Tracking the Storm

Gleason to Miss Three Weeks

Thursday, 03.18.2010 / 11:59 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Gleason to Miss Three Weeks
Although he had been expected to play tonight, Tim Gleason’s injury is worse than initially feared, which will cause him to miss approximately three weeks.

Paul Branecky
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Gleason broke a bone in his foot Saturday against Phoenix, but managed to finish that game and then play regular minutes against Boston on Tuesday in true Tim Gleason fashion. However, his condition has not improved.

”The increase in pain is way beyond what you would expect a person to play with,” said coach Paul Maurice. “Unfortunately it’s even beyond what Tim Gleason can play with, because he can play with just about anything.”

If Gleason were to return exactly three weeks from today, he would be able to play in the team’s final two regular season games against Montreal and Boston. Although that’s cutting it close, Maurice said that he would still like the defenseman to return if possible.

”He’s going to train like he’s coming back for the last games of the season because that would be around that window if the healing is really good and he’s healthy,” said Maurice. “We’re clearly not going to push him back into the lineup before he’s ready now, but if he’s healthy then he’ll play.”

For tonight, Gleason’s injury means that the team will not have to scratch a healthy defenseman from their lineup, as Maurice yesterday indicated would likely be the case. Jamie McBain will play his second NHL game and likely more as the Hurricanes finish out the last 13 games of their schedule.

That Gleason was able to finish the Phoenix game without any indication he was hurt and then play over 18 minutes two nights later contributes to the impressive list of instances when he has played through pain. Two of those came against tonight’s opponent, the Washington Capitals. First, he returned after a knee-on-knee hit from Alex Ovechkin on November 30 that saw the star forward suspended. Then, he came back to score the shorthanded, game-tying goal after an Ovechkin shot hit him in the face less than two weeks later.

”It was an admirable performance,” said Maurice of Gleason’s most recent episode.

Speaking of Ovechkin suspensions, the NHL’s scoring leader will miss tonight’s game as the second of a two-game ban for boarding Chicago’s Brian Campbell. It’s easy to rejoice in the fact that the Capitals won’t have their best player, but that has been little comfort for opponents thus far. In the game and a half since his ejection and subsequent suspension, the Capitals have outscored opponents 11-5 en route to a pair of victories. Most recently, they took an easy 7-3 decision over Florida Tuesday night.

”I talked to the Florida Panthers coach because he had faced the Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals I think three times this year and got the doors blown off them each time,” said Maurice, referring to his good friend Peter DeBoer. “He was less pleased to see that (Ovechkin) wasn’t going to be in the lineup.”

The moral of the story is that while Ovechkin is easily one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league, the Capitals didn’t earn the NHL’s best record through his efforts alone. Nicklas Backstrom, who plays in Ovechkin’s shadow in Washington but is a legitimate star in his own right, has five points in his last two games and was the driving force behind the team’s comeback win in Chicago over the weekend.

That presents a stiff test for Carolina’s Justin Peters, who gets the start in goal tonight. Maurice is particularly interested to see how the 23-year-old responds to a reasonable amount of adversity, having not played his strongest game in the 4-0 loss to Phoenix.

”He’s coming off a game where he gave up some he’d like to have back, which came off an outstanding performance,” said Maurice. “These are the learning curves and the thing a young goaltender needs to go through.

The Capitals are likely to use rookie Semyon Varlamov in goal despite a run of good results for starter Jose Theodore. Forward Boyd Gordon is out with a back injury, making a safer bet that Scott Walker will join Joe Corvo as former Hurricanes in the lineup for Washington tonight. With a glut of healthy forwards, the Capitals have been rotating healthy scratches, with Walker sitting out three times already, including each of the last two games.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72