's chops...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 2, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree that the Flash-Nyles-Fehr line have looked good, why break up the little chemistry that seems to be there? Put Brads back on 4 with Brash and Gordo.

Posted by: chuckatcws | December 2, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

They called up Steve Buscemi?

/Miller's Crossing'd

Posted by: Section117 | December 2, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I too am scratching my head about the Fehr move, but in Bruce we trust...right?

Maybe they're looking to have more of a backchecking presence on the second line to cover for Nyls and Flash.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Let me reiterate my distaste for line-shuffling. F/N/F was doing well. Finally starting to click. Sure, our hands are forced by some injuries, but come on. Give some lines a week or two.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to the game on Thursday, hopefully will see some of those injured skaters better and back out on the ice! While I'm frustrated that some of them have been out so long, I don't want another Federov situation where someone comes out too soon and re-aggravates their injury. Hoping for the best.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | December 2, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

2 minute minor penalty to Dannyboy for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. I would've expected Laich to be on the 2nd ahead of Brads if Bruce was going break up the FNF line. Or can neither Fehr nor Bradley play the left side?

Posted by: koalatek | December 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else curious why it's Mink vs. Bourque?

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Actually hope that Bradley/Fehr switch was a little typo.

I love Brads, but the 14-92-16 line has produced beauty in the last few games. Was already looking forward to the pass, pass, pass, shoot, score play against the Panthers.

Also hope the fact that the boys are skating is a good sign. My daughter is lobbying to go to the game on Thursday in my place. She is a big Semin and Green fan. If Semin and/or Green are going to play I just might have to let her have the seat.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Update: With Feds high ankle sprain we are looking at 6 to 8 weeks from the date it happended to heal to the point of him being effective. Any setbacks and he will be day-to-day all season. Not good homies.

Update: Don't you worry Semin will be shut down -- mark my words.
Here's the deal on Semin. More than likely it involves slight tears in his shoulder that will probably require surgery. Remember last year the Nylander issue. Tried to play and they had to shut him down with surgery. Same for Semin. Of course they will give it up to 2 months before they shut him down. They know they stakes are high.

With Green it is obvious he has a slight seperation and can play once he can tolerate the pain. Reminds me of Jason Whitten from the Cowboys earlier this year -- same deal except the Greeny is no football player. He will play sooner than later and will be in and out of the line up. Probably won't be his usual self though.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else curious why it's Mink vs. Bourque?

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 10:49 AM

Posted by: Section117 | December 2, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I can think of is that BB feels that line needs a true 'grinder' .... Fehr is supposed to be this well-rounded power forward with a scoring touch. I'm not sure that's the void he'll eventually fill. Having said that, I too agree that line has 'clicked' but if BB wants some more grit in front of the net and in the corners with the young Defense .... so be it.

Posted by: MFepelst | December 2, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, the Laich-Steckel-Fehr line has been good together, too.

Oh well, I guess.

I am glad to hear that Semin is at least skating, now - he wasn't even doing that last week.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 2, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Graham Mink has looked good in Hershey; he's running at +14 on the year so far, with 11 goals and 13 assists. Hopefully he'll be able to do something Cap-worthy tonight! :)

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Why does Windjammer copy and paste the same thing into every new thread that pops up?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 2, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

yeah I heard Semin was doing figure 8's on the ice and snow angles. Not good folks.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 2, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I, too, thought that the FNF line worked the past few games (except in the CBJ game, but what DID click in that game?). Perhaps there's a different dynamic that Coach B's looking for from Fehr and/or the other two?

Perhaps he's trying to get the other line jump-started and is using Fehr to do it?

So many questions...

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Lepisto and Alzner belong in the NHL. If the Caps have to go an extended period without Poti and Erskine this team will be fine. I also think the loss of Green for a few weeks can be overcome.

The most important players to get back are obviously Semin and Fedorov. These players are not replaceable by call-ups, although I think Bourque can play in the NHL despite his lack of size.

The talent from Hershey in 2008 was on the backline and luckily for the Caps that's where I think the help will be needed most.

The reason this team has had such a difficult time on the road is that wins away from home are usually the result of prowess on the defensive end to limit opportunities night in and night out and then score the key goal.

In Alzner and Lepisto the Caps have two players that likely will be regulars when this team is ready to win a Stanley Cup.

The transition away from more limited (Erskine, Jurcina) or aging (Poti) players has begun.

Changes like that are often the result of immediate need rather than careful planning in pro sports.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 2, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Good question Sombrero Guy. I might pay attn to what windjammer had to say if it was:
1) not redundant
2) substantiated

Posted by: Steve_R | December 2, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse


Nothing original to say? Just my guess. :)


Could be bucks.

Could also be that we used Bourque last year and this year. He may be nearing the number of days on the roster where he'll have to clear waivers soon. So rather than use him, use Mink who's a similar player style.

Could also be as MFepelst suggested in that Mink grinds in front of the net more than Bourque does.

Just one more of the great mysteries that our house hockey gods perform that befuddle and astound us masses.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Something about my recent posts needs to be "held by blog owner for approval..."

What's up with that?

Section 117. Not sure $ has anything to do with it. We are under LTIR, so we are making 0 cap space with bourque or mink either way.

I could start a windjammer-esque rumor about bourque, but I'll refrain.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the dismantling of the Nyls/Flash/Fehr line either. That goal last Wednesday was a thing of beauty. From up in Sec 430 you could see it develop as they moved down the ice. BB is a heck of a coach though so we'll just have to sit back and see how things develop tonight.

Not sure why windjammer keeps cutting and pasting that buzz killing injury post either. Does he/she have inside information on the injuries, and a doctor that can truly assess how long it will take someone to come back?

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm with everyone else - why break up a good thing in 14/92/16? I do notice that BB has a habit of changing out lines during the game, though, so we might still see 14-92-16 tonight from time to time.

Or, maybe he's trying to decide which he likes better, 14-92-16 and 21-39-10 or 14-92-10 and 21-39-16? 21-92-16 isn't half-bad either.

Anyone besides me notice that Fehr spices up every line he's been on?

From previous thread: I don't know about putting every ankle injury on LTIR, FFSEnough. But Fedorov will take longer just because of his age. Let's not kid ourselves. He's reinjured it, and he says it's still sore, so how about we make sure it's 100% and let him put some trust in the joint again before we try skating him?

I do like that we're getting to try some Hershey skaters on for size and see where they fit before we bring them up for good.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 2, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Kitty, I'd like to be the butt in your open seat in 429 :)

Posted by: skinzfan4 | December 2, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Re: windjammersouth - anyone who pops in brand new and talks like they automatically know everything and can't possibly be wrong is probably just trying to impress people and can be safely ignored.

Also, I have a few updates to JSchon's list. I swear I've also seen the Semin toe-drag one but couldn't tell you which game so left it blank.

JSchon’s 50 Things to expect at times this season.
50. We will lose games - ATL 10/10
49. Ovechkin will not score - ATL 10/10
48. Someone will get hurt - VAN 10/13 (Kozlov)
47. Semin will have a defensive lapse
46. Schultz will look flatfooted - CAR 11/12
45. Poti will take 2 dumb penalties in 1 game
44. Alzner will look like a rookie at times – CBJ 11/29
43. You'll scream for Backstrom to shoot instead of pass - CAR 11/6
42. Green will get caught way out of position - ATL 10/10
41. Kozlov will annoy you for not being more physical - ATL 10/10
40. Flash will get knocked off of the puck - ATL 10/10
39. Brashear won’t fight when you want him to - ATL 10/10
38. Bradley will fight when you don’t want him to
37. Semin will toe-drag excessively
36. We'll lose a game we had no excuse losing - ATL 10/10
35. We'll win a game we had no right winning – PIT 10/16
34. Theodore will let in a softy - ATL 10/10
33. We'll start off slow - ATL 10/10
32. We'll have defensive lapses - ATL 10/10
31. We'll go 0 for on the PP - CHI 10/11
30. Bourque will play on the big team NJD 10/18
29. Lepisto will play for the big team – ATL 11/24
28. We'll lose in OT – NJD 10/18
27. We'll get shutout - BUF 11/1
26. We'll look bad - ATL 10/10
25. We'll look unbeatable - VAN 10/13
24. We'll embarrass some teams - VAN 10/13
23. Semin will amaze us with his skill - VAN 10/13
22. Ovechkin will score a hattrick – ATL 11/24
21. Green will skate through an entire defense
20. Laich will go to the butcher - CHI 10/11
19. Boudreau will look like a genius - VAN 10/13
18. Theodore will win us a game – NSH 10/28
17. Our defense will win us a game - VAN 10/13
16. Clark will take a puck somewhere he doesn’t want to
15. Alzner will make all of us believers in him
14. Nylander will cut up a defense - VAN 10/13
13. Backstrom to Ovechkin will be heard multiple times a game - CAR 11/12
12. We will sell out at the phonebooth - CHI 10/11
11. Other people will take notice – two Monthly Stars in two months? I think people noticed.
10. We will thank Fedorov for coming back another year - VAN 10/13
9. Schultz will crush someone
8. Alzner and Green will skate together
7. We will see Ovechkin/Fedorov/Semin - CAR 11/6
6. Brashear/Steckel/Bradley will be the best line on the ice - CHI 10/11
5. Chief will complain about management - Everyday
4. Wendel will ask why arent we playing Laing - Everyday
3. smartfan will sound really dumb - Everyday
2. People in here will overreact to negatives - Everyday
1. People in here will overreact to negatives - Everyday

Posted by: kittypawz | December 2, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse


Bourque was only here for 4 games last year. 4 this year. Too busy here today to look up the magic numbers, but he's not close.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

skinzfan4: Done. Email me privately at kittypawz at gmail dot com (I hate spammers) and we'll work out hooking up.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 2, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I am of two minds with the line-shuffling.

1) Letting players play with a consistent line allows them to develop a rhythm and anticipate each other.


2) Moving players around allows all the players to have some playing time with all the other players, so that in a case where we have a major player out with injury, it's not starting over from square one when we have to shuffle the lines.

I'm not sure yet which way I'm leaning on this, but the 14/92/16 line was downright a thing of beauty last game... I'd like to know what Boudreau's thinking was, but I don't expect he'll tell...

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

OK. My bust. I thought he was here more than that last year.

Never mind. :)


Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I would have also liked to see Fehr continue on the line with Flash and Nylander.

I also hate when we call up these guys from the AHL and then place them on the fourth line. Mink is an offensive player...but him with some offensive players. If you move Fehr off the line then put Mink on the second line and give him a chance to succeed. Sticking him with Brash and Gordon is not going to do it.

Posted by: CapsFanSince1979 | December 2, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

On the subject of extra tickets, I have a pair for the Islanders game on the 4th. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near my kitchen at the moment, since it's in Maryland and I'm in New York, but if anyone's interested, please let me know. :-) They're somewhere in the 400's, but I'm not sure exactly where...

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I think that BB wanted a physical presence in front of the net that Mink has more so than Bourque. Also why not reward a guy for playing really well so far? BB seems to like to play hunches on who's hot for his call ups. Bourque sure does hustle, but being so small, he isn't exactly a garbage goal guy. I remember BB complaining after the CBJ loss that no one was willing to pay the price in front of the net. My best guess

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 2, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

That's a darned good guess, JMALLCAPS! :)

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Red, now let's not get into a medical conversation or the blog will get ugly -- did I mention my hangnail theory? Just say no!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 2, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Greg S. | December 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

As long as we're in the Southeast division, we could probably put mites on the ice and be competitive.

Posted by: Whitermage | December 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@Whitermage - Way to show confidence in your team, buddy... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

windjammer, are you the team doctor? have you examined semin? i suppose not. the flaw in your assessment is that if they thought it was a long term injury, they would have put him on LTIR like clarke/schultz to save cap space. they didn't have cap issues last year, which is why they didnt do the same w/ nylander until it was obvious he couldn't go through the season.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 2, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I play a doctor on TV, but not on the WaPo's (any longer)-- Dr. Spaceman

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 2, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

You know, I am tired of hearing the Southeast division slams already. In the 14 years since the divisions were realigned and the Southeast was created there have been 5 Southeast teams to win the Eastern Conference, 2 of which went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Atlantic has been most dominate, primarily because of the NJ Devils. An Atlantic team has won the Conference title 7 times, with 4 of those (3 being the Devils) going on to win the Stanley Cup. A team from the Northeast has only won the Conference Championship 2 times, and neither went on to win the Stanley Cup.

The fact is any team in the NHL can beat any other team. The parody is unbelievable. A perfect example of that is the Caps win over the Canadiens last Friday. There is not a bigger Caps fan out there than me. I put my flag out every game day, drive 70 miles each way to sit in my 4 season ticket seats at least 35 times a year, and I still did not believe the Caps were going to win last Friday. Was I there and screaming my head off. Absolutely. I am still in shock that not only did we win, but we shut them out. I believe the key in this entire injury riddled mess is the play of Theodore. If he can get into a groove and steal games like Brodeur always has, we can win some of these games that we aren't supposed to while we heal. GO THEO!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 - AMEN!!! I am right there with you on being tired of all the Southeast Division slams - and all the slams on the Caps in general. I'm looking forward to seeing our boys back on the ice as much as the next guy, but I want to see them back on the ice healthy more than I want to see them back on the ice right now, this game. We have a damn good AHL team in the Hershey Bears, and a lot of depth in the organization, and the way it's all set up is working beautifully. We will win Lord Stanley's cup one of these days, and I, for one, am not going to believe otherwise. Even without some of our powerhouses, we're still playing well. One game at a time is the way we need to play it. We do that, and we'll go far.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Very happy to see Mink called back up. As you may have remembered I was sad to see him sent down because I thought he had a very good game in very limited time and showed excellent hands. I'm just hoping that he'd get more playing time in this game. I'd love to see him on the 2nd line with Flash and Nylander instead of Bradley. I think, Minkie could score a goal or two on that line.

Posted by: ranndino | December 2, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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