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Nicklas Backstrom: Playing with a migraine is 'twice as hard'

Here's a look at today's Caps notebook from Gene Wang, who spoke with Nicklas Backstrom about his occasionally-debilitating migraine headaches. And if you haven't had a migraine before (lucky you), Backstrom sums it up pretty well:

"First of all you can't see; like you see blurry," Backstrom said. "Then your body gets numb, and then the headache is like, well, take a normal headache times 10."

More on Backstrom, along with updates on Alexander Semin and Semyon Varlamov, in the notebook.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 4, 2010; 4:11 PM ET
 | Tags: Nicklas Backstrom  
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Next: Morning roundup: Home sweet home ice

Comments

Oh man... I really feel for Nicky on the migraine thing... I get those, and they are a misery, even without the vomiting symptom. Light, noise... it's all magnified. I'm usually not capable of much of anything if I'm down with a migraine - can't imagine playing hockey!

Posted by: irockthered | January 4, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that fans that stay true to their team and don't want to hear crap from people that are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from experts should be insulted by being called "homers." "Homers" are the ones that attend the Capitals games and buy Caps gear, when the Caps suck too.

We don't match up well against SJ? We beat them 4-1 here and they beat us 5-2 there. Sounds like a time zone advantage on both sides. Losing 2-1 to LA was disappointing but we didn't have one of league point leaders in Backs for the last two periods which didn't help our cause.

We added Chimera for grit I guess. Had an assist in the first game and a late penalty in the second game. He's still trying to establish himself in DC, but until Ovi hit Chimera harder than he had ever been hit before (Chimmer said that himself) he was a no-name to anyone outside the Western Conference, and especially here in DC. IMO the deal was nothing more than a salary cap shuffle for us. C-bus was hurting for D-men so IMO GMGM received a call from C-bus to get the wheels turning. Jurcina filled a big hole for them. We could health scratch Chimmer and bring up Matty P and be a better team.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know Backs' problems with migraines were this severe. I mean, I knew he got them but I didn't know he got them as often as he said he does in that article.

RE: Semin. That sort of explains his recent play. Hopefully it truly is nothing serious and not something Semin or the team is downplaying.

RE: Varlamov. Did not expect to see this news. After watching the Bears game, I thought he was fully recovered and ready to come back. He didn't seem to have any problems with his movement. He looked comfortable moving from side to side. With any luck, he's just out for a few more days.

Posted by: elicea | January 4, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I am not as concerned about Backy as I am about Varly. The word was that he missed many games because of injuries or other health reasons. He has now missed--what, ten games? What if it was playoff time or later in the season when points were more critical. I think that with Varly, we would have to have a stellar back-up or rather an equal partner goalie. I don't know how long it will take Neuvy to become that--assuming he can-- but what do we do in the meantime?

Posted by: caraveli | January 4, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game in Hershey yesterday but someone posted that there was a pile-up in Varly's crease in the 3rd. After that he was noticeably flexing and stretching his leg. If it is his groin it certainly doesn't sound like it was a regular hockey move that caused the injury. (or aggravated an old one as the Caps are saying)

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Dion Phaneuf wants out of Calgary- he would fit perfectly with us!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 4, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Fanohock1: great comments about homerism---or rather, what isn't homerism!

Migraines are horrible and make playing hockey impossible. I hope that Backstrom has seen or will see specialists who might be able to pinpoint the triggers. Also, taking good migraine medicine at the first hint of a migraine is important.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 4, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Homerism is pretty evident. Anytime a fan comes on here insulting other fans because they're critical of a player, that reeks of homerism. LeftCoastCapsFan and now Fanock1 are probably the most guilty of this. Talk about getting one's panties in a bunch. They can't handle if one of their favorite players gets criticized so they get all PMS'd out instead of just debating the merits of that player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

We don't match up well against SJ? We beat them 4-1 here and they beat us 5-2 there. Sounds like a time zone advantage on both sides
-----------------

yeah it would look like that to some people. If you couldn't figure out by watching that game how difficult it was for our defensemen to handle their forwards along the boards and near our net I don't know what to tell ya. For whatever reason you cannot accept that some teams will inherently be a hard matchup for us can you? SJ is a big mobile nasty team to play against. They're hard to handle for most teams. But the Caps who have a fairly equivalent record are built in a very different way than is SJ. And from what I can see, their kind of style and the way they're built is probably better suited for the rigors of the playoffs than we are. That's not me being an "anti-fan" or a hater. That's just my observations.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

and ftr, obviously anyone can beat anyone else on any given night in the nhl due to the sheer # of games played over a season. The matchup argument isn't one I would make based on just one game. But overall, more teams in the Western Conf pose some matchup problems for us because of the way they're built to compete. A team like Philly in the East who tries to be a nasty physical team simply doesn't have the team speed and/or skill to really pose a threat. But in the West there are probably 5 or 6 teams who skate well and play a very aggressive style of hockey and have a very different type of makeup on their defense than we do. Those are the teams who will generally give us a matchup problem. Again, on any given night anything can happen.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

With all due respect, if SJ is built better for the playoffs, why are they always out after the first round? Even when they win the President's Cup.

Only thing I saw of interest in that article was that St. Louis hired their AHL coach. The BB approach has really taken control of the hiring in the NHL.

BTW, I know you are imlying about the enforcer, but it means nothing to me.

Just an opinion.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 4, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

how many Cups have the big bad Sharks won again?????????

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I only ever had a handful of migraines after a concussion a few years ago, but I can't imagine being active, let alone playing hockey with one.

Posted by: false_cause | January 4, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

you can analyze and disect all you want but they dont play these games on paper - just when you think you have everything figured out, you don't.

as Boomer always says, "that's why they play the game!"

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Dion Phaneuf wants out of Calgary

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 4, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse
---------------
Hard for me to believe... Plus I doubt Calgary would let him go. He's a 24 yr old whose defense is improving, could potentially be a 40-60 points getter, and plays physical with the best of them.

If Calgary were to trade him, I'm sure the price will be pretty high.

Posted by: elicea | January 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I used to get migraines as a kid and into my early 20's. I new one would be coming on when I started getting blind spots in my eye. Then the brain hurt would ensue. Not fun. If you have vision problems, there is nothing you can do, you are pretty much screwed. So glad I don't really get them anymore.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | January 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

(reposted from previous thread)

@perezcanning

Your point? Do you really believe that professionals in the NHL cannot handle a trade?

In general:

I realize that different posters want or feel that we need different pieces to the Caps roster but I find it ironic people are yelling because GMGM didn't make a roster change by last season's deadline while att the same time others are bemoaning the recent trade and it's horrible affect on this team.

It is an indisputable fact that in order to get something in a trade one has to give something up. Is the team a little jumbled in the short term? Perhaps tho' I think many factors played into our week of woes.

But have the additions to the team signaled a desire to get grittier and tougher and more physical? IMO they have.

Will the guys get their mojo back and start a new streak?

ABSOLUTELY!

Can't appreciate the highs without experiencing the lows. Tough games are learning experiences that they can take with them in the playoffs. Learning how to handle being the team others want to beat rather than being the underdogs--that is also a valuable lesson to learn. I would be more worried if they just coasted into the playoffs. They have been challenged by some very good teams just as we have challenged some other very good teams.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns

An additional point: IMO worry about the Western Conference in the SC finals. Those games are a good way of getting a sense of the other team but it's not the same (points-wise) as playing a opponent in our own division and conference.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: elicea | January 4, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton - I hear ya and most agree that SJ is built for a long playoff run but it never happens. For whatever reason they can't get out of the 2nd round and most of the time the 1st round. Hell it was such a problem that they brought in JR and Claude Lemieux and that didn't work. So who knows. Obviously where you are in the standings in January doesn't matter and it doesn't really matter come playoff time either. I think the biggest factor is how the team is playing going into the playoffs. The team as it is constructed today will not be how it's constructed for the playoff push and the playoffs. We have the talent right now to be the 1st seed in the East and that's not a bad thing. I'm not ready to base an opinion of what will happen in the playoffs until after the deadline and to see how this team plays with it's new or tweaked roster. We don't have a lot of holes to fill. PK needs to be better and our D needs an upgrade in that order. As long as Varly can stay healthy and stop the ones he's supposed to we'll be fine in net.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | January 4, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Lets not get too worried about finishing 1st in the East. While it would be nice it isn't necessarily that great.

Finishing 2nd or 3rd in the East may be a blessing in disguise.

If all the favorite teams hold serve in the 1st round then the Pens (likely 4th seed) would face the Devils (likely 1st seed) while the Caps (2nd or 3rd seed) would face the Sabres or Bruins (2nd or 3rd seed).

Only having to play only the Devils OR the Pens would be a bonus.

If the higher ranked teams didn't hold serve then either we, the Pens, Devils or Northeast team lost. So only a Northeast team (or us) being upset would ruin that.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 4, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

saw these proposals on the HF boards:

Volchenkov for Gustafsson and Morrisonn?
or
Shaone Morisson, Fehr/Fleischmann, Osala, and Pick for Volchenkov and Foligno

Wouldn't mind for either of these to happen.

Posted by: elicea | January 4, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgl-nyg4Obg&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: elicea

VERRRY Funny and I don't even like rap!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: You come on here and attempt to insult fans by calling us homers. How is that any different than homers getting upset about the team getting trashed any time they aren't winning games by a healthy margin?

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

With our recent losing streak, I see the trolls, like Political Strategist, have started to come back.

I think the Caps will stay ahead of Atlanta (and the other SD teams). Atlanta would have to get hot to catch us anyhow. (The Thrashers seem to have imploded, as of late.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: BTW, glad you're back. I will be at Verizon Thurs for the game against the Sens and the Flyers game on 17th. Coaching tomorrow, and out of town next week. If you are going to be at either game I'd like to meet up and get the pizza you owe me for ditching the Caps last year against the Rangers in the playoffs. If you just cannot break yourself away to go to Verizon and catch your favorite team for either of those games I will be and just about every other regular season and playoff game this year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

hey fanock, do you not remember me attempting to pay my end of the deal last year? repeatedly as a matter of fact? However you didn't want it then. But suddenly because I disagree with virtually EVERYTHING you post on here, suddenly I'm on the hook for it again? Thats beyond nutty.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Given that BB referred to Varly's issue as an 'old injury' and someone saw him flexing his leg in his Hershey appearance, I'm going to speculate that it's his knee.

I hope he can get healthy and stay healthy. We're a different (better) team with him in goal. I just worry about him turning into Semyon DiPietro.

Posted by: chombie13 | January 4, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

With all due respect, if SJ is built better for the playoffs, why are they always out after the first round? Even when they win the President's Cup
---------------

this is to you and to joek for his "how many cups have the big bad sharks won again"


The Sharks have a solid GM. However, his biggest mistake was leaving Ron Wilson as the head coach there. Wilson's teams have always lacked intestinal fortitude. The Sharks were a greatly underachieving team under Ronnie. You just had to watch the way Anaheim had their way with SJ time and time again to see this. Eventually he got canned for this very reason. The new coach couldn't get it done completely last year but now in his 2nd season the Sharks look like a more balanced team. Not just a team who puts up a ton of points in the reg season. So from watching them play now, vs before, they look like a more playoff-ready team. Hopefully that explanation came thru ok.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

On recent events:

1) Glad Nicky will be okay and never realized he had so many problems with migraines.

2) I hope that whatever is ailing Semin isn't too serious. At this point, it appears that neither Semin nor Boudreau believe it is serious. I guess they figure, better safe than sorry. (I wonder if Semin was ailing before today, since he's been "off" in his production.)

3) Not happy to hear that Varly will be out another week or two.

4) Assume it's Neuvy in goal tomorrow. And Thursday. And Saturday in Atlanta. And one of the games in Florida next week (and Theo in the other Florida game).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: You come on here and attempt to insult fans by calling us homers. How is that any different than homers getting upset about the team getting trashed any time they aren't winning games by a healthy margin?

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I only call you homers AFTER you come on here insulting fans personally for critiquing a player. See the difference?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

That's precisely why I am calling in the bet, because you go out of your way to disagree with, how did you put it "EVERTHING" I post. There's nothing wrong with fans that choose not to trash the team when they lose. I don't make excuses for them when they play badly, but I also don't sit back like I'm a friggin' expert and critique athletes that I couldn't compete with on their worst day. Neither can you!

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

saw these proposals on the HF boards:

Volchenkov for Gustafsson and Morrisonn?
or
Shaone Morisson, Fehr/Fleischmann, Osala, and Pick for Volchenkov and Foligno

Wouldn't mind for either of these to happen.

Posted by: elicea | January 4, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I like the first one. But Ottawa has no reason to pull that move. Gustafsson really isn't a highly sought after prospect and BMo only marginally helps their team.

They would probably do the 2nd trade but I don't see that swapping out Volchenkov for ShaMo is a huge upgrade for us at all. Now swapping him out for Poti would be better. Mo is not this defense's glaring problem.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

That's precisely why I am calling in the bet, because you go out of your way to disagree with, how did you put it "EVERTHING" I post. There's nothing wrong with fans that choose not to trash the team when they lose. I don't make excuses for them when they play badly, but I also don't sit back like I'm a friggin' expert and critique athletes that I couldn't compete with on their worst day. Neither can you!

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

first of all, you don't have a freaking endless statute of limitations on "calling in your bet". You chose to go a certain way, that ended it right there. I don't have to agree or disagree with you for any other reason besides I think you're right or wrong. If you posted something I agreed with, I wouldn't disagree with you just to make you look like an oaf. But the fact you get so bent out of shape when fans critique the Caps in a forum that is basically set aside just for this very thing..thats comical.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

and really, getting back to hockey, the regular season points record is completely overstated. Who cares if we finish 1st or wherever as long as we make the playoffs. Home ice to me isn't even that big a deal. By the 2nd or 3rd game of the playoffs, both teams have gotten their jitters out.

The fact we've lost 3 in a row to me is a good thing. Its a wakeup call, and its a chance for the coach and GM to evaluate what they have. And it afford them time to tweak things prior to the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Guys give it a break. You both make good points. No need to make it personal.

We are all homers! Just have different ideas on how the team is doing.

Otherwise we would be like those ridiculous posters to the Caps Rap video--the Pens fans came in droves to ridicule the Caps. If I cared to converse with a fifteen year old who likes to curse I'd ask them why they were even viewing a Caps Rap video in the first place.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

CSN Reporting Varly out two weeks. That sucks. I wonder who starts. I would think Theo vs Montreal. I guess if you don't start him tommorow when would you.

Posted by: samb99 | January 4, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know which fans are more pessimistic, Caps' fans or Redsox' fans before they finally broke the curse.

I see a guy who brings up a trade from almost ten years ago - Bulis and Zednik for Zubrus and Linden and blames that trade for the 5-year slide and says the trade from last week will have a similar negative effect of the team?

and some on here starts to wonder if Varly is the next DiPietro?

you know what I see as the biggest problem? it's the fans like these who permeate negative engergy.. a minute somethig goes wrong, it's the end of the world.

did you all really think the Caps would go 82-0 and they would go the whole season without any injuries???

get a grip!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

and really, getting back to hockey, the regular season points record is completely overstated. Who cares if we finish 1st or wherever as long as we make the playoffs. Home ice to me isn't even that big a deal. By the 2nd or 3rd game of the playoffs, both teams have gotten their jitters out.

The fact we've lost 3 in a row to me is a good thing. Its a wakeup call, and its a chance for the coach and GM to evaluate what they have. And it afford them time to tweak things prior to the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1

I couldn't agree more. Being challenged is good. Forces the Caps to react to and overcome different situations, different methods of boxing them in, different defensive systems, and I could go on. Being challenged is good.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75

Did you hear that Varly could be out that long? (1-2 weeks?) Hope not.

Posted by: caraveli | January 4, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

you know what I see as the biggest problem? it's the fans like these who permeate negative engergy.. a minute somethig goes wrong, it's the end of the world.

did you all really think the Caps would go 82-0 and they would go the whole season without any injuries???

get a grip!!!

Posted by: joek443

Likewise--couldn't agree more.

It's like any business--does one really get an accurate picture from one day's profits or should one look at it monthly, seasonally, and annually. If we chart the Caps, the peaks and valleys of their success are all higher in each succeeding year. The bar is simply set higher each year, from the owner and management down to us die-hard fans. We are impatient for the SC, but it's not playoffs yet. Patience.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Run for the hills - head for the woods. Varly's out for 2 more weeks? That's it - I'm done. It's the end of the world. Trade him now. Or find another goaltender that can come in and win like him but STAY healthy. Panic button panic button panic button. TAKE NOTE THAT WAS ALL SARCASM. :)

Seriously - it's frustrating to hear Varly and how it was reported it was a minor setback yet it just seems as if he tweaked the same groin again. Two more weeks? Frustrating. Maybe it is time to shut him down for a while until this gets done. I hate groins. Groins suck. :) Heal up Varly :)

Posted by: Jonathan6 | January 4, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Yes I did. Here's the quote from Gene Wang's notebook today:

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


Setback for Varlamov

The Capitals received more discouraging news regarding goalie Semyon Varlamov, who has been out since Dec. 7 with a groin injury. In a conditioning stint Sunday for Hershey of the American Hockey League, Varlamov suffered what the team is calling a lower-body injury and will be out perhaps another two weeks.

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


So it's the "New Kid" in goal tomorrow, once again, I would assume, with one more chance to prove his "Virth", our #1 goaltender by default.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more. Being challenged is good. Forces the Caps to react to and overcome different situations, different methods of boxing them in, different defensive systems, and I could go on. Being challenged is good.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

totally. Being challenged is a great tool for improvement.

The one issue I really have with the way Boudreau runs things is, he glosses over mistakes when the Caps win and then he goes nuts when the Caps lose. I don't get that at all. If you don't address repetitive errors (shorthanded chances, overly cute PPs, slow starts etc) even in spite of a win, it shouldn't come as any surprise when those mistakes carry over into losses. A great coach would have his foot on the back of his players' necks if they play a sloppy game that somehow still results in a victory. I don't get that vibe from Bruce. Which explains why even though he was asked about his team being ready for Carolina, he confidently stated that they would be. And 4 hrs later, his team was obviously not ready. There's a lack of urgency with this team sometimes and its displayed in some very repetitive mistakes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The problem is cstanton1, it is guaranteed that the beachers will come on here and trash the team whenever they run into a rough patch. Not that you have said this today but some examples, TIRED examples are:

- Semin is soft
- Semin is not worth pursuing because he sucks
- POTI SUCKS (posted just like that, nothing else)
- Green (pick your poison)
- Schultz is slow
- Schultz needs to hit more
- Schultz (pick your poison)

If these, and the countless other opinions that are thrown out on this board don't eventually just tick you off then you really are not much of a fan. I am not saying you have to have rose colored glasses on. I get ticked off when it looks like they are having an off night but the NHL schedule is brutal. There are going to be streaks. A fan can take the good with the bad. It ticks me off worse when I hear a Caps "fan" trash the Caps when they are in a funk than a fan of another team. Fans of other teams are supposed to trash our team.

For those that are reading this and calling me a homer and an idiot. Fanatic by pure definition means that you are loyal NO MATTER WHAT.

Definition of fanatic, fan for short:

Main Entry: fa·nat·ic
Pronunciation: \fə-ˈna-tik\
Variant(s): or fa·nat·i·cal \-ti-kəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin fanaticus inspired by a deity, frenzied, from fanum temple — more at feast
Date: 1550
: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion

UNCRITICAL DEVOTION is in the definition.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Since this is free space. Cstanton1 sucks, we need to trade him/her for a bag of pucks. Doughless is made of glass. Don't give me that crap that players are public domain, BS. I'd love for some of the tough guys in here to stand outset of Kettler with Poti sucks signs. Wouldn't have the guts!!!! What is sad is the posters that do that wouldn't have the guts to say that to any athletes face even though the athlete would act professional and just walk to their car and leave.

I'm bored with this. Time to catch some hockey.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

I hear what you're saying about BB but I think there is a difference between what he says at the moment in front of the cameras and what he says in private to the team upon reflection and after the videos. And it sounds to me--from reading between the line so to speak--that he mixes up his motivational style with the team and from player to player.

Whether this translates into playoff success, by which I mean making it to the finals and then hopefully the Cup, I don't know. But clearly he and the team, especially Ovi, our wonderfully coachable superstar, respond to him.

There is value in "what you see is what you see" or in other words that the players can trust him to communicate with them directly and simply--no mind games, no machiavellian tactics.

I have ruminated often about how the Caps hierarchy is so transparent, openly vocal, and unusually accessible to the fans--from Ted's obsession with forms of electronic communication to BB's immediate and often uncensored gut reactions after a game. Even GMGM tells the truth--he just leaves out huge portions of it and prefers to not answer questions.

As a fan I like it, but I haven't been a fan of other teams so I don't really have much experience with alternate styles of management and coaching.

I'm just riding this season with bated breathe to see how it all plays out and how well the Caps fare in the post season.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Since this is free space. Cstanton1 sucks, we need to trade him/her for a bag of pucks. Doughless is made of glass. Don't give me that crap that players are public domain, BS. I'd love for some of the tough guys in here to stand outset of Kettler with Poti sucks signs. Wouldn't have the guts!!!! What is sad is the posters that do that wouldn't have the guts to say that to any athletes face even though the athlete would act professional and just walk to their car and leave.

I'm bored with this. Time to catch some hockey.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

now put down the bong for a second and lets think about this shall we? Under your latest premise, no fan should ever criticize any player, coach, or GM unless they're willing to engage him or her in some type of mortal combat. Xcellente!

btw, Semin IS soft, Schultz DOES need to hit more, and POTI just sucks PERIOD (no further explanation required)

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

My final rumination for the day--this is very addictive--if we have to have a three loss slide, isn't it great that we had it where we weren't hurt as badly point wise. We can afford a loss, our first, divisionally, and the other two losses were with the other conference. File away for future reference what we learned from those teams playing styles and them those teams battle for their playoff spots. We have to get to the finals first and that means not losing too many points in this conference.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

capsyounggun- there's a lot of things Bruce obviously does very well. He took a team that looked like it needed to add 6 more scorers and he managed to get more offense out of the players he was given. He's unleashed a very creative side for his players (which explains why they love him, what player wouldn't want to play for a coach that encourages them to be as offensively-minded as possible?)

yet, the drawback here is perhaps the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way. In the past we've had a defense first, all creativity be damned philosophy. Now its the opposite. There needs to be a better balance and I haven't seen anything from Boudreau that has shown me he's learned any lessons from the last two playoff losses to the Pens and Flyers. We still give up too many oddman rushes, too many shorthanded chances. We're not a sound defensive team. And good defensive teams usually defeat good offensive teams in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Chara just allowed a bad goal by the Rangers. The Bruins need to dump him.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 4, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love blogs. I don't know where all the controversy started and I'm not gonna read 800 entries back to find it but I'll say this. EVERY team has weaknesses. Nobody goes 82-0 and nobody goes w/o losing streaks. There's no need for panic. Hell I've stated this for over a yr now. It's amazing to me how panicky fans get. Every year Detroit goes through a stretch in Jan/Fed where they lose like 5 in a row or 7 out of 10 or something like that and there's little panic. It happens. I think when somebody says "x" player sucks it's generally known that the opinion is they suck at the NHL level and not beer league hockey so there's little need to state that the accuser isn't any better. I can take a statement of Poti sux a lot better than I can some of the others on here (trade Semin, fire BB, BB's system won't win a Cup, bench OV) etc. Poti is not our worst Dman and there's 2-3 others that should go before him. Once again, these are MY opinions.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | January 4, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Schultz will be a fixture in DC. By definition that is what a fan is cstanton1. Did you not read the definition? I am calling in my bet with you cstanton1 because I just have to meet the arrogant cstanton1 face to face. Your expert opinion on player movement and coaching is a joke. It is interesting that you compare the Caps and Hawks because they have grown and improved at the same rate. Their biggest question mark heading into the post season if nothing is done is in net, just like the Caps. Too bad the Caps and Blackhawks don't have a game in each city. I'd love to catch them at Verizon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I am going to have to defer to others who simply know more about various systems and how they compare.

However, I want to point out that BB does believe his system has a strong defensive aspect that works if handled properly by all the players the neutral zone. (yeah I got his book for Christmas). And I am very poor at trying to explain it in detail but in essence as I understood it, the system requires all the players to pick up and rotate into a defensive position if a d-guy goes on the offensive. IMO I think that is what he means about how his system is a little different in the neutral zone.

When ALL of the Caps follow this system as for example they did against the Devils they were very effective in not letting the Devils get through. That was a very solid and effective game defensively. What I don't know is how easily this system can break down if one or more players are not playing well or are not in sync with one another.

Again, just my interpretation on what I've heard BB say and what I read in his book. Couldn't really compare as to which system is better and whether BB's system is still not defensive enough. I simply haven't been watching hockey long enough.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that you compare the Caps and Hawks because they have grown and improved at the same rate. Their biggest question mark heading into the post season if nothing is done is in net, just like the Caps. Too bad the Caps and Blackhawks don't have a game in each city. I'd love to catch them at Verizon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

you obviously don't watch much hockey outside the Caps if you fail to grasp why I'd compare the Hawks to the Caps. They're built differently. And they draft differently. Different philosophies on what it takes to win. Thus, it is worthy of comparison.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Nobody goes 82-0 and nobody goes w/o losing streaks
------------------

i'm certainly not freaking out over 3 straight losses. Its not the actual end result of the game that matters, not at this point in the season.


"Poti is not our worst Dman and there's 2-3 others that should go before him. "

He's not the worst dman. He's just our worst "top 4" dman. Thats why he needs to go. He can't pull down top 4 minutes without being a real liability.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Chara just allowed a bad goal by the Rangers. The Bruins need to dump him.
Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 4, 2010 8:19 PM |

---------
Please tell me you are kidding.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | January 4, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

FYI. The NHL Network is showing the U17 Gold Medal game. About 13 minutes left and the score is US 2 Ontario 0.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface

Agree to the "oh woes me" that goes on sometimes with fans. I'm far more sanguine about the whole thing--long season and we're only halfway through it. I'm more of a "learn and move on" or "deal with it and move on" kind of fan. Definitely believe in the "challenge is good" for team improvement. Hope the team does use what they learned out west and otherwise take a breather from the emotion-laden past week. Good grief, it got to the point where I couldn't keep up with CI additional posts and Japer's hundreds upon hundreds comments on the message board. What a lot of words--myself included--were written over this past week.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Waive Boyd Gordon and Poti. Hopefully, they are claimed, if not, demote them. The are useless. Call back up Alzner and Perrault, and Carlson after WJC. The time is now for these guys, especially Alzner. If not, trade him too. Every other player drafted near Alzner are all NHLers.

Also, Ovechkin will be with this team until he retires, make him the captain already. He is the teams face.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 4, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: I eat, drink, and crap hockey. I was born just outside of Chicago and cut my teeth by going to Chicago Cougars and Blackhawks games. I am always in the doghouse for watching too much hockey on Center Ice. I also played and coach at the U18 level.

They aren't built differently. They may have had more luck in the stay at home defenseman draft process thus far but offensively, besides drafting US and Canadien they went after front end talent when drafting Kane and Toews. Their rise to the top is consistent with ours too. They also made a coaching change at the start of last season, one year after the Caps. Backstrom's lost out on the Calder behind Kane and Toews. I wouldn't trade Ovi and Back for Toews and Kane either.

BTW, even though I don't watch or pay attention to hockey outside of DC, Hawks fans, which had stopped going to United Center in the down years, beach about their teams shortcomings as much as some of you do.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@Dalliquippa

Just imagine those little "nuts" at the beginning and end of the sentence. Irony I believe--especially given the excessive hair-pulling and renting of clothes by Caps fans this past week.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Dailiquippa: ccCapsfan was just trying to mirror ignorant statements that are made by Caps "fans" when a player makes a mistake. If you ever happen to be on this board during a game you will see bonehead one-liners (oops I mean opinions) throughout the game. Pass by pass, shot by shot, minute by minute. Sometime you begin to wonder if the people watching the games are fans or just in here to mock the Caps and those that cheer for them.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you fanohock1. I'm watching the Bruins/Rangers game on Versus (good game by the way) and I have been really studying Chara since he is the reigning Norris trophy winner and there are so many Caps fans who think all our D men suck. Now, Chara is wonderful, but, like everyone playing D in the NHL, he gets beat A LOT. I don't follow the Bruins message boards so I don't know how much whining those fans do, but if he were a Cap many of our fans would be trading him.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 4, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Umm, Alzner has been up for several weeks which was the main reason that Jurcina was expendable and subsequently traded.

Posted by: Satts | January 4, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@Satts & underpants2

Although there was a report that Alzner had been sent back to Hershey but that sounds like it's just a paper move and he's not going anywhere.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan

Knowing how Caps fans are, if we had Mike Richards on the team, I'm sure a lot of fans would be clamoring to trad him, as well as he has had similar stats to Semin for the last couple of years and has tended to be streaky as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

@Satts & underpants2

Although there was a report that Alzner had been sent back to Hershey but that sounds like it's just a paper move and he's not going anywhere.

I stand corrected. They better not move him, he needs to play here because he willl be our best defenseman by next year. Truthfully though, he has not looked great the last two games because he has to cover too much ice when paired with Erskine.

Posted by: Satts | January 4, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@Satts

Alzner and Juice were a good pairing. Except that Juice got traded, so that's no longer an option.

Who would be the best person to team up with KA?

They tried him with Poti but Poti got injured. (Okay that's not either of their faults)

He was good with Carlson down in Hershey. (But Carlson still needs seasoning.)

Green and Alzner paired up didn't seem to work out in preseason.

(Okay, none of these options have gotten a fair trial.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75
I'd like to see him with Pothier when he is healthy. It would be a nice balance of a more offensive defenseman in Pothier and stay at home one in Alzner. This would allow Pothier more freedom to play to his strengths.

Posted by: Satts | January 4, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Green and Alzner paired up didn't seem to work out in preseason.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse
--------------
I'd like to see this pairing. I don't remember where I saw or heard this from, but wasn't it originally planned for these two to be a pairing in the long run?

Posted by: elicea | January 4, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Pothier return too. Time for the rib to heal already!!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

@elicea

That was just my observation of one preseason game, the last one. They had a big lead and nearly blew it.

That being said, maybe they can be tried together again, some day.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

@Satts

Alzner and Pothier might not be a bad idea. Their strengths seem to complement each other.

(I wonder if Carlson will be his partner when he gets called up for good.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 4, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Remember the strength of Alzner is his positioning. Mostly compared to Calle Johansson, very solid but not flashy. I think this would work well paired with Pothier. I think he would pair well with Green as well but his lack of experience could hurt him when Green pinches up potentially so I'd avoid that for now. Right now when I see Alzner I see somebody who's hesitant. Still sound defensively but I think there's more to this guy then he's shown us so far. Hopefully that'll come later in the year.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | January 4, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I get pretty bad migraines. Tension headaches my doctors say. At least he's not injured.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 4, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

They would probably do the 2nd trade but I don't see that swapping out Volchenkov for ShaMo is a huge upgrade for us at all.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 7:01 PM |

Hah. I'd prefer to dump Poti instead of ShaMo, but neither of them are as good as Volchenkov, offensively, defensively, or in the hitting department. You surprise me..with all the talk you give about hitting, why not Volchenkov?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 4, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Btw, tell those people making trade proposals that right now Volchenkov loves Ottawa and all indications point to him signing long-term. I would like him as much as the next guy, but unless the Sens start tanking hard, he's probably not going anyway unless it's a package less favorable for the Caps.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 4, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

live tv and live score for free

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: d1g00f | January 5, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Just read that Marcus Johansson has been suspended for his hit.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Also that the Kings snapped Sharks streak with 6 to 2. Guess the Kings are on a roll now.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Re: Johansson. I've seen way more flagrant elbows. D'Amigo was skating with his head WAY down (this doesn't excuse elbow). Johnasson neither turned his body nor left his skates, but merely kind of turned his arm/elbow toward the American. Mrs. Ovechkin might even say D'Amigo should quit checking to see is his skates are tied. Anyway, Johansson did aim his elbow, even if slightly, toward the other player.

Had this happened in the NHL, I don't know if suspension or not. Depends I guess on the name of the player who made the hit.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 5, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Pothier - 10:1 says the rib is cracked, rather than just bruised; otherwise, even with a good bone bruise, he'd've been back by now.

Alzner - Good guy, good defenseman, looking much more solid this trip up.

Semin - Good lord, wrist again??? I hope it's nothing serious. I'd hate to see him have to have it fixed mid-season and be out like Clarkie... :-(

Varlamov - Needs to work on his technique a LOT; depends very heavily on athleticism, and as a result, hurts himself doing spectacular things. The athleticism will NOT be there forever. I have seen game to game improvement int he technique department, but he's not there yet.

Neuvirth - I like - have always liked - what I see in this kid. He is utterly unflappable, and his record does not reflect his talent.

Captain - We need one. I expect, if Ovechkin wants it, it will be his. If not, maybe Laich or Knuble, both of whom do better with the press than Ovechkin does. No offense, but the Captain needs to talk to the press directly, not to his lap, which Ovechkin tends to do.

Tonight - We do actually have a game; hopefully, our streak will snap at three losses.

Posted by: irockthered | January 5, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

what's going on with this lack of morning reading!

Does anyone else here think the Caps could be looking at acquiring another goalie? I mean Varly seems to have the injury bug and with that lingering "lower body" injury who knows when it could flare up again. That said, Theo, to me, has checked out. He did not get much help in the 1st against Carolina but killed any chance at a comeback with his lack of rebound control among other things. Every time he gives up a goal you can hear "THEO!" moaned throughout the arena. The team has no confidence in him.

Posted by: skinzfan4 | January 5, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Is the game on tv tonight? CSNplus?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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