Bruce Boudreau confirmed that Ovechkin and Poti will both play tonight. Jose Theodore will be back in net after missing Tuesday's game with the flu.
Boudreau said Brian Pothier could be back with the Caps in "10-14 days." He said Pothier is in great shape after practicing with the team for the past several weeks, and just needs some game action. This seems like a bit of an optimistic projection. He hasn't played in 14 months, and I'm sure the team will be cautious with him because of the nature of his injury.
No word on whether Michael Nylander will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch of late. Nylander did practice on the third line with Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr yesterday, which would suggest he will be.
Boudreau's take on yesterday's trade deadline was pretty simple: He didn't think the other teams around the Caps (i.e. New Jersey and Boston) got significantly better and the potential addition of Pothier could be as helpful as anyone the Caps might have traded for.
Now that the Devils have added Niclas Havelid (and more importantly, Martin Brodeur) they look a lot more formidable then they did the last time they played the Caps.
Also on yesterday's online video chat by Tarik El-Bashir, Corey Masisak hosted by Brett Leonhardt and Mike Vogel.
Mike said that Brett Johnson skated a day before yesterday, he felt good and could be back in 3 to 5 weeks.
Tarik said that he did think Nylander needed to be traded because he was not in good terms with the Coach Boudreau. He said him being around the team every day and seeing it, reading the body language, it's pretty clear it's going nowhere.
On Kronwall, everybody agreed that he didn't have much chance to prove himself (only three games that were not in a row didn't help). Still he is 26 and couldn't make it to the Leafs main roster. The verdict is he is a replacement for Karl Alzner in Hersey. Tarik said the folks out there were actually surprised that he was not sent down there immediately.
Obviously things can change for both Swedes. It all now depends on them. I've always liked Nylander and I like Kronwall's size. Weirder things happened, it all depends on their will.
(I have a will, but I don't have a willpower :-)
Update from Tarik:
*While no one really knows if Brian Pothier is going to make it back to the NHL this season, Coach Bruce Boudreau made it sound like he's counting on the veteran defenseman to do just that. And then make an impact.
"He's been out an awful long time, but he's been practicing for two months," Boudreau said. "He's in a good a shape as he's been ever. He just needs game preparation. If he can come in and be what he was, he's going to be a valuable addition. That's as good a trade deadline move as we could have made."
*Asked if he is concerned that teams around the Caps seemed to get a little better yesterday, Boudreau said: "Well, yeah. But sometimes players get traded at the deadline and go and do nothing. It wrecks up the chemistry of the team. I don't know if that's going to happen. It's a crapshoot."
"I thought New Jersey was really good already, and I don't think that [Niclas] Havelid is going to make the great," he added. "I think Boston was great already. [Steve] Montador will probably go in where [Byron] Bitz was on the fourth line and [Mark] Recchi will probably bring good leadership. But it's not like Boston went and got Jay Bouwmeester."
*The line of the day, once again, went to Boudreau. Asked if the hockey fan in him was disappointed in the lack of a blockbuster deal, he shot back: "I'm a little sad some bigger names didn't go west."
*Michael Nylander, based on yesterday's practice, will return to the lineup tonight. He's been struggling, but the fact that he's getting a sweater -- right after missing four straight games leading up to the deadline - suggests to me that he was being withheld for fear of injury (just in case GM George McPhee found a taker).
Amazon Game Downloads