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Afternoon Reading List: Meet the Backstroms

[Technical difficulties and a busy morning make this a lunchtime affair...]

Update: The Colorado Avalanche announced they have hired the AHL's Joe Sacco as head coach, a day after firing Tony Granato. Plucking coaches from the minors has worked well for NHL teams recently (see Caps, Pens).

Nicklas Backstrom's father, Anders, talks to Caps 365 about watching his son play in the NHL for the first time as a rookie in 2007.

"It was huge for me as a father," Anders said. "I played myself at home in Sweden and it's a big, big moment for me and my wife to see him come over and take a place in the Washington Capitals. I [saw] the first game and it was huge."

Other non-hockey related Caps news: Alex Ovechkin will play charity poker in Las Vegas on June 17 and Coach Bruce Boudreau will throw out the first pitch at the Nats-Reds game on Tuesday, June 9. (Game starts at 7:05 p.m.)

A few more links to check out:

* GM George McPhee was on Toronto's The Fan 590 yesterday to talk about head shots and the Caps' playoff run. Check out the interview here.

* Most NHL players are traditionalists -- they want to keep fighting in the game. So why won't the league listen? From the Montreal Gazette:

Donald Brashear is regarded as one of the NHL's best and toughest pugilists.
He probably remembers his first game at the NHL level. The Detroit Red Wings were at the Forum and, as you'd expect, Brashear got under the skin of several of the visiting players in hardly no time at all. Bob Probert eventually decided enough was enough. Time to teach the rookie a lesson. The league's biggest and best fighter skated menacingly toward Brashear, whereupon the latter skated backwards at a record-setting pace.
After the game, Brashear had a question for a reporter.
"Did I do the right thing?" he asked.
"Probably," he was told. "It wouldn't be a good idea to take on Probert in your first game, but it only hurts for a little while."

* Speaking of fighting, who's the best in the game? From Japers' Rink:

As was the case a year ago, Donald Brashear is a finalist in several categories, including Fight of the Year (for the win below and his loss to Wade Belak), the Kocur Award (for TKO or KO of the Year... for that Belak loss), the Probert Award (for fighter of the year), and the People's Choice Award (for the fan's fave fighter).
So go vote - it's the least you can do to support a guy who gets punched in the face for your entertainment.

* Defenseman Karl Alzner, out since the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton series, skated with the Bears today. From the Patriot-News:

Whether Alzner will be ready to return to the lineup Saturday for Game 3 of the Calder Cup finals against Manitoba remains an open question, Bears head coach Bob Woods said.
"He's starting to skate," Woods said, "which is a good sign."

*Pavel Datsyuk wants to play tonight. Will he or won't he? From ESPN's Pierre Lebrun:

Pavel Datsyuk said he's ready to play. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is prepared for the Detroit Red Wings' star forward to return.
Still, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would not definitively say whether Datsyuk would be in the lineup for tonight's pivotal Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals. He is expected to be a game-time decision.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  June 4, 2009; 1:11 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning Reading List: Will Ovie Win Back-to-Backs?

Comments

From the previous thread: Bruce will throw out the first pitch at Nats Park next Tuesday! (assuming, of course, there's no 4 hour rain delay that turns into a postponment, but, hey, didn't you like our overprices beer and hot dogs served with surly service?!)
Posted by: RedBirdie


The way the Nats are playing the Nats should just name Bruce the starter next week. I'm just kidding of course. He probably is only good enough for the bullpen.
Posted by: fanohock1 | June 4, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 4, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, especially for the fighting article. The NHL might want to think about NASCAR's attempts to attract a wider audience -- after 26 years my brother & I (& tens of thousands of other former fans) have given up our seats at Dover. NASCAR has changed the rules, cars, facilities, & general ambience so much while raising prices that it is just no more fun for me. Go ahead bettman -- change the rules, ban fighting, allow haphazard officiating -- but first watch last week's NASCAR race at Dover. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were many thousands of empty seats. Even after being offered seats (by the track, over the phone) at 2-for-1 prices, unhappy fans stayed away in droves.

Posted by: uncatim | June 4, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz, others

I'd like to try to make the Bears game either Saturday or Tuesday, but I'd like to ride-share, do the tailgate, etc. How can I find a ride share?

thanks!

Posted by: WritingLight | June 4, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"He is expected to be a game-time decision."

Aren't we all?

Posted by: aybee27 | June 4, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Dats may play tonight (yay!). Be sure to check out this interview, he's a funny guy (the real dry sense of humor isn't on display here, but love his comments about beer and not scoring ing 12 games hurts)
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Datsyuk-I-ll-make-game-time-decision-on-playing?urn=nhl,168084

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 4, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Joe Sacco is a Caps alumnus, as well as a UMaine graduate.

Congratulations, Joe.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 4, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

RE-SIGN BRASH!!!!!!!

Posted by: doughless | June 4, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Backstroms, meet the Backstroms
They're the modern Swedish family
From the town of Gavle
They're a page right out of history
Let's skate with the family on the rink
And hope that the Penguins really stink
When you're with the Backstroms
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
You'll have a gay old time

Posted by: tominfl1 | June 4, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Many years ago, when the Redskins mattered, I had a T-Shirt which read: My Two favorite teams are the Redskins and whoever is playing Dallas.

I so would love a shirt now which reads: My two favorite teams are the Capitals and whoever is playing Pittsburgh.

I really do wish the Caps' marketing department would create that merchandise... hint, hint, hint.

Posted by: Matt23185 | June 4, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@Matt23185: I'd definitely buy that t-shirt! Sign me up. =)

Go Redwings! Go Bears! Go Stingrays!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Happy to finally see someone else call for Brash to be resigned!!! I also agree with uncatim about keeping the rules the same. The NHL will only lose patrons if they continue to try to change the rules and ban fighting.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 4, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1:

LOL

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 4, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

After reading TSN's coverage of tonight's SCF game, I've come to the following conclusion: Biff Tanen found the DeLorean, went back in time, and gave the Penguins' the keys to how to win multiple Stanley Cups since 1997. For some reason, Darth Vader from the Planet Vulcan held me in some sort of time chamber whereby I could not experience the alteration in the time continuum caused by Biff. Therefore, in my world, the Red Wings, not the Penguins, are the model franchise for the NHL having won 3 Cups since 1997 including the 2008 Cup. Holy crap, what did I have for dinner last night and what was I watching when I fell asleep...

Posted by: Matt23185 | June 4, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I've been wishing for the "...and whoever is playing Pittsburg" shirt for a couple weeks.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | June 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Matt23185, I like your t-shirt idea, only I would amend mine to say:

"My two favorite teams are the Capitals and whoever beats the cr@p out of Pittsburgh!"

Posted by: AmyS1 | June 4, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

my t-shirt who read:
my favorite group of people are the Capitals and any nannie that get a whinner to shut up!
picture on shirt:
nannie giving Cindy Crysby his binky

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 4, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@Matt23185

I feel the same way you do (about the Pens and about Dallas).

To show you how I feel towards the Penguins, I rooted for Philthy in Round 1. (I can not root for a team whose best player reminds me of my child's middle school arch-rival who spread gossip.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I love Backstrom.

More Swedes please !

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It's Game Time, Let's Go Wings!

Posted by: MReilly9 | June 4, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

You can call Sidney, Cindy or whatever you want but here is a list worth noting.

most playoff points before the age of 21

1. Crosby - 61 points
4. Gretzky - 36 points

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

joek443, there are resident caps fans here who will defend Crosby for you. You don't have to keep checking up on a website on the internet to make sure no one is making fun of your kid.

Go enjoy the game...you know your team is playing right?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

no surprise, a bs penalty results in a goal...go wings

Posted by: fnralch | June 4, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I saw the aftermath but not the penalty. Was it a good call or a gift from bettman?

Posted by: uncatim | June 4, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Pretty weak penalty, but not necessarily one that would go uncalled. But honestly, as loose as the reigns the refs have put on this series, I was surprised that was called.

Crosby cheating at faceoffs? LOL...wasn't he the one yelling and complaining about it?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

extremely questionable. 3 min later one of Pens did the same and of course no call followed.

Posted by: fnralch | June 4, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks

Posted by: uncatim | June 4, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Fleury slashes go uncalled, but if Varlamov even touched anyone it was a penalty.

sigh...lol..

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope that Fleury does not play out of his mind tonight. I think Pens fans would be totally unsufferable if they Penguins win the Stanley Cup. (Yes, I'm paranoid about this series.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

And still no Pasha. (Note also, the hot substitute, Abdelkader, is the guy who's now the healthy scratch.) This, the same guy, who scored one goal in each of the first two games.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again. Detroit has lots of shots on goal and nada. And the Pens have few shots and a goal. (Gee, this sounds like the game the Caps played against Philthy back in December.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

LOL..and they scored their goal on an offsides.

Now, I don't believe in all these stupid conspiracy theories or whatever, but come on...

-too many men on the ice for 30 seconds
-cross checks to Franzen and Helms face
-tackling Helm
-Crosby cheating on draws
-Fleury slashing people..alot more viciously than Varly's little thing.
-They score their goal offsides.

That's a lot of things to "miss".

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

And still no Pasha. (Note also, the hot substitute, Abdelkader, is the guy who's now the healthy scratch.) This, the same guy, who scored one goal in each of the first two games.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:37 PM |

Draper's back in.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

This series is getting me paranoid -- big time. I guess Bettman won't rest until the Pens get their cup.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Osala's chat transcript: http://theahl.com/headlines/index.html?article_id=10177

CapsFan75, I was wrong when I said Backs wasn't an emotional favorite. I actually cheered at work when I got the message that there was an interview from the mentors trip with him & his dad. It could be because our birthdays are so close, but its also because we were "rookies together". His first season with the Caps was my first season really paying attention to them. Unlike a lot of folks, the current incarnation of the Caps is the only one I know, so I've got an attachment to them that will certainly make me a little sad when some of them leave. I'm out for the night. Long and early day at work and a gazillion hours icing cookies tomorrow before the Bears game on Saturday. Go Rays! Go Wings! Go Bears!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 4, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Of all the times for Fleury to be the hot goalie.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe in all these stupid conspiracy theories

Posted by: richmondphil

Neither do I. But the disparity in calls for/against is plain disgusting.

Posted by: fnralch | June 4, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I followed most of the incarnations of the Caps. I'm especially attached to this group since they're the age of my first born.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Ericsson is Detroit's version of Semin -- except on defense.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Why can't Detroit score today?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

now they can.

Posted by: fnralch | June 4, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, tied up!

And, yes, I do like Ericsson. Guess I'm a sucker for guys like Semin. (Hey, I have a first born child just like Semin.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl

Close birthdays is a great way to get attached to someone.

(Semin has a birthday close to my first born's -- a year older and similar in the astrology department. He came to the Caps when she went off to college. And, basically, the first Cap of her generation. Ovi was the first from her year of birth to stick.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

bettman could tell me I posted using the moniker "uncatim" & I would not believe him.

Posted by: uncatim | June 4, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I love your song "Meet the Backstroms"; the takeoff on the Flintstones. (For those inclined to German speaking, Flintstone in German is Feuerstein. By the way, the makers of Firestone tires were originally German and the family name was Feuerstein.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Nice Goal, Stuart. Assist by Zetterberg. Wings in front!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Malkin is now in the box! Go Wings! Power Play! (The strains of the techno song played on Caps power play going through my head.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

That was a nice play.

Crosby has such good hands.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I seriously want to break something right now

Posted by: shayem22 | June 4, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75, I got news for you.. the Pens have ALREADY won two Cups in the early 90's.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

@shayem22

I do too. I'm getting deja vu all over again.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Don't remind me! Grrr!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, I got news for you too... the Pens aren't my team, the Caps are.

I hate the Flyers, the Rangers and the Islanders.. the old division rivals. The Caps and the Pens really don't have a rivalry, only in the minds of some Caps fans. When one team beats the other like a drum time and time again, there is NO rivalry.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Why are you rooting for the Pens in this series?

(I also dislike the NY teams and the Flyers but I hate the Pens the worst of all.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe as Caps fans we should hope the Pens win the Cup. Then maybe Bettman will take his thumb off the scales, stop favoring the Pens and other teams (i.e. Caps) will have a shot to win!

And to think I used to laugh at conspiracy theorists!!!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | June 4, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal

You have a point there!

Posted by: MReilly9 | June 4, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I am from the Keystone state, yet I have nothing but malcontent for the city of Pittsburgh...aarrgghhh - go Wings!!!!!!!

Posted by: shayem22 | June 4, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

DevilsCapsGal: That might make sense. Of course, I still can't root for the flightless fowl.

Posted by: uncatim | June 4, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe as Caps fans we should hope the Pens win the Cup. Then maybe Bettman will take his thumb off the scales, stop favoring the Pens and other teams (i.e. Caps) will have a shot to win!
Posted by: DevilsCapsGal

I like that thought!

Posted by: shayem22 | June 4, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Offal for all but Pens fans.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | June 4, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I hate the Flyers, the Rangers and the Islanders.. the old division rivals. The Caps and the Pens really don't have a rivalry, only in the minds of some Caps fans. When one team beats the other like a drum time and time again, there is NO rivalry.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2009 9:52 PM |


I have already broken down your stupid logic a million times.

You tried to tell me that the Pens/Caps had no rivalry in the 90s based on the fact that the Pens beat the Caps 5/6 times. Then you tried to tell me that the Pens/Flyers was a true rivalry. Guess what....Philly beat the Pens EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY PLAYED IN THE 90s! In fact, the Pens didnt beat them ONCE until last year!

You then tried to tell me how you hate Hartnell and Richards. Yeah...you really must be a fan from the 90s...with no mention of the ACTUAL PLAYERS WHO TERRORIZED YOUR TEAM, NOTABLY THE LEGION OF DOOM.

You guys must be really, really young or simply delusional to;
a) not think that the Pens/Caps was one of the best rivalry in the 90s.
b) not think that playing the SAME TEAM 6 TIMES IN 10 YEARS is not a rivalry.

Go away.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

c) you also seem to not think that the Pens/Caps were in the same division ever. Again, you are really young or just new to hockey.

Patrick Division anyone?

joek's logic: Philly/Pens was a rivlary because they only played 3 times in the 90s and Philly won EVERY TIME. Pens/Caps was not a rivalry because they only played 6 times in the 90s and the Pens won 5 times.


Anyone who denies the Pens/Caps rivalry in the 90s is just way to young or new to hockey. Plain and Simple.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal

Why does Bettman want the Pens to win the Cup anyway? Haven't the Pens already won enought Cups in their history? While the Caps have never won even one Cup.

Should we (the Caps) just go for broke next year? Pull out all the stops, get some rentals, and operate like the Pens do? Apparently, the Pens have the right idea.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I dont even hate the Penguins, and defend them all the time. I see what you are trying to do, throw up some edgy comments to stir the pot. But come on now..denying the rivalry in the 90s is like trying to tell a Jew that the Holocaust never happened.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 4, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Crap.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | June 4, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I agree. Denying the Caps and Pens had a rivalry is like denying the Holocaust. Pens fans have hated the Caps. Yes, the Pens have had, far and away, better luck than the Caps, just like the Yankees against the Red Sox.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, baby! The Pens have the more dynamic players, better defensemen and the better goalie. The Wings simply look old and tired. Pass the torch, Hockeytown!

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 4, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Life is truly not Fehr to say the least. I guess I have not ever truly learned that lesson. And the bad guys keep winning. I f guess the Caps were the best hope of stopping the Pens; i.e Evil Empire from the Stanley Cup Championship.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

It's not over yet for the Redwings. C'mon, Redwings, stick it to the Pens. If it doesn't happen, not a prob. I think it's great that favoritism and cronyism is still alive and kicking in the NHL. Congrats, Pens, for proving that you don't need really good talent and class to get into the Stanley Cup finals. All you need is a capacity to whine a lot. Go, Redwings!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 5, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | June 5, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Come on Wings! I don't like your team but I dislike Philthy and especially ArmPitsburgh even more. All you need to do is check Malkin and Crosby and they will break like glass. Plus your PP sucks. You need to take a PP lesson from the Caps. Also, Osgood needs to wake up. Maybe we could loan them Neuvy.

Posted by: ejohnsto | June 5, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

" You can call Sidney, Cindy or whatever you want but here is a list worth noting.

most playoff points before the age of 21

1. Crosby - 61 points
4. Gretzky - 36 points

Posted by: joek443 "

All great if it were actually true.

Crosby had 32 playoff points before the age of 21. Gretzky had 44 points prior to turning 21.

Posted by: ouvan59 | June 5, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Red Wings penalty kill is pathetic; no attemts to pressure the puck or move guys out of the crease to give Osgood any looks at shots. The Pens PP is very good but Detroit's penalty kill is horrific. Even if Datsuyk were playing, I don't think he would have made a difference last night.

Detroit needs to get its act in gear in a hurry or they are going to be down 3-2 and facing an elimination game in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 5, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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