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Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom named NHL's first, third stars of the week


"Mike Milbury who?" (AP/The Washington Post)


Today the NHL announced that Alex Ovechkin is its first star of the week and Nicklas Backstrom is the third. It's probably the Caps' least significant accomplishment all week, so... it's been a pretty good week. From a team release:

Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL's First Star of the Week for the second time in four weeks and the third time this season. It's the 13th time in his career that he has been named either one of the Three Stars of the Week or NHL Player of the Week.
Nicklas Backstrom has been named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the second week in a row; it's the third time this season and the fourth time in his career that he has been one of the three stars of the week.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  February 8, 2010; 3:03 PM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Next: Snowvechkin hits D.C., Part II?

Comments

FIRST!

OVI for 60!

Posted by: pdo3 | February 8, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

All this stuff is great.

It all means nothing. We have 1 goal.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 8, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Lindsay:
you guys have been real busy since noon yesterday. thanks for all of your (tarik & gene too) updates/info - i just can't get enough of the caps

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 8, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

BTW, hats off to Ovi and Backstrom for the accomplishment(s).

#1 in the ESPN power rankings too. Guess that means maybe we get to No. 3 on TSN.ca.

Speaking of power rankings...
http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/new_orleans_moves_to_no_3

Posted by: Sonyask | February 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

TSN.ca: Caps drop to #4 on rankings. Pittsburgh, despite its two losses on the week, move up because they had to deal with the terrible snow and still played a great hockey game. Crosby showed Ovechkin who his daddy is with two much prettier goals than the Russian.

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

They changed what the top entry was while I wrote. Now I see Sonyask has exactly demonstrated my point. So, to both Sonyask and netminder71, I say:

I would be ecstatic if the Caps won the Presidents' Trophy but failed to win the Cup.

I know the playoff systems in American sports are commonly thought of as the only determinant of "THE champion." But I think of playoffs more like a separate tournament.

In the NHL, you have to beat just four teams to win the Cup, any of whom your team might just not match up that well against. In the regular season, the actual best team is more likely than in the playoffs to rise to the top just because it involves a bigger sample size and games against most or all of the 29 other teams.

I really like how Premier League soccer in the UK does it, where every team plays every other team twice, and the champion is just the one who finishes at the top of the standings at the end. Because why play all those games if the ONLY point is to eliminate a few teams from entry into a tournament?

In the NHL, teams don't play every other team the same number of times, so the regular season isn't AS interesting as it is in the Premier League, and just the fact that people don't really care about who finishes atop the standings that much makes the teams themselves not care about it all that much, but the top team does get home ice throughout the playoffs, so there is some incentive there, and I think, all things considered, it's still a better method of determining which team is the best than are the playoffs.

According to wikipedia, the Presidents' Trophy "was introduced at the start of the 1985–86 NHL season by the league's Board of Governors. Prior to this, the best team in the league during the regular season was allowed to hang a banner stating 'NHL League Champions.' "

If you don't believe it, check out the Edmonton Oilers' "NHL League Champions" banner: http://www.classicauctions.net/Default.aspx?tabid=263&auctionid=23&lotid=4

In my view, the word "champion" should be used for both the top team in the standings at the end of the Regular Season and for the winner of the post-season Stanley Cup tournament, just like it used to be.

So, when people say things like, y'know, "Doing well in the regular season doesn't matter--all that matters is the Stanley Cup," I cringe. I think, y'know, that attitude certainly adds a little to the intensity involved in watching and playing in the playoffs, but I think it's kind of silly to just not care at all about the champion of the regular season. I think winning the Presidents' Trophy is A championship, well worthy of celebrating, in a way that is completely separate from the Stanley Cup championship. To me, I care a little more about the Cup, but arguably, I should care more about the Presidents' Trophy.

And right now, Caps are ahead of San Jose by 3 points, and they only have 1 game in hand. It's very exciting to me. I'm sure I'm almost the only one though.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I would be ecstatic if the Caps won the Presidents' Trophy but failed to win the Cup. . . .

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy -- not to take anything away from your valuable contributions here, but fortunately I don't think there's a single member of the Caps organization that agrees with you.

All the President's Trophy means is that a team is good at playing regular season hockey. Caps have already proved that. As has been said time and again, Playoff Season hockey is a different animal.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 8, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's a stat for you: Caps have 9 guys (9 - count 'em) in top 25 for plus/minus, including such offensive powerhouses as Tom Poti and John Erskine.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 8, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@squishy...

Not saying I am not excited, happy, elated, ecstatic...over the recent successes...

BUT a banner stating you won the regular season IS NOT a STANLEY CUP. End of argument.

The Caps made little fanfare for the SE Division title...because it means nothing.

It is also an apples and oranges argument to put EPL soccer and NHL Hockey in the same statement. Different games, different amount of teams, different season lengths, etc,etc...

The goal for almost 100 years has been to raise the Stanley Cup. I want that. Anything else is deemed a failure.

Imagine, all arguments aside, what raising that trophy would mean to Caps fans. Old ones, young ones, new ones, any and all Caps fans...

Now compare that to winning the President's Trophy and getting bounced by Pitt, Philly, or New Jersey...or a Western foe in the SC Finals?

I didn't think they would feel the same...and they prob. don't. I remember watching the Wings skate the Cup around our building...I was happy for the Caps because we were there...but it was no victory.

No second prize my friend...

Posted by: netminder71 | February 8, 2010 3:55 PM |

I get your points. The reason I said that I still care MORE about the Cup is basically what you're saying: the NHL Regular Season isn't exactly like the Premier League because there's a totally balanced schedule in the Premier League, and obviously everyone involved in the Premier League (players, owners, etc.) cares a lot more about finishing first in the standings since it determines "THE championship" there.

But as for watching the Wings skate around with the Cup--to me, just getting to the finals really does mean NOTHING. As far as the playoffs go, it's Cup or nothing. I mean, that particular year, it meant a little something, just because the Caps hadn't yet ever been in the finals. But getting there again wouldn't mean anything to me unless they win.

And winning the division too--that means very little to me, especially in this division this year.

But, I, for one, will still refer to the Capitals as the "champion" of the regular season if they win the Presidents' Trophy, regardless. I will not consider the season a failure if they win it and don't win the Cup. I would prefer the Cup if I had to pick one though. I would prefer both even more.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Ovi and Backstrom for being stars for this week.

And let's don't forget Knuble's dirty goal contributions as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy -- not to take anything away from your valuable contributions here, but fortunately I don't think there's a single member of the Caps organization that agrees with you.

All the President's Trophy means is that a team is good at playing regular season hockey. Caps have already proved that. As has been said time and again, Playoff Season hockey is a different animal.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 8, 2010 4:08 PM |

You may well be correct about no one in the Caps organization agreeing with me about the significance of winning the Presidents' Trophy. I seem to care more about it than every single person I have ever spoken to about it.

On the other hand, politically, because of fan sentiment if for no other reason, it would not look good for anyone in the Caps' organization to say anything like what I'm saying here about the Presidents' Trophy, even if they did secretly feel the same. So, if someone there does agree with me, you probably won't ever hear about it.

And a huge part of the reason I do care about the Presidents' Trophy is something you are definitely correct about--the playoffs ARE a totally different animal. What is in truth the BEST team when it comes to the likelihood of beating any other given team could very easily lose in one seven-game series given the right playoffs matchup. That's exactly why I don't think all glory should be reserved exclusively for the Cup winner.

If it were true that the players literally don't care AT ALL about the Presidents' Trophy, the nice check that comes along with it, or the home ice advantage that it signifies, then there'd be a great argument that it's totally stupid for me to care about it. Because why should a fan care about the team winning something the team isn't even trying to win? But there is SOME incentive to win the Presidents' Trophy, and it's not insignificant, because the winners get paid a not-insubstantial sum, and the winners get home ice through the finals.

So, y'know, it may well be true that the players themselves don't care about the Presidents' Trophy per se, but since there is definitely an incentive to do that which results in that trophy, it's at least not nonsensical for me to care a lot about that trophy.

But, like I said, I may be the only one that cares this much about it. I would still prefer a Cup, mostly because the players would definitely prefer a Cup.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Well deserved kudos for OV and Bäckis.

I know, I know: "Next To The Stanley Cup The Other Awards Mean Nothing, blah, blah, blah...".

Still, this is how I see the individual awards shaking out this season at the current clip:

Hart: Ovechkin
Art Ross: Ovechkin or Backstrom
Selke: Backstrom or Brads or Stecks
Norris: Green
Richard: Ovechkin
Pearson: Ovechkin or Backstrom
Plus-Minus Award: Ovechkin or Schultz

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 8, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tarik and Lindsay. The blog is keeping me from going crazy inside with all that white stuff outside. Thanks to everyone who keeps writing, too.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The main thing that the President's Trophy (or winning 1st in the Conference) gives us, as far as I'm concerned is getting home field advantage in the playoffs.

That is a very nice thing to have. More times with the crowd behind the team. More times with the ability to have the "final" line change. It is a greater challenge to win away from home.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

On the day after a very exciting Super Bowl the Caps win over the 'guins was the headline of the front page of the sports section in the Washington Post as well as a banner headline on the front page of the paper. In the immortal words of the great Robert Zimmerman, "the times they are a changin'".

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 8, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And about Kovalchuk.

In an earlier post under a different entry this morning, I presented some website with some weird stats about Kovalchuk that would back up the case he's overrated.

I, for one, am inclined to think that those same stats will improve for him as a Devil, even those stats attempt to some extent to normalize away differences between teammates. Y'know, if I were a sharpshooter stuck in Atlanta for years, and much of the time all that was realistically at stake was my offensive numbers and my next contract, I might well not give 100% effort on the defensive end either.

I like him. I think he'll make the Devils better, and the Devils will make him better. He'll never be Pavel Datsyuk I'm sure. But I suspect he'll not be nearly as big of a defensive liability in New Jersey.

It's interesting to see that such a highly thought-of player was last in the league in that stat's version of overall value though. If you missed it, the websites I'm talking about are:

http://www.behindthenethockey.com/ (second article from the top at the moment--scroll down a little)

and

http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=436 (necessary explanations of this stat throughout, but you'll see Kovalchuk at the top of the final chart listing the least valuable players last season if you scroll all the way to the bottom).

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, youaresquishy.

I'm so tired of all the peeps who routinely diminish any of this team's regular season accomplishments with the oh-so-tired "the regular season is meaningless, all that matters is the playoffs".

I'd like to counter that sentiment with a few points. The 82 game regular season builds chemistry within a team that helps a lot in the playoffs.

Those 82 games give each player additional experience, which lets them learn from mistakes and improve their game.

Winning in the regular season builds confidence. Winning 14 (or more) games in a row builds strong confidence and in the Caps' case, winning more than 1/2 of those games by coming from behind, builds a strong belief on one's team and it's system. They believe they can overcome diversity by sticking with the system. They are learning not to panic.

Playing those 82 regular season games, and having a winning record, also builds maturity. That, as much as anything else, is what changes rookies to veterans.

Having a dominant position in the standings, leading the league in goals scored, goal differential, and the top powerplay (having the most potent offense in general) lends a team a confidence that can be crucial when it comes time for the playoffs.

Obviously, being the best in the regular season is no guarantee of playoff success. But like youaresquishy said, I'd rather the Caps have a President's trophy for consolation, should they get knocked out of the playoffs, than get knocked out having made it into said playoffs as a 6th seed, with nothing else to show for it.

It's easy to say you don't care how the Caps get into the playoffs as long as they win the Cup. But what if they don't win it?

Assuming they do get knocked out, regardless of their seeding, wouldn't you rather they had a great regular season, and were dominant over the course of 82 games and perhaps setting records along the way, than them having been mediocre all season long?

Sure, the Cup is the big prize. I agree with that. It's what all players want more than any other accolade. But why not try to win the many other smaller prizes along the way to that big one?

Shouldn't every team strive to be the best team at all times? Isn't being the best team in the regular season part of that? Maybe it's just me, but I think so.

Posted by: Hordedog | February 8, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ: My pleasure; thanks for the nice words!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | February 8, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just mainly trying to give Caps' fans reason for optimism.

I got really scared when the Devils acquired Kovalchuk, because I think he makes them better.

But it would be really excellent if I were wrong, and he actually makes them worse somehow. I know he'll make their power play better--that much is certain. Whether he can give back most, all, or more than that advantage on the defensive end, y'know, I doubt it, but we'll see.

I'm just saying there's someone out there giving us some reason to be slightly optimistic, to think the Devils are not that much more likely than they were before to beat the Caps in the playoffs. I'm not saying I believe that person. I like Kovalchuk a lot.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I, of course, appreciate all of your points, Hordedog.

On a completely different note, I'm gonna go ahead and post this again for the third time today, just to make absolutely sure it's not missed--

Mad at Mike Milbury? Wouldn't it be great if you could see getting dropped by a nice left hook right in his face by former Capitals' captain Ryan Walter? Yeah, that'd be nice:

http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/sports/watch/v18570402ZXr6W7eR

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

My post was way too long winded. All I really mean is that yes, the Stanley Cup is the big prize, and nothing else matters as much.

But I think it's short sighted to say the rest is all meaningless. As I see it, it's everything that occurs -before- the playoffs, that builds a Stanley Cup winning team.

Posted by: Hordedog | February 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I believe the President's Trophy does matter because--as youareesquishy pointed out--the team that wins it gets home ice advantage all the way through the SC Final.

If we must face SJS or DET or CHI or VAN in a best-of-7 SC Finals, I would prefer that 4 of those games be played on home ice--especially with SJS being practically invincible on their own turf this year.

Anyone who says that home ice advantage makes no difference in the playoffs hasn't been paying attention to the impact of our crowds at VC these last couple of years.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Red Rocka throwin' some lines from yesterday's tilt: Who's Your Daddy Now?

http://capseye.typepad.com/capseyeblog/

Posted by: IceNutz | February 8, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

the Presiden't Cup in the NHL = the most meaningless/worthless award in all of sports

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

oops I meant the President's Trophy... the last time I checked there is NO such award in the NFL, NBA or MLB

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

watching NHL power play on the network and the host Scott Laughlin in responding to a Caps fan calling from NOVA says that they get more complaint emails from Caps' fans than the fans of any other team... "WE DON'T GET NO RESPECT!!!"

somehow that doesn't surprise me... the respect WILL come once they hoist the Cup in June.

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Overcoming diversity" = Making sure that there are only white guys on the team. Not sure that's really what any NHL team wants to do.

"Overcoming adversity" = Never, never, never, never, never quit. This more accurately describes the objectives of an NHL team.

Just saying...:)

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 8, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Devs/Flyboys on Versus tonight. It should provide some insight into whether Kovalchuk is going to make the Devils a threat to the Caps.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 8, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

After the game yesterday, BB made the point that the Pens again got more PP chances than the Caps. This has been a continuing issue, not just against the Pens. Generally, one would think that an aggressive offensive team like the Caps would tend to draw more penalties by the opposing team, but that has not been the case. Alan May made the point that Ovi was taking continuous shots away from the puck yesterday, with no calls. May said that if the score had gotten to 5-1, Ovi was so frustrated that he would have thrown down with Orprick.

This team will have to overcome serious and consistent adversity to win the Cup. It won't be a level playing field.

Posted by: zmega | February 8, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

On the President's Trophy issue, I was with Squishy and Hordedog, but upon reflection, JoeK and the others are right. I'll even give an ancient history example that probably only JoeK could appreciate. The '67 Packers had a decent but not great season (10-4) because they were getting old and running out of steam, but they caught fire in the playoffs, beat the "hot" young team that everyone was touting (the Rams) and squeaked by the Cowboys (the best team) in Super Bowl II. No one remembers that they struggled that season -- their running backs were subpar and their receivers were aging fast and often injured. But everyone remembers that they won their fifth championship in seven years and that their dynasty was cemented in legend. The Rams? Some may remember their Fearsome Foursome D-line, but who remembers Roman Gabriel, Jack Snow, Les Josephson, et al.?

The Caps' accomplishments this season are thrilling and captivating. They are as exciting as it gets. We should savor the moment while we have it, and be grateful that they are so much fun to watch and so rewarding to us as fans. But in the long run, without a Cup, it's for naught.

Posted by: newbie1 | February 8, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I really want to watch Devils/Flyers tonight but too bad I have Direct TV. I feel sorry for myself. :/ I hate Direct TV!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

OOPS: before you all pounce, the Packers beat the Cowboys in the NFL championship, not Super Bowl II.

Posted by: newbie1 | February 8, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

OOPS: before you all pounce, the Packers beat the Cowboys in the NFL championship, not Super Bowl II.

Posted by: newbie1 | February 8, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy:
in the grand scheme of the nhl: stanley cup = everything

however that does not mean that team accomplishments mean nothing.
going from the worst team in the nhl to making the playoffs (and a div title), winning a playoff series and contending for the presidents trophy are all stepping stones of confidence toward the ultimate goal.
would i be completely satisfied with just the presidents trophy - no - but i would be encourage that the team is still moving in the right direction.
the team (and fans) should be proud of the strides they have made over the last 2 1/2 years.
i hope the players are even more hungry for the cup than we as fans are. either way, i'll be rooting for them through their last game of the season (win or lose) and i'm already looking forward to next year.

on a side note: it's only been ~24 hrs - is anyone else having caps withdrawls too?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 8, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy:
i should have said somewhere in my last post that - i agree with you that there is some meaning for achievements outside of the cup

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 8, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ: I am! I can't believe we have to wait until Wednesday... but seriously, Montreal's gonna be tough, Bell Centre is always a crazy place. But how are we going to survive without Caps hockey for like a month when we can't even handle a day? But of course I think all of us will be watching our boys in the olympics.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Cup Schmup. Like the rest of you I badly want that Cup but it is ridiculous to dismiss the regular season. I have seen teams get the Cup one year and then sink back to mediocrity and oblivion. Look at Carolina, or Tampa. I think the mark of a great team is sustainability for the long term rather than flashes of brilliance. The fact that we have been consistently good for 3 years now, and continue to improve, blows my mind.

If we keep this up, we will get the Cup sooner or later and it will not be just one time.

If we continue

Posted by: caraveli | February 8, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else feel guilty for the amount of time they put towards Caps games and the other things in life they are putting off and/or missing out on so you can watch a hockey game? I've put off getting my haircut (3 months until today), changing my oil (did that Saturday while snowed in), and haven't been to the gym at all (especially since I go after work and would be late getting home for a game). Does anyone else have a similar situation going? My wife is starting to get annoyed I think, and I don't blame her. I mean watching a game 3 or 4 times a week really adds up in time. I dunno, just a revelation I've been having...

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Well, in baseball not too long ago, you won the pennant by being the best team in the AL or the NL over the regular season, and it would've meant a lot to me if I were a baseball fan back then if my team won a pennant, especially since there wasn't interleague play. But, as of now, I think you're right about what you say.

In the NFL though, it's pretty understandable why there would be no award for best regular season record. There's more teams than games on the schedule, so having the best record in the regular season means very little.

In basketball and baseball, if I liked either of those sports, which I don't, I'd very much be in favor of an award for best regular season record. I think the fact that they don't probably encourages folks to have more of a "playoffs championship is the only thing that matters" sort of attitude that carries over to hockey, but it doesn't change my view of the matter.

I would prefer a format like Premier League soccer in the U.K. where there is a completely balanced schedule and the "champion" is the one with the best record at the end of the season. It'll never happen--I know this. There's nothing to gain financially for the owners. And in the Premier League, if you finish at the bottom of the standings, you get relegated to a worse league altogether, which definitely keeps things interesting for the bottom teams. Relegation would never fly in the NHL, I'm sure.

But, each regular season game would be really, really thrilling for the teams that still had a shot at being the top team if there were no playoffs. Or if you just thought of the Presidents' Trophy as something significant and something worth bragging about, even if publicly you chose not to actually brag about it for political reasons.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

And I agree that probably no one remembers any team that won the Presidents' Trophy in any given year except some of the relevant teams' own fans. I remember though. I really do. San Jose had a fine season last year, and Detroit did the year before, as did Buffalo the year before that. And if the Caps manage to win it this year, I will remember it as long as I live. But I know that no one else really cares. I think I will stop talking now.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

we all want continued excellence, all these other trophies, awards, power rankings are all fine and dandy... I'll be cheering for them to win as many as hardwards they want AFTER they win the Cup at least ONCE.

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

hardwards = hardwares

actually the regular seansons mean a lot more in football and basketball than in hockey. in football they only play 16 games and in basketball home teams hardly ever lose Game 7 at home.

the extra home game in hockey really doesn't mean much.

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, yeah. I am sure I will actually weep real tears if/when the Caps finally win the Cup. I'm not sure I will actually do that if/when they win the Presidents' Trophy.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

In football, I was referring to the fact that teams don't even play most of the other teams even a single time in the regular season. So you don't really have that much to brag about if you end up with the best record, because anyone can say, "Well you didn't have to play the Colts and the Saints" or whatever.

In basketball, I would bet that you are correct about the home team advantage. But if I cared about basketball at all, which I don't, I would care about the best regular season record about as much as I care about the Presidents' Trophy in hockey, in and of itself, without regard to the home-ice/court advantage that goes along with it.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 8, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Is BMo simply tired from the grind? He started the season so well, but now appears to be dragging. Hopefully the Olympic break will let him recharge.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 8, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

TSN refuses to update the power rankings for this week. Conspiracy?

Posted by: Raber | February 8, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the replay of last night's game. On Crosby's first goal, while it was a bad turnover by Sloan, Poti was in position to stop Crosby when he was tripped by Guerin. That should have stopped the action immediately. Just another example of how the Caps get mistreated by the officials.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

For the Feds, the Government will be closed again tomorrow: http://www.data.gov/opm_status.html

Posted by: SlugGirl69 | February 8, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

another fine tradition of the Flyers, mug the goal scorer...

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

what's the league gonna do with Richards now???

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

another fine tradition of the Flyers, mug the goal scorer...

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 8:05 PM

How many games will they suspend Richards? 5? 10?

Oh wait, he plays for Philly. He'll get off with nothing.

Posted by: Brashnir | February 8, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

check that, it was Jeff Carter

Posted by: joek443 | February 8, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

correction, Carter, not Richards.

Posted by: Brashnir | February 8, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Some random thoughts:

youaresquishy: Are you a biologist or something? Can't figure out the handle.

SlugGirl69: Now THERE'S a handle. OK, maybe you are a boxer and I should shut up...

LloydChristmas: I never get grief for time spent devoted to Caps and hockey. I have three daughters in their 20s. When they were kids, in Bel Air, Md., I bought season tickets in family section and took them and put a net in the court and got the neighborhhod kids into street hockey. It is our "family thing." My youngest daughter, 24, is now in the shrine watching Devils-Flyers. She hates Danny Briere as much as anyone on earth. She has been brought up well.

on "living room": The Backie jersey came today so there are now eight jerseys hanging up there, incl 19, 8, 40, 52, 12 (Bondra), 77 (Oates), 90 (Juneau) and, of course, 32. mrstominfl1 may own the kitchen, but I run the shrine.

(ps, my lawn is cut and bills are paid)

on regular season vs playoffs: The regular season has impotance, both for seedings and for psyche on a young team (Caps qualify there). Five years from now when Caps go for 3rd Cup in five years no one will care except that they make into the Playoffs.

Right now, ladies and gentlemen, the best and maybe only chance to establish a dynasty in any of the 4 major American sports in the 2nd decade of the 21st century:

Your WASHINGTON CAPITALS!

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 8, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, my daughter just called me in to say Salmonella (sp?) was on the ice for like five minutes and Carter wasn't even penalized.

Dale Hunter got 21 games for a lesser infraction.

The league has hated the Caps for years. When I die and St Peter tells me I have one question to ask before judgment, I will ask why the Caps were hated so much.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 8, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

So, Carter shouldn't even still be in the building after that mugging and he scores the tying goal.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 8, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Where is that vaunted NJ defense and goal tending? To give up two goals to the Flyers in less than two minutes.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 8, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

lol it's Anssi Salmela! But I call him Salmonella too. Like Locker does. Haha!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Yeah, Marty hasn't looked good lately... that's a good thing ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

At the rate the Devils have been going lately, are they even going to hang onto first place in their division, with or without Kovalchuk?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 8, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

Maybe his classmates back in elementary school called him "Salmonella". Yes, I'm sure he's Finnish but elementary school kids are universally great at making fun of last names.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

On Salmela, it looks like he broke his nose (again) and lost several teeth. Will not be back for the rest of this game but will be okay.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 8, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Brodeur hasn't been quite so invincible in the last couple of years. He's still great, but he has his moments these days when he is just average. He gave up a couple of questionable goals in the last 2 minutes of game 7 last year against Carolina to cost them a shot at the Cup.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The people on the Devils blog want Kovalchuk to go back to Atlanta. They say all he does is shoot from the point and sit back while everyone else is playing defense! LOL! Not lookin' good for the Devils. Brodeur has looked very average as of late, like ccCapsfan pointed out. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216: While I know it is too early in his tenure with the Devils to call it a failure, I have wondered whether Kovalchuk is somehow a loser. I think this adds real spice to the season.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 8, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

ccCapsfan: Yeah definitely too early to tell but many wondered when the trade was made if he could fit in with their system. It's probably gonna take some time... but it's just so funny that from reading the Devils fans' comments, they want him out after 3 games. They want Oduya back. Haha!

Carter's hit on Salmela was dirty. Green got 3 games for his elbow to Frolik, Carter must get something, that was much more vicious. If he doesn't get some kind of suspension...

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Was just looking at the stats & didn't realize how crazy this is.

The old Ovie vs. Crosby debate. Goals: 42 to 39, Assists 44 to 35, Points 86 to 74, +/- +41 to just +7, all in favor of Ovie & that's with him playing 7 less games! Ovie has 1.69 points per game (which is totally insane for today's NHL!) while Crosby is at 1.28. I rest my case.

Posted by: ranndino | February 8, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Ovie probably would have 100 points by now if he didn't miss 7 games.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

ranndino: You don't need to post that on here!! ;) We know how unbelievable Ovie is. Maybe you should post that on Pensblog or something.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

I figured I do because as big a Caps / Ovie fan as I am I didn't realize just how much better than Crosby he's been this season. Even with Crosby being very good and adjusting his game for Pittsburgh's lack of quality wingers. We're just a better team now & over a playoff series should prevail.

Posted by: ranndino | February 8, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Captain Crybaby: "Everyone wants to win these games. These two teams have quite the rivalry now." Well, no s***! Glad you finally think so. Wasn't it your team that said before the last game (where we also administered beatdown) that the game and rivalry meant "nothing" to you and Pens fans and was more "important" to the Caps? Guess you're singin' a different tune now. Losers.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | February 8, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Rachel & everybody: I can't believe that the Devils fans are ready to ditch poor Kovy after a few games. I feel sorry for him. I hope he does not end up being another Nylander, who just doesn't fit with the Devils' style. If so it is the Devils' fault for not figuring out how to adjust their style to integrate him, not Kovy's.

By the way, did you notice how (since Nyls) all the new acquisitions thrive here.

Posted by: caraveli | February 8, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the ride, peoples. Yes, be focused on the Big Prize. But to dismiss the ride would be to deprive yourselves of the very joy the AO is attempting to share with you, every time he pots one.

Which is often, and in itself a message to be heeded.

Ovechkin is Inner Peace. Be Happy. Often.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 8, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Also - and I allow this will be an unpopular sentiment - it is okay to acknowledge Disney Crosby's talent while hoping a bus falls on his leg.

Because he is talented, and extraordinarily so. I wouldn't trade him for AO, ever, ever, ever, for whatever reason you have and mine, which is that I prefer some shake with my fries.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 8, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, here's the first chance for the NHL to prove that Green's 3 games suspension was because they're "taking a hard stance against headshots."

I said it during the incident, I'll believe it when I see it. They have a prime opportunity right here to make good on their newfound commitment to taking a hard stance against headshots.

This Carter hit is as cut-and-dry as Green's hit was. Green gets 3 games, Carter should get three games. I eagerly await word from the NHL.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 8, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Time to complain ... about something besides officiating or NBC.

Check that. This is about NBC. :)

The USA-Canada game on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. is slated for channel MSNBC.

Seriously? Who gets that channel? At least put the game on USA. Why is this game being relegated to a nobody-cares channel?

Oh, I have an idea why. Hmm. I hate figure skating.

Posted by: Cerealman | February 8, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

You don't get MSNBC? Everyone gets MSNBC. Everyone with Cable, anyway.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 9, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

I am going to have to side with iamsquishy on the debate. While it has been my dream since childhood to see the caps win a cup, I will still take pleasure in them winning a presidents trophy or any other award.

Posted by: trunkenmath | February 9, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, here's the first chance for the NHL to prove that Green's 3 games suspension was because they're "taking a hard stance against headshots."

I said it during the incident, I'll believe it when I see it. They have a prime opportunity right here to make good on their newfound commitment to taking a hard stance against headshots.

This Carter hit is as cut-and-dry as Green's hit was. Green gets 3 games, Carter should get three games. I eagerly await word from the NHL.

Posted by: VTDuffman

Exactly. And it should be THREE games, no less.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I like Squishy's attitude toward winning in the regular season and I understand those many others who feel only the SC is an accomplishment. The Premiership analogy is intersting but fails to mention that there are also other tournaments along the way (FA Cup, Champions league, which most European clubs feel is the highest honor, etc) where the clubs compete in playoff type tournaments.

As a Caps fan for 20+ yrs there is nothing I would love more than to see them raise The Cup. However, hockey is also my primary source of entertainment during the winter so I get a great amount of enjoyment from watching the game and when the Caps have a great season that's a great bonus. I think many other fans understand this (at least deep down) otherwise there would not have been the spontaneous ovation at the end of game 7 last season. Only 1 team wins it all and I don't think that a team can only be judged as having a successful season if they win The Cup.

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 9, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

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