With at least seven players injured or suffering from bumps and bruises that we know about, here's your full injury rundown after this morning's practice at KCI. One thing's for certain though: The Capitals refuse to use this growing list of injuries as an excuse.
"I hate teams that make excuses about it," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's opportunities for guys that play five minutes to play 15 minutes, for guys that play 15 minutes to play 22 minutes. Quite frankly they all go home and [complain] that they don't play enough and now is the chance to show us what they've got. I can only believe when I played and I was in similar situations, you want guys to stay out so you can play. Show them what you've got. There's no excuses."
--Boudreau said he expects Mike Green (shoulder) to be ready for a full game Wednesday against Carolina. Green played just 5:39, all on the power play, against Atlanta on Saturday and winced when attempting his first slap shot since suffering the injury against the Islanders on Oct. 13. Green said he feels close to being back but that no decision had been made about his status against the Hurricanes.
"Probably, yeah. It's an interesting situation here right now [with all the injuries]," Green said when asked if he wouldn't have played against the Thrashers if the rest of the defensemen were healthy. "I was asked to play on the power play and healthy enough to shoot and pass the puck but not to play a full game. I was okay with that."
--Semyon Varlamov (groin) will not join the Capitals on this week's road trip that begins in Carolina and continues on to Minnesota and Calgary. Boudreau said he will be off the ice for a couple days. Whether that leads to Braden Holtby making his NHL debut isn't for certain.
Michal Neuvirth played three games in four days to start the season and Boudreau wouldn't rule out the possibility of it happening again.
"We might want him [ to play all three games]," Boudreau said. "He did good last time, it depends on how much rest he gets and how the games go I think is important too. ...We've got tons of confidence in both Sabourin and Holtby they're playing great... We just think Neuvy, right now, is playing really well. As long as he's healthy and not fatigued and not overworked we can run with him for a little while."
--Boyd Gordon, who Boudreau said was healthy and resting last week when he did not practice for five days, took part in all of Monday's practice and skate.
"I felt good today, that's all there is to say," Gordon said. "We'll see what goes on this week. I don't know what my timetable is."
--Marcus Johansson (hip) said he's hopeful he'll be ready to go on Wednesday and that he tweaked his groin when his skate got caught in a rut at TD Garden during the second period against the Bruins last week. By the end of the game, his muscles tightened and he was sore, but the rookie center lasted the full practice and lengthy skate afterward without any pain.
--Tom Poti (lower-body injury) skated before the group but only stayed out on the ice for roughly 10 minutes once formal practice began. Boudreau said he would make the road trip but that his status is uncertain for the games. If Poti or another defenseman is unavailable look for the Capitals to recall someone from Hershey for this trip.
--John Carlson was given an extra day to rest. In recent games Carlson hasn't been able to skate at full strength or push off and has walked with a limp. "He's had the regular days off but we want to give him a little extra time to heal what's ailing him," Boudreau said.
--Matt Bradley (lower-body) participated in the complete practice but Boudreau had no definitive update on his status.
--Karl Alzner's grandfather passed away this weekend and he was excused from practice so he could fly home to Vancouver. Boudreau said Alzner will be back on Tuesday.
--Also, Washington reassigned Jay Beagle to Hershey.