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Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Quick notes from a lightly-attended Capitals practice

By Greg Schimmel

Attendance is light at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning for an optional practice, as more than half of the Capitals' regulars apparently opted to take the morning off before the team's trip to Florida.

Only six forwards and five defensemen are skating with goaltenders Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, and even Bruce Boudreau is already in his shirt, tie and suit pants.

The forwards who are skating are Jason Chimera, Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks, Matt Bradley, Eric Fehr (shoulder) and D.J. King.

The defensemen out there are Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Jeff Schultz, Tom Poti (groin) and Tyler Sloan.

More to come after what should be a brief practice.

By Greg Schimmel  | March 4, 2011; 11:11 AM ET
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Next: Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov expected to miss 7 to 10 days


OMG Ovie skipped another practice...TRADE HIM NOW!!!


Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 4, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Love it, SAOTI!

I mean, 12 hours after an all-out max lifting session, you're supposed to get right back at and lift the same muscles, isn't that what they say?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Btw SAOTI, how about that pass your boy made to Arnott, did he put that on a freaking platter for him or what?!

Puck's bouncing like crazy on that notorious VC ice, crucial time in the game - and Good Sasha delivers a beaut - that was a great effing pass, what a play.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I want Backus next year.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 4, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Arnott isn't out there? Some leader missing practices. haha

So 11 guys and 4 didn't play last night. I actually would have liked Carlson to have taken the option as well but I am sure they aren't skating hard. He just is starting to look like he is trying to do too much out there the last few games.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm upset that Erskine isn't out there. He definitely needs to practice on how not to pinch at the offensive blue line and letting up 2-on-1s.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for everyone with regards to Neuvrith last night and also our 3 new guys

On the way home from the game several callers said what an outstanding game Neuvy had. While I believe he game up with the great saves when needed I don't see this great game he had. I sit in Sec 115 and have a really good sight line of him for the 1st and 3rd. Both and several other STH noticed that he appeared as if he was not comfortable even in the third and we also commented that he kept losing sight of the puck in play. Now was that just from our view or did it appear that way to others also.

As to the new guys, same thing on the radio after the people are screaming what a great move by GMGM. Again so far so good but isn't it to early, 2 games to say it was a great move or have I just had to much goats blood over the past 6 months.

Posted by: bqts | March 4, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Alright, where's vt to spin us some cock-and-bull story about how John Erskine single handedly won us this game???...
Please Get Well Soon Mike Green or Tom Poti, it doesn't matter as long as one of you gets back ASAP to put "Johnny Rockstar" on patrol in the Press Box where he belongs.

Posted by: CapsNut | March 4, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks ****55 and Poti should play ahead of Erskine in the playoffs is indeed a nut. Yes, Rock Star had an off game and I agree he shouldn't be pinching as often as he's been doing lately. Perhaps you remember me urging #4 to remember his roots and stick to his bread and butter a couple weeks ago??

But frankly capsnut, everyone struggled on the backline last night and I thought Carlson and ****55 looked just as bad, if not worse, than Big John. The goal that was scored against Ersk/Wide last night resulted from a poor pass by Sturm, leaving Erskine in no-mans land and the Blues capitalized. Not sure how JoeB/Locker saw the 2nd goal, but the Blues announcers laid the blame squarely on Sturm for that one.

I think Rock Star needs to recognize that on nights like last night, when he doesn't have his A game, that's the time to contribute by being a bully or beating the tar out of someone. I think the club needs to figure out a way I can communicate w/Johnny during games so that we can better avoid sub-par performances.

And two thumbs up to Bradley...that'll teach others to not try to run away from a fight. Based on his play the last couple games, I think Brads must've read cstanton's posts about his uninspiring play.


Posted by: vermontcaps | March 4, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: GFisher1 | March 4, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Semin's Birthday was yesterday. A lightly attended practice after a night of boozing and carousing should not be considered news. With this team it's par for the course I'm afraid.

Posted by: migidimick | March 4, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@migidimick -

or a night at semins house playing Xbox. But whatever you choose to spit out on here is your call.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 4, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse


Come on man, you know damn well Semin has a Wii.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 4, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Btw SAOTI, how about that pass your boy made to Arnott, did he put that on a freaking platter for him or what?!

Puck's bouncing like crazy on that notorious VC ice, crucial time in the game - and Good Sasha delivers a beaut - that was a great effing pass, what a play.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Not only that, he had the skill, and confidence to actually take the time to take the blade of his stick and turn it down toward the ice to insure the puck was flat on the ice, and then deliver the perfect pass. Something else to think about. Every goal last night for the Caps was almost unstoppable. Hannan's shot hit the post on the short side before going in. Backstrom's was infincredible, and Arnott's was a one-time off of a sick pass on a two on one.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 4, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@VTCaps - agreed about #55 but have to strongly disagree about Carlson - if he's not our best one-on-one defender, I don't know who is. There was a play last night late in the game, STL sprung a guy all alone vs. Carlson - and Johnny C just ate him him up and forced a turnover. And his breakout pass led directly to the Backstrom goal.

And ftr, I'm pretty sure it was Hannan and Schultz - and not Erskine - who got burned by the Steen goal. I'll have to watch it again but I thought it was Hannan.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

():-) )

(kool aid pitcher icon - requires two lines...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 4, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I really liked the "wheels" line last night - wow, what a great use of those three guys. They may be firing blanks but the flash and smoke is confusing the opposition! I've always thought Semin's biggest problem has been finding someone with a high enough hockey IQ to play with him. Problem solved. (Thank God GMGM and his scouts know a lot more than I do.)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 4, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal - because you're pegged as a literary type, I have to say that Chimera is a little like Perseus, if the latter had stolen a glimpse at the Gorgon: he still has the winged footwear, but at times the hands and head have appeared to be turned to stone...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 4, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

From an earlier post: whoever you were, you're right about GMGM. He's taken a poor team and year in, year out, they're now in the Stanley Cup conversation. And the drafts - all hinging of course on the luck of getting #8 - have been fairly strong.

And I think we've gone a long way towards making our D more versatile. We now have some big brawny types (Erskine, Sarge) and some quicker types, Green, Wideman, Hannan and we'll be able to cope with the quicker forwards.

This should be a very strong team when Green is back on form. I would not want to have to defend Green, Wideman, and Carlson, one after the other...No other team in the league has got three d-men with those skills on three different pairings.

GMGM was right: speed is about letting the puck do the work. Wideman's passing has been superb.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 4, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Yogi: Nice pitcher there!

As for Chimera, as Perseus, maybe he accidently touch Medusa's snake hair after he killed her.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 4, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Hannan's shot hit the post on the short side before going in. Backstrom's was infincredible

Agreed - and let's not forget who made the key pass on both those goals! Ovie doesn't get nearly enough for his playmaking, IMO - how he saw Hannan cutting in like that, I don't know. and that bump pass to Knubes on the 2nd - right on the tape, off a Carlson rocket. Ovie's passing is very, very underrated - as is Semin's IMHO.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@RedLit - I wouldn't put Wideman defensively with those other two, Carlson and Green have a much, much quicker first step - Wideman sometimes needs a little help. Which he certainly had in Beantown [Chara]; FL, not so much.

You know, just trying to protect my rep as a [decided!] non-kool-aid drinker, and all ;-)

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The Caps were skating, not floating, last night. And their puck support was the absolute best I have ever seen under Boudreau. Awesome.

Now, work on the finishing and the clears and for goodness sake, quit it with all the pinching!

Posted by: fanzee71 | March 4, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Great pass Sasha to Arnott and a belated Happy Birthday! Also, Nick great hit - one in a million! Hannon keep shooting, glad you got a goal and glad you are with us! GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: allforSemin | March 4, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Stop making practices optional

Posted by: rclow | March 4, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

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