Pre-game primer: Players prepare for choppy ice

Pre-game primer: Players prepare for choppy ice
September 17, 2013, 6:45 pm
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(Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

BALTIMORE – Mike Green was hoping the ice at 1st Mariner Arena would be better than it was in the inaugural Baltimore Hockey Classic two years ago.

But after Tuesday’s morning skate, Green was less than impressed.

“It wasn’t very good,” Green told reporters. “It got real chippy real quick. There were big gouges in the ice that could be dangerous. I’m sure they’ll handle it. … We’ve all played on crappy ice at some point in our careers; it’s a matter of keeping it simple.”

Adam Oates didn’t see the ice as being much of an issue.

“It might get a little choppy as the game goes on,” he said. “But it’s fine.”

Laich update: Oates said Brooks Laich “cruised around” the ice at Kettler on Tuesday and hopes to increase that pace on his own Wednesday. Laich pulled himself off the ice with a left hip flexor on the first day of camp on Sept. 12.

“We’re obviously hoping it was very minor,” Oates said. “We’re being extra cautious.”

Grabovski arrives: Center Mikhail Grabovski, stuck in Toronto for the past week with visa issues, finally skated with the Caps at Kettler on Tuesday and made the trip to Baltimore.

Grabovski skated in warmups but did not play. Since Wednesday is a scheduled day off for the Caps, Grabovski might skate voluntarily with the Caps’ coaching staff.

Here’s the Caps’ projected lineup for tonight’s Classic against the Bruins:

Forward Lines

Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin

Nathan Walker – Chandler Stephenson – Troy Brouwer

Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson

Dane Byers – Casey Wellman – Stan Galiev

Defense Pairings

Jack Hillen – Mike Green

Nate Schmidt – Steve Oleksy

Chay Genoway – Tyson Strachan

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer