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Alzner Not Expected To Play; Sloan Recalled (Updated)

Defenseman Karl Alzner is expected to miss tonight's game in Buffalo with a hand injury. He skated this morning at HSBC Arena, but he didn't have much strength in his hand, limiting effectiveness.

Both X-ray and MRI exams came back negative, so it looks like it's just a bad bruise. If he's not able to play, he doesn't expect to miss more than this game.

If Alzner is indeed out, Tyler Sloan will suit up. Sloan was recalled today and joined the team for the morning skate.

Today's update will have to be somewhat abbreviated since I spent most of the skate reporting a story for Thursday's paper. But here's what I got:

*Donald Brashear did not skate and will be a game-time decision. But he was limping when I saw him walking outside of the dressing room.

*Coach Bruce Boudreau said the Caps have some demons to exorcise at HSBC Arena. They are 1-7-0 in their last eight visits here, including a humbling 5-0 loss on Nov. 1.

"We have to exorcise our demons from this building," Boudreau said. "We've lost some big games here in recent years. We have to see if we can't overcome that. It's an important thing. Sometimes, there's a mentality of going into a building and thinking, 'We can't possibly win, we're no good here.'"

"To become a champion," he added. "You have overcome those thoughts and believe you can win everywhere."

*Jose Theodore will start in net tonight and oppose Ryan Miller, a goalie Boudreau said called "top-5" in the league. Backup Patrick Lalime was in net when the Caps beat the Sabres in Washington, 3-2, last week.

"Let's not forget that Ryan Miller is net," he said. "Not to take anything away from Patrick, but Ryan Miller is one of the top-5 goalies in the league. He can win games by himself."

Miller is 15-9-4 with a 2.62 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

*Over the past three games, the Caps' penalty kill unit has been pretty good, allowing only one power play goal. But part of that, Boudreau said, is that they've faced fewer shorthanded situations - just a total of seven in that span.

Buffalo, by the way, has the NHL's 12th ranked power play (19.6 percent).

"If you take five or more penalties, usually a team scores at least one," Boudreau said. "It doesn't matter how good you're killing. Plus, it takes so much time from other players playing. If we keep it three penalties or less a game, we're doing a great job."

That's it for now. I didn't get a rental car today and my ride is about to leave me. I'll post another update before the game if anything changes.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 30, 2008; 12:15 PM ET
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Next: Tonight's Lineup


that sucks

Posted by: thegr8one | December 30, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice little science experiment tonight: how will Juice play without his homeboy?

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 30, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Alzer and Jurcina were easily our best defensive pair. Do we think it'll be Sloan and Jurcina together?

Posted by: saintex | December 30, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Thisguy, good point, but who do you think gets the nod to move into Alzner's spot? Shuffle the pairings or stick Sloan w/ Juice?

Posted by: superpaqman | December 30, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Sloan steps right in for Alzner I bet.

Green - Schultz
Morrisson - Collins
Juice - Sloan

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 30, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"New thread" strikes again! (Repost)
Like koalatek said, they did a game at Caesar's Palace in Vegas and it worked, and you know they have better chiller equipment now than they did then, but I don't see DC getting a Winter Classic game anytime soon.
That said, I think kiltmon brought up a good point about Vancouver 2010. I would not be surprised if the NHL skips the Winter Classic next season completely. The All-Star break is less than a week, the Olympic break takes much longer. However, if it happened and the Caps were in it, I might have to start looking for black market kidney auctions or something, because as Boo said yesterday, its just something you *have* to do if you can. I think a Bruins-Caps game at Fenway would be great, especially if the teams finish 1-2 in the East this season.
irockthered, you mean that lovely bright red streak Nick had across his forehead all last season, too? Comes from his helmet, I think, although someone who's had a hockey helmet on more recently than the '90s might be able to correct me.
Dave, not a problem! I was laughing over it and figured I'd share. As long as the KHL stays away from Ovie! Oh, and you must have missed the conversation we had about Crosby a few days ago. I think it was unanimous that he wasn't exactly hot, especially with his seeming addiction to lip plumper and red lipstick (or aversion to chapstick) and his huge caboose. I think if there's a Caps game in London, you'll have to take a few days off work to become official travel agent of CI.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Agh. That sucks, and Buffalo is going to be looking for revenge at home, where we don't do so good on the road. Looks like we'd better look sharp.

Hey, maybe we better figure out some Raid for that injury bug, man.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Poti / Schultz
Green / Morrison
Jurcian / Alzner
Erskine, Sloan, Lepisto, Collins, Helmer



Posted by: Semin2828 | December 30, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Fedex Field or RFK Stadium!

Caps vs Pens

Malkin vs Ovechkin

Crosby vs Semin


Posted by: Semin2828 | December 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Darn. Sloan is going to need to play his heart out. The whole team will. We don't do well in Buffalo, and they are looking for revenge.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

2010 Winter Classic: Caps vs. Wild in Minnesota.

The new Gophers football stadium will be open by then. Barring that, they could do it in 2011 in the new Twins stadium.

Still, I'm holding out hope for a game on a lake. That'd be amazing.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 30, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

RFK? Really? Anyone been to a DCU game recently?

Posted by: Section117 | December 30, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone!!!

Just to send it out again, some of us will be heading up to Mister Days tonight at 6:15 or 6:30. It is a fantastic place to watch the games during the middle of the week. Not alot of people, $1.50 beerrrss and food specials every night.

Last week we had 10 to 12 people and we are looking to increase that this week. They put down the retractable huge screen for us last week and we had all the noise. Federov was also on hand last week so you never know. Hit me up if you have any questions but I will be calling in a while to set us up.

Holla if you are interested.


Posted by: numero94 | December 30, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Federov was also on hand last week so you never know."
Just by chance?? Either way, pretty awesome

Posted by: honed | December 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

1) No rental car? Geez are they at least givin' ya meal money? ; ) Keep up the great work!
2) Alzner is the teams best defensemen. Anyone who can make Jurcina look good, has to be dam good! As was written earlier, we may find this out the hard way tonight. You can bet Milan will have fewer minutes tonight if he's paired with Sloan

Posted by: fauxrumors | December 30, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, JohninMpls,

I couldn't agree more. As the only other Caps fan here in the Cities, I'm all for the Caps playing the Wild here outdoors. Unfortunately, the lack of rivalry between the teams and the Wild's slow downward spiral (making them not attractive enough to NBC) probably makes such a great thing for us unlikely to happen.

Posted by: tylerro | December 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Farrell completely missed the point of Ovechkin. Ovie wanted to pass Brooks the puck in the worst way...he even apologized on the bench to Brooks for not getting him his hat-trick, but he was just a little too well covered. Farrell's point to the story is Ovie made that goal because he is selfish and all great players need to be selfish. This is waht happens when outsiders jump on the bandwagon. They see the game and storylines the complete wrong way. As all of us know...Ovie is one of the most unselfish players out there. He will run through walls for his teammates and takes as much joy seeing his teammate score as he does in his own goals.

Farrell should stick to covering World News and stay away from hockey.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 30, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon: Totally agree with you. OV doesn't care who scores, he just wants to win. Does he like to put his team on his back, I am guessing he love to also. Just ask Shawn Morrisson if OV gets excited when someone else scores. I saw a quote from Green that he almost gets scared when he scores a goal and he sees OV flying towards him. The guy is all about winning!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Not many talking about the game tonight huh... I guess when the team play so well we're taking things for granted?

pawz, we need some doom-inator stuff here. I want a win tonight!

We are 8-10 away from home. Need to win more on the road. We're on a 3-win streak. Our boys need not relaxing, stay focused. BUF will be looking for blood... they have lost 3 of the last 4, 2 in OT. The refs helped PIT win last week. They're pissed. They're at home. Miller is in the net. Brash and Alzner probably won't make it.

Posted by: mauree | December 30, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse



No Brashear?? No Alzner?? No (place favorite injured player's name here)??

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

But you are right. The Caps have to play with an edge and some grit tonight. Ugly goals will win this game. Laich needs to run his rig through the slot. Traffic in front cleaning up the trash will give 2nd chances, 'cause 1st chances won't make it in.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I posted some earlier in the thread, mauree:

Agh. That sucks, and Buffalo is going to be looking for revenge at home, where we don't do so good on the road. Looks like we'd better look sharp.

Hey, maybe we better figure out some Raid for that injury bug, man.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 12:35 PM

No, seriously. This one is looking like a serious maybe. I hope we can exorcise those demons in Buffalo tonight - hell, we've exorcised a couple this season and created a couple more. The entire team is going to need to play their hearts out to make this one happen, though - missing Alzner is going to be a blow to that D pairing. Let's hope I'm right about Jurcina and he just needs a partner he trusts, not Alzner specifically.

@numero94: Looking like I might be able to make tonight. Should I just ask for the Caps crowd?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

TEB wrote a kind article about Joe Say. He's going to lay an egg tonight! (that's for you mauree)

Seriously, TEB, didn't Johnny have a good 5-8 games in a row? couldn't the argument have been made that he was making a statement to be "The Man?"

Posted by: Leeguru | December 30, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

mauree: I've noticed that too. I, for one, am not taking them for granted and the Sabres always make me nervous. Like BB said, Miller can steal games. I watched him do it for Rochester back in the minors too. I'm really hoping the Caps can break the 50 pt plateau today so they can do it before the New Year. It won't be easy though, especially now that Alzner is out.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: Yup, exactly. We're going to have to play all-out, with an edge, crash the net and screen the goalie. Miller is good and Laich is going to have to work his magic.

On Brash: I was hoping to get to see Bourque play anyway. Not that this injury bug is a good thing for anybody (where's the Raid?) but I happen to like Bourque and hope he cam clean up some tonight.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Look how nervous everyone is because Alzner is out tonight...I think that says a lot about the rookie and what a solid, steady force he has been back there!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 30, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see the Versus piece on the 30% increase in fighting majors? I was kind of shocked to hear that stat because our Caps (who prob need to drop the mits more) have the 2nd least majors in the league behind Detroit. The nice thing is they are 6th in lowest PIMs too. That discussion was cool, and educational, but then Brian Englom started talking about how he didn't like fighting how he gets ticked when players drop the gloves at the beginning of a period, or square off after a face-off, and who did Versus have in the first clip, Donald Brashear and the Caps. What ticked me off if although Brash wins almost all of his fights, he has become a much more disciplined player when it comes to getting penalties, and even gets called at times just because of his rep, but versus chose to put him up there first as a bad example. Just ticks me off and another way to make the Caps look bad at the National level IMO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I was sold on Alzner as soon as I saw him in the rookie camp in July. He looked like a vet playing with rookies, very confident. Then when I saw him in the preseason, especially compared to Erskine, I thought for sure the Caps would keep him and put Erskine on waivers and let a team that wanted some defensive grit in their line-up snag him and his salary. Now I know that my first two impressions of him were dead on. After he got the first few games under his belt, and he and Jurcina gelled, he's probably had one rough game (vs Rangers last week) since. He's proven he's an NHL caliber D-man that does not require any more time in the minors. It will be a shame if the salary Cap forces him back down.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I also thought it was a little ironic that in the piece on fighting they showed Brash. (Given that I have seen quite a few people lamenting that he has not fought enough this year).

So we are in company with Detroit on fighting majors this season, huh? Not necessarily bad company to be in. However, I think our lack of fighting comes from different circumstances. Primarily that Brash is contributing on the ice and with all of our injuries that fourth line has been a blessing. Brash may not score a lot, but he has drawn at least a few penalties in the last couple of games.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 30, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse


It would be a crime to send him back down. I understand the need to "season" certain players in the minors, but if you can play in the NHL and play well - why not get "seasoned" with the big boys? Hopefully, we can get rid of some baggage - never been an Erskine fan - so we can keep Alzner up.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 30, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Engblom is ticked with the Caps because Montreal traded him to the Caps with Locker. Engblom STILL had to play with him. That'd tick anyone off, wouldn't it? :)

He was also ticked that the next year we traded him to LA

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Brash has played great, especially the past few games considering his leg is one big black and blue!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 30, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I've felt recently that Brash has really been a presence on the ice...NOT a physical presence, but rather someone who is really hustling and playing hard and smart.

I 100% agree that Alzner is ready to get his seasoning at the NHL level. He will get the minutes and the experience, and there is nothing significant to be gained by him playing in Hershey. I hope GMGM can make that work with the cap. Just as Varly is not ready for the NHL, and there is the world to be gained by him putting in a season or two down on the farm.

Posted by: Baildog | December 30, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse


we'll be in the very center of mr. days. last time vs. the isles, was a good time. and don't worry, once 'ol numero94 sees you walk in, you'll be greated with a loud "heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!" and clearing of space for you to pull up a chair. (thats how it was for me anyway).

Posted by: Fro_ | December 30, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I think this is one of Brashear's best years. He's carrying the puck, mucking it up on the boards, and carrying the puck to the net with some semblance of finess. Not to mention the hits he lays out. He's getting chances and making plays. Yes, I know he'll only get a dozen points during the year. Still. Fun guy to watch.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

UUUgggghhhhh. It's getting so bad, Our call ups are having call ups.

Posted by: billd2 | December 30, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - Yeah, that's what I meant... ugly red streak across his forehead. Man... dude needs some Benadryl if his helmet's causing a skin reaction like that! (((>.<)))!

@numero94 - Sounds great; I'll be there with bells on! :-) Looking forward to it!

Posted by: irockthered | December 30, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, I'm not sure its an allergic reaction so much as one of those big red marks like the ones you get when you fall asleep with your face on your arm or hand or desk or a book. Not that I have *ever* experienced it before nor fallen asleep in class. XD

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if someone has asked this - but what is the:


Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse


that's half a distressed face.
Like this:


(eyes shut)

*pushes up his geeky glasses*

Posted by: mauree | December 30, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Without the erskine's of the world, we wouldn't have the depth that has carried us to this point.
focus should be on the game at hand not your fanboyism.

Posted by: Rocc00 | December 30, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen the Kolbe "Voices" interview on NHLN? It was well done. A bit confusing because he kept talking about Kolzig in the game footage that they showed, but then I realized that it was taped during the Tampa game! :-)

Looks like ice cream to me!

Sorry if someone already said this, but was his helmet off? If so, it was probably just a pressure mark from the padding (I have seen that on him before when he has taken his helmet off for an interview).

Posted by: Boo- | December 30, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I thought he was trying to make the Ultimate Weagle....
Look, >}|{> a fish!

Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Can you do shadow puppets?

Posted by: Boo- | December 30, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

haha, I wish. I just know the fish and a rose.

4 hours is way to long to wait for this game.

Posted by: _828 | December 30, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I've been waiting for this game since I woke up this morning!!! Been a very long day at "work"!!!

Posted by: PhilR | December 30, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, should be an interesting game. The Sabres are surely going to be seeking revenge from the last game, we don't want another 5-0, Miller is a monster, they've had our number for years (but did we take it back in the last game?), who knows if they will get an exorcist in time ... ugh. Too much to think about ... now my head hurts.

Posted by: Boo- | December 30, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Caps Fans, I don't know about you but this is first time that I have ever felt this: The Caps expect to outhustle every team they play and win! Instead of hoping they don't lose, for the first time as a fan I expect them to win. What a change. We will catch and pass Boston and be the number one seed in the east. There is no doubt in my mind! The caps slogan says it all: Good is not good enough! Its funny how it applies to Cap's opponents as much as it does to the Caps themselves! Go Caps!

Posted by: psugolf | December 30, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

At work waiting for this game...people shouldn't have to work this week!

Posted by: reesem37 | December 30, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Heh. I know how to do a bird and a cowboy and that's it.

For those of you not familiar with some of the emoticons you've been seeing, here's a primer to some of the ones I use:

XD: LOL equivalent
9.9: rolled eyes
>. o.o: oh dear
o.0: raised eyebrow

@numero94: I'll see you there. :) Nice thing about "rock the red" - Caps fans are easy to pick out! XD

I like Brash too - he's getting both sides to his game, and I like that.

One thing worth noting - we have the second fewest fighting majors in the league, behind only Detroit. I kind of like that - our guys are pretty chill for the most part - but it'd also be nice to know that we can throw down if it becomes necessary. I'd like to be known as the team nobody wants to push too far.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Just got off the phone with Mister Days and they will be dropping the big screen and throwing on the noise. I told them that about 20 of us want that to be our official away game hang out and they are definitely with that.

So we got Fro, Super, Kitty, and Rock the Red coming. We want more so please come!!!

I am think Kitty is a woman but Rock the Red I remember reading somewhere that you were a chick too? Just want to know who I am looking for...

Posted by: numero94 | December 30, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh and we wear white for away games so if you have a white sweater, best wear that. I will be in the white 94 tonight...Super will be in the white Erskine..Fro will be in a white liatard.

Posted by: numero94 | December 30, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

And Federov was there for last game so you never know....

Posted by: numero94 | December 30, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

RE: Alzner's performance... one stat that got my attention was 0 PIMs in 16 games. I can't decide if this shows great restraint or he doesn't take enough chances. Being +6 is a good thing as well but no penalties? Struck me as a little odd, clearly I have too much time on my hands.

Posted by: Dave_in_Alexandria | December 30, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@DaveUK (responding from last post)

Yeah, I screwed that up. I meant Fed Ex. Its big and open and could handle a nice crowd (as long as no one drives there...)
I must confess I completely forgot about RFK given what a pit it is. Would make a nice venue and it is inside the District line, which is nice.

But, my concerns about weather and the ice still remain.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse


Where is Mister Days?

Posted by: RITdude | December 30, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@numero94 - Last I checked I am, LOL! ;-) I'm 5'2" tall, overweight for my height, short brown hair, and glasses, and if white is the "dress code," I'll probably be wearing just a plain white shirt, 'cause I don't own an away jersey yet.

And yes @_828 - Mauree's right. Think squinchy-eyes. I have to use ansi code to make it actually show the > and < symbols (it's & gt; and & lt; without the spaces), or it does that half thing...

@Boo- - Ouch? If he's getting a mark from the padding, maybe he ought to see about getting a bigger helmet, LOL! It'd sure explain the migranes... ;-)

@kittypawz - I like, too, that we have so few "hard" penalties - the slashing, elbowing, boarding, kneeing, etc. It tells me we play hockey clean. We don't need to kick the stuffings out of the other team to win.

Posted by: irockthered | December 30, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I think it's just a sensitive fair-skined thing ... that is, if we are talking about the same thing! :-)

Posted by: Boo- | December 30, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Brashear, my friends and I often joke he resembles Nylander on steroids the way he has been handling the puck and circling around on the rush.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 30, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I read the NY Times SlapShot article that JMU posted yesterday (i.e. "2009 Year in Review"). It was HILARIOUS!! If you have not read it, it is worth going back to check it out. The Caps are ALL over it ... I dig the predictions!! ;-) Funny, the Caps would not have gotten that much press a couple of years ago ... my how far they have come!!!

Posted by: Boo- | December 30, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Im a bald half asian man, I like walks on the beach, nights in front of the fire and sushi. Don't steal my stuff and prefer drinking out of a snifter.

Posted by: JSchon | December 30, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, its that line he gets on his forehead, really obvious during intermission interviews.
What I wouldn't give to be close enough to join you guys tonight. :( Someday!!!
Adding to the emoticon list:
:^::::: - XD so hard, you shoot liquid out of your nose.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

PIM is the wrong way to look at it IMHO. Our PIM is low as a team because we aren't taking major penalities (mostly 5 for fighting.)
Based on Total Shorthanded Opportunities we are 6th worst in the NHL.
And with our PK being not so hot, i'd say its really the one part of our game that needs the most work.
I realize the hyperaggressive forecheck trap that BB uses is going to lead to guys backchecking (and the stick penalities that come with that -- hooking, etc..) but still, either PK at 87%+ or start staying out of the box more often.

Posted by: brooklyncapsfan | December 30, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@ RITDude

Mr. Days is on the corner of Washington BLVD and North Highland in Arlington (Clarendon) right near the metro.

@94- you bought it for me, so I feel compelled to wear it...

Posted by: Fro_ | December 30, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Right place or wrong place to post it, I'm posting here anyway...

People, have you looked at the Eastern Conference All-Star voting recently? Basically, it's the Penguins/Canadiens versus the Western Conference. Gonchar, Markov, Komisarek, and Whitney have significantly more votes than Chara. The hall of fame trio of Kovalev, Koivu, and Tanguay are way ahead of Ovechkin. Remind me why people get so annoyed by Penguin and Canadiens fans?

Posted by: Matt23185 | December 30, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't singles night a couple weeks ago?

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | December 30, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Boo-. For those of you who didn't read it,
Its bad, but I sort of wish I *was* at work. I'm currently baking "apple takeaways". (It was either that or I call them "opposition apple turnovers") I've swept the garage, done the dishes, organized shelves. I'm going stir crazy at home.
Matt23185, Its easy, they voted for their entire team, regardless of who was actually up for it and their "qualifications". Gonchar and Whitney were both out hurt and I'm not sure if either of them meet the 20 game minimum. And that's just the starting line up. Which means they're out there for a total of 60 seconds before their coach jerks them off the ice and gives the guys who actually deserve to play the chance.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@numero: Ack, I don't have a white away jersey (yet!) and don't go in for white clothes as a rule, so I'll just wear the home red and be done. Look for a tall brunette in a home Backstrom jersey, and I will probably be with Rock the Red.

Must get the white jersey - I already know whose it will be, it's just a matter of money.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 30, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Its all good girls, wear what you will, I am sure the Caps don't care what you wear to support them.


Just looked at the NHL schedule and there are a couple of other games I will be peeking at also.....The Boston-Pit game coming on at 7:30 looks to be a good one...I just hope for no overtime and I am really interested to see this Chi-Det game....Chi's won 9 in a row.

Hope Vancouver beats the stuffing out of the Flyers tonight.....

Posted by: numero94 | December 30, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

reposting in response to tarik's article:

do people really think theodore at his peak has been better (as opposed to as good as) johnson at his peak/ healthiest this season? b/c if not, johnson has been more consistent when not injured imo.

Posted by: am_jim | December 30, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse


So you busy this weekend? We could use some help around the house getting shelves organized, cleaning.... ;)

I'd love to join you all tonight, but can't. Next away game I'll make. I think that's the 10th against Montreal, no?

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@Matt23185: First off, don't take this the wrong way because I believe that OV is the best hockey player on the planet and should be leading in All-Star votes by a mile. Now, with that being said I think I have figured out the whole all star thing this season. There are so many Montreal Canadiens because I believe all fans in Canada, no matter what city they live in or cheer for, are voting for Montreal Canadiens to be in the starting line-up. It's their 100 year anniversary, and the game is in Montreal because of that. Can't explain why Gonchar is getting votes since he hasn't been able to strap on his skates yet. The Malkin/Crosby votes..........just threw up in my mouth a because they are number 1 and 3 in scoring. I think the NHL has a computer submitting votes for Crosby around the clock because he's such a superstar (please realize I am being sarcastic).

Gotta speak just a few more lines on Gonchar. In one of the yesterday's threads someone suggested bringing Gonchar back so we could have a total Russian line including Varlamov in net. IMO I NEVER want Gonchar back in Washington, he was flat out told we were going to rebuild and that we wanted him to be an important part of the process. I can't stand him now. I don't even dislike Jagr because he was a rebuild dump he did not ask to leave.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, forgot to mention that Gonchar wanted no part of our rebuild and wanted to be traded. I believe we sent him to Boston.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 30, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Greg S, Sadly, looks like there's going to be more cleaning here in store for me this weekend.
Re: the All-Star voting. It is possible to vote for an entire team just by texting the name, i.e. "Capitals" to the txt vote. My guess would be that is part of how entire teams are getting their lineup in.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

People in Pittsburgh and Montreal must have nothing to do all day and night other than send in their votes. Those numbers for those players are crazy.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 30, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to number 8 for 1st star...Ron Wilson was right...He is the best player in the league or on the planet for that matter...The Sabres are a good fact, my second favorite team...playing in front of a savvy, loud Buffalo crowd is always tough...If the Caps can pull this one out, especially with all the ongoing injuries, they will certainly proove to be something any case, it's nice to have one team in D.C. that's an exciting winner...

Posted by: AMGABBER | December 30, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The all star votes were being submitted by a computer program in the beginning, where Montreal players were being given all the votes and curiously, players like Semin would lose votes over night. Cheats.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 30, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I love Gonchar. Definitely my favorite puck moving defense man of my era. you can't really blame him for wanting to be dealt. I mean, he spent his best years with us and we never won him a cup, and only almost got there once.

i still love gonchar, and i understand why he wanted to be dealt. although age/position definetely has something to do with this, it is clear that Bondra really loved the caps and would've probably stayed here for the rebuild, but we wanted to get him a cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 30, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Live just had an interview with Dmitry Chesnetkov, a hockey writer for Sovietsky Sports. talking about the two Alexanders and Varlamov. Great piece of work by Russ.

By the way, I heard that Kornheiser (or however he spells his name) was bashing that show. How funny, I thought that guy had died years ago.

Posted by: opita | December 30, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse


I'll be there.


Posted by: SZALACH7 | December 30, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Alright folks, I guess I'll chat with everyone later. Dinner isn't going to make itself.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 30, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Regarding "Gonchar ... he was flat out told we were going to rebuild and that we wanted him to be an important part of the process", where did you read that? In an organization that is so tight-lipped, I would find it difficult to really believe that someone outside the involved parties really know what transpired. I like Gonchar and I like the Caps, and my feeling is that for whatever reason they decided to part company without any malice.

Posted by: opita | December 30, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Links for tonight's game:

waiting for the news of Alzner in or out.

Posted by: mauree | December 30, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Well they just claimed on CSN that the game will be in HD tonight, but it is not on the schedule as such. We'll see; I'm betting on widescreen (non-HD) from HSBC Arena.

Woo, less than half an hour to go.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | December 30, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

new thread - Alzner's out :(

Posted by: mauree | December 30, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

wow...that might have been the most beautiful display of passing for a goal I have ever seen!!!! Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: CapsSkins | December 30, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

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