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Toucher & Rich: Backstrom Suspension From A Washington Perspective

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Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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The Bruins lead the Capitals 2-1 in their first round match up after a 4-3 win on Monday night in Washington. The two teams take the ice Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. to battle it out in Game 4.

Comcast SportsNet Washington’s Chuck Gormley spoke with Toucher & Rich about the suspension of Nicklas Backstrom, the addition of John Erskine to the lineup, Karl Alzner and Gormley’s prediction for the series.

NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan suspended Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom for Game 4 for his cross-check to the face of Bruins forward Rich Peverley following the final buzzer of Game 3. What’s the feeling in Washington about the suspension?

“Well they’re not happy about it. They didn’t think he deserved a suspension if you look at it against other issues that have occurred in this playoff. If you remember, Alex Ovechkin came up high with his stick on Dennis Seidenberg and no penalty was called.”

With the absence of Backstrom, the Caps have added defenseman John Erskine to the lineup. There is some talk that he’s been brought in to handle Milan Lucic. What does Gormley think of the addition of Erskine for game four?

“He’s only played one game since the middle January, so he’s probably going to see only limited ice time I’m thinking maybe seven, eight, nine minutes.”

Caps defenseman Karl Alzner made a crybaby gesture in Milan Lucic’s direction in the third period of game three and now he’s trying to explain it was all in fun and just a joke.

It was also reported that he waited by the Bruins bus to apologize to Brad Marchand about a high elbow. Why is Alzner apologizing? Is it out of fear of what the Bruins might do?

“He kind of realized what he did as soon as he did it and I think that’s why he wanted to apologize. He doesn’t want to turn this into something where he’s known as this player who likes to get under the other team’s skin, he’s not like that at all.”

With the Bruins holding on to a 2-1 series lead, how long does Gormley see this series going?

“This thing’s going seven games, guys.”

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