Coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t tipping his hand this morning when it came to discussing which forwards would be in the Capitals’ lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Of the 14 forwards on the trip, 13 came off the ice at the same time and with the group that expects to be in the evening’s lineup. Only D.J. King, who will most likely be one of the scratches, stayed out for extra work.
So here’s what we do know. Earlier in the week Boudreau said Jeff Halpern, who was a healthy scratch against Anaheim, would play against Carolina. Whether that was contingent on anyone else’s health or status for tonight’s game is uncertain.
“You have no control over the decisions that are made,” Halpern said. “You go out and you try to do the job that’s asked of you. Play hard every night and compete every night. You can’t control the process of what happens. How I prepare and how I try to play; that’s about it.”
Troy Brouwer said he feels good and ready to go after being shoved in the boards on Tuesday and suffering an apparent injury to his right shoulder, that didn’t impact the area which he had offseason surgery on this summer.
“It’s not an issue as far as whether or not the surgery held up or whether the not the shoulder is good to go. I feel it’s ready to go but we’ll find out later today,” Brouwer said. “It wasn’t anything like the same feeling when it happened last year. It wasn’t a concern as so far as re-injuring the repaired area.”
It’s possible that the Capitals could elect to give Brouwer one more day of rest, however, just to make sure nothing else arises with his shoulder. If Brouwer is given the green light and Boudreau puts him up against the Hurricanes, obviously another forward will sit. The question is, who will that be?
Does Halpern get back in after sitting against Anaheim? Is it Mathieu Perreault or recently called up Cody Eakin, who were part of a speedy “kid line” in practice Thursday with Marcus Johansson? Or is it someone like Mike Knuble, who was recently demoted to the fourth line? Or someone different altogether?
Here was Boudreau’s cagey response when asked who would come out and subsequently who the candidates might be:
“I’d just take somebody out. Well there’s 12 of them. One’s not a candidate, No. 8’s not coming out. Just in case anybody wants to know. He’s playing tonight.”
Discuss the options in the comment section below.