Nov 10, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT
As Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider notes, Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau has been tight-lipped when discussing line combinations this season.
But today, he let something slip.
Marcus Johansson, the 21-year-old Swede that’s recorded eight points in 12 games, was given Thursday’s practice off to rest after Wednesday’s bag skate. With him out, there was a noticeable shift in center duties — Nicklas Backstrom skated with Brooks Laich and Alex Semin on the second line, Cody Eakin dropped down to Johansson’s usual spot on the third — leaving an open spot on the first line between Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer. (Fourth-liner Mathieu Perreault played there today.)
Could that spot be ultimately filled by Johansson, who was given practice off because Boudreau said he “needed him” this weekend in a home-and-home against the Devils?
“I think sometimes it makes the line a little quicker,” Boudreau said of playing Johansson with Ovechkin. “Sometimes you wait, in training camp Marcus wasn’t up to par — in his own words, I would think. But he’s started to play quite well now. Now, if we decided to make the change it would be a good time.”
The move fits with Boudreau’s newfound approach to attacking complacency. The Caps were brutal last game out (a 5-2 loss to Dallas; Ovechkin had zero points and a minus-2 rating), to which Boudreau responded by shuffling his lines. He seems determined to correct issues as soon as they occur, rather than letting them fester — taking care of business, if you will.
- Ghost Time: Flyers recall Gostisbehere from AHL 6
- Trotz calls Healy’s comments on Ovechkin (and Ovechkin’s mom) ‘disrespectful’ 25
- Report: Billionaire wants NHL team in Vegas; new Coyotes owner ‘sees flipping the team as a good investment’ 20
- Chara has PCL tear, out 4-6 weeks 18
- Coburn, MacDonald out four weeks with lower-body injuries 15
- Red-hot Quick sets new Kings’ franchise shutout record 9
- Reports: Chara could miss at least 4-6 weeks with knee injury 13
- Video: Red Wings’ stars stun Penguins with late surge 31
- Report: Isles’ Bailey out indefinitely after breaking hand 3
- Dale Hunter: Ovechkin isn’t going to win the Selke, but he’s ‘coachable’ 13
- Video: Two quick third-period goals propel Flyers over rival Penguins (82)
- Updated: Kings’ Voynov arrested for domestic assault, suspended indefinitely (78)
- Babcock: ‘Price definitely initiates contact’ in disallowed Datsyuk goal (59)
- ‘It’s stupid': Tempers flare after Kesler’s late charge on Granlund (54)
- Lucic apologizes for obscene gesture: ‘I’m obviously not proud of what I did there’ (45)