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Notes From Day 3

A few notes from today's training camp sessions at KCI:

* The afternoon scrimmage, won in the shootout by Team A, 3-2, had a thrilling conclusion (for fans of penalty shots, that is). Boyd Gordon beat Michal Neuvirth over the glove in the sixth round, then Jose Theodore stopped David Steckel at the other end to clinch the win.

*Here are the updated Duchesne Cup standings: Team A is 1-0; Team B is 0-1 and Team C is 1-0-1.

*After the scrimmage, Coach Bruce Boudreau singled out several players for praise: Defensemen Karl Alzner and John Carlson; goalies Neuvirth and Theodore; and forwards Keith Aucoin and Nicklas Backstrom.

"Michal Neuvirth was outstanding and so was Theo, actually, if I'm comparing it to one year ago today," Boudreau said.

On Backstrom's sublime (and still improving) passing ability, Boudreau said: "He made some passes that made you go, 'Wow is he good.' I mean, Alex is Alex. But you get so impressed watching the subtleties of Nick making a backhand pass right on Mike [Knuble's] stick. It was a backhand hand pass from inside his feet. If you knew how hard a play that is, it's really difficult."

*Boudreau said it's too early to handicap the race for what could be one open spot amongst the forwards. He said there could be some separation after the first three preseason games.

*The battle on defense is going to be just as tight, it seems. When asked about Alzner's chances of making the team out of camp, Boudreau said: "I don't know what he has to do. I don't want to sound like an idiot, but he's got to wow us. You look at the seven that have been here for the better part of two years, somebody's really got to beat them out of a job. I liken it to a championship fight: When you come to the 15th round, you either knock him out or you go to decision. And if you go to decision, usually the champion gets the call."

*Neuvirth was also involved in the scariest moment of the day when Alex Ovechkin went barreling into him during the scrimmage. Ovechkin's skate left a long scratch on Neuvirth's neck, but he did not appear to be bleeding and stayed in the game.

*Boudreau also called out some of his vets for not playing as hard in the scrimmage as he would have liked. When asked what he thought about the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble line, the coach said: "They looked fine, but I don't think the pace was anywhere near as quick as it should have been. They're just good players and they were getting by on the fact that they are really good players. It's hard to ramp it up. Coaches want them to be as good as they can all the time. But the reality of it is they know when they have to go. All three of those guys are secure in the fact that they've made the team. So it's a little different."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 15, 2009; 4:47 PM ET
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Next: Morning Reading List: Tweets Create Confusion


good neuvys ok... first comment

Posted by: gocaps01 | September 15, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

*Here are the updated Duchesne Cup standings: Team A is 1-0; Team B is 0-1 and Team C is 1-0-1. "


I stopped reading here, I had to call my math professor at my elementary school for an explanation.

Posted by: hock1 | September 15, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if you're serious but Team C had an OT loss to Team A. Team A got the win. Team C got the OTL.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 15, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The standings mean that A beat C in OT/shootout (shootout in this case) and C beat B in regulation. 2 games so far.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | September 15, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

One team will split in two and play itself in a half-ice blueline-clear scrimmage for posts and crossbars.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 15, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

*Here are the updated Duchesne Cup standings: Team A is 1-0; Team B is 0-1 and Team C is 1-0-1. "


I stopped reading here, I had to call my math professor at my elementary school for an explanation.

whats so hard to understand?team c has played 2 games,one against team a and one against team b.they won one and lost one in ot.hence the 1-0-1 you understand now???? GO CAPS!!! and heres to hopeing neuvy breaks the caps roster.

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 15, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, win-loss-ot/loss stats are part of Hockey101. I take it you're not much of a fan of the NHL.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 15, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Video I took of the shootout. Missed the first two attempts...both players scored.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 15, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Poor Neuvy ;(

Posted by: rachel216 | September 15, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"You look at the seven ('D') that have been here for the better part of two years, somebody's really got to beat them out of a job."
BB is seeing something from our current d-corps that escapes me. Two or three should be vulnerable.

Posted by: beeman | September 15, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

What is this car doing here? It is so annoying..

Posted by: rachel216 | September 15, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@ beeman,

Agreed about the Dmen. How can he look at most of those 7 and see anything but mediocrity? I guess his hands must be tied because GMGM seems incapable (or unwilling) to trade any of them. The bad news is, unless they can unload Nylander and free up some cap space, we'll probably be going into the playoffs with the same mediocre blueliners as last year.

I think it's a huge mistake to write off Alzner and Carlson simply because of their inexperience. Give them a full season with the big club and by the time the playoffs roll around you might have a real difference maker.

Posted by: chombie13 | September 15, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Two different sites I read on were complaining about the Mercedes ad today. It's what finally prompted me to download the AdBlock add-on. Now I just have loads of calming white space.

Posted by: CapsChick | September 15, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

F*** this car.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | September 15, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I hate this car. Your going to die car!!!!!

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | September 15, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

At least Neuwirth seems to be okay.

(Rachel, I bet you read this morning's article on the goaltenders, including Neuwirth.)

When he came up, I kept saying "The New Kid Proves his Worth" in honor of his name, especially when the first part of his name is the German word for "new". My nickname for him is "New Kid on the Block". (Of course, that will be old once he makes the NHL for good and sticks.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 15, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the "bad asses" of Team B are still alive since Team A beat Team C in the shootout. I predicted that Team A would win this year's Cup. I like their boys (the good boys) but Team B seems to have my favorite bad boys.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 15, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the "bad asses" of Team B are still alive since Team A beat Team C in the shootout. I predicted that Team A would win this year's Cup. I like their boys (the good boys) but Team B seems to have my favorite bad boys.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 15, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Crap, the car wasn't bugging me for some reason until you guys made note of how annoying it is.

Die car, die!

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 15, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

beeman and chombie I recommend you duck. I said the same thing a few weeks ago and a few on here got very upset at the notion that this defense isn't sufficient to win a Cup.

CapsFan75, Team B is eliminated from contention, Team C got the shootout loss.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 15, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, scary stuff about the Neivirth-Ovechkin incident. Glad he's OK! Scary, scary stuff.

Interesting that Neuvirth is standing out over Varlamov... it's going to be an interesting day.

48:02 til the puck drops in Buffalo!!!

@hock1 - On behalf of the folks on this board who don't automatically insult people for asking legitimate questions, I apologise for the jackdaws who resorted to insults over yours. You've had several variations of the explanation, but if you have further questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail me at irockthered {at} gmail {dot} com. I'll be happy to answer them for you. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | September 15, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: Defense - I'm willing to give Bob Woods a chance to coach these guys before I start throwing people under the bus. From what I saw on Sunday, I like his coaching style, and I think he - and Irbe - will do well coaching with Boudreau.

Posted by: irockthered | September 15, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

you'll all be happy to note that the car 'disappears' after enough posts - i can no longer see it. don't scroll up from here or it will re-appear. i thought it was funny that 'my' car only went in reverse!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 15, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The D Debate.

Ok, the D is not as bad as some are saying it is. And the D is nowhere as good as the Caps mgmt pretends it is.

The playoffs are always a good barometer for defensemen. Injuries aside, the players who played well defensively were Mo, Juice, Erskine (although he had a harder time against the Pens fwds than he did against the Rags for obvious reasons.)

Green has the potential to play hard at both ends so we'll give him a pass for now.

That's 4 players who are capable although they are not all top 4 guys.

The other 3 -- Poti, Pothier, Schultz are the question marks here. And if Carlson can replace one of those 3 then we're in better shape. I still think we need to acquire another solid top 4 defenseman if we want to be considered legitimate contenders. Since McPhee has such a difficult time swinging ANY trades much less good ones, I won't be holding my breath.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75- I sure did read about Neuvy... unfortunately I can't be on this website any longer cuz the friggin' car is bugging me!!

Posted by: rachel216 | September 15, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Hello everybody:

Rachel, are you spending your days at the training camp since Neuvy is here?

What's going on with Nyls? First he comes without his family and it looks like he is really ready to join another team. Then he reassures us that he wants to stay. Do you think he heard that he didn't make some European team that was considering him?

Posted by: caraveli | September 15, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse


Great video. Thanks for posting it.

Posted by: DaleDUI | September 15, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

caraveli- I actually went the first day of rookie camp, I think it was Sept 7., but Neuvy was not practicing that day. It was Holtby and Varly. But Neuvy watched some of the practice toward the end, so I got to see him. When he popped up out of nowhere I thought I was going to jump out of my seat... or the bleachers.. but I haven't been able to go anymore cuz of school.

Posted by: rachel216 | September 15, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Finally got to my home computer and am using Mozilla Foxfire. The car is gone! Coincidence?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | September 15, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I have lived in Orlando since 95 and have never been to the VC. Now they tell me I have a trip to Bethesda Oct 12, 13 and 14. I will arrive late afternoon on the 12th and will be billetted in the "corporate" hotel. I really don't know what that means. Nor am I allowed to say which megalithic defense contractor this is, just in case some of you might have knowledge of this place and whether or not I get a "pass" for the evening.

Caps play NJ on the 12th and someone, maybe fanohock, said he had an available ticket to most games. I will obviously do whatever I can to get free (think of Charlton Heston escaping in Soylent Green) and make the game. But, for now, I don't know even if I get a rental car. I'm guessing not. I'm guessing they have some kind of bus from Reagan to this corporate place. I will probably need to learn the secret handshake. Maybe also I will need a haircut before I look appropriate (you know what you can do with the scissors, now don't you?).

Anyway, in case I might somehow be able to escape from the fraternity and get to the VC, it would be nice to know if anyone MIGHT have a ticket available.

And, to let you know, the Corporate Director is a really decent guy, if a Philly fan, and I will let him know my plight, and see if maybe there are corporate tickets I can score. I haven't been to a Caps home game since 4-1 loss to Detroit Jan 13, 1996. That was so long ago, Fedorov was young. And so was I.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 15, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, is it just me, or did pothier play really well in the playoffs. i seem to recall being very pleasantly surprised w/ his play particularly after being out so long. of course, he's not the physical guy we need.

i dont want to get into the schultz arguement. but of the three you listed, i'd say poti would be the one i'd like to see moved. mostly because he's got a big cap number for the next two years.

however, i think the odd man out is going to shmo or jurcina...

not sure what bad trades GM has made that you are referring to. bad draft picks sure, but trading seems to be his forte.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 15, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hockeyfan8 | September 15, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse


You're right, in that Team B can not win the Duchesne Cup. But I doubt they'd award it to Team A unless Team A wins a second game and I assume that Team A would play Team B tomorrow anyhow (B playing out the string). Then, if Team B wins tomorrow, Team C is the winner by default since A & B are 1-1 and Team C is 1-0-1 by shootout loss. If Team B wins a shootout, then B is 1-1 while Teams A & C are tied up.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 15, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you. I forgot about the OTL rule, I find it illogical but what the heck it works.

Posted by: hock1 | September 15, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Quit fussing about the D, all of you. We have a new coach and a stiff competition for D slots. Let's see what happens with the changes that have been made before trying to make any more changes, else you're likely to buy something huge that leaves you no room to move at the deadline for what you really need. Anyone else remember what happened at least year's deadline and where it got us? Thought so.

Remember, the Stanley Cup isn't won in September. Things happen during the year, things that are impossible to predict. I strongly suspect that part of the D issue is actually coaching, and we'll find out in the next couple of months whether that's the case. Making moves now is just asking for trouble, so all of you need to just chill out and see what happens.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 15, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Get em kitty! Sick em! You go girl!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 16, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

tominfl1: My two sons and I are going to the Caps game against NJ on the 12th. I have 4 seats and we haven't invited someone to go with us. I will hook you up and let you have the ticket for $0. If you are able to break away you should be able to take a train from Bethesda to Verizon. There is a Metro by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 16, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

fanohock: Thanks! That's great news. I am thinking I can get away as the start of the event isn't until Tuesday am. I might go straight from airport to VC, don't know yet. You can email me at and I can reply this evening.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 16, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

UMMMMM, can anyone else post on the morning reading list?? I'm not seeing an option to post any comments.

Posted by: PhilR | September 16, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz--thanks for your incisivness to the "we need better D" refrain.

Obviously our D is still developing but I'd like to see how the season unfolds before we start making changes. What is so great is that we have options--if someone is not performing or is injured then we have enough good players to make a change.

Freakin-thanks for your video. It's great. Wish I had been there.

Tominfl--glad you scored a ticket. That's too long not to see the Caps live.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 16, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

newbie: I've seen them since in Tampa and Sunrise - just not back in DC.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 16, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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