The latest from Kettler per Tarik and Corey, the Caps' walking wounded are looking better. Per Tarik with Mark's Musings added as noted below...
Tarik's Blog Today: "* Tyler Sloan said he's ready to play and is expecting to be in the lineup."
[Mark's Musing: I'm shocked a 27 year old rookie who has his best shot ever at sticking in the NHL is driving hard to get back in the lineup and on the ice quickly. I love this guy, he has heart, he's big and strong, and so far he's played with his head not over it. I hope he's doing the same thing here. Only his next two games will tell though.]
Tarik's Blog Today "* Mike Green said he's "90-percent" and wants to play. But he's going to see how he feels tomorrow morning before declaring himself ready. So I would say he's questionable to doubtful."
[Mark's Musing: Here's a guy who needs to be at least 90% to play "his" game. If he comes back at just barely 90%, I hope he takes it easy and plays himself into the lineup over 2-4 games else re-injury is a real possibility as is the possibility of him getting caught up ice on one of his "patented, super fun to watch" end to end rushes into the offensive zone. That said, he and Poti can't return to the line-up soon enough for my preferences.]
Per Tarik's Blog Today: "* Alexander Semin came off early and only shrugged his shoulders when I asked him if he was ready. I would say he's questionable/doubtful. But Keith Aucoin appears to have been sent back to Hershey. (The team has not confirmed the move, but he was the only packing up a hockey bag). If he has in fact been demoted, based on today's practice, that would make the second line Fleischmann-Nylander-Semin. That, of course, is assuming Semin is ready. But we probably won't know that until tomorrow."
[Mark's Musing: Another guy who can't come back soon enough, but one who apparently learned last season of the pitfalls of trying to play through too many injuries. Sasha is just awesome, can't wait for him to come back and once again bring that "Sidney Who" attitude and world class skills to the ice.]
Per Tarik's Blog Today: "* Tom Poti practice(d) at full strength for the first time today, but said he's going to wait until tomorrow before deciding whether to suit up. "
[Mark's Musing: can't wait till he's back, the call ups have been fairly good but Poti's steady presence and minute munching are as missed as Mike Green's; having the two of them back is the difference between hoping for a win thanks to good games from young, green players and expecting a win from "THE Washington Capitals."]
*Eric Fehr came off after only a few minutes and Boudreau said he doesn't expect him to be ready.
[Mark's Musing: I'm still not sold he'll ever reach his potential, but for his own sake, he needs to get back into the line-up as soon as he can and show he has the "grit" to play through some injuries. I know his shoulder was "filleted" in the injury but it's just a fact of life at his level and this juncture of his career, that's what he needs to do. Professional sports athlete is a very "Darwinian," dog eat dog profession. Right now, his absence is giving plenty of other guys from Hershey a chance to show the Capitals fans what they can do. You have to wonder for example if Qunitin Laing had taken that same hit and had the same injury if he wouldn't have still suited up and played through it on Sunday.]
Per Tarik's Blog Today: "* Alex Ovechkin was taking a "maintenance" day, but will be ready to go tomorrow."
[Mark's Musing: Here's a guy who maybe should take a game off but there's no way he won't be on the ice against the conference leading Bruins. Also maybe someone should tell him that while he's in his current condition, there's no need for him to make a run at leading the team in hits; not that it'll make a difference. Does Ovechkin even have a gear that's 3/4 speed? We DC Metro Area Hockey fans should just be thankful for every day he plays here and every game we get to watch him. Now we know what it was like being a hockey fan in Edmonton from 1983 - 1988 and watching Gretzky and Messier in their primes.]
Per Tarik's Blog Today: "* Sergei Fedorov worked out yesterday, Boudreau said, and reported being sore this morning. So he was held out of practice. He doesn't appear to be all that close."
[Mark's Musing: This impact is subtle but looking at the face offs won% last game - that part of me wants him back on the ice... However, he's not a kid and since we need his leadership and experience for the end of the season and the playoffs, I don't want him back before he's healed fully. Remember the impact of Semin's high ankle sprain in a 24 year old guy last season. ]
Per Tarik's Blog Today: "* John Erskine is up and down but hasn't been on skates in a while. "
[Mark's Musing: I know lots of fans don't think this is that big a deal; I do and can't wait for him to come back. When you look at his stats he's actually having a "mini-breakout" year and is also a lot of grit in the line-up. ]
Next up - Boston at the Verizon Center tomorrow night.
LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!