Tom Poti talks about his eye injury, wearing a visor
Defenseman Tom Poti skated this morning for the first time since suffering that gruesome eye injury in Game 6 of the Capitals first-round series against Montreal.
The oldest returning member of the Capitals' defense is healthy and ready for a new season to start -- with a visor attached to his helmet.
"It took awhile to finally get everything under control," Poti said. "This summer it got infected and for awhile there were a lot of eye appointments and trips to the doctor, but now the vision is the same as it was last year. I'm still on some medication that I need to finish up -- I'm on a couple months-long process to make sure the infection doesn't come back. We've just got to make sure everything's ready to go."
Poti is adjusting to playing with a visor for the first time in his career, and although he's not too fond of the shield -- particularly how the glass fogs up and can give a double perspective view on the ice -- he doesn't want to take any unnecessary chances. But he won't be pushing any of his other teammates to add visors.
"I probably wouldn't have listened if somebody told me what to do," Poti said. "It's definitely something I wish I had on last year because it might have saved me, protected me and I could have been around for game seven which would have been huge. But it's personal preference. My first games in the league I don't think anyone wore visors; I don't think anyone on my team did."
Of the veterans skating this morning, only Matt Bradley, Jason Chimera, John Erskine, Boyd Gordon, D.J. King, Mike Knuble and Brooks Laich don't sport visors. It's a trend that's starting to decrease though with younger generations of hockey players. For example, every participant in rookie camp wears a visor and in junior hockey most players are required to.
"I think as the kids come up they look at us and say: 'Wow you never wore a visor?' like how we sometimes say about guys who didn't wear a helmet: 'You're crazy.'" Poti said. "I think players will start saying the same thing about guys who never wore visors in the future." ...
In his post-practice comments, Coach Bruce Boudreau listed Marcus Johansson, Cody Eakin, Braden Holtby, Dmitry Kugryshev, Joe Finley and Patrick Cullity as rookie camp participants he expects to get some playing time in preseason games. ...
The rigorous 8 a.m. veteran workout also has the coach looking forward to the beginning of official training camp. "You forget sometimes how good they are," Boudreau said. "You watch some of these guys play, you look at guys over the summer: Eric Fehr is now 220 pounds, he beefed up. (David) Steckel's beefed up and even Mathieu Perreault has put on some muscle. These guys are all here to make the team.... I get real excited when I go behind the bench for a couple minutes just to feel how hard they're working out there." ...
With just 12 forwards in rookie camp, Boudreau said that there won't be a conventional rookie scrimmage on Wednesday, as is listed on the camp schedule. The group will likely do special teams work throughout a regular practice session though in preparation for Thursday's game against the Flyers' rookies. ...
Forward Garrett Mitchell didn't participate in practice today because of a nagging groin injury that he originally suffered during his junior camp. The 19-year-old said he's hoping to be able to play during Thursday's rookie game.
September 14, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
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