After missing last night's game in Pittsburgh, defenseman Mike Green practiced today but said he was somewhat limited and is unsure about his status for tomorrow's game against Phoenix. Again, he declined to say what's ailing him.
"It's better," Green said. "It's one of those things if [I] was out there I wouldn't have been very useful. So I took a couple of days off to get treatment."
Pressed on whether he'll be able to suit up against the Coyotes, Green said: "I plan on playing tomorrow. But we'll see how I feel when wake up."
Coach Bruce Boudreau, on the other hand, sounded like he expects Green, the NHL's leading scorer among defensemen, to play.
"Looks right now that he is [ready]," Boudreau said. "He's got another 24 hours to get better. But he's shooting the puck better, and he's anxious to play."
Some other notes from today's (very) optional practice at KCI:
*Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich did not participate this morning. Boudreau said none of them are injured; they're just taking a "maintenance day".
*With Green, Brian Pothier (hand) and John Erskine (upper body) all close to returning to the lineup, the Caps sent John Carlson down, one night after he recorded his first NHL assist.
"It definitely is good to get your first one," he said after the game. "But the two points and the win were more important."
Just as important, however, is Boudreau's high opinion of the rookie after six NHL games.
"In his last three games he's a plus-6," Boudreau said. "Good things happen when he's on the ice. He makes a steady play most of the time and he competes hard. He's going to be an NHL player for a long time. But, right now, when you've got eight healthy defenseman, he's got the be the guy who takes the backseat, as Karl [Alzner] did for a year. It didn't hurt Karl's development and it's not going to hurt John."
*One more injury update: Semyon Varlamov did not skate again today. That means he's missed about a week of work on the ice.
"The only answer I can give you is he's feeling a lot better," Boudreau said. "He wants to take a couple of days off so when we start on Monday he's ready to go and he feels he'll be ready to practice."
Considering all the of the setbacks he's had, it will be interesting to see if Varlamov will, indeed, be able to face shots from his teammates on Monday.