OK, here’s a few nuggets from after practice today.
* Tyler Sloan will start tomorrow night’s game as the left wing on the fourth line. Sloan played forward for a couple of games in Hershey for Bruce Boudreau and played there back in the day for Syracuse of the AHL (played on a line with Brandon Sugden, no less).
Boudreau said Sloan could also play some on defense. Previously Boudreau has said he doesn’t like using 11 forwards and seven defensemen in the past, but he conceeeded that Alex Ovechkin can double shift if they want to use Sloan some on forward. Sloan called himself a “swingman” which sounds about right. It is a creative way to get him in the lineup at least.
* Mike Knuble has about 10 stitches in his left ankle. He blocked a shot from Phildaelphia’s Matt Carle just above his skate and blood starting pouring out everywhere. Knuble got taped up for the rest of the game but needed the stitches afterwards.
His sock was covered in blood after the game, not unlike Curt Schilling’s famous sock in the 2004 ALCS.
“Yeah, my sock isn’t going in the Hall [of Fame],” Knuble said.
* Bruce Boudreau tried to downplay the talk of Alex Ovechkin going after some pretty lofty numbers — 50 goals in 50 games and 70 goals in a season. Everything is in play right now thanks to his ridiculous three-game start.
Ovechkin is off to a much better start than last year, and he said his mind wasn’t on hockey last October (it was on his ailing grandfather). If he can stay healthy (along with Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin) it is fair to say 70 or even 75 is in play. 50 in 50 might be a little tougher to manage.
* From what Boudreau said, it appears Eric Fehr won’t be ready to play for at least the next two games. Also, Boudreau didn’t commit to Jose Theodore for tomorrow night, but it would be a pretty good bet.
* Lastly, Boudreau felt Tom Poti and John Erskine didn’t have their best games last night. Not surprising considering they were on the ice for five goals against, but both Poti and Erskine didn’t think they played as bad as it looked.
It is an interesting dynamic, trying to decipher if those two had a bad game or were just the victims of circumstance (three extra-man goals and a delayed penalty goal) and bad luck (Poti said he didn’t see the puck that went in off him and then Theodore). Boudreau said he talked to both and “one was in denial about having a bad game and one wasn’t” but he didn’t elaborate.
Talked to both of them before Boudreau’s scrum, and to be honest it was hard to tell which one was which.