It was a very optional and sparsely-attended practice for the Capitals at KCI this morning but one of the players who did head out onto the ice was Tom Poti, who has been in and out of the lineup with what is believed to be a groin injury.
Poti skated about 30 minutes but was "not even close to 100 percent" and said that right now, there's no timetable for his return. This is his third time out of the lineup this season after he first missed three games straight in October before returning for two tilts against the Bruins only to miss the next eight contests. His most recent comeback attempt came on Nov. 11, when he played 16:43 against Tampa Bay only to not feel well by the end of the game.
"I felt OK at the beginning of the game and once the game progressed, it just got worse and worse and worse," Poti said. "The next two days after that, it felt almost as worse as it's been, so we kind of got together with the doctors and trainers and [they] just said stay off the ice for a few days."
If there is a bright side to Poti's injury, it's that the setbacks have come in the first two months of the season, which come with the small luxury of a little more time to heal than might be possible later on in the year. But when asked if there was any timetable for a return, Poti said no.
"Just kind of taking it day to day," Poti said. "Today was my first day on the ice; I probably skated for 30 minutes -- not even close to 100 percent, so I'll reassess it tomorrow and see how it feels."
--Among those who did skate this morning were both Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, Mike Green, John Carlson, Tyler Sloan, Nicklas Backstom, Marcus Johansson, Mike Knuble, Jason Chimera, Boyd Gordon, Matt Bradley, Matt Hendricks, Tomas Fleischmann and D.J. King.
--Johansson wasn't the only player who didn't see much time on the ice late in Wednesday's game against the Sabres. While he didn't play the final 9:53, Hendricks didn't appear in the final 6:11 and Eric Fehr the final 5:08.
"It's a one-goal game in the last six minutes, there's certain players that play at the end and certain players that don't," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It went down to three lines and you just want to keep putting [Johansson] in positions to do well, not in positions to fail....we put [Boyd Gordon] up with Semin's line and Nicky back with Alex just for the last couple shifts."