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Bettman: D.C. to host outdoor game in '2-3 years'

Commissioner Gary Bettman, in his annual state-of-the-league news conference, moments ago confirmed reports that the Penguins will host the Caps in the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day.

That part was expected. This part wasn't: Bettman also said that the Caps will host their own outdoor game in the next "two to three years."

"In doing our due diligence for this game, we could not help but be impressed with the fan interest and the possibilities in Washington D.C.," Bettman said. "And so our plan is to do an outdoor game in Washington in the next two to three years because we think that would be an excellent venue/opportunity/market/fan base for us to connect with, with this event, as well."

Here's what team owner Ted Leonsis had to say in an interview posted on the Caps' website:

"I was really gratified when our commissioner today announced that there will be a game played here in Washington, D.C. I think our fan base has earned that right. I think that our franchise has arrived as one of the best franchise in professional hockey, and I know our fans will really embrace it. I don't think there's any city that's more beautiful and more deserving than Washington D.C., and it really will be an honor when we drop the puck and play an outdoor game here in Washington in future years. And I'd like to thank the commissioner and all the people at the NHL and NBC for having that confidence in us and our fan base. We'll work really hard, and I'll be really proud to host it here for all of our fans."

The question now: Where will it be?


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 28, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
 
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Comments

KEEP IT IN DC. While Darth Snyder's complex can hold more people, I think RFK is more of a landmark and testament to the history of DC sports and entertainment. The Metro station is closer to the arena than at FedEx, and to top it all off... the bleachers bounce like a car's hydraulic lift kit.

Posted by: EddieP1 | May 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

If RFK hasn't fallen completely apart by then, do it in RFK.

If you use Nats Ark, have the tarp on standby...

Posted by: CapsNut | May 28, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I dont even see how the Mall fits in the puzzle.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 28, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

A game on the Mall would be awesome although I'm not sure how the seating would work. The Capitol provides the perfect backdrop. Realistically though, Nationals Park is the best choice. RFK is old, and FedEx is in Landover for god's sake. Furthermore, anything associated with Dan Snyder and a successful D.C. sports team is a sin against mankind.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | May 28, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

We can seat something like 50K for the inaugurations so we have the stands in storage somewhere. Lay the ice over the mall, set the stands up vertically - ON THE GLASS - and play the game. It would be stunning to do it at night, lighting would be easy - and have the monuments and Capitol lit up. It would be the stunning game ever.

I don't like the stadiums, truth be told. There's always way too much dead ground around the ice, not the way the game should be played, and the sight lines must be horrid.

The Mall, at night, can be done. Plus, you've got five accessible Metro stops, restuarants, and the other half of the mall for parties. Set up screens for fans to pitch chairs and parties.

Posted by: saintex | May 28, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, you'd have to build a stadium on the National Mall to make it work, a temporary one. Good luck. Be cool, esp if you left the Capitol end open. Nats Park would be OK, but sightlines would probably be better at RFK and Fed Ex. But I think it will be FedEx. Ninety Thousand Seats.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | May 28, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Any of those aside from FedEx Field would be great. FedEx has a very inconvenient location, and Snyder has made it even worse through his idiotic policies.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, all you people who voted for the mall, where is everyone going to sit? I guess we could do the same thing as the Obama inauguration, where most people stood around on the mall watching on TV monitors.

Posted by: Dick_in_Fairfax | May 28, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

can you imagine a game played in the mall setting? museums, capitol, washington monument. the photos would be outta this world

how about the lincoln memorial reflecting pool!

Posted by: mcintire_will | May 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If we can get 50K seats, 20,000 to STH for each team and 10K in a lottery, that's enough. Half the visiting team tickets would probably come back.

The idea should be the outdoor portion of the game, not the capacity.

Posted by: saintex | May 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Or, ice up the Potomac and let's play Pond Hockey!

Posted by: saintex | May 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Previous post:

I actually have a different opinion on this. I think viewing will be higher. NBC is already going to have Caps and Pens fans watching, along with die hard hockey fans as well. This is true for any big time game. (Both teams fans and die hard fans of said sport). Now what they're shooting for is the casual fan who isn't all that familiar with the over-saturation of Crosby/Ovechkin. The casual fan doesn't sit around all day reading blogs and posting on message boards (like me/us). To them- it's Yankees/Red Sox. Probably not a fan of either team, but they know it's going to be exciting either way. Lots of scoring, drama, etc. That is exactly who the Winter Classic is geared towards. And looking at it from that perspective- Caps/Pens is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 28, 2010 11:22 AM

I see your point, but I think it's wrong. Many hockey fans are pissed about this matchup, and are saying they won't watch it. It will probably get many casual fans, but will lose many of the diehard fans.

I saw your later post in regards to this, and I don't feel like you're picking stuff apart at all - I think you are making good points, I just happen to disagree. It's nice to see someone being that polite, actually lol.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Previous topic:

Clutterbuck's a solid player. Much better than Tootoo (who I love also but only as a 8 min/game guy on the 4th line.). Why is everyone talking about CC anyway? any rumblings of a trade or something?

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 28, 2010 11:14 AM

When talk about changes for next season was going, an idea was put out there of trading Flash for Clutterbuck. We'd get a hard-hitting, gritty winger, and they'd get a winger who is nearly as good at scoring as anyone they have. No rumors, just an idea.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 28, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Super Bowl will be at the New Meadowlands Stadium in 2014, seems logical to have a Classic there, say in 2012, just so that people can pay attention and say "Boy, if it is like this in two years, the Super Bowl will be (insert word here)."

Posted by: Nemo24601 | May 28, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Not thrilled about a New Years vacation to Pittsburgh, but the room is booked and as a full STH I will get tickets! This has turned out to be quite a good day and in a few hours a 3 day weekend will be the cherry on top!

Posted by: NatyBG | May 28, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

man, I would love the sight lines at RFK for a game like this. Sitting in the upper level there is like club seats at fedex.

Posted by: deiulay | May 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Yawn............the Winter Classic is an abomination. It makes the NHL appear to be what it really is. A niche sport that has to use gimmicks to get mainstream attention...........

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 28, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I posted this yesterday, but National Mall would also be very cool:

It's ridiculous the NHL cannot throw the CAPS a bone... What is the problem with putting this event in DC... come on, really... what are they going to show during the commercial lead-ins of Pittsburgh PA?? I'm not even going to speculate, but let's face it... THIS GAME COULD BE PLAYED AT FEDEX FIELD!!!

I know, it would be much better at Nats Park, but you promote it as THE LARGEST ATTENDANCE TO SEE A HOCKEY GAME EVER!!!

Currently, the largest crowd to see a game of any hockey was a college game on 10/6/01 between Univ Mich & Mich St. of 74,000 or so people (NHL record = 71,000).

Posted by: tony325 | May 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe a Winter Classic in DC when I see it on a 60-degree New Year's Day in 2024.

I don't believe one word that bum Bettman has to say about anything.

Knowing him, Washington will host it in 2024, against the Biloxi Shrimpers, who were proudly welcomed in as the NHL's 44th team a year earlier.

Posted by: writered21 | May 28, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

One thing - it will never be on the Mall, it's not privately owned.

As much as I'd like a game in DC, what about the other 28 teams? I'm already angry about the Pens being in two. The league needs to give other teams a chance. I'd rather have the All-Star game and/or Draft here, which can happen now that Ted owns Verizon.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | May 28, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

If we can figure out how to plug an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, we can certainly figure out how to build an ice rink on the National Mall. What's that? We can't figure out how to plug an oil leak? Ok, then, never mind... ;)

Posted by: tess2201 | May 28, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see it at the Nats new stadium, but it doesn't hold as near as much as other possible venues.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Tony, the record for a hockey game was broken by the US Germany match at the recent world Championships.

The Mall would be difficult. Where do you fit 50,000 seats? About what RFK has, just think how many rows that is. Bleachers won't be enough, even the ones used for the inauguration. Plus you need all the facilities of a stadium, from toilets to concessions to locker rooms. Where do you PUT all of this? You can't use helicopters or blimps overhead so TV is handicapped (did I mention electric power, by the way?) Don't reinvent the wheel, have it at a stadium and accept that it may well be FedEx for the seatage.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | May 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The national Mall should not be used for anything commercial. Now if the NHL wanted to construct temporary stands for 50,000 people and let people in at no cost, that would be the best venue. Please not in Maryland.

Posted by: miklosis1 | May 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Fenway Park hosted it this year and it was fine (Nats Parks' capacity is comparable). I don't see the point of having it in a giant football stadium where half the fans won't have anything approaching a decent view of the rink.

As far as the Mall goes, well, you could freeze the Reflecting Pool, but I don't think it's regulation size. :D

Posted by: blackjack65 | May 28, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Nationals Park. The Metro runs there and it is in DC. RFK is not in that good shape. Doubt that the National Park Service would let the Mall be used for an event like this.

Posted by: NovaCath1 | May 28, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The National Mall is not supposed to be used for commercial purposes though that rule was clearly bent for NFL pre-kickoff festivities some years ago. I'm not sure though how a full NHL game could pass muster.

With RFK Stadium likely too derelict by then to support such an outing, Nationals Park or FedExField would almost certainly have to host the game.

Posted by: evwill | May 28, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I personally think it's nuts to hold it here. The chances of a 50+ degree rainy day on Jan 1 in this area are just too high. Ice melts, Ice is very important to ice hockey. Nice as it would be, it just isn't wise.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | May 28, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

cstanton:

I was the one who started the trade for Clutterbuck idea. I came up with a cap-neutral plan to plug some of the team's holes:

1) sign Volchenkov at around $5M (less if he'll take it) (cap = +5)
2) Trade Flash and Erskine to Minn for Clutterbuck and a #2 pick (cap = -3)
3) Trade Semin to Pitt for Staal (cap = -2)

You move Fehr to #2 RW and Laich to #2 LW between Staal. MP and MJ fight it out for #3 center. Chimera is your #2 LW and Clutterbuck (signed 10-13 at $1.1M per) your #2 RW. Bradley, Stecks and someone make the 4th line. Volch plays RD so he gets Poti. Green and Schultz stay together, Alzner and Carlson go together and Sloan is your extra D. Bring back Laing as 13th forward. Varly and Neuvy.

At that point, with 56.8M cap, you have about $1-1.5M leftover. Use the #2 pick you got from Minn to add a gritty D or a veteran G at next year's deadline.

That's my plan. If anyone has a better one, please post.

ps: It's easier to drink beer than be an NHL GM, btw.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 28, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, Chimera and Clutterbuck are #3 LW and RW (must be the beer).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 28, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Having lived in Pittsburgh for the last 4 years I can tell you that the weather is almost the same as here in DC. When I would talk to my friends who still lived here the temperature was within 5 degrees every day unless one area had rain and the other didn't so the idea that Pittsburgh won't be too warm but DC will be is not really accurate. They both have about an equal chance of having warm weather. Also don't forget that many years ago they played an outdoor game in Vegas. The ice was horrible but the system they used was not nearly as good as the current system. If they can play outside in Nevada why not DC? Just at RFK or FedEx. I have had friends go to the first two classics and the view was much better from a NFL arena because in the outfield with the glass the reflection was too hard to see through at lower levels at Wrigley.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 28, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Also a side player note Corey Masisak writes, the best fit might be Matthew Lombardi, who "has the wheels to keep up with Laich and Semin." This was on ESPN.com about the Caps possible signing at center. It also mentioned Vaclav Prospal as an option but the salery demands will be the big issue there.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 28, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Ice melts, Ice is very important to ice hockey. Nice as it would be, it just isn't wise.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1

How cold is it in Verizon on gameday? Warmer than whatever will be happing outside on Jan 1 2012, 2013 or 2014.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 28, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Just freeze the reflecting pool and it'll be good to go. May take a few minutes to get to the puck for icing though.

Posted by: DCFanatic | May 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

This game WILL NOT be played on The Mall, so any discussion of that should stop. The accomodations are not there, seats, concessions, not gonna happen. Either Nats Park or Fedex.

Posted by: DCFanatic | May 28, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Earlier today I believe NatyBG was concerned about getting tickets for the winter classic. For season ticket holders that haven't check their mail yet, have no fear, we're set!

"Every Washington Capitals full-season account holder will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic."

Also, I've read a lot of hockey articles today so I cannot remember where I saw the price, but if memory serves I saw something about tickets prices being starting at $50 and going to $300. Of course that is face value. Season ticket holders will be lucky enough to purchase the tickets at face, others will pay A LOT.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 28, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

If tickets were anything like the Philly/Bruins WC, tickets shouldn't be that hard to get, plan-holder or not. A number of my acquaintances, non-plan holders, were able to find tickets rather easily.

I'm not sure how that translates into the WC next year though.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 28, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone suggesting FedEx is nuts. That place sucks and is in the middle of nowhere. RFK if it wasn't so old. Put it in Nationals Park. Brand new. Huge scoreboard. Along the Metro.

FedEx sucks.

Posted by: Sticksboi35 | May 28, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I think it's appropriate to have a Winter classic game featuring Hockey's biggest rivalry. The Habs and Leafs.

I vote for Nationals Park or RFK, although it would be awesome to play at the National Mall as far as scenery.

Too bad Camden Yards isn't located in D.C. I think it would be the best stadium to play at.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | May 28, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

While I understand everyone's concerns about the Mall, you have to at least try to have it there. What other city has the opportunity to host a game in such a non-sports related historic venue? Every year, the NHL puts the game in just another outdoor stadium. Go for the gusto...see if it is possible. Wouldn't Canada's game on the National Mall be an interesting subplot?

If they can figure out how to stream hockey games to my computer, they have to be able to figure out how to hold a hockey game at the National Mall. Have faith.

Posted by: jazapfsp | May 28, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

"I think that our franchise has arrived as one of the best franchise in professional hockey, and I know our fans will really embrace it."

Funny how you can be one of the best franchise's in the NHL and get eliminated in the first round.

Posted by: Leeale | May 28, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

"I think that our franchise has arrived as one of the best franchise in professional hockey, and I know our fans will really embrace it."

Funny how you can be one of the best franchise's in the NHL and get eliminated in the first round.

Posted by: Leeale | May 28, 2010 11:26 PM

Happened two years in a row now. That's one of the things that makes hockey great.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

The mall would be great if life were a video game. Unfortunately, life is not a video game and you have to consider the logistics of getting seating for tens of thousands of people set up in such a way that is conducive of watching hockey while keeping in mind the whole issue of "homeland security" and whatnot...

I vote RFK.

Posted by: aybee27 | May 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

cstanton:

I was the one who started the trade for Clutterbuck idea. I came up with a cap-neutral plan to plug some of the team's holes:

1) sign Volchenkov at around $5M (less if he'll take it) (cap = +5)
2) Trade Flash and Erskine to Minn for Clutterbuck and a #2 pick (cap = -3)
3) Trade Semin to Pitt for Staal (cap = -2)

You move Fehr to #2 RW and Laich to #2 LW between Staal. MP and MJ fight it out for #3 center. Chimera is your #2 LW and Clutterbuck (signed 10-13 at $1.1M per) your #2 RW. Bradley, Stecks and someone make the 4th line. Volch plays RD so he gets Poti. Green and Schultz stay together, Alzner and Carlson go together and Sloan is your extra D. Bring back Laing as 13th forward. Varly and Neuvy.

At that point, with 56.8M cap, you have about $1-1.5M leftover. Use the #2 pick you got from Minn to add a gritty D or a veteran G at next year's deadline.

That's my plan. If anyone has a better one, please post.

ps: It's easier to drink beer than be an NHL GM, btw.

Posted by: tominsocal1

Semin, Flash to Nashville

Suter, Arnott to Washington

my 2 cents

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Just dont play the Winter Classic in Maryland...DC teams that play games on MURRRLAND soil are cursed for a long time.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 29, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

teams that play games on MURRRLAND soil are cursed for a long time.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 29, 2010 9:18 AM

whats wrong with murrrland?
i'm guessing they don't have $2 beers

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Yawn............the Winter Classic is an abomination. It makes the NHL appear to be what it really is. A niche sport that has to use gimmicks to get mainstream attention...........

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 28, 2010 4:00 PM

It great for the game of hockey. The interest level generated from this game is on par with the Super Bowl and the Masters in Golf.
Why is it a "gimmick"? because it is played outside on New Yers Day? I think its great marketing in my opinion.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | May 29, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: That person mispronounced it. The state is "Murrlyn" and the largest city is "Bawlmer." The team playing for the city to the north is the "Iggles" and when you stop working you are "re-tarred."

underpants: Good idea on your two cents but incomplete. You leave us with one extra D and short one F. Arnott would be very good as #2 center, but not as good and w/o the long-term potential as Staal. Suter would be great though for long term.

Your plan works if Erskine moves off and maybe they re-sign Belanger for 3rd line duty. I'd love to get Clutterbuck though.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Tom, I never did ask. Why do you think Shero would be interested in trading Staal for Semin?

Considering that Semin is only under contract for one year and Staal 3. Semin is 2m more for next year than Staal and Pitts is going to need every $ they have to fill their holes. And Semin has made it clear that he's going to see what offers are out there on 7/1/11.

Now if you'd say Mike Green for Staal that might make it more plausable.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 29, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

If you want to speculate on a trade partner, look to Chicago. They have to dump salary.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/team.php?team=CHI

Posted by: Steve_R | May 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

TSoCal:
i've heard people pronounce it bawmer - without the L

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

SteveR: Staal is way underutilized as 3rd line C and Semin is somewhat underutilized as a #2 line wing. Pitt is overstaffed at C and weak at W - exact opposite as Caps. It absolutely makes sense for Pitt to move their #3 center and get back a #1 RW. Great trade for them.

For Caps, moving #2 RW and getting back a #2 center and then promoting Fehr gives us Fehr and Saal for the price of Semin.

Pitt is getting the better player out of the deal (a 1st liner as opposed to a 2nd liner) so they are the team to take the gamble on signing Semin long term.

If there's another player to match with Semin and keep him happy it could be Malkin.

Moving Semin and Flash and getting back Volch and Staal is cap neutral and significantly increases team balance.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

no way do the caps trade with the pens. the one team bruce does not want to win the cups is the pens. caps were not happy when pens signed BJ and Borque. So how about a curve ball. if somehow caps sign kovalchuk to a one year deal like hosa and try to win the cup next year.

ov backie knuble
kovy perault semin
laich MJ fehr
steckle belanger bradley

Posted by: samb99 | May 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering when someone would start the Kovalchuk nonsense...

the Caps need a CENTER, not another Russian winger who has yet to prove anything in the playoffs... Kovy would help you win another Prez trophy, nothing more

Posted by: joek443 | May 29, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

joek443

i agree with you. i just get the feeling that GMGM likes certain type of players. lets see how all this shakes out. also i thing a trade for a number center is more likely than a UFA

Posted by: samb99 | May 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@ samb99

I agree that GMGM and BB like certain types of players and that's exactly what's wrong with this team... all they've proven so far is they're good for 50 wins/season.

they're a team that's fun to watch, in order to win in the playoffs, they must become a team that's tough to play against.

Posted by: joek443 | May 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Trying to deny that Kovalchuk makes your team better is funny.

The Caps have absolutely no use for another goal-scoring winger though. There's tons of teams who will offer him more money, and need his goals.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

OVY/Backs/Knuble
Laich/Arnott/Fehr
Bouchard/MP or MJ/Chimera (or sign ufa colby armstrong)
Bradley/Steckel/Della Rovere

Green/Schultz
Alzner/R. Suter
Poti/Carlson

Semin and Flash traded for Suter and Arnott

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Armstrong wanted 3 mil/yr + from ATL. No thank you.

What is with this Della Rovere obsession? There are others in front of him. Barring some sort of miraculous showing at training camp, Della Rovere isn't making the team next year.

Arnott is old and makes 5 mil/yr+. If he doesn't perform (not to mention he's been injury prone recently), we have another Nylander on our hands.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Correction; Arnott's cap hit is 4.5 mil/yr. It does only have 1 year left though.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 29, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

OVY/Backs/Knuble
Laich/Arnott/Fehr
Bouchard/MP or MJ/Chimera (or sign ufa colby armstrong)
Bradley/Steckel/Della Rovere

Green/Schultz
Alzner/R. Suter
Poti/Carlson

Semin and Flash traded for Suter and Arnott

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 5:25 PM

Here's an idea... try making a lineup that has a half-decent 2nd line, with a playmaker somewhere in there. Other than the 1st line, and maybe the 4th, that lienup sucks.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

OVY/Backs/Knuble
Laich/Arnott/Fehr
Bouchard/MP or MJ/Chimera (or sign ufa colby armstrong)
Bradley/Steckel/Della Rovere

Green/Schultz
Alzner/R. Suter
Poti/Carlson

Semin and Flash traded for Suter and Arnott

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 5:25 PM

Here's an idea... try making a lineup that has a half-decent 2nd line, with a playmaker somewhere in there. Other than the 1st line, and maybe the 4th, that lienup sucks.

Posted by: timmyv38

Exactly what is your idea of a half-decent 2nd line or lineup? You can have a lineup that looks good on paper, but what about when it counts? The Sharks, Caps, Leafs (signing free agents in the offseason), Rangers, Devils, and other teams have proven you can have great players and still lose.

The Flyers got to the finals with a backup and minor league goalie. Everybody trashed the Hawks during the second half of the season and they made it in. Montreal on paper looked bad and ousted the Caps and Pens.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | May 29, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

OVY/Backs/Knuble
Laich/Arnott/Fehr
Bouchard/MP or MJ/Chimera (or sign ufa colby armstrong)
Bradley/Steckel/Della Rovere

Green/Schultz
Alzner/R. Suter
Poti/Carlson

Semin and Flash traded for Suter and Arnott

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 5:25 PM

Here's an idea... try making a lineup that has a half-decent 2nd line, with a playmaker somewhere in there. Other than the 1st line, and maybe the 4th, that lienup sucks.

@timmyv38

Just because Boyd Gordon isn't in it doesn't make it bad. I would hope that lineup adds quite a bit of heart, clearly what the Caps have been lacking.

I think we can manage without Semin's ZERO goals just fine. Make a suggestion, or shut up.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

hockeynight, for a 2nd line, you need scoring ability and playmaking ability. Laich and Fehr can score, but neither is a playmaker. Arnott no longer is one either. Put a playmaking center in his place, and there would be a good 2nd line. Or, Laich/Fehr with Semin and a passing center would work.

By the way, one major reason the Caps lost was because they DIDN'T have a good 2nd line. Primarily, it was due to not having a decent 2nd center.

And the 3rd line he gave... very puzzling. The 3rd line would optimally be a gritty checking line - something else the Caps didn't really have.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

underpants, try reading posts before going on personal attacks. The 4th line was one of the two I said was good - and that was without Gordon. And I know we can do without Semin, but not unless we at least try to replace the scoring he brings - as in his FORTY GOALS - since he is the only consistent scorer aside from Ovie and Backstrom. I already have posted plenty of ways the lineup could be, maybe go read those instead of acting like an idiot.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

So what's with the stupid song they play every time the Hawks score? My daughter is using the R word for that song.

Was this a good game?

Not really. Exciting though.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 29, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a technically good game, quite a few of the goals seemed to be due to defensive errors. But it was good in terms of being enjoyable and fairly even. I wasn't expecting the Flyers to hold their own in a shootout.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Underpants: What's up? You post some really interesting ideas and then you tell someone to shut up.

Technically, on the internet, you can't "shut up."

Maybe you meant, "or quit typing."

timmy: Your note above, though, "try making a decent second line," was a little flip.

You guys both post really good ideas, so it just bugs me when this happens. If we were all in a bar like and we were really friends like it kind of seems, would you all talk this way?

If someone posts and no one responds, it isn't much of a blog is it? I'm the first to admit I'm no way an expert on hockey, especially on players on Western teams that I rarely watch. I am very appreciative to get opinions on some of these players from people like cstanton and richmondphil.

I could quote Rodney King but you'd all call me an idiot. Best to all, enjoy the holiday.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 29, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

underpants, try reading posts before going on personal attacks. The 4th line was one of the two I said was good - and that was without Gordon. And I know we can do without Semin, but not unless we at least try to replace the scoring he brings - as in his FORTY GOALS - since he is the only consistent scorer aside from Ovie and Backstrom. I already have posted plenty of ways the lineup could be, maybe go read those instead of acting like an idiot.

Posted by: timmyv3

Show me.

You are a moron. Semin's forty goals in the regular season are meaningless now. This team needs balls. They fold in key situations, Semin especially. This team will win the division, they won by almost 40 points this year. They have offense to spare. It's not about the regular season anymore, when will you realize that?

Posted by: underpants2 | May 29, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

the flyers had no penalty in this game, these are not your daddy's flyers...

except for Briere's goal, none of the goals were scored by the top scorers on either team...

this is the weakest area of the Caps, their role players aren't as good as those on either of these teams... they're effective neither on defense nor on offense.

Posted by: joek443 | May 29, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

underpants, they were mainly about a week ago. Apparently, the list of articles on here doesn't go back far enough - due to the number of articles posted on the 23rd/24th. But I can give you the gist of ones that I said - a few of which you responded to, btw.

Ovie-Backs-Knuble
Semin-Laich-Center to be acquired
Fehr-Belanger-Chimera
Bradley-Steckel-Gordon/Hershey player

In regards to 2nd center, I did suggest some names or inquire as to suggestions - MP was mentioned, Plekanec, Nathan Horton, Koivu, a few others as well.

As for Semin - you must not pay any attention. Against Montreal, Semin created more scoring chances than anyone else from either team, he played better defense than nearly any other Cap, and he did all this without a decent line to help him. Halak's constant highlight reel saves are the only reason Semin didn't have about a dozen goals. If the Caps 2nd line had been playing well alongside Semin, the Caps would still be in the playoffs. Laich wasn't getting in front of the net and BMo wasn't doing much of anything.

Do you understand the importance of having scoring on the 2nd line? Your posts all seem to indicate otherwise. When the 2nd line doesn't score, what happened against Montreal happens - the defense collapses on the 1st line, making the Caps have to win via 3rd/4th line scoring. Without a scoring threat on the 2nd line, and backup from the rest of the 2nd line (which none of your lineups have had so far), the Caps won't make it to the postseason. Or, if they do, they'll be like the Senators were when they had Heatley-Alfredsson-Spezza - a 1-line scoring team who never gets anywhere. If the Caps can trade Semin and Flash to get a goal scoring #2 center and a good dman, then they might need to do that - but trading for a center like Arnott isn't going to help the team at all.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Description of tonight's hockey game. It's what happens when good offense meets bad goal tending.

And what's the world coming to? The Flyers with NO penalties! I never thought I'd see the day. (Or did they just suddenly get cleverer at hiding their infractions from the refs?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 29, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

the Caps need a Dave Bolland type center more than a Jason Arnott type... Bolland is like his old junior coach Dale Hunter with more speed.

Posted by: joek443 | May 29, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

There were a few blatant penalties on the Flyers that the refs missed. They did seem to play a much cleaner game than usual though. Maybe because Chicago is such a dangerous team on the PP, especially with Buff playing the was he is.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 29, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Ted did a blog entry in which he said it will NOT be on the Mall. The game needs to be held in an existing facility as they need electricity, lights, lockers rooms, medical stations, rest rooms, food stands, security, and facilities for media. The National Park Service would probably never allow this on the Mall; but the costs to build a temporary rink that would provide sufficient seating and all the necessary requirements would just be cost prohibitive for a one day event.

Posted by: NovaCath1 | May 30, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

i thought some one said in a comment after it was announced that next years WC would be in Pitt that Ted didnt want the game in DC ...I guess they was wrong..

Posted by: heathdog1119 | May 30, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Going back to the original subject, RFK is not really an option because a college football bowl game is played there the week between Christmas and New Year's, meaning there's not enough time to build a rink. Of course, that game could fold, which would free up the stadium, but the NHL can't make plans based on what "could" happen.

The Mall would be quite spectacular, like when the KHL played an outdoor all-star game in Red Square, but it's too impractical for a large number of reasons, including those Ted noted. It's too bad there isn't a decent college football stadium in the area, since a football stadium has much better sightlines for a hockey rink than a baseball stadium does.

Posted by: 1995hoo | June 1, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The Mall would be nice and all those things could be brought to the Mall (food, services etc) - its just would not be able to hold more than 30000 with any view even with large screens....but the point of the winter classic is its made for TV - so how will they know its not 100000 people if the setting is loud, picturesque and the camera zooms in.....

it would be great PR wouldn't it though?

I think the field has to be level - I'm not certain that a playing surface on the mall would be truly level - dips up and down natural and not maintained to be perfectly level.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | June 2, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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