Coach Dale Hunter took a similar stance to that of several Capitals when asked about the impact of Mike Green’s three-game suspension on the team as it tries to make the playoffs. It’s simply another bump in the road.
“It’s one of those things that Shanny thought it was necessary,” Hunter said. “Just gives other players a chance for more ice time and we have to deal with it.”
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president of player safety, announced Friday that Green received a three-game suspension for a hit on Tampa Bay’s Brett Connolly, a blow deemed an illegal check to the head by the league.
Green, who is in Boston with the Capitals, is expected to discuss his suspension Saturday afternoon.
With Green out of the lineup the Capitals will insert Roman Hamrlik, who has served as a healthy scratch for eight straight games. Hamrlik’s last appearance in a game came on Feb. 20 in a 5-0 loss at Carolina.
When the veteran defenseman was first scratched on Feb. 22 at Ottawa, Hunter said it was because Hamrlik was on the ice for too many scoring chances against and had committed a “bad penalty”. Hamrlik lashed out at Hunter the next day; this will be his first game back in the lineup since making those comments more than two weeks ago.
“He’s been good in practice. He’s been working hard, the bumps and bruises have healed and he’s really anxious to get back in and we expect good sound defensive game from him,” said Hunter, who was then asked whether Hamrlik had been injured. “No, the typical hockey stuff.”
A few other quick notes ahead of this matinee meeting with the Bruins:
— Tomas Vokoun will make a second straight start, Hunter confirmed this morning. In 20 career appearances against the Bruins, Vokoun is 6-10-3 with a .927 save percentage and 2.64 goals-against average.
— While Alexander Semin skated on the fourth line Friday, Hunter said the Russian winger will play in Boston and on his usual line. (Presumably the second-line combination with Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault that the Capitals have used consistently).