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Backstrom Rookie of the Month; Semin Out

If Nicklas Backstrom wasn't in the rookie of the year conversation after the first two months of the season, he certainly is now. The 20-year-old Swede was named rookie of the month today by the NHL after posting five goals and nine assists in 13 games to help the Capitals go 7-3-3 in December.

Backstrom has gotten better and better with each passing week, and it wouldn't suprise me at all if he tops those numbers in January. When I broke the news to him after the morning skate, he cracked a big smile then said, "What is that?"

"I don't know what it is, actually," Backstrom said with a nervous laugh. "But it's good. I've never seen it before, but it's fun to get."

"The whole team had a pretty good month," he added. "We started winning a couple of games. I play with good players, so that makes it easy for me. So I want to thank them for this trophy or ... month thing."

After the interview, I told Alex Ovechkin about Backstrom's honor. He shouted over to Nicklas, "Congrats, Nicky!" Then Matt Bradley chimed in: "I was rookie of the month in San Jose. ...What's so funny? I was."

"Everyone else got hurt that month," Bradley joked. "Seriously."

Update: Alexander Semin didn't make the trip after all. Coach Bruce Boudreau said yesterday after practice that he expected Semin to travel and play in Boston and Montreal, despite an injured tailbone. But that's not the case, I'm told.

Boudreau said Semin could meet the team in Montreal.

Tom Poti, meantime, is here in Boston, but he's not expected to play tonight because of upper body injury. He has not been ruled out for Montreal, Boudreau said.

Update: Looks like Boston's newly acquired defenseman Shane Hnidy will in fact make it in time for tonight's game.

Update:Given the injury situation, here are the lines and 'D' pairings

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Brashear-Nylander-Fleischmann
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Pettinger-Gordon-Laich

Morrisonn-Green
Jurcina-Erskine
Pothier-Schultz

Asked about puttting Brashear on the second line, Boudreau joked: " Brash is on fire. We've got to get him more ice time."

Then he turned serious and added: "I want balance. It makes it harder to match up with us if you want to match a tough line against Brash, Nylander and Fleischmann because you're going against a combination of stuff. Who knows. It could last two shifts or it could last the whole weekend."


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 3, 2008; 11:23 AM ET
 
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Next: Pothier Injured vs. Boston

Comments

Man, I hope Semin is able to bounce back in the second half. We're going to need him. I don't think he is complacent now that he got that contract extension. I just think its taken him longer than expected to get into a groove. He was JUST starting to click and now this tail bone thing happens.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 3, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Just what we need Semin out. This is a big game for the Caps. An opportunity to lcose the gap against one of the teams tied for 8th in the Eastern Conference. Poti's number still baffle everyone so I think Semin being out is a bigger loss than Poti. We need to be healthy come the All Star Break.

Posted by: straub21 | January 3, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Semin needs to suck it up and deal with it. Yeah, tailbone hurts but there are players in the lineup on this team and others with worse injuries and are still playing

Posted by: t | January 3, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Poti's numbers should not baffle you. He leads the team in assists from defense even though he has missed 6 games with injury. He leads in minutes and plays all phases of the game on a much improved defense.

The only number that he doesnt look good in is goals. Zero is less than I expected, but he has only scored 9 goals the past two seasons combined(4.5 goals per season average). I am not sure what you were expecting.

Posted by: Rob | January 3, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Good article on Alzner.

Hopefully Semin heals up quickly.

Good for Nick B, the kid has the potential to be great.

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=348475

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@T

Dude, I don't know if you've ever hurt your tailbone, but that is probably one of the worse injuries to have. I cracked my tailbone when I was younger and felt it everytime I walked, sat down, laid down, etc. I know Semin's is only bruised, but I'm sure he's feeling it everytime he walks. Of course I good shot of pain medicine would probably help his cause, but it's a little late now.

Posted by: Mitch | January 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the earlier post. Some injuries really are too severe to play, namely hamstrings and ankle sprains in hockey. Hockey players are known for toughness and semin is a huge part of the offense. Seems like every day he's missing time for some new and not so significant injury. Semin playing hurt is better than no Semin at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Semin playing hurt is not better than him not playing at all. Did you SEE him playing on his bum ankle earlier this season? I'm not saying he couldn't tough it out, but would he have his speed, his puck handling, and his shot at 100%? I dunno...but, at least we know that Laing is back so instead of benching Pettinger for a hurt Semin, I think it makes sense to keep Semin out and dress Pettinger.

I'd prefer to have a 100% Semin in Montreal, or during the 5 game home-stand than an 80% (or whatever) Semin for the next handful of games.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It's not surprising Semin is missing time with injuries given his slight frame and the way he takes hits.

But it isn't fair to him to speculate as to his lack of toughness since we don't know how severely he's injured, how it feels to have that injury for him or what he's been told the ramifications could be if he played. It especially don't think it's fair to say he should man up and play hurt since the fact that he's done that this year should both be an indication he's willing to play when he's not 100% and what the long-terms consequences are of trying to bring someone back who isn't ready.

Posted by: dmg | January 3, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Jeff-I agree. With a 100% Semin in the lineup, the Caps are so much better. Let's rest him. And it's great to have Laing back if he plays.

Posted by: dave | January 3, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Semin-Pivonka?
Some players can't/won't play hurt.
I am afraid we need to get used to it as long as he is around.

Posted by: Oldfan | January 3, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

What DMG said. Every word of it. Tailbone injuries suck, and Semin does not play well when hurting from lower-body injuries.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 3, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, I think you are exactly right. It's better to miss Semin for 2 games and get him healthy than have him play at 80% 2 nights, miss 1, play another 1 at 80%, miss 2, play 1, and then finally miss 4 to heal completely.

Oldfan,
I don't think it's fair to call Semin's character into question, especially since he's already played hurt this year. As I mentioned before there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when someone's deciding if they can play with an injury and we don't know any of them, let alone all of them.

Posted by: dmg | January 3, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Im sure Semin would play if he could...The injury bug keeps getting him, so might as well get him 100% before throwing him out on the ice.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 3, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I am happy for Backstrom. He is the awesomest. His pass to Kozlov in the last game was world class. I feel like he is going to be on par with Ovechkin. Backstrom is not that physical, but has great playmaking abilities, maybe that's why the comparison with Forsberg was made. Actually his pass to Kozlov was very Forsberg-like.

Viva Backstrom!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Seems like Corey Masisak is picking up your style. Getting better and better. Watch out! :-)

Of course, the customers always benefit from competition. :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Nicky B! Hurry back Alex S.

Posted by: BearsWooo | January 3, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Keep off Semin! What is wrong with you people? No one is talking about Clark "toughing it up". Why doesn't anyone say something like " come on, it's just a slight hamstring problem, tough it up, wuss". Double standards, gentlemen.

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Finn, a Groin injury is serious for hockey players. Every time you skate that is the muscle you are using. A bruise can be played with. A strained muscle can't.

I'm not saying Semin should play, i'm just saying Clark shouldn't.

Posted by: Tyler | January 3, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

lets hope that Backstrom can pull Kozmo out of his scoring slump.

I'd rest Semin, it's too risky and we will need him healthy particularly in the next 4 weeks. They should be able to pull 3 points on this trip.

I am interested to see how Chara handles Alex. This should be good.

Posted by: pch49 | January 3, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Man that Pothier-Pothier tandem is gona be crazy, its like they know where each other are each time on the ice.

Posted by: TJ | January 3, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

we are 1-5 without poti

ouch!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: potttttttttttti | January 3, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

congrats to Backstrom.
He took that hit from Neil in the game at Ottawa and still came back with a great game. by the way, that hit looked like an elbow to the head to me. Guess the 10 Brashear fists to Neil's head later got even eh?

Posted by: billd | January 3, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

wow, Donnie B on the 2nd line.... I was thinking Pettinger. This will be interesting.

Posted by: pch49 | January 3, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Tyler,

A bruised tailbone is quite a different beast from a bruised muscle. They're rather painful and make mobility in general difficult.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 3, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@Finn,

Semin can't help being a wuss. Just like Olie can't help being old and slow. It is what it is.

Posted by: My Butt Hurts | January 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

>Guess the 10 Brashear fists to Neil's head later got even eh?

Brashear is da man. Thank you for letting Neil know not to mess with the kid. And he moved up to a second line. Congrats!

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Never thought I'd say something as crazy as this, but Semin should look to Pothier of all people as a shining example of playing through an injury. Dude has a broken thumb and I can't imagine that gripping the stick, much less passing and shooting can be easy for the guy. But he's even bagged a few goals lately!

And furthermore, I've watched the replay of the Semin hit a few times and the cross check doesn't even look like it hit his tailbone. Unless they consider the Lumbar area to be tailbone. And he fell forward, not on his @ss. Don't really see how that "injury" could have occured.

With the money we're paying him, the dude needs to suck it up and play. Tired of this sh*t. Guy is talented as all get out, but he's gotta want it.

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 3, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Does Eminger even travel to out of town games? Just wondering. What a bizarre situation.

Posted by: on ice | January 3, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn-Green
Jurcina-Erskine
Pothier-Pothier

Poor Emminger. They would rather clone Pothier and have him be his own pair then give Emmer a sweater.

Brashear on Line 2? I like the guy, but really.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 3, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Pothier wasn't cloned - or was he???

VERY telling that Petty is on the fourth line - a tribute to Brash's hard work.

Posted by: Shaggy | January 3, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Brashear 11, McGrattan 2 bhahaha

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/sports/story.html?id=28a0eeee-ccaa-4af5-8f97-65586283d5bf
After Brashear slipped and fell to the ice during what can scarcely be called a fight with McGrattan two minutes into the game, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau showed no hesitation in using his 239-pound winger in all circumstances -- including against the Senators' top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.

On the Capitals' fourth goal, Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson didn't touch the puck as Brashear, Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich won every battle for the puck along the boards and in front of the net. Laich finally put the Senators trio out of their misery, flipping a backhand, while on his knees, over Senators goaltender Ray Emery, with Brashear picking up an assist.

In the final minutes of the period, Brashear drew a penalty which helped lead to the Capitals' 5-on-3 manpower advantage.

By game's end, Brashear had played 11 minutes 37 seconds, picked up the assist and delivered two big hits. McGrattan, in contrast, played 2:04.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Clark, Poti and Semin are back real soon in order produce a strong second half.

As far as Semin I think that if he needs time to recover than let him recover and miss a few games and not try to rush back like he did with his ankle injury at the beginning of the season.

Posted by: Rich | January 3, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Id rather have Semin play 60 games at 80% than have him play 30 at 100%. And yes, I have hurt my tailbone, collar bone, broken arms, legs, fingers and toes.

Ive played the game for years at all levels. Give him a cortizone shot, throw some extra padding in there and make him play.

They sure dont make hockey players like they used to.

Posted by: T | January 3, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Still double standards, gentlemen.
Funny, how people are bashing Semin, when everyone knows what he can do, but care too much about Fehr who showed NOTHING and whose career is over.

P.S. Kolzig sucks!

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Eminger does travel.

Posted by: Tarik | January 3, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@Finn,
I totally agree. These people are ridiculous and I'm so tired of all these old school hockey players commenting about everything they've been through (b/c I'm sure all of them played in the NHL and know how it is). No one really knows the whole situation with any of the players that are injured so to call Semin a wimp and not Clark, Fehr and Poti is ridiculous.

Posted by: K | January 3, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Do some of you people need to be reminded that Semin tried to play through an injury several times this season? Or that by doing so, he aggravated it repeatedly and wound up not being anywhere near 100% until nearly halfway through the season?

For that matter, do any of you know him personally? Do any of you skate with him? Coach him? Attend to him medically?

No? Didn't think so. You can armchair it all you want, but in the end, you don't have the slightest clue how much pain he's in or how his mobility has been affected.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 3, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@ Finn

There is no double standard. Its the fact that Semin has been hurt way too much and every time he takes a bump he is out for a game.

Clark is someone who has battled through everything and still played games. There is a player with a broken bone and still playing...

Then we have a guy sitting out for who knows what reason. He would probably play with one arm if asked and then Semin gets a bruised tailbone and cant do anything? C'mon...get out there and earn your money.

Posted by: t | January 3, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Yep I've definately seen Clark play through his injuries for most of this year! Please that's like saying Clark should just tough it out with his groin injury. Doesn't make much sense....
Besides we don't know Semin could have wrenched his back as well...there are a lot of things that the Caps organization doesn't tell us so everyone needs to stop making assumptions.

Posted by: seminisagoodplayer | January 3, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"... And yes, I have hurt my tailbone, collar bone, broken arms, legs, fingers and toes. ..."

@T
And all that from playing hockey at all levels in a PC?


Posted by: x | January 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

good one..but all i know now is that i somehow have double jointed fingers and can bend my elbows too far and my face looks like a roadmap

Posted by: t | January 3, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Id rather have Semin play 60 games at 80% than have him play 30 at 100%. And yes, I have hurt my tailbone, collar bone, broken arms, legs, fingers and toes."

Oh, and I suppose you started playing again two days after you sustained all of these injuries, T? And anyone who isn't an idiot and takes time to heal right and not aggravate the injury is a real wuss, huh?

I bet you must think Ovie is real cowardly, after he left the Pens game for a little cut on his leg, right?

Posted by: MikeZ | January 3, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

This place is getting just about as bad and painful to read as the official Caps boards.

I feel for you, Tarik.

Posted by: Ugh | January 3, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Bummer the Caps didn't pick up Recchi off the waver wire (I won't even mention Bryzgalov). He seems to be working out well for Atlanta.

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

See, I told you Backstrom would win Rookie of the Month for Decmember. He just needs to win one more Rookie of the Month and he wins the Calder.

pch49 - I agree, they should be able to pull 3 points. I def think we can get to OT with the Bruins... and, Montreal, well, they have not been playing great at home, so we can use that to our advantage. Either way, we need to get to .500 and get on a 4+ game winning streak. We win both games, we are that much closer.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

T and other haters,

"a guy sitting out for who knows what reason" This is the club's problem. They don't announce injuries. Is they say it's a bruise, do you believe them? They might as well say an "undisclosed injury". The Caps don't tell the whole story about the injuries.

Semin is hurt. Period. Let's move on and see who we've got in the line up to win the next game. Period.

Semin is young (unlike Clark). He's got his entire career ahead of him. He must be 100% healthy to play to make sure he doesn't do himself any permanent damage. I'd do the same.

And enought with the old hockey players. They thought that playing without a helmet was "manly". I think it is the dumbest argument.

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarik- reading your article today, with BB's coment's, was enjoyable. :-) Go Brash!
Congrats to Backstrom! Our rookie is getting better & better!

I didn't see the Semin tailbone injury I guess; I do remember him getting cross-checked in the back though, is it the same injury, I wonder?

Posted by: Hattrick23 | January 3, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Fehr career isn't over - he could be back as early as next month. He hasn't failed to show anything either - he had 22 goals and 21 assists in 40 games last year for Hershey

Posted by: dmg | January 3, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@alexovetjkin,
Great post. Nice to see not all Canadians are so nationalistically narrow minded.

@Old time,
BB said it could be for two shifts or the whole weekend. He's just rewarding Brash and motivating others. No worries.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Finn,

I agree.

I think we can all agree a "bruised tailbone" could mean a lot of things. It could be a bruise that only hurts when you sit on it a certain way, it could be one that extends to the lower back and makes mobility all but impossible, it could be somewhere in between. Whatever the case is, it isn't fair to insult Semin's integrity and toughness by assuming he's milking it, especially when the guy hasn't given any indication of that. When his ankle was hurt Semin talked about how bad he felt sitting out, he did play hurt with the ankle and we've seen him take plenty of big hits, get up and continue playing.

IMO, people people are bringing this up because (1) they're frustrated with Semin's injuries this year (2) he's shy and that bothers some people and (3) he's foreign (European) so he must be soft.

Posted by: dmg | January 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

p.s. Bradleys comment was a chuckle. Makes me want to go recycle something.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Why does someone keep bringing up Eminger?

Finn, don't worry, all the Semin haters are the ones that think Olie has been playing well lately. Let them be... We are two games without him, big deal... Alex just needs to score 10 goals in the next two games... no worries.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

p.p.s. Congrats Backsy! Well deserved.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

dmg,

r: Fehr. IMHO, he won't make it. And I mean the NHL, and not the AHL. I know the expectations were high since he's a first rounder. Once again, it is my opinion.

Don't be frustrated with Semin. He is not 100% back yet. He was playing out of position (he's a LW, remember?) as well. He'll be back. And I hope he is 100% when he's back. If he is only 80% as some have suggested, then people will keep bashing him for being too slow, not backchecking, not shooting enough, bad skating... etc.

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@828,

Good point, OV does need to step up his gave up bit, he's been slacking off as of late. Can't believe he sat out most of the last period against Pitt...

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the question about Fehr (besides when he comes back to actually play) is whether he is destined to be another Flash (who also did extremely well at the AHL level, but hasn't shown consistency yet in the NHL). I saw Fehr score his first NHL goal, and it was a heluva play/shot. But is that going to become consistent, or is that a once every 5 game sort of play?

Should he fail to develop into a top 6 forward quickly does he have a future here? When you examine the Caps roster, if everyone was healthy, you have a hard time fitting everyone into a proper spot. You've got "skill guys" like Flash who are improving yet don't really look like a true top 6 player (yet). Then you've got guys like Laing who are playing their butt off but may not have a spot in a couple weeks. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the 2nd half as this team (hopefully) heals up.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

828,

not 10, but at least 12! Where's your math? :)

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Man I was thinking Pothier was playing better in recent weeks but to put him out there with himself might be asking a little much.

Posted by: Sapper | January 3, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green should have gotten a monthly award. That kid is just sick!

Green for Norris!

Posted by: Sapper | January 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm still snickering at the Bradley quote ... thanks for the laugh, Tarik.

Pothier-Pothier is better than having Shultz on the ice ... right?

For the first time in a while, I completely expect the Capitals to win tonight. Anyone else feel that way?

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 3, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Finn makes a good point about the team being "less than forthcoming" about injuries. For all we know Semin could have hemorroids.
I think dmg makes some interesting arguements too.

BUT...let's watch the generalizations about old hockey players....m'kay?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Fixed. Sorry I was talking and typing.

Posted by: Tarik | January 3, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between playing hurt and playing injured. I do not think that anyone on this board is in a position to know whether Semin hurts, or whether Semin is injured. Drawing conclusions about his character at this point is really unfair. He's not playing, which is the only thing we actually know. Not to beat a dead horse, but to me the bigger issue remains the lack of depth that makes Semin's injury so critical. I have this frustrating sense that the Caps were on the edge of going on a big roll that could get them back into things, finally. Now, with the third lowest payroll (by cap numbers) in the NHL, we seem to be back to one scoring line. Swell. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid I've seen this movie before, and I don't like the way it ends.

Posted by: Fred | January 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Bruised tailbones can make skating, shooting and just about everything extremely painful. Thankfully it should be good to go by the homestand unless its REALLY bad.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 3, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Jeff
That is soooo hard to call.
Fehr still has a chance to come up and have a good career in this league I think.
He really needs to kick this injury though.
That needs to be his first priority.

Guys like Flash can really dominate in the AHL and wind up being only "servicable" in the NHL their entire career. Unless he can step up his game and become a more consistent performer.

That's pretty much how Gabby's career went.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya Fred...
Everything depends on secondary scoring.
That's why we do so well when we get goals from Laich, Gordo, or even Greener.
If all the otehr team needs to do is check OV's line, we're in for a rough time.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

From what I've read about BB, and a lot of it is from his own mouth so who knows how true it was, he was a scorer in the minors but never given a real chance to be an offensive contributor in the NHL. He'd get called up and expected to play in a defensive role, which is a skill he himself admits was lacking.

In Flash's case I feel like he's getting chance after chance to succeed on this team. I personally think he's slowly improving his consistency under BB but he really needs to start showing up on the scoresheet or else he is likely going to be dropped a line or two when Clark comes back.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

>After the interview, I told Alex Ovechkin about Backstrom's honor.

Tarik,
Are we gonna read the interview in tomorrow's paper?

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I suspect you're right Jeff.
When Clarkie get's healthy, Flash is looking like the odd man out.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik,

Sorry for busting your chops about the typo, but it was a nice excuse for us to explore two common thremes: Eminger's press box view and the Schultz does he or does he not suck debate.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Unless they send Laing back down which I pray to God they don't do. That would be bad but it did sound like he earned a spot here.

Posted by: K | January 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Semin meet the team in Montreal?! I guess Gabby hasn't heard that Semin has a tough time getting places on his own...

I was at the game and we didn't see the injury occur. We saw him take one shift after his stupid penalty, and thought that he had been benched. Eventually we could tell he wasn't on the bench, but this seems (without watching the replays) like a phantom injury.

I wish he hadn't received that fat contract so early on. Prima donnas need motivation.

Posted by: Jill | January 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R,

I know right, I couldn't believe he sat out most of the 3rd period... it's like he was cut or something. Alex does need to step it up... all he got was player of the week last week - barely... what do you think could be wrong with him.

Finn, my bad - what was I thinking... Alex is def due for 12 goals these next two games.

7-6 win vs Bruins - Alex scores 6!
10-9 OT loss vs Montreal - Alex scores 6!

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Oops, forgot to add that Alex gets a SO goal in the loss to Montreal... so, that would be 13 goals in two games.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I would think Lainger is safe for the moment. If anyone should be kinda nervous I would think it would be Petty.
He really seems to be struggling to find his way this season. (ala Ben Clymer) He was healthy scratched a few games back and I was hoping that would shake him loose but it doesn't seem to have had much of an affect.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Was Semins contract really considered that fat? The guy does have a lot of skill. I thought it was a good signing but didn't necessarily think it was fat...now AO's, well that is going to be a fat contract.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I think time is running out for Flash. This is the system that made him an AHL star. If he doesn't start lighting up the lamp soon, he'll never be more than a 4th liner.

Posted by: tallbear | January 3, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

828

Gotcha on that one!

I love OV to death, but he doesn't seem to be able to score in the shootouts.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek,

He scores shootout goals when he does the leg kick - no kidding! I told the players last year during meet the caps and I guess they told Alex... and the next shootout, he does the leg kick and scores a goal. It's mental or something.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Tallbear

I was ready to give up on him earlier in the season, but then he had a few good games and he had me hoping....
But now he just seems to be chasing the game at times.

I think you are right.
Flash's clock is ticking.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It might as well be Pothier-Pothier. When Schultz is on the ice with him, it's like he's all alone. Have you seen a defenseman screw up as bad as Schultz on that first Ottawa goal? Unfortunately I have, and it's been Schultz about 15-20 times this season.

Posted by: Stephen | January 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@2:12

It was fat.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is it everytime a player is waived, everybody thinks the Caps should have picked them up...this guys were waived for a reason...dont count on the success they are having with their new teams to last very long...they are not necessarily that much of an improvement.

Posted by: Waiver Wire | January 3, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What I don't get is Crosby gets his tail bruised by his boyfriend every night and he still plays....

Joking aside, Semin at 100% is what we need. Good to see Laing back. Gotta win these two games.

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ovie's rubbish on the shoot-out because he doesn't change his shooting style. Everyone knows what he's going to do and he gets blocked.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"I was at the game and we didn't see the injury occur. We saw him take one shift after his stupid penalty, and thought that he had been benched. Eventually we could tell he wasn't on the bench, but this seems (without watching the replays) like a phantom injury."

Soooo...

You haven't seen what happened, either during or after the injury, but you are able to diagnose it as a "phantom injury."

All I'm going to say is that I'm glad you're not my doctor.

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 3, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Stephen,

I see defensemen screw up all the time on other teams, it's just that they have a goalie that can stop odd man breaks.

I don't mind Schultz - he does do things well and sometimes he messes up - who doesn't on the Caps?

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Well 828

Leg kick or not...I would rather we just beat everyone in the alotted 3 periods and be on our merry way with the two points.
;-)

I was looking at the standings and it concerns me that some of the teams we need to catch have played fewer games.
We are half way thru and we can't afford to leave any points on the table for these other teams.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Lee

+1

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Flash isn't physical enough to play on the 3rd or 4th line. Were I to guess, I think his clock has ticked, and he's eventually bound for the seat in the press box next to Eminger.

Posted by: Fred | January 3, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

HolyOlie

+1

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Finn,

+1
about Crosby?
or Laing?

Nevermind....I'm just poking the bear.
:-O

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@ Stephen and the rest of the Schultz playa-haters:
All Sarge has done is put up as many or more goals than Kozzie, Flash, Petty, Steckel; registered a very respectable even plus/minus for the season; and play in some very pressure filled situations at the end of games. Boudreau likes the kid, which is fine by me. No, he doesnt hit like Phaneuf, but who else does?

Posted by: Shaggy | January 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

heheh, heheh, pmoravek said "poke the bear." heheh heheh

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek - are we going to have to start calling you mr. mackey?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

HolyOlie/Finn - Nope, not making a diagnosis (I'm not a doctor), just one person's observation & opinion, same as everyone else.

Suggest you re-read what I wrote and then look up the word "seems." ;-)

Posted by: Jill | January 3, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

about Crosby.

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek
Why are you concerned - we should not be looking to catch the "other" teams, we should be looking to catch Carolina which has played TWO more game than us and is only 7 points ahead of us. There is a lot of hockey left - if we keep up with our pace, we should catch up to them in a few weeks. I really believe only one team is coming out of the SE div into the playoffs, so, we need to catch the 1st place team and then keep the 1st place spot. It's do-able...

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

tarik,
have you seen eminger crack a smile even once in the last six weeks? do you expect him to start making some noise soon, and not in a good way?

Posted by: sheesh | January 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Is it true that the Caps sent Eminger down to the pee-wee hockey level and during the Caps games, he refs the mites during intermission?

Posted by: who cares | January 3, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Steve is trying to keep a positive attitude. It's tough, obviously.

Posted by: Tarik | January 3, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Jill,

Gladly.

Seem: to give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect; seem to be true, probable, or apparent; appear to exist.

After a careful re-reading of your post, you've still admitted that you didn't see what happened to him, either before or after the incident, and have nothing to base even an observation of a "phantom injury" upon. Don't worry, you don't seem to be alone in throwing baseless accusations regarding Alex's character around today ;-)

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 3, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@HolyOlie - Nor do you seem to be alone in your Semin sniffing...in fact you and Finn have an impressive tag team going!

Use of the word "seems' implies an opinion or observation, not a statement of fact.

seem (sēm) Pronunciation Key
intr.v. seemed, seem·ing, seems

1. To give the impression of being; appear: The child seems healthy, but the doctor is concerned.
2. To appear to one's own opinion or mind: I can't seem to get the story straight.
3. To appear to be true, probable, or evident: It seems you object to the plan. It seems like rain. He seems to have worked in sales for several years.
4. To appear to exist: There seems no reason to postpone it.


As I stated in my original post, and you kindly re-stated, I saw nothing happen to Semin while I was watching the game live, so you're kind of helping me make my point. I am not saying he is not injured. I'm saying that I did not see the injury occur. Others have posted that the replays did not bear out any evidence of an obvious tailbone. I don't think anyone said they are 100% confident he is not injured.

For all I know, he sat down on the bench too hard and bruised his butt that way. The fans really don't know what happened which is why we're all here speculating. But it didn't appear to this observer as though it happened on-ice. I'm not saying it didn't, I'm saying in my opinion it SEEMS like it didn't.

And where did I question Semin's character? Was it when I called him a prima donna? Sorry, but there actually does seem to be evidence of that, starting in his first season with the team.

Posted by: Jill | January 3, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Jill,

Ignorance is bliss.

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

just came across this,

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/trade_deadline/feature/?fid=10439&hubname=

Emminger at $1 mill vs. Liles at $1.4. hmmmm...

Posted by: pch49 | January 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Finn and HolyOlie tag teaming who?

Semin is quite and shy - I think that bothers people the most. Not to mention he is still a young one.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

HolyOlie:
Wow ... you can check with the best of them! Please keep in mind that Jill is entitled to her opinion and, frankly, is echoing the sentiments of many. I, for one, can't figure out what happened to Semin. I was at the game as well and, other than clearly being hit high from behind and retaliating with with a cross-check of his own, I didn't see any major activity with Semin. I don't know what could have caused his injury. The Caps have been so secretive about injuries lately, it is hard to know what's really going on. Not an attack on Semin's character, just an observation from a confused fan.

Now, having said that, I've said it before and but will say it again ...

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!? :-D

After all, we are all here for the same reason - to support our team! LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention nobody wants to forget what happened the 1st season he was here. He's just a guy who doesn't like to be in the spotlight and there is nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: K | January 3, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Lets get Olli Jokinen... I've got $5 to go towards his salary... how much money could we raise?

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

BTW, what the heck is the "Wally Pipp Syndrome?"

Posted by: LetsGoCaps | January 3, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Boo!

We all get along just fine. Most of us are on Caps withdrawl because there has not been a game on for quite some time. Maybe tomorrow morning we will all be nicer to each other...

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@Waiver Wire,

You think that picking up Bryzgalov or Recchi for the balance of this year wouldn't have been an improvement to the team? Motzko is a better call up than having Recchi avail? Olie and Johnson have GAA at 3+ and Sv % below .9, you seriously think passing on Bryzgalov was a smart move?

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I advise people to look at the play before diagnosing a phantom injury. I would also advise people to be mindful of the saying "never assume, it makes an..." (you should get where I'm going here). The play was ridiculous. #4 on the Sens (Phillips?) crosschecked Semin HARD into the boards on the lower back. He got up, attempted to retaliate but was whistled for a penalty meanwhile the 4 blind mice (AKA the refs) never called anything on #4. After the penalty was served, Semin was out for the rest of the game. I was deinitely not excited about how any of it went down, the last thing we need is more of our skilled players out for injuries.

Also, how many times do I have to say it? Give Semin a chance! Some of the posters on this blog berate him every chance they get, it's rather tiresome. Find a new dead horse to beat, please and thanks. Have a nice day!

Posted by: SLM | January 3, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

What is the status of talks between Ovie and management? I've read a recent article that the Caps lowballed him at 5yrs for $37.5m but he wants a deal in the $9-10m per year range. What can Caps fans expect in the coming months with negotiation, or is it too early to panic?

Here's the link:

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/31756

Posted by: Bryan | January 3, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Enough with the AO signing already! Tarik already said it was a bunch of malarky...

Posted by: K | January 3, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I think passing on Bryzgalov "not to hurt Kolzig's feelings" was a bigger miss than Recchi. A lot has been said about the bridge that Bryzgalov could have become. Buy hey! GMGM is paid big $$$ to screw up. Now he's stuck with the overpaid old psycho.

If Semin is soft, what can be said about Kolzig who didn't want to handle pressure that could have come with Bryzgalov ousting him out of the number 1 goalie pick?

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@ Boo - thanks for the backup. It's only hockey people -- it doesn't directly impact your life personally! Though I agree with someone who mentioned this is starting to get like the Caps message boards, which I've all but stopped visiting.

@ Finn - must be a bad day if you feel the need to attempt to insult someone you've never met, on a hockey blog of all places. Sorry your life sucks, dude. Hope your day gets better!

@ 828 - you are a serious Caps junkie if you are in withdrawal after less than 48 hours. ;-)

Posted by: Jill | January 3, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

SLM said what I wandered back in to say.

I'm off to make a pre-game beer run. Weihenstephaner, Dogfish Head, and Bell's Porter for all (if you can find me ;))!

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 3, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Anybody interested in watching Karl Alzner or Josh Godfrey, Teams USA and Canada are on tomrorow at 2 on the NHL network

http://www.nhlnetwork.com/en_US/tvListings/US/20080104

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 3, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

RE: Wally Pipp Syndrome

Walter Clement Pipp was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball, now best remembered as the man who lost his starting role to Lou Gehrig at the beginning of Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 3, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Wally Pip was the guy who lost his starting job to Lou Gerhig, then Gerhig played 2,130 games consecutively if memory serves. I only know this because I was an obsessive Cal Ripken Jr. fan as a youngster.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 3, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@letsgocaps

Wikipedia for Wally Pipp: Walter Clement Pipp (February 17, 1893 - January 11, 1965) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball, now best remembered as the man who lost his starting role to Lou Gehrig at the beginning of Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games.

Semin's injury is another players opportunity. Sounds like Gabby hyperbole but you never know.

Posted by: Just make a save | January 3, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

wtfwtfwtf

we wont win.

we can not win without poti

our record with out poti is bad

its really bad

in fact it's so bad, i'm not sure you should find out

okay

here

i'll just tell you what it is

it's 1-5!!

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by: wtfwtfwtf | January 3, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Jill,

As much as I miss the game, I am just saying that because we did not seen Capital hockey last night, people's minds wander. It would be nice if we could all talk about how cool it is for Backstrom to get NHL Rookie of the Month and how he DOES have a legitamate shot at winning the Calder. But, we need to say things that are negative just to say them. I will admit, I am the same way. Tomorrow morning, when the Caps win, we will be like - "did you see that?", "Brashear knocked the..." etc... then, on Saturday morning, people will be like Olie Sucks, Semin is Soft, Schultz needs to be sent down, and Alex for President.

I've seen it a hundred times!

Holyolie, same place as last time? I'm there!

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The key words...'for the rest of this year' As I said, there is a reason these players are waived in the first place, and there is little chance with GMGM in control, that any waiver pickups would be retained after this season. See: Rico Fata.

Posted by: Waiver Wire | January 3, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I am wondering how often it happens in the NHL where you have a player that you don't play on your team, you can't/won't send him to the minors, and you apparently can't trade?

I don't think that Eminger is NHL worthy at this time, but to string him along reflects badly on management.

Posted by: Clarendon | January 3, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Do any of you people have real jobs, or do you just sit around all day bickering on Tarik's blog?

Posted by: S. | January 3, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of Semin's actual level of injury or toughness in this instance, there is definately something a bit odd about him that is maddening. Maybe he's shy (Plenty of the players are actually pretty shy off the ice). His lack of interest in learning or admitting to knowing English is strange if he plans to stay in NHL; he can be flat-out brilliant on the ice and just as easily be flat and unispired. Is he moody, a prima donna, bi-polar? Who knows. If he was scoring 90 points a year, then he could be as quirky as he wants, and we would write it off as "Sasha being Sasha." But, he's been hurt a lot and because of that his numbers aren't great so I think we are conflating all these odd-ball personality traits and his injuries and assigning a prima donna, sissy or what have you label to him while we all scratch our heads and try to figure out why he isn't on the fast track to the hall of fame. We'll forgive a lot if he produces, which he isn't - in part because he's out/hurt. Frustrating.

I think this movie quote summarizes Semin and our comments about him:
If you win 20 in the show, you can [refuse to speak English and get scratched with a butt sprain] and the press'll think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are [whatever HolyOlie and Finn say you are].

Posted by: old time hockey | January 3, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Waiver Wire... what about the people that are not drafted. Obviously, they weren't drafted for a reason, but then you have someone like St. Louis who was not drafted and now he is one of the better players in the league.
I think what Steve R is saying is that Bryzgolav could have been a spark in the Caps pipes. I agree... when our goalies are allowing so many goals a game, who does it really matter who we put back there. Recchi could have helped out some of the younger players like he did in Pittsburg. Yeah, they are put on Waivers for a reason, but then again, they may not work in that particular system. Who knows, they could work in another.
And, I do agree with your comment about GMGM... maybe once we get closer to playoff time, he will make some moves. We shall see...

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Eminger needs to work harder and stay upbeat. His time will come and when it does he needs to play hard and not suck and force the coach to keep him in the lineup. Right now BB doesn't think he deserves a sweater. He thinks Schultz deserves one because he gets one. He think Erskine deserves one because he gets one. This isn't a conspiracy to keep Eminger out of the lineup; it's about showing the coach you deserve to play and obviously he hasn't.

Posted by: Just make a save | January 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Finn. The failure to do anything about (the lack of quality) goal tending is a screw up of huge proportions for the Caps.

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What's a job? Who has a job these days?

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

old time hockey -- Semin put up pretty significant numbers last season and he wasn't really given much flack in these parts. Perhaps it's more Semin is constantly being compared to OV, and as such we all want him to be the complete package. OV is OV not just because of his amazing offensive skills, but also because he is physical, he is funny, he shows his excitement after any Caps goal, etc etc.

Semin is never going to be OV. When healthy he's shown he can score 30+ goals. But even that is likely not going to be enough for a lot of people because (take your pick) he doesn't get excited enough after a goal, or he takes shifts off, or he is "immature", or he is shy, or he is this or that. He is who he is...and some people are happy to accept him because of his (potential) hockey skills, and some people don't think his flashes of skill is sufficient.

I'd much rather have him on this team, even with his "quirks", than not.

So be it.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It is fun watching Erskine skate, kinda reminds me of Happy Gilmore.

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@ Steve R and all you people who wanted Bryzgalov or any other waiver wire fodder:

WE DIDN'T GET THEM! MOVE ON! COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT WE'VE GOT!!!!

Sorry. Dwelling on the past is so painful. Make me sad. Semin hurt his tushie, Emminger dated the coach's daughter or something, Ollie is old, it is what it is.

Carry on.

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@jeff,

I'm actually with you on that. I think the problem with Semin is not that he isn't OV, but that he isn't even 1st year Semin. When he's not playing the potential and reality lines continue to diverge. I like the guy, I really do, and its really frustrating to not have such a talent at 100%. If he scored 30 goals people would still complain, but they would have less to actually complain about.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 3, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

ok, late posting here so if this was aready posted, forgive me, I don't have time to read the entire list of posts to see if this was pointed out yet... so...

@ Pothier's Thumb - about Semin's tailbone injury, watch the replay of the last game all you want, but the tailbone injury came from the PREVIOUS game, not the cross check you're referencing.

Posted by: Blonde Caps Fan | January 3, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@Jeff,
Didn't we say that about Jagr while he was here? I know Semin can be a marquee player but I wonder if that will happen while he is here in DC. Patrick Stefan retired this year, and I recall many Semin/Stefan comparisons.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,

Olie has a 5 hole the size of Montana, Shultz hits softer than your daughter, Nyls needs to stop spinning, Kozlov needs a fire lit under his @ss, Gabby dresses funny, Poti needs to shoot more, the jerkoffs throwing t-shirts never throw them anywhere near me, gmgm needs to relocate to a new city.

That more like it?

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@steve,

Much better, except we need him for that last part about GMGM. I'll get you a t-shirt next time we go.

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

BernieWolfeFan -- not sure about the Stefan/Semin comparison...if someone made it I'd love to know why. Even if we they were thinking about potential...well, Stefan never scored over 40 points in a season, or even had 15 goals in a season.

Semin had 38 GOALS last season...so, we know the skill is there and that he can deliver. He was starting to show flashes of that before he got hurt again. 7 points in his last 8 games ain't bad. He's definitely a point per game producer.

Comparing him to Jagr...that's a whole other thing. To try to keep it short, Jagr has essentially said that he moped around while here in DC (I think I remember the rumor being women problems? Maybe I am making that up). In NY and Pitt he has been one of the best players in the league. Semin DOES have quirks, but I don't think I've seen enough evidence to say that he's willingly playing below his potential. Especially not for multiple seasons. But that's my take...others are sure to think he is the reincarnation of DC-Jagr.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Easy on Matt- According to his bio on NHLPA.com :
"In 2001-02, Matt was the Sharks' Rookie of the Year as he scored 22 points and helped the team win a division title."

Can't find an archive w/NHL rookie of the month, but I thought this was pretty good!

Posted by: Melissa | January 3, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,

Thanks pal, appreciate it.

Was going to put Brash on the power play on the list, but we havent't seen much of that in the post-Hanlon days.

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@Steve

He was on the 5v3 Tuesday against Ottowa! I couldn't believe it!

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"i want to thank them for this... month thing."

outf'ingstanding. this kid rules.

Posted by: pgreene | January 3, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@melissa,

And, don't forget the Brads won the equivalent of the Lady Byng in juniors. That's even funnier that the rookie of the month thing.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 3, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@Jeff,
The skill comparisons of Semin amd Stefan were made numerous times, but that was in the Canadian press. I spent some time in Ottawa and Toronto for work so it might not have been so pervasive here. Understandable. It is Canada.
Like I said before, I hope Semin becomes the marquee player we all are hoping for but my concern is to your point: Last years Semin was Jagr in Pitt and the marquee Semin could be in NY or elsewhere, new contract or not. I just hope DC is not just his learning curve.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Since Tarik compared Semin to Kovalev, here's the next year forecast for Semin :-)


"If the National Hockey League had an award for comeback player of the year, a prime candidate could be Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens.

Last season, the skilled but unpredictable right winger scored only 18 goals and looked to be on his way out of Montreal and perhaps even the NHL.

But Kovalev has rebounded to become the Canadiens scoring leader, as well as acting as mentor to young Belarus forwards Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.

"You can't be perfect all your career - there's going to be ups and downs," the 34-year-old Kovalev said Thursday after the pre-game skate. "Last year was one of those years where you can't find your game and nothing's going your way. "

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

wow what does a guy have to do to get in the game? Eminger's been working his tail off, he's been staying as positive as is humanly possible for a player in his spot yet still he gets nothing. Erskin's not better then Emminger we have Bradley, Brashear, and to a lesser extent Morrisonn to drop the gloves, so why does Emie sit while Erskin plays? Nothing against Erskin it's just the facts.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 3, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Jill:
You're not helping me ... ;-)

Finn:
What makes you think that we didn't pick up Bryzgalov because Kolzig couldn't handle it? For some reason I don't think he was the one to make that decision ... if so, then GMGM really should be fired!

So what does everyone think is going to happen tonight?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Boo!,

Someone here posted earlier (late last year) that, allegedly, GMGM said that he did not pick up Bryzgalov because he didn't want to upset "the locker room atmosphere". In the same thread everyone agreed that GMGM did not want to upset Kolzig (who else would be upset with a better goalie?).

I did not come up with this. I remember at least a couple of people saying it.

Posted by: Finn | January 3, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Finn:
Aaahhh!!! Well that could be, but who knows - it's all speculative. But then again, that's what we do here - we speculate! We (and I include ME in that) are GREAT armchair ... not quarterbacks ... well, whatever!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Check all that Bryzgalov crud at the door.
We have a new goalie to argue about, boys!

Word has it that Carolina has placed goalkeeper John Grahame on the waiver wire.

Flame on...

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I need to vent...

Why is it that I come home from work early, jacked up because the of the Caps game. The wife pours me a bourbon and coke, I grab the laptop to share my miniscule thoughts with you gentlemen, I turn on the TV looking for pregame material on CSN and what, to my wondering eyes should appear?

Wizzers highlights.
(sigh!)

Man, I wish hockey commanded a bigger market-share in this area.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Trade Semin for a top 4 defenseman if you can while he is still worth something.

Posted by: Old fan | January 3, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

@Pmoravek,

At least they aren't talking about Idaho! WHO CARES ABOUT IDAHO???

Oh, someone drop the puck.....

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Boo!, I told you, Caps win 7-6 - Alex gets 6 goals.

Semin is not on pace for 38 goals because he has been injured. Deal with it... Semin is dealing with it. You think he came all the way over from Russia to sit on the bench?

And how is Erskin worse than Emminger?

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Semin is exactly like Kovlachuk

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@Lee- I think you meant Iowa..as in where the cacaus is...
hehe :)

Posted by: K | January 3, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@K

Idaho, Iowa, I-don't-know, who cares? More people will be at the game in Boston tonight then will be caucussing.

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Nobody wants to touch the John Grahame thing?

DAMMIT!
I really thought that would stir up the storm.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Haha, you gotta let it sink in pmoravek. You will hear about it tomorrow. Well, depends on what Olie does tonight. But, I am sure you will hear about it.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

828

Caps win 7-6?
Cool with me.

OV scores 6.
Great, then he passes Kovulchuk for the league lead.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I was looking up Grahams career stats...
I'm sorry I brought it up now.

(embarrassed)

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

yep, Graham not even close to Bryzgalov.

And Semin is not even close to Kovlachuk, but I agree with Tarik, he is another Kovalev.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 3, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Kavlachuk is quiet and both of them have a similar style of play... I guess exactly alike wasn't what I wanted...

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

@DC Fury

It's a simple equation: If BB thought Eminger should be in the lineup he would be playing. We either trust BB decisions or believe Eminger is part of some grand conspiracy to keep him out of the lineup. I choose the former.

Posted by: Just make a save | January 3, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Guys, Gals,
Kovalchuk and Semin might play similar styles/skill but are very different personalities (in my humble opinion as to not piss off anyone on this mere fan blog). Do any of you recall Kovalchuk skating by the bench waving his stick at Mike Keenan after he scored, the same stick that Crazy Keenan called a curve check on? Ilya has a bit of a mean streak that Sasha lacks. Again that is not a bad thing everyone! Don't get snippy. Just an opinion. Don't Taze me bros!

Yeah Erskey!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the problem with Emmy is that he is an offensive defenceman. That puts him behind Green, Poti, and Pothier in the pecking order.
Juice, Mo, and Erskine are more a more physical brand of defensive player.
Really I'd like to see us pick-up another d-man of this style.
Gritty, stay-at-home, and tough to play against.

We have

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

We dont look too bad so far.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

C'mon flash... we needed that!

I agree BernieWolfeFan

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

BernieWolf
No problem with your assesment.
I would rather see Sasha adopt a little mean-streak as opposed to the spoiled-brat syndrom as well.
I think somebody hit the nail on the head when they brought up the Bull Durham analogy earlier.

Let's call him "colorful"

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

@ K...

i asked a simple question and don't keep up with this blog religiously or while at work so don't be a sour grape.

Posted by: Bryan | January 3, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Correction 828

Flash himself needs to bury that...
if he wants to keep getting a sweater.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek
Flash "should" have 2 goals right now...

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

DAMN
off the post...

You can't say Flash hasn't been making chances for himself.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@pmoravek,
Spoiled brat syndrome? Oh, ouch, harsh. Gonna have to sit ya in the corner and force you to watch the Iowa Caucuses for that one, lol.

Hope Flash is not using Kozys stick tonight. geez, post.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Other than that breakaway, this second line isn't scoring any points with me. Gotta love watching Brash be a bull in the china shop though.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that's harsher than I mean to be BernieWolf. That's just how the kid strikes me.
He is a VERY talented player and I have high expectations for him. He needs to grow and we (The Caps) as an organization, need to help bring him along.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Metropolit is somebody I wish we had never let go. He has been playing well in Bean-town.
Good for him!

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Keef

Dontcha just love watching Brash absolutley PLOW guys over.
Power to weight ratio, I guess.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

@pmoravek,
I agree with you 100% but it seems like when I make that "opinionated" assesment, I get labeled a Crosby Kisser. Please folks.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to look at Crosby objectively.
He wears that awful black & yellow sweater.
:-D

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

828 - if your prediction is right about tonight's game, then it's gonna be a wild 3rd/4th period!! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Is Kolzig in goal?

That guy just made a GREAT save.

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

YIKES!
What a save.
I take back all the negative crap I've said about Olie this week.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Now that was a great save ... have can you not give Olie props after a save like that?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@pmoravek

"I think the problem with Emmy is that he is an offensive defenceman. That puts him behind Green, Poti, and Pothier in the pecking order.
Juice, Mo, and Erskine are more a more physical brand of defensive player.
Really I'd like to see us pick-up another d-man of this style.
Gritty, stay-at-home, and tough to play against"

What about the hard hitting, lazer beam slap shotting Shultzie?

@Lee,

Idaho?

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Wally Pipp asked out of the lineup because of a headache...and they put in Lou Gehrig, beginning his consecutive game streak.

Wally Pipp is also a Catholic University graduate, Class of 1913 and was inducted in the CUA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. http://www.cuacardinals.com/information/hof/index

Posted by: cj_atc | January 3, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

@ Steve R et al:

back off! I knew the state started with an 'I'!

Posted by: Lee | January 3, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

mauree - did YOU see that save?!? ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

So anyway Lee, what do you think about Huet as a possible UFA signing for a rent-a-goalie till the youngsters are ready?

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Mauree

Are you enjoying the game from radio-free Italy again?
Haven't heard from you all evening.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"What about the hard hitting, lazer beam slap shotting Shultzie?"

No comment

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Are these goals regulation size or what?

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig bailed us out again on that one.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,
Don't worry, I hold you in higher regard than the Miss Teen SCarolina who answered the geography question.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

lol here here, I'm back in VA

I have some positive things to say about someone but I don't want to jinx it :D lol

Posted by: mauree | January 3, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Are these goals regulation size or what?

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I feel the same way.

He is having a good game so far.
I just hope we can get him some goals.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Caps score on this penalty - I can feel it!

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

.............Rebound

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

No sweat boys, just keep pressing, we'll get a bounce.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Anyone but Brashear... ohh, I thought he might get that one...

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

okay boys...
settle in and let's get two this period.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAH, I don't care if we lose this one, that hit on Schultz was priceless.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

We're spending too much time in our own zone again.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Beaky Buzzard did get smoked, didn't he?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

aw....crap!

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

F'ing Schultz. Moron.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Game over

Posted by: 828 | January 3, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I swear it's like he has never played full contact hockey before.
That guy pushed him into Olie and he fell over like he was made of spit & tissue-paper!

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly the crushing Shultz hit that I've been hoping for

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Schultz finally hit someone--Olie.
Someone explain we must continue to be tortured by this loser????

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

He's constantly pushed around. For those Schultz supporters - maybe he doesn't need to hit and be as physical as Juice, but he needs to be able to absorb a push.

He's manhandled night in and night out.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

He's out there killing a 5 on 3 so Gabby must see something in him.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

why must every marginal goalie in NHL play the game of his life against us??

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I have not given up hope yet ... who's with me?!? :-D

BTW, was anyone else amused to hear "Blister in the Sun" on the organ?!? That was one of the most entertaining parts of this game!

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

2.34 gaa
.929 save %

Nothing marginal about Thomas this year

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope the PP can get us a goal. That would be a start.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's our chance!!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

That's depressing.

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Un-believable.

If you'd have told me before the game that we were gonna lose 2-0 I'd have called you the stupidest SOB alive.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

How many posts was that? Three?

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

OV got three himself.
Did anyone else ring iron?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

OK ... here we go ...

Olie did NOT lose that game. He let in 2 of 30, and one of those was after Schultz knocked him down. We only needed TWO goals for OT (after making 35,000 goals against the Sens, two should not have been too much to ask for). So before anyone starts beating on Kolzig, let me ask this - WHERE WAS THE O?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Well Boo

I agree about Olie. This game is not his fault.
Where was the O?
Good question.

I think it's easier for teams to isolate OV when Semin isn't on the second line.

They put Chara out against OV all nite and it worked.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash had one off the post too.

@Boo!,

Shame Olie couldn't pitch a shutout when the team needed one...

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

by the way...

If Flash or Brash buries either of those breakaway chances...the entire complexion of that game changes.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

yeah the Caps forechecking was not at the usual good level during the first 2 periods, and virtually absent during the third.
Chara did a good job on shutting down OV (yet he got 3 irons).

Olie played yet another good game.

Posted by: mauree | January 3, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

That was a joke about Olie by the way, he played well.

Posted by: Steve R | January 3, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek:
welcome to the dark side ... mauree sometimes sneaks over here, too! ;-) yes, it was a weak offensive showing at best. i maintain that the organ version of "blister in the sun" was the most entertaining part of that game. and i don't think semin or poti would have made much of a difference - frankly, erskine was one of the better players out there tonight. the caps as a whole just didn't have that killer instinct this time. hrmpf.

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Can't blame Olie.

That second goal Schultz looked like Bambi out there on the ice when he bundled Kolzig over.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

steve:
glad you drank the kool-aid! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Everytime Boston was pressing and Schultz was at the net, someone was always pushing him outta the way - it wasn't just on the play that he helped give up that goal.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

We all know it is time for Schultz to sit. Since Eminger is not allowed to play for the Caps, or anywhere else for that matter, this would necessitate calling up a D man from Hershey (until Poti returns).

Posted by: TJ | January 3, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure BB is giving the peaks and valleys speech right now. Montreal too is way ahead in the standings but definitely BEATABLE! That is my BB impression, like it? Anyway, hopefully they hear it and comply.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 3, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if things might have been different if Laich (or what the hell, maybe even Petty) were up on that second line. Pairing Nyles with Brash made no sense to me. You've got a guy that only wants to spin and pass, and another that can barely hold his stick.

Where does that leave us? Flash on breakaways...

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Who would you call up?
Boumedienne?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Shultz was pushed into Kolig (not hard, but enough) by Kobesew-should have been interference. Tarik, where exactly did Lucic get the cut that sent Greener off for four minutes? He went off with the trainer holding his nose but I did a super slo mo of his face at the end of the game and didn't see any evidence of a cut on his face. I thought when the play went down he ran himself into the glass and was surprised Green got called for the high stick.

Posted by: Just make a save | January 3, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

BTW, who stole puckguru's computer?

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

@TJ

It's not time for Schultz to sit, it's time for him to be locked in the weight room with nothing but a towel and protein shakes. He can't leave until he gains 20lbs.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I dunno Keef

How much time did we really see Brash and Nyls out there together?

I think OV double-shifted in with Nyls & Flash more than Brash was out there.

I guess Gabby was trying to get OV away from Chara.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

One of two answers:

1. He smashed it in a fit of rage

2. He's out rubbing Semin's tailbone

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Since Schultz got the assist didn't they technically have too many men on the ice?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Schultz with 20 additional pounds = Kozlov

Posted by: TJ | January 3, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

NO FAIR KEEF!!!

You made me snarf my Jack & Coke with that weight room comment.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

You're right it didn't seem that the pairing lasted long after the first but they had some of the better scoring chances early on. Things might have been different with someone else on the left at the start.

Posted by: keef | January 3, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

this hurts, two points lost... what also pissed me off was that big hit on Schultz... a big guy like that going down like that... I don't know, maybe testosterone injections will help him?

Anyway... saturday will officially open the second season.

Oh, and I can imitate puckguru:
Until this team has George as manager we will NEVER win anything. WAKE UP people, your ignorance disgusts me, just a couple of wins to make you FORGET that the cause of all Caps woes, and cancer, and traffic, is GMGM.


Posted by: mauree | January 3, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

We probably don't have to worry about Schultze in Montreal.

I'll bet Kolzig kills him in the locker room after the game.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 3, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you guys are killing me!!

Well played, mauree!! who needs puckguru when we have you?!?

keef - don't think I didn't think of those possibilities!! ;-) LOL!!!

pmoravek - do you think Kolzig waited to get to the locker room to do that?!? regardless, I hate to say it, but there really is a resemblence to that picture!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Did you see Tarik's new entry? Pothier was injured tonight ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 3, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

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