The Washington Times - January 18, 2009, 12:25PM

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said that defensemen Tom Poti (groin) and Shaone Morrisonn (lower body) are not going on the trip to Long Island and Ottawa, so they won’t play until after the all-star break.

Boudreau said Brent Johnson, who didn’t practice today, is “under the weather.” When pressed if that means he is sick, Boudreau said it means “not ready to play under the weather.” Jose Theodore will start tomorrow against the Islanders, but Boudreua didn’t commit to a goalie for Ottawa.


Boudreau said Boyd Gordon could play one of the next two days. When asked if Gordon was a healthy scratch last night, he said Gordon was held out for precautionary measures.

With Poti and Morrisonn out, that means that Bryan Helmer will be with the team until the break. He has been selected to play in the AHL all-star game, and he was named captain of the Canadian team. Helmer said he expects to be sent down after the Ottawa game so he can play Hershey’s last two games before the break and then also participate in the AHL all-star game. The game is in Worcester, Mass., on Monday and the Caps play in Boston on Tuesday, so any Bears that get called up won’t have much of a commute.

How bad are the Islanders? They’ve lost seven straight and are still 0-for-2009. They have built a nine-point “lead” in the John Tavares sweepstakes with an NHL-worst 28 points, but remember that the team with the worst overall record has rarely gotten the No. 1 pick.