Six players are battling the flu and five of them did not skate at KCI on Friday. Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Boyd Gordon did not take part in practice, while Mike Green, who is also suffering from flu symptoms, was on the ice briefly. Matt Hendricks also said he's been warding off a cold for several days now, but he skated.
The players aren't the only ones, either. Coach Bruce Boudreau said strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish, team services manager Ian Anderson and a dressing room attendant at Verizon Center all have the flu, too.
"I'm not using it as an excuse," Boudreau said. "I don't know if they were sick last night or if they just got it overnight. It's something that usually goes through the room when you're having a bad time, too."
Boudreau said he would know Saturday morning which of the sick players would be able to face the Colorado Avalanche. There were two healthy scratches among the forwards (Matt Bradley and D.J. King) last night, but Boudreau said that the Capitals may need to recall a player or two from Hershey as added insurance. The Bears are in Charlotte this weekend.