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Ovechkin Probable for Senators

Okay, here's the latest on Ovechkin: He suffered a superficial cut on his inner thigh after Kris Letang's skate came up and sliced him as he hit the Pittsburgh defenseman early in the third period last night.

Oveckin is walking around without a limp, and said he's not in pain. But he's also not practicing today and doesn't know for sure whether he will play tomorrow. He said he plans to take the morning skate, then make a decision on whether to play or not.

"Probably I play," Ovechkin said. "After the morning skate tomorrow, we'll see."

Frederic Cassivi just walked into Scotiabank place with about a dozen sticks under his arm -- but no pads. His equipment bag didn't make the flight. So he won't be practicing.

Without Ovechkin, here's what the lines look like:

Laing-Steckel-Bradley (should have never been apart)

Update: I just spoke to Boudreau about the line combinations. He told me not to read too much into them. He plans to "sleep on it" and wait until Ovechkin's status is determined before making any firm decisions about tomorrow's lineup. It does, however, appear that either Matt Pettinger or Tomas Fleischmann will be scratched.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 28, 2007; 3:18 PM ET
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Next: Ovechkin Probable, Cassivi's Pads AWOL


Alex will play - like everyone said... he has only missed one game since he has been in Washington.

A lil Vodka tonight should do the trick.

Posted by: 828 | December 28, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Fred's getting tossed straight into the lion's den. I wonder who is going to be in net for Hershey for awhile. I'm planing to head up there tomorrow. Good luck to Fred, I think he'll need it. The Sen's sound really pissed off about the last game.

Of course, if Emery distracts them enough it may not matter...

Posted by: EricS | December 28, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"Without Ovechkin, here's what the lines look like:"

You made me shudder when you said that.

Posted by: pmoravek | December 28, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - Thanks for all the great updates today. I hope this puts an end to the conspiracy theories about Ovie's injury and treatment...but who am I kidding.

Glad to hear his injury was not too serious. Hope Freddy's equipment bag shows up soon!

Posted by: Jill | December 28, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

>Ovechkin had superficial cut on his inner thigh.

Now look and count the word "superficial" in Anatomy of the Human Body definition for femoral artery in femoral triangle:

"In the femoral triangle (Fig. 549) the artery is superficial. In front of it are the skin and superficial fascia, the superficial subinguinal lymph glands, the superficial iliac circumflex vein, the superficial layer of the fascia lata and the anterior part of the femoral sheath."

No kidding...

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 28, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, it seems like we finally had the first big mistakes of the year for BB. First, sitting Laing instead of Pett, Flash or Kozlov proved to be very costly. And, the decision to use Laich for the shorthanded faceoff was absolutely indefensable.

Has BB commented? This were truly devastating decisions that cost the team 1 point on most of the Eastern Conference and 3 points on the Pens!

Caps cant afford the Joe Gibbs-like lapses on the coaching front.

Posted by: sean | December 28, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure BB was thinking Gordo "could" be rusty and let Laich take the draw. We can second guess all day long but if Gordo lost the draw and we had the same result, I'm sure we would be saying he was brought back too soon or his timing is still off etc, etc. Let's just remedy how Crosby and Gonch got so open in the first place and make sure it does not happen again.

p.s. Brash had a good game and did everything asked of him as usual.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 28, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse


Agree on the Crosby/Gonch play. But with regards to faceoffs, both Gordo and Backstrom were dominating last night and you also have Steckel. Putting Laich out there was not an option.

Posted by: sean | December 28, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse


>I'm sure BB was thinking Gordo "could" be rusty and let Laich take the draw.

Gordo won all his faceoffs yesterday, was 8:0. BB made a mistake not putting him on faceoff with few seconds left shorthanded, but he did put him in a lineup and Gordo had a major assist in addition to great faceoffs work.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 28, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I too have thought about it, way too much if you know what I mean, but I'm thinking it was a timing/set play which did not go off as planned. Laich could have been trying to push it forward for all we know but if that was the case, where were our forwards? Whatever the case, unless we get Gabby and Brooks to explain, we can never know. I'm sure they have gone over it. Oh well, let's just play the Sens hard like we know we can.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 28, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think Boudreau has admitted one mistake because it looks like Laing will be back in tomorrow.

He also discussed the faceoff. He said he didn't want to call a time out because that would have allowed the Pens to regroup as well.

Posted by: Tarik | December 28, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

What was the result last time Ovie was out

Posted by: Scott | December 28, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Ovie was suspended last season for a game when he hit Briere from "behind". I was there, saw the replay, and looked like Ovie tried to pull up. Don't get me started about that hit but Briere is gutless for spearing Ovie in the nuts next time they met. Anyway, we won the next game sans Ovie.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 28, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"Laing-Steckel-Bradley (should have never been apart)"

> p.s. Brash had a good game and did everything asked of him

Very true.

> as usual.

No way.

On the Ovechkin cut: why don't the Caps have their own doctor? We pay these guys several million a year, and we don't have a guy to take care of them on-site if they get Malarchuk'd?

Posted by: MikeZ | December 28, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin was *NOT* suspended for his hit on Briere. He was ejected and fined, but not suspended. His only missed game was in his rookie year.

I don't remember what for.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | December 28, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh right, it was at the Worlds this past May Ovie got the one gamer. I'm bonkin'

Ovie did miss a game in '05 but it was an injury.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 28, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

This is in response to all of this talk of Ovechkin bleeding to death from the skate cut to his inner thigh... especially the excited postings of "alexovetjkin."

1) Look, the skate would have had to go pretty deep to reach the superficial femoral artery (SFA). I know the anatomy picture that was posted by alexovetjkin shows the femoral artery is relatively close to the skin (link for you here ). The fact is that it would have been a relatively severe cut to reach that deep. You would have seen a lot more blood on his socks immediately and he wouldn't have skated off of the ice quite so calmly.

Much more likely than an SFA injury, would have been an injury to his greater saphenous vein, which would have bled, but not very briskly. This vessel lies on the inner aspect of your thigh. It is the same vein that we harvest for bypass surgeries in the lower extremities or the heart. When I say harvest, I mean that we cut it out (remove it completely) and use it elsewhere in the body. In other words it is not essential that your leg have this vein.

So, given all of the facts at hand, as well as the comments that he "got a few stitches," I doubt that his life was ever in danger. Could the cut have been deeper than we have been told? Sure, of course it could. But then we'd be hearing about how AO was going to be out indefinitely, and not that he might play tomorrow.

2) Is there a chance that the "doctor in the house" took his/her sweet time to get down to the locker room? Sure, that isn't very far fetched in my mind if they were a local Pittsburgh physician. That sort of thing wouldn't be unheard of in the NHL. I do agree that that would be innapropriate behavior that should be looked into by the league. But I don' think that AO's life was put in jeapordy.

3) Not to diffuse controversy in one breath and then create a new one with the next, but as a doctor and a hockey player myself, I'd be more concerned about him picking up a Staph infection (like MRSA) than they are about him bleeding to death in Penguins' locker room. If he plays tomorrow, the cut sure won't heal as well, and will probably re-open a bit during the course of the game. I can't imagine what bacteria grow in sweaty old hockey pants/socks. Wonder if someone has ever looked into that topic. There is probably something in the medical literature about football players and bacteria in their equipment.

Depending on how bad it looked, I might ask Ovie to sit out the Sens game.

Posted by: Ogilthorpe | December 28, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse


>Depending on how bad it looked, I might ask Ovie to sit out the Sens game.

Ditto! Thank you very much, Sir. Actually I've sent email to a friend of mine (sport's medicine doc) who stitched a lot of players in ECHL. If I get an answer in time, I'll post it.

One thing you forgot though, it's not a Staph infection that is scary, but a drug resistant bacteria that kills a lot of people now. I don't remember who the player was, but he had some serious injury and the team's doc didn't want him to go to ER in fear of Staph or drug resistant bacteria. So he did all the "work" at the staduim.

Another thing is what if the cut is very close to the artery? (btw, there's the same name vein that goes in parallel). Can it burst if Ovie goes and plays hard?

Well, I thought about my 'exciting posts' that some people (not you) don't appreciate and here's the analogy that I came up with:

Imagine your dog was cut or hit by a car, you take him to a vet and the vet, though in the office, is no show. What would you do with this vet?

And we are talking about human being, not to mention the best hockey player on Planet Earth.

Ok, I am done with it.

Just one more thing before I shut up: I'd kill that vet. :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | December 28, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

@Mike Z,

The Caps doc was too busy trying to fix Olie's bruised ego to deal with OV's leg.

Posted by: Bobo | December 28, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Half an hour?

WP: "Ovechkin went almost immediately to the visitors' locker room at Mellon Arena for medical treatment after suffering the cut. But he said he had to wait for the Penguins' medical staff to finish tending to a Pittsburgh player, and therefore ended up missing the rest of the game.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was not pleased by the delay.

"You make your assumptions on that," Boudreau said. "I don't know why. I'm just told that it took upwards of a half-hour."

Posted by: Half an hour!!!!!! | December 28, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse


I mentioned the resistant infection in my previous post...

MRSA = Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus = "Staph infection"

...same but different

If the artery was never severed in the first place, then it won't "burst"

No need to hurt your Vet

Posted by: Ogilthorpe | December 29, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Flash (HA!) is useless. Scratch him in place of Laing.

Posted by: jon | December 29, 2007 2:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't care to read what anybody else wrote. I am just going to say that Petty or Flash should be scratched and Laing should play

Posted by: Somberero Guy | December 29, 2007 3:52 AM | Report abuse

i can't figure out which penguin player needed 30 minutes of attention from a doctor. they had a full bench, no?

Posted by: pgreene | December 29, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Just to clear a couple of things up....Clint Malarchuck(sp) was cut on the neck not the leg, and was lucky to be alive with quick attention. The person that did bleed out from a femeral artery wound was Sean Taylor. A few stiches do not fall into either of those.

Posted by: Rich | December 29, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I absolutely know that in a very short period of time that the Caps will be announcing that Clark has decided, like Sakic, that he will go the SURGERY route. I just know it.

Posted by: score | December 29, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for asking BB the question on why Laich took the faceoff. BB's response was a bit lame. There were only 6 seconds left in the penalty. If the Caps win the faceoff, the penalty would have expired and the Caps (hopefully) would have won the game.

One other item for those who are thinking of going to the Bears game tonight (Sat.). You better have tickets. I called the Giant Center box office this morning and the game is a complete sellout.

Posted by: capsfaninpa | December 29, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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