The Washington Times - November 21, 2011, 10:59AM

Bruce Boudreau is fond of saying that every Capitals morning skate is optional. With a practice Sunday on a previously scheduled off-day, several players took their options Monday.

Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Dennis Wideman and Joel Ward were the four healthy players who did not take part in the morning skate in advance of Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes.


“It was all their choice,” Boudreau said Monday morning. “We had a pretty tough practice yesterday, so it was an optional today.”

Semin was considered a possibility to be a healthy scratch against the Coyotes, given his position with a white jersey as the fourth member of the fourth line Sunday.

Infer what you want,” Boudreau said Sunday. “I don’t know who. If everybody’s healthy, two guys got to sit. So we have to figure out who it’s going to be.”

That’s not a denial, but Ward leaving Sunday’s practice opens questions. Boudreau expects Ward to be ready to go Monday night.

Mathieu Perreault wasn’t sure if he’s in the lineup; he has been a healthy scratch in six of eight games.

On defense, John Erskine “took a bump on his shoulder” Sunday, according to Boudreau. Jeff Schultz figured to be the odd man out with the call-up of Dmitry Orlov, buy Erskine’s uncertain status makes that a question mark, too.

Boudreau called Erskine a “game-time decision.”

We haven’t seen the lineup yet,” defenseman Karl Alzner “It said on the board earlier, ‘Just be ready to play.’ ”