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Beagle Sent Down, Kozlov Out Tomorrow

Here's the latest from KCI:

*Jay Beagle was sent down after practice.

*About Karl Alzner's demotion earlier in the day, Coach Bruce Boudreau said the rookie could be back soon. "We have eight [defensemen] here and he wasn't playing tomorrow," Boudreau said. "He could be back for Friday."

*Viktor Kozlov will miss tomorrow's game against Montreal, Boudreau said. Asked if it's worse than originally thought, Boudreau said: "Not that I know of. Everyday, I come expecting him to be ready but its not."

*I finally caught up with Brent Johnson, who told me that once the surgeon went to work on his hip, the extent of the damage was a little worse than originally thought. I'll have more on him in a separate post.

*I'm writing about Eric Fehr's emergence this month for tomorrow's Post. He's got goals in four straight games and in six of seven. Boudreau is known for changing up his lines often, but he said he's considering keeping the Fleischmann-Fedorov-Fehr combo together for a while. The unit has four goals in the three games it's been together.

"I'd like to be able to get some continuity with that line," Boudreau said. "We've changed lines around through necessity throughout the year [but] we would like to in the last 25 games get something together. Eric is playing as well as he's ever played at this level."

*Alex Ovechkin lost "juice boy," the game the players have at the end of practice (the one in which they fire pucks through sticks that are placed diagonally through the net. If you've been to practice, you know what I'm talking about). The "juice boy" then has to serve Gatorade - after asking if they prefer ice or not - to his teammates following practice. It was kind of hilarious watching Ovechkin walk around the room with 12 cups of Gatorade on a plate.

*When asked which actor he wanted to play him in the upcoming remake of Slap Shot, Boudreau joked that he wanted (his very small role in the movie) to be played by 88-year-old Mickey Rooney.

I'll have an item on Johnson this afternoon.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 12:38 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alzner Sent Down
Next: Who's That Kid?



Go Caps!!!

Posted by: fizhe | February 17, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

From last thread:

@puckman: That's true of most defensemen. The D's job is to keep the other guy from scoring goals, so if you have a high +/-, either you're scoring a lot or you're keeping the other guy from scoring a lot. In Schultz's case, it's the latter.

But I think what you're looking for as far as stats go is this link. It goes far beyond +/- and SOG and into derivative stats, quality of competition, and so forth, including 5-on-5, 5-on-4, and 4-on-5 play.

I love this team. They're so funny :)

YES PLEASE on keeping F3 together. That line has been positively smokin'. Great stuff.

Yikes on Johnson. Here's to a speedy recovery for him.

Agreed on SA-Town's comment from last thread that this blog is just about ready to throw everybody out. It's both funny and sad, and a measure of our expectations. I'm putting my faith in BB and GMGM - I think they've done pretty well so far, how about you?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: Is it possible to report on Alzner's bonus status. He has played in 30 of 57 games. Do they Caps at a certain point get cap relief on Alzner's bonuses, if certain of them become impossible to achieve? Can you shed some light on that?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 17, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAH they call it juice boy...

Posted by: superpaqman | February 17, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Can someone describe the "juice boy" game at the end of practice? I haven't been, so i don't know what they're talking about.

You're supposed to not hit the sticks or something? The description was confusing.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 17, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

it would have been awesome if Tarik got a pic of the Juice Boy loser today, haha

Posted by: MNMNT | February 17, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I hope Alzner and BB are having some good talks, because yo-yoing this kid between leagues can play havoc on a 21 year old head.

Posted by: gtydings | February 17, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Glad you asked here it is:

Update Fixed III: Just want to thank everyone for their input making this info better each time.

Is everyone prepared for the 21-game salute?

Picture perfect heading into the stretch. Picasso couldn't have painted a more beautiful picture. Is anyone more excited than I about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead:

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against Carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabres (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run! All we need is a veteran puck moving defensman.

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 17, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

They need to keep Fedorov with Semin IMO. Fehr or Flash can round out that line when kozlov returns. Thats been a consistent source of 2ndary scroing for the Caps.

Posted by: greener1 | February 17, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

people are giving input on that post but no one is asking for it to stop?

Hollywood is a city full of artists and idiots. Remake slapshot? Why? How about paying some of those writers and making a new movie, instead of redoing old ones we've already seen? Pathetic.

Posted by: oo7 | February 17, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

They put sticks through the net leaving smal triangles in the upper corners of the net. Then they take turns shooting for those openings and the last one left is "Juice Boy".

Posted by: _Mark | February 17, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

oo7: People have asked him to stop. Many times. He listens about as well as a five year old. I've come to the conclusion that he's looking for attention and am simply ignoring him at this point.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, dunno about some of the other bonuses, but a few of the schedule B ones require 41 NHL games.

Posted by: koalatek | February 17, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What...were they making Ovie shoot backhanders? Left-handed maybe?

Posted by: panic13 | February 17, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

brought over from last thread:


I've become a big, big fan of the guys that run the probablities, sabermetric, and statistic sites out there. I work with a guy who's great at the NFL stuff - oftentimes it takes me a long time to understand and realize how the numbers work. (If you read the NYTimes piece on Shane Battier this weekend, you know what we're talking about here.) There's a site ( that has the entire 2007-08 numbers available and coded by formula. Needless to say, it takes something to understand all the parameters but not much time to figure out how to sort the data provided. You can make your own assumptions about the data but if you sort last year's Caps by the player contribution based on even handed defense, short handed defense, short handed penalty killing and short handed goals, you know what? Schultz was #1 followed by Jurcina, Poti, Green, Morrisonn.

If you must know, Schultz came in at #24 for defensemen across the entire league.

I'm not a huge Schultz fan, particularly when watching the games at Verizon, but I also know that there's little flash to his game and lots of stuff we don't see. The numbers certainly bear this out. I also happen to think that Boudreau knows what he's doing.

Carry on.

I'm trying to find the 08-09 updated number.

Posted by: saintex | February 17, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Beagle was sent down. I thought he played with a lot of energy.

Posted by: Stu_c | February 17, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mickey Rooney ain't got nothin' on our Bruce Boudreau! :-)

Ditto all the yikes/ouches/damns on Johnny's hip. I'm sure playing on it for half a season didn't help. :-( I'm sorry to hear he's hurt worse than they originally thought. :-(

Keeping Kozlov on the same line as Semin is good; he seems to be able to handle keeping the "cutesy" moves to a minimum, and Semin plays better - more defensively responsibly, I mean - when he's on a line with Kozlov than he does with Backstrom and Ovechkin. It's true he's a scoring BEAST with Backstrom and Ovechkin on his line, but as someone put it, Donald Duck would be a scoring beast with those two.

Donald Duck? CLUTTERBUCK!!!

*sorry, had to*

That said, F3 appears to be clicking really well, and I'd hate to break that up to put Fehr or Fedorov on a line with Semin.

But that leaves us with the question of what to do with Kozlov when he comes back.

It's a question for somebody above my pay grade, I'm afraid, so I'm going to have to say that IN BRUCE I TRUST and leave it at that. He knows his boys better than anyone out there, I think, and I trust him to make the right choice.

It sounds to me like sending Alzner back to Hershey is more of a money / practice move than anything else... I'd rather have him somewhere he can take practice for a couple of days than have him up here riding pine, though...

So what did folks think of Beagle while he was up here? He didn't get much ice time, lined up with Brashear and Bradley, thanks to fights, but aside from the one goal that bounced off of him and into our net, spoiling Neuvirth's bid for a shutout, he didn't play badly at all, I don't think - and a bad hop is not his fault...

@Tarik - Ditto on the rules for "Juice Boy!" It sounds hillarious!

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz- I'm always impressed by your postings; very knowledgeable.
Re Schultz- given the statistics, it seems that the guy's doing his job. What bothers me, however, is his apparent lack of strength and his inability to clear the crease, especially when on PK. It seems like HE is the one being pushed around and out of the way so the other guy is in position to screen our goalie. I think this will be exploited during the playoffs.
Just saying...

Posted by: al852 | February 17, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@irtr: That shot bounced off of Kronwall, not Beagle. Beagle had a couple of very good opportunities to score but just couldn't quite beat the goalie in either case. I liked what I saw and think he'll be an effective NHl-level 3/4-line center. He's definitely a grit and energy guy, but that's no bad thing.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

And, if you look at 08-09 overall player contributions - offense and defense together - then Schultz was #4 for all Caps last year behind AO, Green and Kozlov.

Posted by: saintex | February 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

For as long as Semin (and Ovie, for that matter) continues to play defense and back check ...


Posted by: dml1077 | February 17, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

that is ... once 25 returns

Posted by: dml1077 | February 17, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

koalatek: Thanks.

Does Beagle fight? If so, they will need a replacement for Brash some day.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 17, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - I stand corrected; thanks.

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Yes, Beagle does fight - there are some videos up on YouTube for your perusal. :-)

Another fighter on the Bears' team is Grant McNeill, but he's been out injured for a while (broken wrist) - @anyone who's been to recent Bears games - is G. McNeill back yet?

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse


It doesn't seem that BB asks for much of defense from Semin. As long as he's out of the penalty box and scores as usual, he's probably ok. Semin's +26 is some indication that he's not doing too bad in terms of defense.

The plus/minus ratios is another interesting story. Of the top 24 +/- league leaders, only too have less than 45 games: Green (44 games) with +28, 6th place and Semin (38 games) with +26, 8th. And who's the number 25? Our JEFF SCHULTZ, 40 games, +18! Cool.

Posted by: fnralch | February 17, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@_Mark - That sounds like the guy who hits the target most frequently is Juice Boy... I'm not sure I'd call that "losing," LOL! Am I backwards?

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Misprint: Green is actually 5th.

Posted by: fnralch | February 17, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@al852: Awww, I've learned from the best. There's lots of people out there more knowledgeable than I am; if you want to discuss stats and nitty-gritty with the best there is, go hang out at Japers' Rink. It's a Caps blog that is very stat-oriented, and there's some really, really smart people who hang out there. I've learned a lot from them.

I do know what you mean about him getting shouldered out of the crease a lot, and it's frustrating to watch that happen to someone that big. I personally think there's a downside to having your own D parked in the crease: it just adds to the goalies' vision problems, creates deflections into your own net (e.g. Kronwall), and doesn't contribute that much in the way of blocked shots. I have no stats to support that, that's just an opinion. The D's job seems to work best when you punt the other team's guys out of the crease and then get out of the way yourself.

But I agree with you. That's a problem, definitely. I don't think it's enough of a problem to warrant the hatefest he gets on this blog, though.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@irtr: No, if you manage to get it in, you're out of the game, I think. I've watched them do it once. Last person left is the loser.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: opita1 | February 17, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Was anyone at practice today? I heard from a friend Nylander stormed out refusing to sign autographs or talk to anyone. Just curious if anyone noticed this?

Posted by: Phishhead311 | February 17, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

G.Mcneill just started contact practice.

Posted by: cocorules | February 17, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: vik191 | February 17, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse


Is it really that difficult for you to actually LOOK at a schedule before you post it? We have TWO home games vs. the Pens; two games vs. the Flyers--one home, one away and the game against the Islanders is a home game, not away.

Really, it's just not that hard to look at a schedule.

Posted by: CindyJennings | February 17, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

When the Caps send a guy down for a day or two and then recall him for the next game... how does that work/what are the rules? Does the player actually leave DC and go to Hershey even if it's just for a day or two? If not, is he still allowed to practice with the team? Seems like we've sent guys down but only on paper, if you know what I mean.

Also, in reposne to vik191's post. How about some NBC signs...

But a

Posted by: griz0615 | February 17, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik...

Love the line of Flash--Federov--Fehr (how 'bout a nick Stop?) but I have mixed emotions about them too. Strekel didnt get as much credit as I thought he deserved when working with Fehr..I love him in the middle of those two. Comments?

Posted by: Beltwayman2 | February 17, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: vik191 | February 17, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Also someone who sits near the benches needs to make a sign...

A thought bubble with "I'm an idiot" inside of it to hold behind Mike Milbury when he's doing his spots for NBC.

That guy sucks. Remember his "Crapitals" comment? And calling Ovie dog?

Posted by: griz0615 | February 17, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

That shot bounced off of Kronwall, not Beagle. Beagle had a couple of very good opportunities to score but just couldn't quite beat the goalie in either case. I liked what I saw and think he'll be an effective NHl-level 3/4-line center. He's definitely a grit and energy guy, but that's no bad thing.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 1:33 PM

Beagle's probably already a better 3rd/4th liner than Bradley is. Not trying to kick Brads out of the lineup but if Beagle can put his concussion issues behind him he may even turn into a Brandon Dubinsky kind of player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 17, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Beltwayman2

I like the Nickname the F-U line. any thoughts?

Posted by: HockeyFarmer | February 17, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

mike milbury,

is a scum sucking NBC Dog. He is like everyone else in the hockey department at NBC. they all sweat for Crosby so bad that they smell like a dirty Jockstrap.


Posted by: HockeyFarmer | February 17, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I second the motion. F-U Line. LOVE it.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 17, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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