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A. Gordon, Helmer Recalled (Updated)

With all of the injuries, forward Andrew Gordon and defenseman Bryan Helmer have been recalled from Hershey. If Gordon plays tonight against the Rangers, he'll be sixth player to make his NHL debut with the Caps this season.

Update:Donald Brashear (leg) is not skating. David Steckel, meantime, is back after missing yesterday's practice with a cold.

With Mike Green and Tom Poti out, the Caps are back to using four defensemen who did not start the season in Washington (Tyler Sloan, Sean Collins, Helmer, Karl Azlner).

Also, if Gordon gets in tonight, he'll be the 31st 34th player to suit up for the Caps this season. The Rangers, by comparison, have used only 22. That's crazy.

I'll have in a few minutes.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 23, 2008; 10:37 AM ET
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Next: Johnson Sick; Theodore to Start (Updated)


With Green out, why didn't we recall Lepisto? He seems to fill the void left by Green better than Helmer.

Posted by: TheBicycleThief | December 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse


Somewhere at Kettler, a trainer is sewing an A on one jersey and a B on another..

Posted by: _jordan | December 23, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: capsfan416 | December 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

guess not

Posted by: capsfan416 | December 23, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

As a proud St. Cloud State Alum, I can't wait to see Andrew Gordon make his NHL debut. Here's to hoping Johnson will stand on his head and the fellas will make Saturday a distant memory.

Posted by: HuskyHockey | December 23, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

This is a re-post from the last one. But I also wanted to add that the ice at the Giant Center is way better than at Verizon (no surprise). I didn't observe a single bouncing puck all night -- crisp passes all around, even long outlets from the blue line. The logos on the ice seems a bit light/faded, which leads me to believe that the ice is thicker than the reported one inch at the Phone Booth.

Gordon looked good when I saw him on Saturday, and he got the game-winner on Sunday, so I hope he gets to make his debut tonight. Let's Go Caps/Bears!

Giant Center is awesome. My wife and I made our first trip on Saturday and had a great time. We sat in the lower bowl and you can totally hear the guys shouting directions to each other on the ice. "Cheese" was solid in goal and even jumped into a scrum at the end. Sam Adams Winter Lager on draft for six bucks (16oz.). Lots of knowledgeable hockey fans who are super friendly. One group in our section brought a bunch of trays of chocolates and sent kids to deliver them around the rink to different sections and we watched the trays wind their way down the rows. What a fun way to spend an evening.

Posted by: Scott_in_Shaw | December 23, 2008 10:48 AM

Posted by: Scott_in_Shaw | December 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

why didn't they bring Oskar back up?

Posted by: _stevo | December 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Injury update:

Green will give it one more go sometime in january at which time he will figure it really needs surgery and at that point he will make the bonehead decision to forgo surgery for a chance to play in the playoffs only to find he makes it much worse and the rehab will carry well into the 2009 season. Bad bad santa.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 23, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

From the last thread regarding AHL stadiums: @_jordan: Ironically enough those are the 3 AHL arenas I have been to as well. I was stationed down in Norfolk and caught many Admirals games. I was there when they trasitioned from an ECHL team to the AHL affiliated with the Blackhawks. Anyhow, in all fairness to Baltimore Arena and the Norfolk Scope GIANT Center is a new stadium. Now, I have caught a Bears game in the old Hershey Park Arena but my son played there a couple of years ago in a hockey tournament. That place is cool! Built back in 1930 it reminded me of my days of going to Chicago Stadium. It has the old wooden seats that are right on top of the action. GIANT center is obviously a more comfortable environment for the fans and I'm positive the perks for the players are better at the new stadium, but it is neat to see the old stadiums with the drinking fountains from days gone by.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 23, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

does this it 32 or 33 player that have suited up for the caps this year?

Posted by: _stevo | December 23, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The atmosphere is definitely more fun at GIANT Center than at the Scope. Admirals fans are closer to what I imagine football fans must be like.. Sort of angry and hostile all the time.

Posted by: _jordan | December 23, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo - Are you counting Leonhardt? ;-)

My count is 31 skaters and 3 goaltenders, not counting him... This is Andrew Gordon's first trip up, but not Bryan Helmer's.

Posted by: irockthered | December 23, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

So we'll have A. Gordon and B. Gordon tonight... *grin*

@Tarik - Do you know what number Andrew will be wearing yet?

Posted by: irockthered | December 23, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Gordon's up hmm? Cool! I've heard a lot of great things.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | December 23, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

If you go up to Hershey on a weekend, they have public skating at the old barn (the Hersheypark Arena) on Saturday or Sunday from 2-4. I've gone before Sunday 5:00 games - it's right next to the Giant Center. It's fun just to see the old place. I never saw a game there, but it seems like the place had a great atmosphere. All the seats are close to the ice.

Posted by: jyjr16 | December 23, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

| December 23, 2008 11:06 AM

Repost from last thread.

Did any one else have the chance to catch a Washington Presidents or Lions (names used at different times)at old Uline Arena at 3rd & M st S E Wash D C? Wonderful place for a hockey game-----NOT. It was fun though. Not sure what league it was at the time.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:06 AM

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Repost from last thread.

I agree that Giant Center is first class & a very fun place to watch a game. I just wish it wasn't a 240 mile round trip for me to go there. The old Balt. Civic was not a very good place to watch hockey. I saw the Skipjacks & several other editions of a Balt hockey team.

The most fun I ever had there was a game that Hall of Famer Doug Harvey was playing as he was winding down his career, watching him tripping another player so that the Ref couldn't see him. At the end of that game, Boom Boom G who was the coach. went across the ice & proceeded to knock the stuffings out of the P A anouncer by mistake. He meant to get the time keeper. Really funny stuff.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:15

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@TheBicycleThief: Lepisto made a lot of mistakes when he was up here last - bad passes, had trouble breaking out from behind his net, occasionally got overpowered by the opposition. He made some bad decisions and wasn't very successful.

What number will A. Gordon wear?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 23, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Repost (modified) from last thread.


I didn't see any games at Uline Arena, but after I moved to Reston, I played my first adult hockey game there. (Of course it was called the Washington Coliseum by then.)

The Beatles' first U.S. concert was also at the Washington Coliseum, so you can consider us the "Fab Five." :-)

Joe B

Posted by: rw-c | December 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@sidehillman: that sounds straight out of a movie lol
I remember being disappointed there were no rookies on the opening night roster. Guess I just had to be patient...
p.s. happy festivus!

Posted by: honed | December 23, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately. the Phone Booth is the same distance away as Hershey---120 miles each way. My next areana will be in Johnstown, Pa. to see the Chiefs---A lot closer.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Lepisto is okay, but I would rather have some defensemen who can play defense. Sami gets man-handled too easily still.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 23, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Your bring back more memories. I had forgotten that the changed the name to Wash. Col. The parking was "GREAT". Also forgot that the Beatles played there. I did see Ray Charles there & my one & only wrastling SHOW there.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree that Lepisto was a disaster when he was here. I thought that he wasn't much better when I saw him play in Hershey several times.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid we had Bears season tickets at the old Hershey Arena for many years. That place really rocked when the crowd got rowdy. I learned to skate there as well, and played a lot of hockey on that ice (and still do). The ice itself is MUCH softer and slower than the Giant center and many new rinks. As nice as the Giant Center is, I still really miss seeing the Bears in that old barn...

Posted by: BearsWoooo | December 23, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I thought Lepisto was fairly good, but also pretty inconsistent. He got sent down after what was clearly his worst game.

With Green out, I would have liked to see Lepisto again, because he's effective working the point and in power play situations (4 assists in seven games).

Posted by: noptov | December 23, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

A good reason for calling up Gordon and Helmer, rather than Lepisto and Osala, is that they may be easier to get to Washington. The Bears had a couple of days off for Christmas and Lepisto and Osala may have flown out yesterday to go home to Finland for Christmas. Gordon and Helmer are from the Eastern portion of Canada so they would be easier to get to Washington in the short amount of time they have.

Posted by: Littlecep13 | December 23, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@sidehillman: Thanks for the hockey history lesson. Seriously!! I'm not a native Marylander, grew up in Illinois, so I never knew about the Lions or the Presidents.

For other's who like hockey trivia, here's what Wikipedia came up with: "The Washington Lions were a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They were founded as a member of the American Hockey League in the 1941-42 season. The Lions played for two seasons, disbanded during World War II. Another Washington Lions team played in the Eastern Hockey League from 1944-47. The AHL Lions were resurrected in 1947. Following the 1948-49 season, the team was relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio as the Cincinnati Mohawks. The void was filled by a second team of the same name playing in the Eastern Hockey League, from 1951-53, and 1954-57, who later became the Washington Presidents."

@sidehillman: You're getting up there in age for sure. I'm a STH and would love to give you my tickets for a game that I can't make it to if you're interested and not a STH yourself. I'm a hockey dad so they're in the 400 section, but a great place to really watch an NHL game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 23, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong Caps fan, I am shocked and proud at this point. We are leading our division and near the top of the NHL and we our injury list is longer than our roster. Am I the only one who feels this way? Is Gordon a big guy? I seems that if we were looking for scoring we would have brought back Osala or Mink. We are forging an identity though. We are Washington, we find a way to win no matter who is on the ice. We don't complain we just do!

Posted by: psugolf | December 23, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I probably never saw the Lions based on that info, as I was "only" 7 in 1949. I also think that the info is incomplete as I remember taking a date to see a game in 1959 or 1960. i distinctly remember because my date made a big fuss because someone in front of us smoked a cigarette. It was ok to do that in those days. Maybe they were renamed the Lions at that time. I think that I will google it & find out.
I also attended redskins & Senators games in Griffith stadium. & the Dogers in the L A Coliseumn.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse


We've got more in common. We're the same age.

Joe B

Posted by: rw-c | December 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

This forum changes faster than a snowflake inside a burning oven. Maybe Mr. El Bashir can suggest a change to a thread style? (wink, wink).

To ansuwer a question from a nth post in the past, to refresh:

"... Also, I'm not sure what you're talking about with regards to Ovechkin's lack of goal production this year. He had a slump, but he's been on fire ever since and has already passed the 20-goal mark.

Posted by: ranndino | December 23, 2008 3:12 AM"

What I was trying to express, obviously not well, was not the lack of goals but the percentage of success based on the amount of shots he takes. It is very low, and it does not include the ones that are not counted as shots-on-goal - the misses.
I admit I did not compare the stats to previous year, so it might be just a faulty perception from my side.

From reading the rest of your post, I think for the most part we are in agreement to how we see the game.

Posted by: opita | December 23, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse


Your tic offer is appreciated, but may a little difficult to work out due to the distance. The weather is always a factor this time of year.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 23, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Helmer played at a high level when he was in Washington. Lepisto did not. Boudreau was plain when he sent Sami back down that he was disappointed in his overall play.

Alzner on the other hand is a player the Caps are going to have a hard time sending down.

My guess is that a trade for Nylander to open up cap room will allow for Alzner to stay with the parent club during the season.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see Varlamov in Washington as things come down the wire.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 23, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If the goaltending situation doesn't improve you have to think that rather than doing a Huet at the deadline kind of deal GMGM just brings up Varlamov. As we saw last year, you CAN carry three goalies on your roster. It's kind of a waste, but it can be done.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | December 23, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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