Caps defenseman Mike Green is back in the Washington lineup tonight in Winnipeg for the first time since a Feb. 27 game against the Flyers in Philadelphia. Green missed each of Washington’s last 10 games with a lower body injury, and he missed three games with the same ailment earlier in the season.
With Green coming back into the Washington lineup, the Caps had to make a roster move. Washington will place forward Joey Crabb on waivers at noon on Friday, and it has designated Crabb as a non-roster player immediately, so he won’t be on the Caps’ roster tonight against the Jets.
Crabb, a 29-year-old right wing, was signed to a one-year deal as an unrestricted free agent last summer. He has played in 26 games with the Caps this season, totaling two goals, two points and eight penalty minutes to go along with a minus-1 rating.
The Caps will learn whether Crabb clears waivers or not at noon on Saturday. If he does, he would be re-assigned to the AHL Hershey Bears.
The Capitals have been decimated by blueline injuries of late, and they had an inordinate number of forwards on their roster as a result. Washington had six active defensemen and 15 forwards on its roster for Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh, the first game of the team’s current four-game road trip. Along with Crabb, forwards Aaron Volpatti and Wojtek Wolski were healthy scratches against the Penguins.
Even with the activation of Green tonight, the Caps currently have three defensemen still on injured reserve: John Erskine, Tomas Kundratek and Tom Poti. The Caps have employed a dozen different defensemen in the team’s first 29 games this season.
Caps coach Adam Oates prefers to have a balanced blueline of three right-handers and three lefties, and Green’s return gives Washington three right-handed blueliners (Green, John Carlson and Steve Oleksy).
The Caps now have four left-handed defensemen on the roster: Karl Alzner, Jack Hillen, Orlov and Jeff Schultz. One of those four will be a healthy scratch for Thursday’s game against the Jets.
With today’s roster movement, the Caps now are carrying two extra forwards and one spare defenseman.
The Caps are 6-7-0 in the 13 games Green has missed this season.
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