Bruce Boudreau said Alexander Semin is still sick, so he is questionable for tomorrow night. I talked to Donald Brashear about his knee, and he said he doesn’t know when he’s going to be back. He can skate, but it still bothering him and he’s not ready to take contact. Originally he thought it was only going to be a few days, but it is dragging out longer than expected.
Boudreau said he thought of the John Erskine at forward idea last night. The team has seven defensemen and is currently short at forward. Boudreau said he liked what he saw, but didn’t commit to playing Erskine up front tomorrow night.
Erskine said he hasn’t played forward since he was eight or nine — except for one time in juniors when his coach was so upset with the power play unit that he threw five defensemen out there, and Erskine was the “center” so he took the faceoff. And he won it, by the way.
Boudreau said the Fedorov-Backstrom shakeup was another idea he came up with last night. He is looking for more balanced scoring, and remember that he tried this in the playoffs last year against Philadelphia and it worked pretty well.
Not surpsrisingly, Alex Ovechkin recieved a lot of support today when asked about the league MVP (check out tomorrow’s paper for a story on the matter). Earlier this season, No. 8 was a lock for the award, but national media members both here and in Canada have made the case for other guys (Evgeni Malkin and Zach Parise in particular) of late.
Finally, Boudreau went off when he was asked about Ovechkin’s goal celebration. Clearly, he is tired of being asked about it (as he should be). I wrote on Monday that enough was enough about the celebration, and that was before the trip to Toronto turned into a circus.
Go to the team website to see the video of Boudreau’s rant.
UPDATE: Just talked to Boyd Gordon after he came off the ice. He still doesn’t know exactly when the cast is coming off his broken finger, but his hope is to play at least one game before the playoffs start. He said it was a Bryan McCabe one-timer that did it, and it was the second time this season he’s been hit by a McCabe shot (the other was off his foot).
Also, it might be worth noting that tomorrow’s practice jerseys are hanging in the dressing room right now, and there is a black (i.e. defenseman) sweater in John Erskine’s stall. That doesn’t mean Erskine won’t see time at forward in the future (or even tomorrow night), but it doesn’t look like that is the plan right now.