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Backstrom ailing, Green limping

Nicklas Backstrom stayed home from practice today because he wasn't feeling well. But it's not believed that he's coming down with swine flu, according to Bruce Boudreau, who added that he expects the center to play tomorrow against Columbus.

"He's just under the weather, so we told him to stay home and relax," Boudreau said.

Boudreau also said he expects Mike Green to face the Blue Jackets, despite the fact that the defenseman did not practice this morning and appeared to have considerable trouble walking around in the locker room. Green was hurt in last night's 4-3 overtime loss to the Isles when he was struck on the foot/ankle area with a shot.

When told Green could barely walk, Boudreau cracked, "Yeah, but he can skate. I'm expecting him to play, as we speak right now, I am."

A few of other injury updates and notes:

*Boyd Gordon missed yet another practice with back problems. Boudreau said he's week-to-week at this point.

"He hasn't skated in three weeks, so if he was cleared for practice on Tuesday, I would have to believe it's another week after that before he's ready to play," Boudreau said.

*Eric Fehr did skate. But the big winger didn't look 100 percent and likely won't play.

*John Erskine (bruised hand) also skated this morning "is getting really close to being ready to play," Boudreau said. "He won't play tomorrow, but there's a big chance he'll be ready to play Wednesday in New Jersey."

*Boudreau on Columbus goalie Steve Mason, who shutout the Caps twice last season: "It as 3-0, 3-0 and Steve Mason was unbelievable ...totally frustrating the hell out of us. I don't pay any attention [to his struggles this season] because I only go by what my eyes see, and that's a great goaltender that was rookie of the year. Usually, players when they like playing in a building or a like playing against a team, it doesn't how bad they've done, it's like an elixir to them."

*Mason will start tomorrow, the Columbus beat writers have confirmed. Mason will face Jose Theodore.

*I'm working on a story for tomorrow's Post about Tomas Fleischmann's surprisingly effective return from a lengthy layoff with a blood clot in his left leg. One thing that has really helped him, he told me, was that he has put on 10 pounds of muscle, mostly in his abdominal area, which is helping him play stronger on the puck.

*Mike Wise, meantime, is working on a column for tomorrow's paper on Bruce Boudreau's just-released biography, Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer. Boudreau is going to be signing copies of the book this afternoon here at KCI.

*I didn't see this myself, but I hear Brendan Morrison showed up today in Chewbacca costume.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 31, 2009; 12:43 PM ET
 
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Next: Laing: 'A couple of days of feeling miserable'

Comments

Gotta proof read!!

"elixer" = elixir.

Posted by: capitals111 | October 31, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

This is typical media, always looking for and focusing on the negative. The Caps are in first place, they lost after winning 6 in a row. Give me a break Tarik, really. He'd still be complaining about losing after a 50 game winning streak.

Posted by: Padow1 | October 31, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

COL, PHX, and LA are also three of the league's lowest budget teams.

A weird loss on a back-to-back after 6 wins. Not bad...though I think the Caps could have gotten 2 out of last night. Got to credit Roloson for coming up with some big last minute saves.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 31, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

For every good play Green has, he then has 3 bad ones.Package him 2 get a solid shut down defenseman

Posted by: coma47 | October 31, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Also, don't know if it has been discussed, but that OT goal was Ovie's and Green's fault. Both standing around like retards letting Streit walk into the slot. Backstrom also was out muscled by Tavares behind the net.

(Cue people wanting to trade all three of them...oh wait, I'm too late.)

Posted by: richmondphil | October 31, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

For every good play Green has, he then has 3 bad ones.Package him 2 get a solid shut down defenseman

Posted by: coma47 | October 31, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

OH NO green really sucks!!! OH NO Norris trophy finalist but he didn't win. OH NO makes one boo boo last night but two assists!! OH NO that doesn't sound like three bad for every good play! OH NO someone has no clue...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | October 31, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you coma47. Trade Green. His Norris Trophy status is a result of his offense, not defense. He is a great player but we need a great defender. We could get a ton for him and free up cap space.

On another note, I saw that there were at least three scouts from St.Louis in town. Anyone know what they have that we might want?

Posted by: capsfan5 | October 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Negative or not, this team is nowhere near being a Stanley Cup Contender. If they continue to play in such a way, it will be a 1st round elimination. So yes while they are able to eek out games on talent alone, talent alone will not win in the playoffs because every team is essentially pretty even.

Big picture, big picture. Right now the caps are not even close if the true goal is to win the Cup.

Posted by: O-V-P | October 31, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Big picture, big picture. Right now the caps are not even close if the true goal is to win the Cup."

----------------------------------------

People were probably saying the same thing about the Penguins this time last year.

Tomorrow's going to be a tough game. The boys don't fare well against Steve Mason.

Posted by: Unleash_The_Caps | October 31, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

We might as well just give the Penguins another Cup. This season is obviously already over and for every single other team, right guys?

Posted by: richmondphil | October 31, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Fact: if you don't win your first 12 games decidedly, you will not win the Cup.

It's a fact, I read it on the internet.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 31, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Green is a young and very talented player and the Caps are lucky to have such a player on their team.

However, he does seem to make mistakes that are either due to a lack of discipline or concentration. It is these mistakes that will likely keep him off Canada's Olympic roster.

These are flaws many young players have early in their careers and they often learn to overcome them with experience. I just hope Green will continue to improve and cut down on such errors.

Either way, he is a cornerstone of this franchise and we just have to hope he cuts down on making these kinds of mistakes.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 31, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

No by no means is it over. Just saying the Caps have a long way to go before they consider themselves a TRUE Cup contender. Our game is just not there right now no matter how much we say 8-2-3. The way we are playing, we will get bounced quickly. Good news is, this team has until April to figure things out.

Posted by: O-V-P | October 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

These guys are at least 81 games away from being a Stanley Cup contender, actually. There is no way they are going to compete for a Stanley Cup today. I doubt they'll be ready next week either.

This reminds of an Onion article:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/phillies_hope_to_end_364_day_world

Posted by: mattbuckley80 | October 31, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: any truth to the rumor that QL practised today?

Posted by: wendel2 | October 31, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see some analysis of Woods coaching on the Defense. I've seen some compliments on Schultz's performance. Is that thanks to the new coaching? Also, with Green not performing to the same level, is that due to Woods, i.e. exposing Green as weak in his own zone? One would expect it to take a little while for changes to take root. Is it different? Are there visible results?

Posted by: hockeyweasel | October 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

And the award for the very best costume goes to: Brendan for his chewbacca costume!

Posted by: aybee27 | October 31, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It's better than dressing up as Raggedy Andy.

Posted by: SuperG5 | October 31, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
you're right.
i looked up stanley cup contender on wikipedia - didn't see a picture of the caps there.
i guess i'm going to root for another dc team that has never won a championship - my support now goes to the mystics

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 31, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

You guys are so reactionary its not even funny.

Blah blah blah we arent stanley cup material. Seriously? Cause cause we were 1 win away from the Eastern Conference finals last year.

If anything we are better than last year with Knuble and Morrison.

Posted by: digster1013 | October 31, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan5

Would the Caps want ..... David Backes? A good scorer who's a dirty player. 30 plus goals and over 100 penalty minutes last year. We all know what he did in the game where the Blues played the Caps on December 18, 2008.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope Green doesn't make the Olympics. I see the Olympics as an injury-making machine. OTOH, I sure hope that Syndey goes.

Richmondphil, Capt_Kirk_in_AZ and digster1013, you are on the money.

Tomorrow night will be tough is Nicki is still not feeling well and if Green is hurting. Good luck, Caps.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I'm sure your post on "might as well give the Pens the Stanley Cup" was sarcastic, of course.

Yes, the Pens look to be running away with the best record in the conference (and yes, it's annoying me to no end). But, and that's a big but, we will have to play the rest of the games. And the playoffs.

Last year, there was a team that was doing that. None other than the San Jose Sharks. We all know what happened with them. I think it would be really funny if the Pens ran away with the Conference regular season record with some ridiculous number of points. And for them to get so overconfident that they get dumped in Round 1 by the 8th seed. (It would especially be poetic justice if Philthy were the 8th seed who did that deed.) Don't worry, I'm not a fan of the Flyers but somehow think they would be a more motivated 8th seed against Pitt than Buffalo, Montreal, or Ottawa.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@Unleash_The_Caps

Mason's overdue to have a bad game against us.

Suggestion -- watch videos of the playoffs to see how Detroit solved him at goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

On our ailing:

1) Poor Nicky. Wonder if he has what Semin had last week. If that's the case, I wouldn't expect him back tomorrow.

2) I hope Fehr is back soon. I'm looking forward to the day when we can actually dress a whole lineup of forewards instead of using a defenseman there.

3) Will Boyd Gordon end up going on Long Term Injured Reserve?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Instead of thinking tomorrow will be tough, an elite team would be primed to take care of business against Columbus. Elite teams don't talk about the "hot goalie" excuse

Posted by: O-V-P | October 31, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@aybee27

I did hear that Morrison was a Star Wars fan. On the Halloween video they showed at the game last night, he said that his favorite costume as a kid was when he dressed up as a Stormtrooper.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I couldn't go to Gabby's book signing at Kettler today. Would have liked to have gone.

I had already signed up to go to the Collectors' Show in Chantilly where there were appearances by many old Redskins (and Ovi, Green, and Varly).

We got into a conversation with Mark Rypien (the former QB) and he asked us when the kids (i.e. Ovi; etc) were coming to the show. (Gee, do I look like an expert on Ovi's schedule or something?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

For every good play Green has, he then has 3 bad ones.Package him 2 get a solid shut down defenseman

Posted by: coma47 | October 31, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

you sound like you're really in a coma and can't think straight

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you coma47. Trade Green. His Norris Trophy status is a result of his offense, not defense. He is a great player but we need a great defender. We could get a ton for him and free up cap space.

On another note, I saw that there were at least three scouts from St.Louis in town. Anyone know what they have that we might want?

Posted by: capsfan5 | October 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

we need to trade you for a real fan

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

hey I've got an idea... why don't we trade OV since his mistake resulted in the OT GW goal... they could get a ton for him and free up cap space!!!!

good idea?????

idiots...

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Joek443: "Are you the creator of Hi and Lois? Because you are making me laugh!" Direct quote from the Comic Book Store Guy from "The Simpsons". And I am NOT being sarcastic---I love the humor, and you're right.
Thanks!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 31, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Talked to Mike Green at the collectors show in Chantilly today, he said it is his knee that is hurt, not his ankle/foot. Got hurt in the game last night, and was limping pretty bad walking to his table to sign autographs and didnt sound too optimistic about tomorrows game

Posted by: caps1 | October 31, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Instead of thinking tomorrow will be tough, an elite team would be primed to take care of business against Columbus. Elite teams don't talk about the "hot goalie" excuse

Posted by: O-V-P | October 31, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

hey coach, when is your book signing? You sound like someone who's probably had some real success at coaching hockey. I like the angle of being overconfident vs taking the approach that the team will need play it's best against a good team. Particularly against a goalie who shut them out twice last year.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 31, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

just came across this blog...http://nhlfansblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: gocaps01 | October 31, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Your posts are making me laugh also. Great comebacks for some of the comments made today. Agree with dccitizen1.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

@caps1

You certainly got the scoop on Green. (I saw Green at the card show today but didn't ask him about his injuries.)

It's amazing what we can get the guys to tell us at card shows. (That's where I got the scoop on Semin being sick this past March.)

So are there going to be callups from Hershey tomorrow? Oisk is still out and so are Boyd Gordon and Fehr. While everyone's optimistic about Backstrom being in tomorrow's game, I'm still wondering. If Backstrom has what Semin has... Well I recall Semin practiced the day after he was announced as sick and was then out for a practice and the next two games. Rumor had it that Laing showed up for practice but is he ready?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Rachel will be unhappy to learn that Neuvirth got injured in today's morning skate so Holtby's been recalled from South Carolina.

Neuvy's having a rough year so far.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

joek: I'm not trying to be negative about Green and I'm certainly not implying it makes sense to "get rid" of him for cap space. I'm saying that his value around the league is probably higher than what he's worth to us. We need guys that play defense, not offense right now. Trading Green isn't something that I just thought of overnight after last game, it is something that a lot of people have thought after last season.

Posted by: capsfan5 | October 31, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

joek: I'm not trying to be negative about Green and I'm certainly not implying it makes sense to "get rid" of him for cap space. I'm saying that his value around the league is probably higher than what he's worth to us. We need guys that play defense, not offense right now. Trading Green isn't something that I just thought of overnight after last game, it is something that a lot of people have thought after last season.

Posted by: capsfan5 | October 31, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

really? I mean really? Mike green just turned 24... You think he's peaked? You think his value is as high as it's going to get? The guy was a Norris trophy finalist. That award is not voted on by a bunch of blog posting morons (such as myself). It's voted on by the professional hockey writers association. Again, he's 24. He mAde a mistake last night but he Also had two assists and has like an 8 game point streak.

So you say a lot of folks thought it would be a good idea to trade one of the top three dmen at the end of last year? Once again I say really? He's not going anywhere and I guess I'm in the minority who thinks that's a great thing for this franchise.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 31, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@ capsfan5

trade Green for whom???? don't just come on here and go on about trading this guy or that guy without any specifics... if you're gonna suggest a trade then do it.

otherwise it's just a mindless rant by just another unhappy "fan".

Posted by: joek443 | October 31, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

To lighten the mood around here:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Hope everyone gets lots of chocolate :D

Posted by: hockeyfan8 | October 31, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

For all of those who are talking about how bad the Islanders area and how bad it is that the Caps lost to them then what do you think about the Islanders beating the Sabers 5-0 tonight and chasing Miller in the second? I think that people don't give the Islanders the credit they deserve. They beat the Caps once, beat the Sabers big time once, beat the Rangers, and took the Pens to a shoot out. So in five games against the current top four in the East they are 3-1-2 that doesn't seem like they are very weak to me. They are also tied in points for 7th only being 9th due to tiebreakers. This team isn't the same weak team they were last year and could surprise many people by making the playoffs.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 31, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

Agree with you on trading Green. It would NOT be a good idea. He may not have gotten a lot of goals this year but he's had a ton of assists and is actually pretty high in our team's point total.

Some of the trades people suggest here are crazy. I'm glad Boudreau and McVee are the ones evaluating the players and not some of the fans here.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Trading Mike Green sounds like something Dan Snyder would do, one bad game does not make a season, Green is still one of the best, and he is not the only D-Man out there making mistakes......remember, win as a team, lose as a team

Posted by: caps1 | October 31, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

The Isles have taken a lot of teams to overtime and are tied with Philthy (who won today). Must admit I contributed to the "humiliating to lose to the Islanders" hysteria.

The Isles remind me of this swim team in our summer league. They used to be champions, and then played my kids' team and beat them by a small margin the year after being the champs. This kid on that team kept boasting about the win so my daughter really started hating that team. So, the following year, they were really bad and then they remained really bad for years on end, never compiling a winning record. Last year, they still lost but by very small margins (comparable to OT losses.)

I will admit I was a big time Islander hater in the 70's and 80's. (All things being equal, which team would I dislike worse, the Rangers, the Islanders, or the Pens?) At the moment, the Pens are front and center of my most hated hockey team.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Things aren't that bad! Caps have solid record and are playing well. Theo has played good. Ovie is incredible. Negatives: The same old problems on defense. Also some of the forwards are not handling their defensive responsibilities because they're too eager to score on the other end. However this is a good team which has to learn to put teams away. They appear to sometimes have a sense of overconfidence and complacency which is difficult to understand considering their last few banners only say "Southeast Division Champions". If BB can instill a killer instinct they could go far this season!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 31, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

This is actually the best start the Caps have had in October. An improvement over last year. (They usually tend to play bad in October.)

Yes, they have some issues -- defense and the inability to put teams away after getting a lead.

If true to their usual pattern and this year's October is the "low" point, then this should be a good season. (Before the season started, everyone was saying the Caps had a really tough schedule for this month and were concerned.)

This group of Caps essentially had a rapid turnaround. They had been bottom feeder team that missed the playoffs several years in a row, got off to a horrible start in 2007, fired Hanlon, hired Boudreau, and things turned around. The turnabout in fortune was very rapid.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@kmr2r (from previous thread)

Read your posts on why the media probably has it in for Semin. Great insights.

He's obviously an introverted guy who takes a long time to get comfortable with people. It's probably even harder for introverts to be comfortable speaking in a foreign language. (The extroverts will go ahead and speak, even in a foreign language.)

I've observed a few practices and he seems to be talking and joking with the other guys. I was at yesterday's game and he was one of the happiest people when Flash scored his power play goal and was the first to congratulate him.

One thing about introverts. They may not be quick to make friends but when they make friends, they make very good ones. Back when Semin was drafted by the Caps, he posed for pictures with his family and his best friend at the time. And obviously, he's a good friend to Ovy.

Semin's a Pisces, like many of my closest friends and my first child. (I have noticed one thing -- Pisces have not always had good press for some reason.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 31, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Where's puckheaded when the Pens lose? Where's is he to talk about Crosby's "great leadership" and "better all around game" to be able to pull out a win for his team?

And I love how he feels that the only reason Ovi won the Pearson is because the awards are a popularity contest. I'm guessing that he feels when Crosby won it, it was because he was the most outstanding player that year. But of course when Ovi wins it, it's just a popularity contest.

Posted by: dfe1 | November 1, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

For the CIers who are looking for a show, look no further than Atlanta's goalie Pavelec tonight. He stopped 50 shots in ATL's 3-1 win. The highlight reel is insane.

Posted by: Raber | November 1, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

@Icehammer97: I had a chance to get tickets to the Caps in November, and I purposely chose Nov. 11 to see them play the Islanders because the Islanders are playing great lately, and I want to see the new kid, Tavares, in person. I'm looking forward to it!

@CapsFan75: great insights on the introvert personality, especially wrt Semin. I saw the interview when he listened to the questions in English but answered in Russian. He obviously understands the language receptively but is more comfortable in his native language expressively---and as a language specialist, I know this is totally normal. I found Semin to be quietly charming, and an even keel kind of guy.

The Caps have great chemistry on the team as well as skills. They've got a great season going, and an even better one ahead of them. Get those Blue Jackets tonight, Caps!!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 1, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

1) someone beat me to it, but I think the Isles will be much better by year end than their current record. They are pesky and have some young talent. Kinda like the Caps a few years ago.
2) My nickname for Radek Martinek is "The Count."
3) Trading Green would be the dumbest thing since trading Larry Murphy. He only won like 4 Cups. So might Green.
3A) I think Green's problem is he's so worried about how he thinks he should play to make the Olympics that he isn't playing naturally.
4) The interview with Semin was dopey. Can't they ask better questions than, "How does it make you feel when you think you might be misunderstood sometimes?" "Are you the same as Ovechkin or different."
4A) After the interview, in Russian, Semin told the interpreter, "Don't make me do this anymore."
5) Red wine for a home game, so I will need to go and buy some red meat product for dinner. The he!! with my cholesterol! I'll take one for the team!

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 1, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Good weekend. The Islanders get two quality wins. Sorry. Some of you know I'm from there. I'll always be for the Caps against anyone else. I still don't see how Rollie wasn't first star of the game. The old guy made 37 saves. How does Flash get 1st star in a loss. 2nd would have made more sense.

The Capitals lose and Crosby looks like a thug. Is he only not "reckless" because he isn't a Euro?

And finally, we didn't run out of candy. I only had two things, but hockey tradition demands three.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 1, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

lornemyoung, it really seems that those Canadians hate the Europeans (especially the Russians). Maybe they're just jealous because the euros are faster and more fun to watch.
It seems to me that everyone is all worried about the "big picture" and are forgetting to worry about getting through the season first. We're not winning anything until we get to the playoffs. Let's worry about that first.
And just which team totally outclasses us? There isn't one team that doesn't have some sort of weakness. Sure the Pens are out of the gate kickin' behind, but Malkin and Gonchar are hurt. They're going to be so-so for the next couple weeks.
And drop all this trade Green nonsense. If we get rid of him, our defense becomes nondescript and even more questionable. Not to mention, who would quarterback our powerplay?
If the defense doesn't improve over the course of the season, then we can do something at the trade deadline.
This is a decent start for a traditionally strong second half team, enjoy what we have while we have it!

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | November 1, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

does anybody seem to remember that a) we are less than a quarter of the way through the season b) the caps have only 2 regulation losses and c) stand atop the Eastern Conference?

A Redskins win does not mean they're going to the Superbowl, and a Caps loss does not mean they're out of contention for Lord Stanley

Posted by: j762 | November 1, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1
What about some Rioja, maybe a "Gran Reserva" for another 2 points (and the loss of the Pens to the Wilds)?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 1, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

FCKoeln1:

I bought ground beef for chili. The chili will be hot, so I will have to comb through the coolers and figure out which goes best. Spanish would be a good choice with chili.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 1, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Flash beefing up? Can only be good for the Caps.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | November 1, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

This blog used to be an interesting place for a caps fan. Most people had good insights into the team and about hockey in general. It has now devolved into name calling, ripping a team that's leading its division and 2nd place in the conference, and absurd rants about trading two elite talents. I'm guessing that most of the people who know hockey have simply bailed from the blog - I find myself checking it less and less - and being more disappointed when I do.

Posted by: hook99 | November 1, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I wish things had come out differently, but I had a fantastic time at the game Friday night. The Caps have awesome talent and played well much of the game against a hard working and effective Isles attack.

Yes, Green was maddening with his mistakes, and Ovi's impulse to pass and not shoot was too. Semin has seen better games. But overall, with Flash looking the way he did and Theo making some incredible saves (when he wasn't letting in a couple he should not have), there's a lot to enjoy in the season and post-season.

There's about 70 games to go. They got a point after a six game win streak and the best October in their history. Folks can anguish if they want, but I think I'll enjoy it.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 1, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

+1 Sonyask.

Good teams find ways to win even when not playing their best game. I think they put in a decent effort against the Isles. They had a few unlucky bounces (on most nights, some of those bounces would be sure-fire goals). Roloson let in a few softies, but other then that, had an outstanding night.

I would rather take the OT loss with the decent effort any day of the week instead of a loss with no real effort put forth.

I think the Isles are a very hardworking team, and even with their terrible record last season, they always played good/ tough games against the Caps.

I think the caps are a very good team, and I feel that some of their kinks will be smoothed out over the course of the season. They just had their best start (ever?), playing a pretty gruelling schedule, and have yet to look consistently like a dominant team, so why not give the constant negativity a rest.

A couple positive thoughts:

Flash may be more ready to go than most would have thought.

Knuble and Morrison seem to be fitting in quite nicely.

Aucoin is making it very hard to send him down eventually (perhaps he could stay up as part of a rotation, if cap space allows).

Ovi is on pace to score about 88 goals this season :)

Caps are on pace for a 120 pt season..

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | November 1, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@The_Stanley_Caps, agreed, it's always nicer to see them give 100% and frustrating when they don't, but it's still early. In October we saw a couple of truly complete wins against the Bruins and Sharks, and a hard fought, solid win against the Flyers. Last couple of games it seems the laziness was in passing, particularly against Atlanta. That problem is very correctable. Where we got bit ultimately Friday night is correctable too, which is working harder on D (ShaMo) and our forwards getting back to defend (Ovi). We can do both of those things effectively(see Boston & San Jose games). We also can't let as much action persist in front of our crease as we did Friday night, again correctable.

There's a lot of season left to go. We can beat anyone and we're going to have our off nights. Hopefully we'll see the latter becoming less frequent as the season closes, but we're on track for a great year.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 1, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Enjoyed your last post. I haven't heard the adjective "dopey" in a long time. You are correct to describe some of the questions posed to Semin as "dopey". Well, you live in Orlando, so there's a reason that the particular adjective lives on.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 1, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@hook99

I know we've had too much namecalling and ripping the team on this blog lately.

Last year, in many ways, was worse on this site. We had "StanleyCup1907", a troll, who generally only came around when the team last and posted his doom and gloom posts.

And there was Windjammer who initially kept posting doom and gloom and then kept posting the "easy" Southeast division schedule over and over again.

Even so, the posts on this blog are more entertaining to read than most of the others. I enjoy reading Japers but we don't learn as much about the people behind the posters as we do here.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 1, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
i can take the sc1907 trolls. it bothers me a little that fans of the team can be so critical by breaking down individual players and their bad plays. i just can't view the game from that perspective. i'm enjoying watching the caps much more than i did in 06/07. it is a lot less frustrating knowing they are in every game now. back then it was just depressing at times. i tend not to criticize others for things that i'll never be able to do as well as they do
time to start another winning streak

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Leaving in a half an hour for the game. See some of you there.

Section 412! Wooooo!

Posted by: richmondphil | November 1, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
i'll be in section Arizona!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, Mason dies tonight.

And when I say die, I mean gives up 9 goals.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

This blog used to be an interesting place for a caps fan. Most people had good insights into the team and about hockey in general. It has now devolved into name calling, ripping a team that's leading its division and 2nd place in the conference, and absurd rants about trading two elite talents. I'm guessing that most of the people who know hockey have simply bailed from the blog - I find myself checking it less and less - and being more disappointed when I do.

Posted by: hook99 | November 1, 2009 10:15 AM


Just approach it with a light-hearted attitude. There are still tons of good posters here, it just becomes diluted more and more as the season starts. I just try to brush off the ranters with a "meh" and usually respond in a sarcastic fashion.

@Cap'nKirk
Better than my situation Friday night. I was scrambling around calling bars since my friends who actually had comcast had auto racing on CSN+. Ridiculous. Ended up catching only the 3rd period and OT. Guess you guys can blame the loss on me, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 1, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

What about tonights lineup? Any suggestions (or recommendations for BB)?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 1, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
i thought i had it bad on friday - center ice didn't provide the HD feed. guess i shouldn't feel so sorry for myself - there is always someone that has it worse than me. have fun at the game!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 1, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

That's the worst part about all of it. My building is FORCED to have DIRECTV and then on top of that we aren't even allowed to upgrade our package! So I can't even get centerice. I absolutely hate feeds as well, but I guess it will always be my last resort.

This year is going to be a long one for me, in terms of trying to watch our Capitals.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 1, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Amen to that. Time for the Caps to start another winning streak.

BTW, I've noticed that Steve Mason is having an even worse year than Varlamov. Worse save percentage. Worse goals against. It's not just our boy who's been having a tough year. Time for the Caps to break through. (And may Semin, Backstrom, and the 2nd line finally break through and score again.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Agree with you, Kirk. Yes, sometimes our boys can take unnecessary risks but the rewards are great.

Trading (or letting walk as a free agent) any of our "young guns" would be foolish.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 1, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Winning streaks are only meaningful in the playoffs. The quicker you get to 4 wins the further you move on. It does not matter how you win, but just win. It is fortunate that in the regular season teams get rewarded with a "point" just to get in OT, but in the playoffs it is just another loss on the record if you do not win at all. The Capitals must get better by winning in just regular time and then winning it in OT if it does go that far. Remember, there is no Shootout in the playoffs. As you can tell, all emphasis is really for the playoffs (ie. Standing, winning low scoring games, playing tough defense, etc...). The Capitals are beyond just happy to win in the regular season, they must start getting used to playing in the next level! Otherwise, we might as well crown the Penguins with the Stanley Cup right now.

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 1, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@JohnWWW

Let's don't start crowning the Pens as Stanley Cup winners just yet. Yes, we know the Caps have work to do before they can be champs.

But the Pens themselves could fall prey to the overconfidence bug.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 1, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:

re: Friday night. I had the game on Center Ice. My daughter though had gone earlier in the week via train before to visit my parents near York, PA. They all drove to Williamsburg on Friday (my parents always made us go there as kids and still go there now as old people) and the game was blocked by the Wizards, so the daughter had them drop her at a sports bar. Tonight hopefully it is on the regular channel so she can watch from the hotel.

It is a wonderful thing in life when you take your kids to games when they are small and get them pictures with the players and then teach them to play street hockey and all and then as young adults you see in them the same passion that you, yourself, possess.

Having spawned hockey fans, I can die satisfied. There is nothing more in life.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 1, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@tominf1:
Hold on - what about watching (with your kids) the Caps gaining the Cup ?

The season is quite young and a lot can happen ... injuries, some bad luck, ... better now than in the finals ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that some of my regulars (joe, richmondphil, capsfan75 etc) are calling out the knee-jerk trade-mongers. The constant attitude of OMG HE MESSED UP ONE PLAY WE SHOULD TRADE HIM banter is the precise reason why i have tried to limit my exposure to this comment section... I've said it before and I'll say it again, fickle fans won't last but they will annoy us until they drop off!

thanks for ya'll who try to keep people in check on here :)

Posted by: mrszilla | November 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

FCKoeln1:

Well, naturally, winning the Cup is the ultimate reward for a fan. But, you can't have that joy unless you became a fan in the first place.

I can say that watching the Caps win the Cup or even somehow being there in person to see it, over the remaining years of my life, wouldn't exceed the experience of my then little daughter getting her picture taken with Alan May and Todd Krygier. Or going to all those practices at Piney Orchard and then skating and driving home and getting yelled at by my wife cuz the kids were all wet from falling on the ice. Or me and three daughters beating a team of boys in street hockey.

That said - I want the Cup too.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 1, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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