The Washington Times - December 31, 2008, 12:35PM

The Caps just finished up with practice — one that I wasn’t sure I’d be present for when I woke up to a driving snowstorm in Buffalo. There were a few old faces on the ice today for the Caps.

* Tomas Fleischmann was back with his teammates on the ice for the first time since being quarantined with pneumonia. He came off a bit earlier than everyone else, but Bruce Boudreau said he hopes to have Flash back for the game against Philadelphia at Verizon Center on Jan. 6. As Boudreau put it, pneumonia “knocks the stuffing out of you,” so Fleischmann will spend the next few days trying to regain strength and conditioning.


* Karl Alzner practiced and said he’s ready to play.

* Donald Brashear did not practice, but Boudreau did not rule him out for tomorrow night. If Alzner and Brashear play, there could be a couple of guys going back to Hershey.

* John Erskine practiced, and he said he’s been cleared to practice fully, including contact. He still has to be cleared to return for games.

* Brian Pothier practiced with the team for the first time since suffering the concussion in January. He has been skating, but mostly on his own. He said he wanted to have other guys and more pucks on the ice — more stimulation for his eyes and another step in his recovery.

He said he if feels OK tomorrow, he will probably start to skate with the team for morning skates. There’s obviously still no timetable for him, but it did seem like gearing up for a run at playing next season was a generic template. Pothier has been making some pretty rapid process though.

* Alexander Semin practiced, but there was no update on his progress.