Alexander Semin missed practice today due to a “maintenance day” as the Caps start three days of practice before they head to Boston on Wednesday for game one on Thursday of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Semin is likely to play on Thursday, but the big injury news is the goalie situation and who will be the Caps game one starter.
Michal Neuvirth (lower body) and Tomas Vokoun (groin) are still not healthy enough to practice so the Caps recalled Dany Sabourin from AHL Hershey today to back up Braden Holtby.
Holtby is the game one starter if Neuvirth and Vokoun can’t go on Thursday.
“Well, we’ve done it before,” Capitals General Manager George McPhee said on going with Holtby. “We have no choice. If the other guys aren’t ready to go, he’s playing.”
McPhee also thinks Holtby can handle the pressure of being the number one goalie to start the playoffs.
“Yeah, he can handle it. We’ve had other goalies do it that were at the same age or younger.”
McPhee added that Neuvirth will try and practice with the team tomorrow, while Vokoun is a little further behind and will try and skate on his own tomorrow. Neuvirth was on the ice for about 15 minutes before practice today.
“He was good,” Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said on how Neuvirth felt after skating today.
“He’s getting better,” Hunter said on Vokoun. “He hasn’t skated, but he’s doing treatment, he feels better every day.”
Holtby has played in nine playoff games for the AHL Hershey Bears and seven playoff games in the WHL.
The Caps forward lines today looked like: Chimera-Backstrom-Knuble, Ovechkin-Laich-Brouwer, Hendricks-Beagle-Johansson, Aucoin-Perreault-Ward-Eakin-Halpern.
Capitals General Manager George McPhee spoke to the media today and had some very complimentary to say about the Bruins.
“They’re about as complete as you can be,” McPhee said on the Bruins.
McPhee added, “That’s a real good organization.”
Listen here to what George McPhee, Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby, Jason Chimera and Karl Alzner had to say following practice today.
George McPhee Practice Audio
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Braden Holtby Practice Audio
Jason Chimera Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio