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As Vancouver Games wrap up, Caps look ahead

Morning roundup


Goodbye, Olympics. Hello, final stretch of the NHL regular season:

"It's always slower," Boudreau said of the wait to get back on the ice during the Olympic break. "The first couple days are good, and then let's get back to playing. I'm dying not being able to go on the Internet and read any hockey stuff or go to the NHL Network and watch games. Don't get me wrong. I love watching the Olympics, but I'll be glad when we're back at it."
The Capitals begin the final portion of their season on Wednesday on the road against the Buffalo Sabres, whose starting goalie Ryan Miller was named most valuable player of the Olympic tournament despite a 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the gold medal game.
Washington has 20 games left in the regular season, including 12 at home. The Capitals are 13 points ahead of New Jersey in the Eastern Conference and one point ahead of San Jose in the chase for the Presidents' Trophy. | Full story »

Olympic wrap-up links

*Barry Svrluga on Canada's win: "An arena full of maple leafs on flags, on jackets, on hats, and in hearts. Overtime, with all the angst that implies -- times 10. And a puck dug out of the corner, onto the stick of Sidney Crosby."

*Tracee Hamilton's column:

I had a feeling Team USA didn't stand a chance in this rematch when, while riding Vancouver's version of the Metro to the game Sunday morning, a group of guys boarded with sticks, balls, a strong aroma of beer and not one but two plastic street hockey nets. All that was missing was Wayne and Garth and "Game on!" No one on the train was annoyed to have to crawl over, under and around these nets, which filled the aisles; they all thought it was cute. (This would not be the reaction on, say, the Orange Line.) This sport is so ingrained here, it's almost indescribable.

*Security beefed up for gold medal hockey game. (Heavy Medal)

*Some Team USA players had to change their flights back -- they were scheduled before the Olympics started for the morning of the gold medal game. (Puck Daddy)

*NHLers absolutely have to play in Sochi. (NBC's Rinkside)


(Abbreviated) Caps linkage

*The gang is (almost) back together:

*Caps in Vancouver: How'd they do? (DC Landing Strip)

*Projected success. (Storming the Crease)

*Hershey machine never breaks... or something. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

*Some players might have more to prove than others after these Olympics. (Kukla's Korner)

*Scenes from a viewing party at the Canadian embassy. (CapsBlog)


Alex Ovechkin will have to wait until Sochi 2014 to try and capture the Olympic gold that eluded him in these games. In the meantime, he and the Caps are looking ahead toward the NHL playoffs. (Marcio Sanchez/AP)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 1, 2010; 5:50 AM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Olympics  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alex Ovechkin stays in Vancouver for Sochi handoff
Next: Ovechkin returns to Caps

Comments

I had to turn the TV off as soon as Crosby scored. Now, after letting that settle, I do have to give Canada their due for overcoming a slow start in the tournament, and not giving up.

Regarging, "NHLers absolutely have to Play in Sochi." One thing the article didn't mention is that the NHL simply owes it to the Russians who have given a great deal of service to the league in the last 20 years. (opinion of Cherryesque Canadian hockey purists withstanding) If the NHL doesn't allow it, could we see more of them defecting to the KHL?

Also, if Canada wants to keep flaunting their the best, they have to go and beat the Russians in Russia to prove that. They haven't proven they can win outside of North America in the Olympics.

As for team USA. Their play proves that other countries may have more talent, but none have more heart.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | March 1, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Well this should be a busy day--trade wise that is. Good. Guess I'll be checking back in for news from time-to-time. Lots of rumors floating around.

Time to get back to our regular NHL scheduling! Cannot wait until Wednesday's game.

I wonder if the Caps will be be facing Miller. What an Olympics by him! I actually feel pretty positive about the NHLers participating in Sochi--the Americans will want another try for gold. It was a young team overall and should be that much better in four years, although they will be most likely playing on an international sized rink.

Sorry for the random thoughts but excited to get back to the schedule after the hiatus. I did enjoy the games though--getting to see the play of so many players I read about but don't watch, especially in the Western Conference.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The biggest trade rumor seems to be the Caps trading Theodore and either Carlson or Marcus Johansson (playing in swedish elite league) and picks to Florida for Tomas Vokoun.

Vokoun's stats are impressive especially when you consider he has played with Nashville and Florida. His save percentage through last season is .915 with a 2.56 GAA. This season his save percentage is .930 even though his record is 19-21-10. At 33 he probably has a couple of good years left. I have no idea where he is as far as contract.

I know it is expected the Caps will have to give up something to get something. In my humble opinion giving up Carlson or Johansson is a mistake. They will both be NHL ready players next season. Impact players in my opinion as well. I would rather see the Caps give up draft picks with Theodore to get Vokoun. I just think the price, as advertised, is too high.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I have no doubt in my mind that these Olympic games will do so much for cities that have a contender moving on to the playoffs. Ticket sales are in good shape in most of those towns, it's the TV numbers that need to, and will rise.

Crosby said it will in his interview that this was great for the game, and I agree.

It is a no-brainer for the NHL to be a part of this...the players want it as well...dont take it away.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 1, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Vokun is slated to make 6.3 million next year, UFA after that. A little salty if you ask me.

Posted by: seetrice | March 1, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I understand Bettman's concern for injury. But with the Olympics done, crunch the numbers and show us how many NHL players participated, how many minutes they played, and how many NHL games they will now miss because of injury. I bet the ratio of man games lost to Olympic minutes played is quite low.

I want to see another tournament like that. Considering that NBC shows an NHL game of the week, I thought they did a poor job of promoting the players as members of an NHL team (Oddly enough, I thought the Capitals got the most mentions). Yesterday, they mentioned that Canada had 7 players who lead their team in scoring, while the US had 2 players. Yeah? Who? What teams? Is it the team in my city? This makes me sympathize with Bettman's point that the NHL gains little.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | March 1, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I believe the comment was that 7 Canadian players Captain their teams while only 2 Americans do. Of course the American team was the youngest at the Olympics so it makes sense that less of them would be serving as a Captain.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Interesting schedule for tomorrow.

Sabres @ Pens....

That is a big game for both teams...I wonder if Miller plays vs the Pens, or us on Wed....cant see him playing both games.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 1, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Ironically for the Canadian team many of the players that serve as Captains are relatively young. 5 of 7 are 25 or younger. Crosby, Nash, Richards, Staal, and Toews are all under the age of 25. The elder statemen on Team Canada that serve as Captains are Iginla and Niedermayer.

On the US team the two Captains were Drury 33) and Langenbrunner (34). Of course I wanted Team USA to win and I was really pulling for Drury to score the OT goal. He won a Little League World Series Title as the winning pitcher for a team from Trumbull, CT. It would have been nice for him to put this last item on his mantle. Still a great showing for Team USA and after seeing the results from the World Juniors, U18, and U17 tournaments, all of which have the US teams as reigning champions, the US will be competing for the top spot for years to come.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

finally...back to the SHOW!

1) Canada really missed Mike Green! (LOL)

2) Niedermeyer knows how to win...he might not have contributed on the scoresheet, but everywhere he goes, he WINS...GET HIM!

3) Is that Vokun (sp?) rumor serious? Wow...he would definately be an upgrade in net...but I would rather them trade Alzner before Carlson...and I'm a huge Alzner supporter..

WELCOME BACK!!!!!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

Unfortunately I think the Caps will see Miller. With the Pens game in Pittsburgh and the Caps game in Buffalo, I could see the Sabres giving Miller the extra day of rest and to start him at their 1st home game so he can get an ovation from the home crowd.

Also, I agree that Carlson is untradeable and will be NHL ready next year.

But what indications show that Johanson will be NHL ready next year? I would almost guarantee the opposite and say he will not be in the NHL next year (maybe AHL) except for a possible injury replacement for a game here or there.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@sgm...

I agree on all accounts...

But I think Miller will get ovations at every US rink over the next 2-3 weeks...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I would trade anyone in Hershey including Neuvy before Carlson. The Caps need a big D and he is it. He isn't intimidated by anyone, including the NHL wonder boy Crosby. That would be the worst move GMGM could do.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 1, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there is any way GMGM will trade Carlson, so any rumor mentioning his name I don't put too much weight into because it was probably just some guy thinking up possible trade scenarios without any inside information.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Caps won't trade Carlson, even they're not that stupid. As much as they would've liked to have Pronger last season at the deadline they held back from trading Carlson to the Ducks.
Now Alzner...in the right deal I think the Caps could be persuaded to move him.

Here's a TSN rundown of the upcoming deadline, nothing real newsworthy but still a read.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=312000

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Laing, Sloan and Varly re-called according to JP

Posted by: jeets | March 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The Pens traded for Jordan Leopold for a 2nd round pick.

GMGM better step up to the plate and do something.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Great...

First no Pronger

Then no Phaneuf

Now no leopold...

Say what you want about their stats this year, but they would all fit nice in the caps lineup!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Great...

First no Pronger

Then no Phaneuf

Now no leopold...

Say what you want about their stats this year, but they would all fit nice in the caps lineup!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

In the perfect world we'd end up with one big center, 2 defensemen in the Cory Sarich mold and a strong tough veteran character forward in the Ethan Moreau mold who hasn't tasted the playoffs in a few yrs but who always brings his hardhat when he plays. But since this isn't fantasy hockey, I'll be somewhat content with a Souray and an Arnott type. Although style-wise, I don't think Souray fits in here. The first time he takes 3 aggressive penalties in a game the Caps fans will throw their hands up in despair and lobby for a lynching :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I think they got Leopold because they are going to trade Letang. He is an RFA and they might not have the cash to re-sign...that is if they want to keep Gonchar.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 1, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: Johansson is labled as a defensive minded forward. He has 8 goals and 9 assists in the Swedish Elite League as a 19 year-old. He was also thought highly enough by the Swedish brass to be named Captain of the Junior Team. With 17 points in 35 games he's producing admirably for his age and style as a defense minded forward. This season his two way game has been compared to Zetterberg by his coach in Sweden. Not bad.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So the Panthers basically traded away Jay Bouwmeester for a 2nd and a 3rd pick.

Leopold doesn't fit any of the Caps' glaring needs anyway, let the Pens have him. He's been traded 4 times now I think and he's not even 30

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

From what I've read Johannson looks like he is a good prospect with a very good upside, but he is still very young and has yet to play on North American rinks for an extended period of time. I highly doubt he will be on the Caps next year. I think he will have a year in the AHL and then if he plays well he will have the opportunity to make the team the year after.

@cstanton1

I'm not saying the Caps should've traded for Leopold but other teams are making trades to improve themselves and Leoppld does improve Pittburgh defensive depth.

I did read that the Pens might trade a defenseman, if they traded Letang that would be very interesting especially considering they would likely get a lot in return. But I don't think they will trade him especially since Gonchar might not re-sign.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

sgm
i don't like McPhee's style of sitting around and being overly picky to the point of letting the deadline pass without making moves like he did last yr (big mistake). And Phaneuf coulda been had without giving up a tremendous amount like the Leafs proved. So yeah, that was McPhee asleep at the wheel again unless Phaneuf didn't want to come here for some reason. But I didn't want Kovalchuk here and Leopold doesn't fit what we really need defensively so unless McPhee lets some good defensemen get away in trades between now and Wed, I'll hold off crucifying him until then.

We need defensemen who excel in their own end. We have enough firepower upfront, and we have enough offensive defensemen. Hell even Alzner and Schultz now think they can jump up in the play. What we need is 1 or 2 strong defensive defensemen who aren't trying to shatter any scoring records.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

of all people - CINDY!!!! Ugh!

Ok - let's get back to normal and go get some help on defense at the trade deadline!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 1, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'd be surprised to see Letang get moved because you don't often find young offensive defensemen who play with his tenacity. He's not your prototypical finesse offensive defenseman. He'll compete in the trenches.

But if Dion can get traded, I guess anything could happen. I'm still in shock that the Leafs were able to get him that cheap. That trade would have been even more lopsided had the other prospect who went over to Toronto not suffered a serious knee injury within a few days of the trade. Brian Burke may not be the world's best drafter but he sure is a gutsy trader.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I'm not crucifying GMG either, he has a few days left. But he can't sit and do nothing this time. I agree the Caps need a defenseman and maybe two.

Personally, I think the Caps need a puck moving defenseman who is better at clearing the zone. Too many of the current defense always try to clear the zone along the boards and that can often lead to turnovers.

However, a big defenseman would be nice too as long as he is mobile. The Caps do not need another Erskine.

I like Zidlicky, Kaberle, and Hamuis as possible options and maybe even Seidenberg. I would love Niedermayer but I don't think the Ducks are going to trade him.

The Caps need to do something though.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Penguins just got Leopold. I know there are a few days...but I would feel better if we made a move sooner rather than later.

Posted by: capscoach | March 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Ott re-signed with Dallas so that possibility is no more.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, the Caps brought Varly right back up after a good game down in Hershey. Prior to the Olympics we had 3 goaltenders with either Varly or Neuvy hurt. Now we have 3 healthy goaltenders. That might be an indication that 1 or more of them are available to get a deal done. If we move Neuvy or Varly I HOPE it is in a trade to a team in the west. I'd rather not see one of them develop in the East at the Caps expense.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock
Ah, I stand corrected then. Not sure if that makes my point better or worse. Even still, what was your opinion of Olympic promotion of NHL hockey? Do you think the casual viewer finished watching the tournament knowing who Parise, Rafalski or Stastny plays for? Some guy grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, I know that much, but what team does he play for? If I tune in to watch the local team or go to a game, will I recognize that so-and-so played for the US, Canadian, or Slovak team? I can totally concur with Crosby's comment that it was a great day for hockey...for hockey fans, but do we have converts?

Posted by: hockeyweasel | March 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

per Tarik's twitter:

Sloan, Laing and Varly recalled. Neuvirth sent to Hershey.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Tess. Neuvy going down leaves the Caps with 2 healthy goaltenders.

@hockeyweasel: I'd have to say no, the casual fan is no more aware today than they were two weeks ago. Before every game I think they could have marketed things better by having head shots and which NHL team them belonged to throughout the game. Definitely a missed opportunity.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Jackman or Kubina for blueline

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Not to belabor it, but I thought as far as quality of puck goes, nowhere near level of Nagano or Salt Lake City. With all the scrum work along the boards and the crashing of the crease, the flow of play was deprecated. It looked at times like a more violent form of curling, the same heads bent down frantically poking at something action. What has worked for the league these last few years is opening the game up. I hope they remember it.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 1, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Crosby never fails to make me throw up in my mouth!

Posted by: bhound69 | March 1, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

That's called throwing in.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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