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Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 02/25/2011

Nicklas Backstrom expects to play against Rangers, Mike Green uncertain

By Katie Carrera

Nicklas Backstrom said he expects to play against the Rangers tonight at Verizon Center. His left thumb, which was fractured by a slash from Pittsburgh's Kris Letang on Monday, is wrapped up rather well with tape and gauze, but the Capitals' top-line center is hopeful that it won't impede his ability to take faceoffs or handle the puck.

In other injury and illness news, defenseman Mike Green skated after missing Thursday's practice with the flu. Green said he still wasn't sure if he would face New York because his energy level hasn't fully rebounded from the illness. If he does play, don't be surprised if his ice time is a little more limited than usual.

The illness is a disappointment for Green, who was determined to play against the Rangers after he missed six of the last seven games after he was struck in the head by a puck on Feb. 6. The good news is that Green said his head feels fine and that the balance problems that resulted from that blow and subsequent inner-ear trauma seem to have subsided.

"It's just bad timing with what I came down with," Green said. "I feel good as far as my head and my ear. It's just unfortunate I don't feel well with being sick. Today I'm a lot better than yesterday. I'll talk to the trainers here and see what they want to do and if I can play.

"I think mostly [the decision will be based on] whether I have enough energy, and if I'll be effective out there," Green said. "Not much point in me playing if I can't play all the minutes I need to and whatnot."

By Katie Carrera  | February 25, 2011; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Next: Bruce Boudreau talks about bringing new players into the fold after trades

Comments

@will, favorite, no, but strong competitior, yes. Philly and the Habs were not favorite last year and both got to the conference finals. I am all for trading draft picks and some prospects (the right ones) are worth it for increasing our chances for this year (and next if we can get a player who is more then just a rental). We already have several guys in Eakin, Kuzzy, and Orlov who are going to be big players in a year or two how many more picks do we need to keep to get more guys? I like A Gordon, Beagle and the others but if we can trade picks and them for something I am all for it. It isn't like there aren't Hendricks out there every year who can play in the bottom 6.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@will, favorite, no, but strong competitior, yes. Philly and the Habs were not favorite last year and both got to the conference finals. I am all for trading draft picks and some prospects (the right ones) are worth it for increasing our chances for this year (and next if we can get a player who is more then just a rental). We already have several guys in Eakin, Kuzzy, and Orlov who are going to be big players in a year or two how many more picks do we need to keep to get more guys? I like A Gordon, Beagle and the others but if we can trade picks and them for something I am all for it. It isn't like there aren't Hendricks out there every year who can play in the bottom 6.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@will, favorite, no, but strong competitior, yes. Philly and the Habs were not favorite last year and both got to the conference finals. I am all for trading draft picks and some prospects (the right ones) are worth it for increasing our chances for this year (and next if we can get a player who is more then just a rental). We already have several guys in Eakin, Kuzzy, and Orlov who are going to be big players in a year or two how many more picks do we need to keep to get more guys? I like A Gordon, Beagle and the others but if we can trade picks and them for something I am all for it. It isn't like there aren't Hendricks out there every year who can play in the bottom 6.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

oops sorry for the triple post. Pressed the button once, came back 2 minutes later and it still had done nothing so I pressed a second time, no idea how the third time happened.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

And a trifecta for icehammer!!!

Posted by: PhilR | February 25, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@ seminallovertheice

I think Laich is an integral part of this team. I was one of those who were shocked that he wasn't named captain. It wouldn't hurt us so much talent wise but Laich is part of the leadership here. He's UFA anyway. I'd like to see them extend his contract. Must be that I'm in the minority here on this one.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 25, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

get Green on an I.V full of steroids, and pump him full of juice until he feels like the Hulk.

Remember when Bondra wouldnt take cold medicine because he thought he would fail a drug test?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 25, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@Cayugal

I agree Laich is important to the team, more so in the locker room. However the fact he has not received an extension makes me think he's very tradable.

They gave Hendricks an extension before him. So either Laich thinks he's worth way more than what the Caps have offered. Or the Caps haven't offered him one

Both Hendricks and Semin got one before him, who many thought would be the captain. Something isnt adding up there at least in my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat | February 25, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer97:

You always meed picks! Always. You never know what can happen to a player or their development in the NHL. Kuzzy might play 3 games here and decide he's home sick. There are a number of variables.

Like I said before, anyone who gets in the playoff has a chance.

BUT icehammer, seriously, is there anyone out there that you really in your heart or hearts think will get us past the other big boys in the east? Be honest.

Posted by: will111 | February 25, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@will you can go a year or so without picks. You want the best example look at Detroit. Yes, we could have a guy quit but to that point the pick you feel we can't give up could never make the NHL either. Like I said there are players I feel will make this team much better. As for being able to get by the big boys as you called it, when the playoffs happen anything can happen and you just want to have the best team possible. I don't think even Habs fans thought they could take down both the Caps and the Pens last year but they did and both times doing so winning a game 7 on the road. Being a favorite or "the best" going into the playoffs means nothing but getting better is very important. If we could get a Stasny or Weiss I think we are a much better team especially if we can somehow get Weiss for something like MP, Beagle, and a first. It doesn't sound like that would do it but if we could that would make us a much better team giving up very little.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

On an unrelated note, why does Comcast continue to put the Wiz on their HD channel and banish the Caps to the low-def alternate channel? DirecTV doesn't carry the hi-def alternate channel. Sucks!

Posted by: vt901 | February 25, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@Cayugal

I totally agree with you on Liach however I also think that ThePat has a very good point, there is something a miss right now.
While I believe Hendricks worked his a$$ off so far this year and earned his extension and no offense ment SAOTI :) but not I wish I could say the same about Semin. Liach has left alot to be questioned about his on ice game this year.

Posted by: bqts | February 25, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yes, we can fit Statsny (and keep Semin) if we don't retain Laich. I agree my Laich figure (3.25) might be high. Laich though is great as #3LW (checking line, PK and sometimes PP).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 25, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@cay & Pat

I think you guys are on the right path regarding Laich. The sticking points are $ value and length. He sees Semin get 6.7 and probably thinks he deserves in the range of 4-5. I think if he would just camp out more in and around the crease, the goals and dough would follow. Too many times he wants to play along the boards with Semin and co. but that is not his game nor his role.

Posted by: puckman | February 25, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Hard to believe there haven't been any moves today after how many have already occured this week. I thought today would be very busy.

Posted by: PhilR | February 25, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that a lot of other teams in the NHL covet Laich more than we do. By we, I mean the domain of the blogosphere, not GMGM and BB.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 25, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@Phil, still early, I don't think any of the moves yesterday happend after waivers at noon.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Laich is a leader in the lockeroom and one has to assume that both Knuble and Hannan are going to be unlike to both be resigned in the offseason. Hannan will probably cost too much and won't a 4 year deal and Knuble is near the end of his career. If Laich were to be traded as well, there would be virtually no veteran leadership in the locker room which is key.

I'm still thinking the Caps will do the rent a player route and get Tim Connolly from Buffalo and possibly Brian McCable from Florida. If the Caps put Poti on season ending IR, I think the have the cap space to make those moves.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 25, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@Phil

Might not see any today. 18 teams are playing tonight, it could be quiet until Sunday.

Or they could still break at any point.

Posted by: ThePat | February 25, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Laich's play lately has been much better and his crease presence has been very good. You trade him, you better expect some dropoff. Hendricks, Brads, and Knuble are the only other forwards to consistently go into the crease with a recent honorable mention to Ovy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 25, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

A Tortorella-coached team is obviously going to go after Backstroms' thumb at some point.

For starters, Avery has their highest face-off win percentage

Posted by: austinsteve | February 25, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

As for Laich's value, he was like 37 pts - 50 pts - 59 pts over three years. Based on that, I had him pegged last summer, assuming he maintained trend, at 3.75-4.0 for new contract. The production (like with whole team) hasn't been there. He's a good player, a valuable team player, one could argue worth Lombardi (3.5) as a UFA. We'll see. The last month and playoffs in 2008 drove up his value for the current deal, so we'll see.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 25, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Pretty civilized posts here today... kind of refreshing. Maybe a few of the usuals are away in therapy right now. Anyway, pertaining to all of the trade talk, etc... I would like things to remain pretty much intact. I am in when it comes to filling in the #2 center but would end it there. Even in that spot, I would prefer to find a player like they did in Feds a couple years back. Somebody like Arnott might do (although I do not hold him in the same regards as Feds). We have so many young kids that show promise in the next couple of years. Guys like Alzner and Carlson are 2 to build the defense around. I would hate to see management break things up for 1 run at the cup by trading away the talent we DO have to bring in a quick fix. So, a pick or two for a temporary strengthening of the #2 spot with the idea that MaJo will continue to improve and assume the role soon.

Posted by: gonchpup | February 25, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

... well said ...

... and don't underestimate the relevance of team chemistry ...

... a team wins it all, not a single player ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 25, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup: I would like to say that the posting on here is about 90-95% civilized. We all have different definitions of "civilized." Every once in awhile someone comes on and says, in a Yogi Berraesque way, "I used to post, but it's all so terrible here, I don't post anymore."

Compared to other blogs I've perused, this one is fine. There's some name calling and there should be none at all. Some people make fun of the coach's physique, and they really shouldn't. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

It's not perfect here, but nothing is.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 25, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

LA's Marco Sturm is on waivers, and Commodore and Rivet are on re-entry waivers. Anyone have any interest?

We also put Todd Ford on waivers, wait who?

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Marco Sturm has been placed on waivers....

Posted by: PhilR | February 25, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

He's South Carolina/Hershey goalie...not sure why he's on waivers as he wasnt under a Washington contract.

Posted by: ThePat | February 25, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

... especially if some philosophize on wine, drinks, and dinner ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 25, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Does Commodore have anything left? He was a good player when he was a cane. Fine playoff beard, too.

BTW, we should agree on CI to treat each other as well as they treat each other in Congress.

Oops.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 25, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

So if we put Ford on waivers who is in hershey right now ??????

Posted by: bqts | February 25, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Sure is quiet on this site today, calm before the storm?

What do you guys take from LA placing Sturm on waivers?? Is his knee screwed up that badly or are they simply clearing cap space to make a big splash?

Posted by: PhilR | February 25, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I would take Commodore and Rivet over Poti and Sloan. Both have experience and grit. They both have lost a step though.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 25, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

On Ford, the Caps had to sign him to an NHL contract to go on waivers. I guess it is bc Holtby and Sabourin are both really banged up. So if Neuvy/Varly goes down they need someone to call up. Quite bizarre.

Posted by: ThePat | February 25, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Its definitely more Sturm's knee injury. They have plenty of salary cap space so wouldnt need to clear it. But they probably need his roster spot.

Posted by: ThePat | February 25, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Where is that German kid playing that they drafted as a goalie?

Posted by: PhilR | February 25, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Commodore has two more yrs at $1.875M cap hit even with half-charge due to re-entry waivers.

CBJ must have decided to Nylander him.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 25, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

BTW, we should agree on CI to treat each other as well as they treat each other in Congress.

Oops.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 25, 2011 12:21 PM

political reference? i think in the back of your mind, way down deep somewhere, you're thinking of white #22 and sarah (with maybe a polar bear rug, fine wine and a nice view of russia)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 25, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The Bear's site has Dany Sabourin, Holtby, Ford, and Jared DeMichiel. I know Holtby is hurt but what about Sabbo? Could it be DeMichiel and Sabo or is Holtby good enough to sit on the bench maybe?

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Pat may be on to something.

Nate Ewell
probably signed and has to clear waivers for the deal to kick in

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Sabourin is out for the season.

Posted by: _Mark | February 25, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Commodore has two more yrs at $1.875M cap hit even with half-charge due to re-entry waivers.

CBJ must have decided to Nylander him.

Posted by: tominsocal1

... or Souray him ...

Rivet might be the better fit then ... as an insurance defenseman. What is his hit?

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 25, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

In my mind Laich AND Semin are tradeable commodities.

The movement of either/both players doesn't change the long-term profile of the organization.

If a team wanted Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov as part of a deal then that would be another story.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 25, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Dany Sabourin is out for the rest of the year with injury.

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 25, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

Sabourin I believe is out for the year or close to it. Holtby is week to week with an injured knee.

Posted by: ThePat | February 25, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping the Caps will use draft picks to get the second line center more than prospects. I think MoJo is just now starting to hit his stride. It really does take Europeans some time to adjust to the NHL.

I think between Eakin, MoJo and Kuznetsov, one of them will be the real deal. And the others will be decent or moved to wing.

A first and 3rd round pick is pretty valuable...we can use those and a "sweetner" to close any deal that needs doing.

Posted by: capscoach | February 25, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Just to add to the Stastny/Semin debate. I can tell you that it wouldn't take Semin to snatch him. It will take some assets and it will take current players but Semin can stay (and will want to even more).

I'm debating how I want to say this. Lets try this, GMGM is looking to make a very significant move. Plan "A" has a player on a team that has yet to go into "sell" mode as they want to see how their games go over the wkend as they're still in the playoff hunt. Plan "B" is a significant move and this player is available. There is some "framework" and "interest" on both sides.

So all of that being said, I'm guessing that if plan "A" is gonna go down it won't until Monday due to the other team wanting to take the wkend to decide on if they will buy or sell.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 25, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

new thread.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 25, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal

Ha! Using Nylander as a verb.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 25, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Statsmy would be nice, but unless they move Semin, there's no way the salaries would work for next year.

Posted by: chombie13 | February 25, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Very true tominsocal. Nothing in life is perfect. And if everyone agreed with everyone else, life and blogs would be dreary affairs.

I even pop over sometimes to read game threads for Tmac's criticisms of Ovi. He's so relentless I have to laugh, although I give him credit. On extremely rare occasions a brief word of praise for Ovi may pass through his keyboard.

BTW what has happened to the doodie brigade? Does it still exist? Or have most of the doofus' recamped for greener pastures?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 25, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@@@Posted by: vt901
``````````````````````````````````````````

one those nights I go to a site ,ATDHE.me and I watch any hockey game for free . great HD quality ! enjoy

Posted by: doggydodo | February 25, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah Greens soft and a PUSSY!

Posted by: jp14710 | February 25, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

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