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Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 12/30/2010

Capitals hold practice at home before Winter Classic

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals are in the home stretch before the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 against the Penguins at Heinz Field. They will travel to Pittsburgh later today, two days early as opposed to their usual schedule of flying out the day before. But Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn't believe that the extra day in a visiting city, the hoopla or the attendance of additional family and friends will rattle the players at this point.

"We're going in two nights [early], only because we have a practice there. If I had my druthers we'd be going in tomorrow morning and practicing, but we're not," Boudreau said. "As far as the family and friends, I'm sure on both sides it's going to be a distraction, let alone the weather and everything else. Everybody's been so excited about it, I don't think anything less than a typhoon is going to curb the excitement of the guys. They're not going to be using fatigue, family, friends, weather as an excuse."

Here are a few quick notes from practice at KCI, which was packed to the gills with about 1,500 fans wishing the Capitals well before they head to Pittsburgh.

--Forward line combinations and defensive pairings were the same as at the outdoor skate on Wednesday. They are:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Perreault-Semin
Chimera-Johansson-Fehr
Hendricks-Steckel-Beagle-King

Hannan-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Schultz
Poti-Sloan

--Matt Bradley (broken finger) skated before the rest of the team with Caps strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish.

By Katie Carrera  | December 30, 2010; 12:48 PM ET
Categories:  Winter Classic  
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Next: Statistical analysis: Keys to a Winter Classic victory for Capitals

Comments

@sgm3 (repost)

vermontcaps....What are those stats for just the last 6 games as those would likely be a better judge of what to expect than the games before it?(there was an adjustment period expected with Hannan coming in)

Posted by: sgm3 | December 30, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Carlson (6gp) 1g 2a 3pts +7 2hits 12blocks 8shots 5gives 9takes

Alzner (6gp) 1g 1a 2pts +7 12hits 3blocks 4shots 3gives 2takes

Green (6gp) 2g 1a 3pts even 16hits 16blocks 23shots 8gives 6takes

Hannan (6gp) 0g 0a 0pts +1 5hits 9blocks 3shots 3gives 0takes

Erskine (6gp) 0g 1a 1pt even 12hits 13blocks 6shots 6gives 0takes

Poti/Shultz/Sloan (6gp) 0g 1a 1pt -1 2hits 8blocks 5shots 4gives 0takes

When you consider that Alzner/Carlson, Green/Hannan have had the luxury of being paired together every game, and the fact #4 has had 3 partners in those six games, it makes his stats even more impressive. Taking it a little furthur, how's this for thought concerning the last 2+weeks:

Erskine (6gp) 0g 1a 1pt even 12hits 13blocks 6shots 6gives 0takes

Hannan/Poti/Shultz/Sloan (12gp) 0g 1a 1pt even 7hits 17blocks 8shots 7gives 0takes

Throw-in Erskine's toughness, he should be a lock in the 6th spot when all dmen are healthy


Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Except for the fact that Erskine sucks...

His "toughness" cost us an early Power Play against the Penguin Scum and darn near cost us another Power Play against Montreal.

Posted by: CapsNut | December 30, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh. Them's fightin' words. CapsNut, you better get rready to drop the gloves, cuz here comes vermontcaps and that scowl on his face says it all.

Criticizing Ersk to vermontcaps is like if you tell a mother her baby is ugly.

BTW, where are capscoach and cstanton1? You suppose they really got married and went on a honeymoon?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 30, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why is Knuble on the first line again and not Fehr?

Posted by: RuskiSi | December 30, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse


Except for the fact that Erskine sucks...

Posted by: CapsNut | December 30, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Spoken like someone who knows nothing about hockey

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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