So for the third time in seven games, someone on the other team did something that got them ejected against the Washington Capitals. Tonight it was David Koci drilling Mike Green with a hit from behind that planted his face into the glass here at Pepsi Center.
Was it a dirty hit? Bruce Boudreau, you have the microphone …
“Please, the guy [Koci] has one goal in six years. He couldn’t play in the American League,” Boudreau said. “I’ve faced David Koci a lot. He might be a nice guy — I have no idea. I’m glad he’s making a living. Let’s be honest if this was any [other] game he gets on the ice in the first three minutes, gets into his fight and then he sits at the end of the bench, so what good is he?
“I mean, [for] 15 feet he saw Green’s No. 52 and it didn’t stop him one iota from hitting him in the back and going for his head. I hope they throw the book at him. It was a bush-league hit.”
Green had stitches above his left eye and it was swollen and several different colors after the game. He said he will probably ride a stationary bike tomorrow instead of practicing, but he hopes to play Friday in Vancouver. Boudreau said he is worried Green’s eye will be swollen completely shut tomorrow.
“I didn’t see him coming. It just sucks,” said Green, who was sporting several stitches above his swollen left eye. “It was kind of unnecessary. I was just shooken up and no point in coming back to this one.”
This has already started a firestorm of discussion about the Caps need or lack of a need for a true enforcer and it will probably rage on at this point. George McPhee said after the game he is not concerned about the recent rash of incidents. Bruce Boudreau said his team is just going to keep scoring six or more goals.
“I don’t really know what a heavyweight is going to do to deter the situation,” David Steckel said. “It has basically been stupid plays on all three. What are you going to do? Have a guy out there only to just take care of stuff like this? Well, [Erskine] took care of it tonight.”
Here’s a few more tidbits from a wacky night in the Mile High City:
* Shaone Morrisonn was also hurt in this game. He played only 19 seconds in the second half of the game. Boudreau said it was another questionable hit by Koci that injured him. He wouldn’t say what the body part was that was sore, but Boudreau thinks Morrisonn is “more questionable” than Green for Friday — though he did point out that Vancouver is Morrisonn’s hometown.
* Kyle Wilson had two points in his NHL debut. Boudreau said he could have had four or five.
* Jose Theodore made 27 saves in his return to Colorado.
* Tomas Fleischman now has 13 goals in 23 games, which ties him with Alexander Semin for second on the team behind Alex Ovechkin. He has six in his past seven games.
* Nicklas Backstrom added the last goal and now has six in his past eight games. Backstrom now has 11 goals and 39 points — one more than Ovechkin for the team lead.
* Eric Fehr had two points after going three without one.
* The Caps/Bears No. 3 center by committee has worked out pretty well. Wilson, Keith Aucoin and Mathieu Perreault have now combined for three goals and 14 points in 28 games.
* Matt Bradley has six goals in 32 games played. He had five goals last season.
* Last but certainly not least, the Caps had to play with TWO regular defensemen for FOUR minutes of the third period in this game — Green and Morrisonn were hurt, John Erskine served 17 minutes of penalties for coming to Green’s aid — Boudreau was not happy at all with the instigator on him — and either Tom Poti or Jeff Schultz was in the box with him.
So the Caps killed two penalties with Karl Alzner, Poti/Schultz and Brooks Laich as the only three defensemen. Laich said Brendan Morrison was going to get a PK shift on D. Laich played on defense the entire period.
The time on ice for those guys is pretty staggering. Poti played 11:09 of the 18 minutes he was eligible to play. Alzner logged 9:21 of the final 20 minutes. Laich took 10 shifts on defense and logged 8:35. Schultz played 8:17 in the third.
“I don’t want to do it again — it was so hard,” said Alzner. “Of all the places to be [shorthanded], this is probably the worst to do that. We all banded together and did what we had to do. It was interesting. … I can’t wait to see what the stat sheet says. I guess that is what it feels like to be Mike Green and play that much every night.”