Coach Bruce Boudreau said defensemen Mike Green and Tom Poti, who are still recovering from a concussion and nagging groin injury, respectively, will not make the trip with the team to Toronto this afternoon. John Erskine, Tyler Sloan and Sean Collins will travel to face the Maple Leafs, however, Boudreau said.
Sloan left Saturday’s game against Buffalo late in the second period after he was hit in the jaw and head by the Sabres’ Cody McCormick in the neutral zone. After a hard skate Monday, Sloan said he didn’t return to the game against Buffalo for precautionary reasons.
“I took some tests this morning and I feel good. I skated hard and so far so good,” Sloan said. “What I felt, we just did some things and made sure that we didn’t want to push it.I really wanted to go back out there, but I’ve got to keep my health in mind a little bit. The doctors are good and it was a good decision because I feel good today.”
In mid-March, the NHL instituted a new protocol for players who are suspected of having a concussion. The injured player is taken off the ice an evaluated in a quiet place, presumably the locker room, rather than on the bench.
--Green went through a full, non-optional practice today but didn’t take any form of contact during the session. While he won’t make the trip to Toronto, he wouldn’t rule out playing in one of the final two regular-season games.
“Hopefully, yeah,” Green said when asked if he would play in either contest of the home-and-home with Florida. “I need a few more skates to get into game shape, and we’ll see for the last two games.”
Boudreau said he hopes that either Green or Poti will be able to play in one of the final regular-season contests.
--Alexander Semin took a maintenance day, but it’s unclear what exactly is bothering the Capitals’ winger.
“He’s still recovering from his injuries from the past,” Boudreau said. “It’s very similar to Ovi. He needs some time off sometimes, and today was one of those days.”
It’s unclear what ailment, or multiple ailments, might have resulted in Semin needing time off. Semin previously missed time this season with a groin muscle strain. In the third period Saturday, he was slashed on the wrists by Buffalo’s Rob Niedermayer.
Pressed on whether Semin would require a game off before the postseason began, Boudreau said there was a “chance” that the Russian wing might miss one of the final three games.