The Caps just finished up the morning skate here at HSBC Arena, which has to be one of the coldest arenas in the league. Coach Bruce Boudreau said Brent Johnson was “scheduled” to start tonight against the Sabres when he met with the media before his troops took the ice, but didn’t want to divulge much more than that. After the skate, Johnson said he is not playing, so Jose Theodore will be in net.
Translation: Johnson is nursing an undisclosed injury, and Boudreau and the Caps wanted to see how he responded during/after the morning skate before making a final decision. Theodore will oppose Ryan Miller for the Sabres.
Also on the injury front, Mike Green left the ice during the workout, but eventually returned. He was clearly favoring his right foot. After he came off the ice for good, Green said his foot is sore, but he put some extra padding in his skate and said it didn’t affect his skating, so he will play tonight.
Tom Poti also said there were no further complications and he is good to go tonight. Boudreau said having Poti back will enable him to go with Poti and Jeff Schultz first on the PK instead of Green and Shaone Morrisonn, which will limit Green’s minutes a bit (and keep him out of firing range a little more as well).
In other news, Alexander Semin didn’t want to talk about the comments he made that appeared on Greg’s blog yesterday (Puck Daddy on Yahoo! Sports, but you knew that). It wasn’t the first time he didn’t want to talk to non-Russian speaking reporters, and it won’t be the last. He did appear to be enjoying himself while listening to Tarik explain the situation to Chris Clark.
“I thought it was the biggest comment [Semin] has made in three years,” Boudreau said. “I’m just glad to see his talking. Obviously, you don’t like to give people [bulletin board material], but he said it and it might mean he’s coming out of his shell a little bit, then good for him. Not good for him that those comments were made. I don’t like to say … I think Crosby is unbelieveable. I think he is a great player and all of those things, but it was also through an interpreter, so it could have been taken of context. It could have had a different meaning, but I haven’t talked to him about it. If it was what he said, it is interesting to finally see how he thinks, because we would have never known that in former years. But it is not what all of the Capitals think of Mr. Crosby.”
Boudreau had two young kids following him around during the skate. They were allowed on the bench and in the dressing room, and they will also ride the bus with the team and join them for the pre-game meal before settling into seats supplied by Boudreau. The kids were the lucky winners of the grand prize at the post-camp banquet for Boudreau’s hockey school.
Boudreau said the idea came about because one of the prizes has been being a stickboy for a day for Toronto (one of the Maple Leafs’ trainers is also involved with the camp), so now that Boudreau is an NHL coach he thought he would upstage that with “Be a Capital for a day.”
“I said I wasn’t going to let the Leafs beat us,” Boudreau said. “It was always the No. 1 gift, so I thought of being a Capital for a day. … I think they’re pretty awestruck right now, so that’s good. It had the effect that I wanted.”
When he was asked if that was spawned by something he took part in as a youth, Boudreau responded: “When I made the announcement [for who won the Leafs stickboy prize] the first time, I was crying because I could only imagine [that] a Toronto boy growing up. I never got a chance to meet anybody. I saw Johnny Bower from afar one day. If I had gotten a chance to be at the dressing room and meet the players, I would have had a connipition.”