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Thursday Morning Update

It's not looking good for the injured Caps.

Clark (lacerated left ear) didn't skate this morning and said he's still suffering from a bit of dizziness. He said he doesn't have a concussion, but he's not going to play tonight or tomorrow. And his ear, to my surprise, doesn't look that bad, all things considered.

Semin (sprained right ankle) did not skate and won't play tonight. He's also not likely to play tomorrow against Flyers, either.

Poti (strained groin muscle) also did not skate and is out. His availability for tomorrow is also in some serious doubt.

So here's what the forward lineup should look like tonight against the Rangers:


The 'D' pairings will remain the same as last game, and it looks like Kolzig will start.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 1, 2007; 11:43 AM ET
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Thanks for the update Tarik, but I was hoping for better news on our wounded warriors.

Posted by: Steve | November 1, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

absolutley f-ing miserable

Posted by: sheesh | November 1, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

For some reason i was under the impression that Backstrom might get a shot to center the top line.

Posted by: Bob | November 1, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

wow, that lineup looks worse then anything we fielded in the last 2 years

Posted by: sean | November 1, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse


That's the same exact line-up that just routed Toronto 7-1 the other night. And if they taught us anything, it is: just because we are missing 3 of our top players doesn't mean that we can't a lot.

Keep the faith.

Posted by: Jordana | November 1, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It helps that Toronto is pretty miserable so far this year. Not good news on Clarkie. It sounds like he has a low grade concussion, so he may not be back for a bit.

Posted by: EricS | November 1, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I have a bad feeling about the game tonight... the Blue Shirts are just itching to get out of their scoring slump and must be chomping at the bit....

Posted by: dtd | November 1, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Good for Gordon and I'm really glad that Sutherby is playing. I hope he can prove himself and stay playing....I still say we move Kozlov. I'm not all that impressed with him.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers are just as miserable as Toronto. 7:1, baby!

Posted by: Finn | November 1, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

HE Tarik do you think that Semin will be able to play next week cause I am going to the game againt Tampa Bay, I hope he will be playing

Posted by: Kevin | November 1, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

So the downside of having your 2 of your top 3 goal scorers out is fielding a more defensively oriented club that may/will be offensively challenged?
I will take that alternative on the road in MSG and revel in it, thank you. Oh don't get me wrong, the Caps need Clarkie's leadership and scoring, and Semin's dangling. But we need a good densive effort tonight, IMO, than a ton pf goals. Call me crazy.

Posted by: Shaggy | November 1, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Clark out is less painful with Gordon back.

Posted by: slappy | November 1, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse


Brash on the 3rd line?! We're gonna get torched. What's going on with that? Puts Suts out there. As it is, not one of those lines can be matched up with the Jagr line. Ugh.

Posted by: Sabah | November 1, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

My Powerplay line for 2nites game...
Kozzie in the middle and Backis/Nyless manding the boards with some sick one timers passes back 2Ovie or Greeny goals all night SCREW the RANGERS/JAGR!

Posted by: ZackAttack | November 1, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Clark has a concussion like everyone keeps suggesting. The injury was to the ear... your balance is maintained by the vestibular system in the ear. I'm sure all of the swelling going on in this area is causing the dizziness etc.

Posted by: EssP | November 1, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@ jordana,

all 4 lines are quite a bit different than they were in toronto... that was my concern

Posted by: sean | November 1, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

It's true that the Maple Leafs were slightly worse than terrible last game, but it's also true that the Caps were able to capitalize on the chances they got. Let's see that tonight!

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 1, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse


Those lines are exactly the same as the starting lines from the Toronto game. Check out Corey's blog at the Times for confirmation. The line-up listed on the GTD thread for that day on the message boards was incorrect.

They changed around a bit throughout the game, and probably will during this game as well. But, the starting lines are the same.

Posted by: Jordana | November 1, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse


I have bet 100$ that he scores at least 30 goals. ouch

Posted by: Carl | November 1, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Will we see another Brash / Shanny scrap?

Seriously, perhaps Hanlon's giving Brash third line duties to get him out more to hopefully get a quality scoring threat to take a dumb penalty.

Posted by: pepper | November 1, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I really hope we utilize Green on the power play. I liked Gordon on that top line, he wins the faceoffs cleanly which gets OV the puck. The last time we played the Rangers was Motsko on the top line - I cant recall?

Posted by: cs | November 1, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

how long does a sprained ankle take to heal? clark needs to smack semin around and tell him to man-up a little bit.

Posted by: jamebow | November 1, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Telling Semin to man-up...yup, that will fix the problem.

His game is all about skating and speed. We've seen him this season not playing healthy, and he's a shadow of his normal self. Some guys can play with injuries because their game is not all based around that injury. This is almost like telling a QB in football to man up and play when his throwing arm can't bend properly. We all want Semin to play, but comparing an ankle injury to an ear injury (a gruesome one at that) in this case is absurd.

Semin probably could play injured, but him at 70% is not better than throwing a healthy Sutherby out there.

Posted by: Jeff | November 1, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Semin will play next week......

I pray for that

Posted by: Paul Morin | November 1, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

When is Hanlon going to realize that Backstrom belongs at center? Putting him on the same line as Nylander is a terrible idea. They're both similar players and look to pass the puck 1st.

Posted by: Colin | November 1, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm just surprised that Gordon is the #1 center when you have backstrom. I'm aslo wondering why Brashear was playing on the top power play line (yes we scored, but come on, that was against toronto!)

Ahhh, what do I know, i'm not a high paid NHL coach.

Posted by: Lee | November 1, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Tell Semin to man up? Great idea. I think that'll work. Nevermind the fact that an ankle sprain can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to heal properly. And it's been just over 4 weeks since he first injured it--and he played in a couple of games, which obviously didn't help with the healing process. And anyone who has sprained their ankle, as I have, knows that they are nagging injuries. I sprained my ankle at the end of February and was bracing it in May when I started playing tennis, just to be on the safe side. With injuries such as this that could lead to worse injuries down the road, erring on the side of caution is always best. People posting Semin needs to "man up" need to be realistic about the situation, or maybe just read up on ankle sprains before making comments. Ignorance isn't always bliss my friends.

Posted by: SLM | November 1, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"wow, that lineup looks worse then anything we fielded in the last 2 years"

Yeah, we're going to get smeared all over the ice like whipped butter on hot toast.

Posted by: Sapper | November 1, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I sprained my ankle (and I;m NOT a hockey player), and I was limping/in a boot for almost two months. I say Semin should take his time, and come back when he's better. if he rushes it, it won't heal properly, and it'll give him problems for season to come. And since we have him for those seasons, I'd like him to be in top shape.

Posted by: G-Bert | November 1, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

if there isn't going to be a 'true' shut-down 3rd line, then i think putting gordon on the top line - instead of backstrom - is a good play. isn't his faceoff win percentage in the 60th percentile?

Posted by: jon | November 1, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Adding one more sprained ankle to the mix: I sprained mine playing competitive frisbee last fall. It took me probably 4 weeks to run on it again and 5 or 6 weeks to be back to full strength cutting and such on the field. Semin's reached the skating part, but he won't be full strength until a ways after that. You DON'T play on an injured ankle, because each time you resprain the ankle, it takes longer to come back. Semin probably shouldn't have played on it the couple times he has.

I'd much rather we sit him than have him "man up" and get on the ice to injure himself for a longer period. Let him heal.

Posted by: Raber | November 1, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Add another sprained ankle to the mix: I sprained mine walking out of my townhouse when a squirrel jumped out of a tall hedge next to my front steps and I twisted it sharply, trying to run for cover after I screeched like a girl.

The next few weeks were miserable, and I would have discomfort if I tried to push my gas pedal down to go above 30mph. Boy were those other drivers upset with me. If I had it my way, I would have hired a driver for the next six months, but that's not possible for me.

Semin should just wait his little old self and give that ankle plenty of time to heal. We wouldn't want him to injure his tootsies would we. You people are sooo judgemental. Let little Semin alone!

Posted by: Golum | November 1, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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