The Capitals held practice today one day after the 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning which ended their 2-2-1 five game homestand. The Caps wake up in eighth and the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Caps have points, the same as Winnipeg, but have one game in hand. The Caps are also two points behind the Florida Panthers for first in the Southeast Division, but the Panthers have one game in hand.
The Caps now start a stretch of six of their next seven on the road starting in Boston tomorrow at 1pm, but defenseman Mike Green could be suspended for his elbow to Brett Connolly’s upper body last night. Green is a repeat offender since he was suspended three games for elbowing former Florida Panthers forward Michael Frolik in January of 2010. Green has a 1pm disciplinary hearing with the NHL and head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan and Shanahan’s decision should come out sometime later this afternoon or early evening.
Both Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter and Captain Alex Ovechkin wouldn’t comment on it, but Ovechkin said, “Well I got hit in the head last night as well, but nobody drew attention about it.”
Hunter would not say if Roman Hamrlik or John Erskine would be the next defenseman off the bench if Green is suspended.
“We haven’t decided yet and we don’t know if he’s going to be suspended either,” Hunter said. “The cart before the horse.”
Defenseman Roman Hamrlik, whose been a healthy scratch for eight straight games, also doesn’t know if he would play.
“I don’t know, no clue,” Hamrlik said.
All the healthy Caps practiced today and the forward lines today looked like: Johansson-Laich-Ovechkin, Chimera-Perreault-Aucoin, Hendricks-Beagle-Brouwer, Knuble-Halpern-Semin-Ward.
Semin was on the fourth line today, but Dale Hunter would only say on why Semin was moved there, “I was just trying different line combinations.”
Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman was named the Pro Hockey Writers Association 2011-2012 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominee after having a hematoma late last season and being an all-star this season.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Dennis Wideman, Jason Chimera, Karl Alzner and Roman Hamrlik had to say following the practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Dennis Wideman Practice Audio
Jason Chimera Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Roman Hamrlik Practice Audio