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Posted at 5:22 PM ET, 12/12/2010

Andrew Gordon to play against Rangers, Boudreau calls Semin's cross check "selfish"

By Katie Carrera

In his pre-game comments to reporters at Madison Square Garden, Coach Bruce Boudreau said that right wing call up Andrew Gordon will be in the lineup against the New York Rangers but that he's not sure who will be out.

"We've got a few guys hurt and still under the weather, so we'll see after warm up," said Boudreau, who added that Tyler Sloan will not play today even though he is eligible to come off injured reserve. The team will need to place another player on injured reserve to open up a spot on the 23-man roster for Gordon in addition to Sloan and Jeff Schultz (broken thumb).

One player for certain to not be on the ice for the Caps tonight is defenseman Mike Green, who did not make the trip. When asked if Green was out with an illness or something more, Boudreau repeated that the two-time Norris Trophy candidate was not on the trip.

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov gets the nod in net against the Rangers and Boudreau said he may play a few games in a row, win or lose, but that he could change his mind. Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal for New York, which lost 3-1 in Columbus on Saturday night.

Boudreau also didn't mince words when asked what he told Alexander Semin after the winger received a five-minute major for cross checking and a game misconduct against the Avalanche last night. Semin was fined by the league for the play against Colorado's John-Michael Liles.

"Don't ever do it again. It was a selfish penalty," Boudreau said. "Liles hit him a couple of times but this is hockey not Tiddlywinks. You've got to suck that up and can't do what he did. I think at that point in time we had 8-0 in shots on goal, we had everything going our way and then you've got to kill a penalty for five minutes."

As for Alex Ovechkin, who had one of his stronger games of the season against the Avalanche although he didn't light up the scoreboard, Boudreau wants to see Washington's captain put forth the same type of performance on a routine basis.

"I thought it was a real positive sign but again it's one game," Boudreau said. "People say: 'Oh he was really good' but it's one game let's see the consistency let's do it game in and game out. Alex has got that capability and he's done it before and I hope yesterday was an enlightenment for him that he knows he played well and hopefully he'll continue to do that."

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Andrew Gordon, Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, Mike Green, New York Rangers  
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Rangers


Could BB actually sit Semin?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 12, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Semin, selfish?


i can see why he'd say that. And i can why certain fans would also get on Semin for that play.

I think when you have a team who doesn't adequately protect its stars, you can't be a hypocrite and start calling these guys selfish when they react the way Semin did. Its just putting salt in the wound.

Bruce really is a tool about certain things.

When Pens coach Dan Byslma was asked about the Leafs taking liberties with his star players and would that lead to other teams doing it, he was pretty direct. He said that the Penguins have the kind of team that other teams won't mess with because every guy on that team knows his job and role. And that basically it would be stupid for other teams to take liberties with Malkin, Crosby, etc because they wouldn't like the end result.

and he wasn't talkin about burning teams on the PP either....

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 12, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

this is a little bit of what he said

On Toronto taking runs at Crosby:
"It’s always an area of concern. This year, even before our game last night, it looks like they were trying to target skill guys and get them off their game. Our guys have been there for each other and say that’s not going to happen with our team. It’s not just one guy.

It’s right through the lineup. Players should feel comfortable in any situation. If it does get rough we have enough guys to put the jerseys together and backs together. That’s not going to happen to our team. It’s probably not even a good idea to try against our team. "

this isn't any false bravado. Not the way we were talkin about Max Talbot and how DJk is going to put him thru the boards. That was just stupid chatter on the part of some folks who don't know any better.

Bylsma's comments are just right to the point. Teams out there know that taking liberties with the bread and butter of the Penguins squad will lead to some real repercussions on the ice.

I don't think any team fears that from the Caps. And therefore, Bruce should keep his mouth shut about Semin being selfish, at least in this regard. The only way Semin can realistically protect himself is if he gains himself a reputation as a bit of a loose cannon. Thats when other players may think twice about pushing him too far. Certainly players like Liles who aren't the real physical types.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 12, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

BB has a roster full of players that would be better off playing tiddlywinks.

Posted by: StanleyCap | December 12, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

If he does gain the reputation of "a bit of a loose cannon", then that is when the suspensions will start rolling in. And not to mention players like Sean Avery will gladly take a stick to the face to make Semin a non threat.

Posted by: CapsFan21 | December 12, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't really defend Semin's cross-check, but I can understand where he is coming from. He touches a guy with his stick on the fore-check, the guy dives, and Semin gets a penalty. But a player cross-checks Semin repeatedly, and there is no call. Ideally in that situation a teammate would intervene, as CStanton says. There have been some indications that these guys don't all have each others' backs.

Which reminds me, did anyone else notice that Steckel put a few hits on Flash last night? It seemed to me that everyone else went easy on Flash. Maybe some animosity there.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Any way to watch game online tonight?

Posted by: adamkatzen | December 12, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

There is a lot of analyzing the same things over and over negatively on here, so in hopes to maybe lighten the mood I wanted to present my top 5 logos in all of sports. Maybe this is stupid, but I am hoping it helps people forget (if only for a moment) the recent woes of this club.

5. Florida Everblades
4. Baie-Comeau Drakkar
3. Manitoba Moose
2. Army Black Knights (the one with the knight guarding the A)
1. Purdue Boilermakers (the train)

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 12, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@ adamkatzen:

You could try this

Posted by: pittshater | December 12, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Would not surprise me since the logical candidate to replace him as 2RW was called up.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 12, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I like semin being mean and dirty. keep up the good work. I wish more Caps were fiesty and prickly. We have too many gentlemen on this team. they are the gentle Capitals.Next time he should drop the golves though.

Posted by: pkme | December 12, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse


He would have gotten in less trouble if he had dropped the gloves, frankly. And it would have taken Liles out for the game for 5 minutes as well.

(And even if Semin had once again failed to fasten his fighting straps and got a game misconduct, there wouldn't be any supplementary discipline -- or likely not.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 12, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I actually had the gut feeling that he should have been scratched for yesterday's game. Given that he was ill anyhow and in less than stellar condition and likely still bothered by whatever ailment ailed him last week and kept him out of practice. Given that Boudreau had called out the top lines and said the lower line personnel had worked hard, I was figuring that, if anyone should be scratched, it should be a less than stellar, healthwise and otherwise, member of our top 6.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 12, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Look at it this way. Bruce wanted Semin to just turn the other cheek in that situation, right? It wasn't even that he said, hey go confront the guy but try not to do it in a manner that gets you a 5min major and a game.

now, who else in the NHL puts up with these types of plays without getting fiesty in return? Not Briere. Not Crosby. Not even Ovechkin. But Bruce wants Semin to simply take that kind of krap and pretend it never happened?

Its not only unrealistic but its unfair to the player. I can understand being careful in certain situations that are more critical. But I bet no matter what the situation, Bruce's response would be to just suck it up and take it.

He should try that himself. Put on a player's uniform, play for a team like the Caps where liberties go unanswered, and then have an idiotic coach tell him he can't retaliate when someone crosschecks him twice.

I'm sure Semin's going to play even harder now..good job Bruce.

I guess when a coach like BB feels the heat of a few losses, he loses all empathy for his players. And all perspective as well. Since he's one of the chief architects of a situation where teams can target players like Green, Ovy, and Semin without thinking twice about it. Maybe Semin should go play for the Pens where he'll be better protected.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 12, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't hurt for a few more of the Capitals to get a bit more prickly. We all know what Semin did was wrong but at least did something .

Enough talk and dissection. Drop the puck.

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 12, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

And not to mention players like Sean Avery will gladly take a stick to the face to make Semin a non threat.

so what's your suggestion? stay the course? turn the other cheek? let any team do what they want and hope the refs catch it? That should really pull the team together.

nothing like being proactive.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 12, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I want to see Semin respond positively. I want him to play hard but smart and keep playing the way we know he can play. He'll lose a lot of my support if he has a subpar game tonight.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 12, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse


Let's hope Semin has a better game. Given that he's on shaky ground with a good portion of the Caps fan base to begin with, a bad game would further erode it.

(I'll admit I'm probably less than objective at the moment, as a Semin fan who currently is feeling the same way as I did when any of my kids got in trouble in school.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 12, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks in 2nd line, but Laich in 4th.. BB is really clueless! Hate to say it, but I have to agree with Cstanton1, that Semin might needs to go to play in Pens. At least they got a coach that doesn't shuffle lines like crazy.

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | December 12, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau is an idiot. Maybe if his players felt there was somebody to take up for them. Pitt is light years ahead of WASH this year.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | December 12, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess I have to post about Sunday night's game here. Caps got TORCHED by a mediocre team. While the so-called "Captain" (who looks like an average player these days) actually got into a fight tonight it didn't accomplish much.

Everyone had enough?

Coach Big Head gives his troops a tongue lashing in front of 18,000 then the Rangers go and score and make it look easy.

The Caps have become a joke.

If McPhee wants to be treated as a serious GM he'll make a statement and FIRE the guy who'd rather do bird call and GEICO commercials than teach a team how to play (if he even knows how). Cripes, teach them the trap and maybe they'll lose 1 - 0 or 2 - 1. At least it would be SOME progress.

The Caps don't look like they even have a system. They can't play defense, they can't establish a forecheck and they can't get a shot through. They run around like chickens with their heads cut off only to have a disciplined, well-coach team cut off their meagre "forecheck" and get out of their defensive zone with EASE.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. EVERY TEAM KNOWS HOW TO BEAT THE CAPS. EVERY ONE. MARK MY WORDS. The Caps will start losing to cellar teams.

Here's a newsflash - IF YOU CAN'T WIN BATTLES AGAINST THE BOARD YOU WILL LOSE. Caps get beat on the boards EVERY TIME. The Caps are a SOFT TEAM.

Here's another newsflash - firing slap shots (that usually don't hit the net), or that awful "curl n' drag" crap from 30 feet DOESN'T work. Get your GD nose dirty!

Prediction - Caps will make playoffs in the 2010-2011 season and will get their butts handed to them - AGAIN.

I'm a season ticket holder and the cost is a sacrifice. I'm FED UP with the product they're putting on the ice and helping Mr. Leonsis pay a bunch of prima donnas millions of dollars. Ted Leonsis had better be spitting tacks angry. For that payroll he gets that?

Will SOMEBODY in this organization show some leadership?

Posted by: david_P | December 12, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Of course Semin's cross check was selfish, it turned the course of the game and maybe cost the Caps a win...anyone who has coached hockey would empathise with getting hit with two cross checks, but toughness isn't only in hitting it's being able to take a hit, take some stick work and go on playing the game

Posted by: boomer44 | December 13, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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