- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Sen. Claire McCaskill to tackle sex assault at college next
- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
Mike Knuble back in Caps’ lineup with Nicklas Backstrom out
A year ago, Mike Knuble played with pins in his broken right hand to get on the ice in the playoffs. But for stretches this season, he couldn’t get into the Washington Capitals‘ lineup even when healthy.
“Just the way it went, it was just very frustrating, very disappointing just because you have higher standards for yourself and what you feel you can achieve,” Knuble said recently. “And then when you don’t achieve those, you’re very disappointed.”
Knuble got his chance for a taste of playoff hockey this time around Thursday night, replacing the suspended Nicklas Backstrom for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. As one of two players on the team with a Stanley Cup ring (Troy Brouwer, Chicago 2010 being the other), teammates know his experience is invaluable.
“He brings a lot of leadership just in the room, talking before games, and helping out,” center Mathieu Perreault said. “He’s a guy that works hard, and the playoffs fit right into his game.”
It’s possible this is the final game of the 39-year-old’s career, if Backstrom’s return Saturday bumps him back out and he can’t crack the lineup for however long the Caps’ run lasts.
“If you play two minutes, if you play 20 minutes, you just do your best and try to be a positive influence on the team,” he said.
John Erskine flashed a gap-toothed smile and joked that two months’ worth of bag skates had him more than physically ready for his return in Game 4. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman hadn’t played since Feb. 12 and was itching to see action.
“Well, I’ve been like that since Game 1,” he said. “No, it’s definitely my style of game, the physical and the ruggedness of the series so far.”
“If anything were to get out of hand, Ersk would be our guy to stand up for us,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “He’s the only guy on our team, except for [Matt Hendricks], that really will fight on a consistent basis. You know, playoff hockey, you don’t really think a whole lot of bad things will happen, but if it does, it’s nice to have Ersky.”
Alzner on crybaby gesture
Bruins forward Milan Lucic jabbed at Alzner after Game 3 when the Caps defenseman made a crybaby gesture toward him in the third period, quipping that it was coming from a guy with two roughing penalties in three years.
Alzner took a chance Wednesday to explain what he really meant.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- President Obama goes 'Between Two Ferns' to pitch Obamacare
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Hard-fought congressional election in Florida is seen as a bellwether
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again