The Capitals shuffled their forward lines today as they prepare to exact some revenge on the hot Nashville Predators tomorrow. The Predators have played in ten straight one goal games and have one seven of them. The new forward lines looked like Johansson-Backstrom-Ovechkin, Brouwer-Halpern-Semin, Chimera-Laich-Ward, Hendricks-Perreault-Knuble-Beagle.
Beagle, whose been out with a concussion since October 13th, is cleared to practice and for contact, but not cleared to play in games yet. Beagle following practice said, “felt really good” out there today and also added it will take about a week or so before he is physically ready to play in games.
The Caps sent Cody Eakin down to AHL Hershey yesterday and only have 12 healthy forwards. Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said, “He sat out last game, give him some playing time, he’s a young player, more games he get’s at this level & the other level will help his game.” He also talked about how this will speed up Eakin’s development and that “He’s going to be a good NHL player.” With AHL Hershey being so close and the Caps furthest game before January 7th in Buffalo, it is an easy recall if they need him.
Mike Green skated in pads for over 30 minutes before practice today before going off. The Caps are 8-0-0 with Green in the line up, but Green hasn’t played since November 11th with a bad groin. Hunter would only say, “He’s getting better, just time.
Mike Knuble will play in regular season game 1,000 tomorrow night and Marcus Johansson will play in his 100th game tomorrow night.
The NHL holiday roster freeze starts tonight at midnight and goes to December 27th.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson & Jay Beagle had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Marcus Johansson Practice Audio
Jay Beagle Practice Audio