The Caps had one more day of practice before they get Alex Ovechkin back and end their three game road trip (0-1-1) tomorrow during a Saturday matinee in Montreal. The Caps then have a fast turn around and come home for a 12:30pm Sunday start against the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
The Caps made a few moves yesterday, but the one that will affect the team immediately is bringing up veteran forward Keith Aucoin from AHL Hershey who is expected to be in the line up tomorrow. Aucoin, an AHL all-star this season, leads the AHL in points with 70 (59 assists, 11 goals) and is a catalyst on the AHL’s top power play.
Aucoin said today that he hasn’t sat down with the coaches yet, but talked briefly with Dale Hunter before practice on the ice.
With all the moves yesterday, the Caps made one more move today. They put enforcer Joel Rechlicz on waivers. Rechlicz, the AHL penalty minutes leader, averaged only 2:08 of ice time in two games since he was brought up from Hershey.
“I heard it was a cheap shot, hopefully I’ll be in the line up for that game,” Rechlicz said yesterday on hopefully getting to face Rene Bourque tomorrow who a month ago today elbowed Nicklas Backstrom in the head and gave him a concussion. Backstrom hasn’t played since.
“No, no, no,” Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said when asked if Rechlicz was brought up to play Bourque tomorrow. “It was just cause [we] were on the road, we wanted to get stronger on the road.”
Hunter called Rechlicz a “force” when he was up here and added, “More than anything else to give us some more movement [if] somebody got hurt or something” on why they sent him down.
“I don’t know, our guys [Backstrom] still out, I don’t think our guys are ever going to forget what happened,” Caps forward Brooks Laich said on facing Bourque tomorrow. “I don’t know if it’s over or not, we’re going to win a hockey game, that’s the main focus, if anything else happens it happens.”
The Caps forward lines today looked like: Ovechkin-Johansson-Semin, Hendricks-Laich-Brouwer, Chimera-Perreault-Knuble, Aucoin-Halpern-Ward, Recklicz and Beagle wore blue jersey’s today.
Dale Hunter said Tomas Vokoun is in goal tomorrow.
Mike Green skated in full pads before practice. Green has skated in full pads for two straight days, four days overall, and is still on pace to rejoin the team in 2 to 4 weeks after recovering from abdominal surgery on January 17th. Still no update on Nicklas Backstrom (concussion), he hasn’t played in a month and the only time he’s been seen was when he skated for five minutes January 23rd in sweats.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Roman Hamrlik, Brooks Laich & Keith Aucoin had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Roman Hamrlik Practice Audio
Brooks Laich Practice Audio
Keith Aucoin Practice Audio