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Big Lineup Changes in the ATL

Okay, here's what I know about tonight's lineup in Atlanta:

*Eminger comes off IR and is in the lineup
*Backstrom moves to center
*Jurcina, after a rough game last night, is a healthy scratch.
*Bourque is here and will dress.
*Poti will take the warmup before deciding whether to play.
*Semin and Clark have been placed on IR, retroactive to when they were injured, meaning they can come off at any time.
*Looks like Sutherby will be out.

Here are the expected forward combos:


The 'D' pairings will be set after Poti decides whether to play or not.

Johnson will oppose Pavelec in goal.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 6, 2007; 5:31 PM ET
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Next: Late Practice Today


Steve's first game and I cant see it F U Gary.

Posted by: TJ | November 6, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I applaud to the try of those first 2 lines. Finally Backstrom to the center. (relief)

Posted by: Charest | November 6, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game last night - was Jurcina really the problem on D?

Posted by: Stormblue | November 6, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Time for change | November 6, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'll really be counting on your write-up, Tarik! I can't believe the timing of the drastic (and exciting) lineup changes. Bourque's game, Eminger's return, Backstrom on the center and Kozlov on the wing... these are important things I've been hoping to see more of and I can't see any of them!!

Posted by: false_cause | November 6, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

What TJ said.

Emmy and Bourque in the lineup, and I'll be watching the damn rangers/islanders just to hopefully get a highlite or two. I hate NY and gary bettman.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Jurcina is not the problem! Maybe the lastest fall guy though, WOW. When will Ollie be blamed for the lack of scoring?

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 6, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Elated to see Backstrom centering a line...but Jurcina a scratch? C' was a bad game but he's 1,000,000,000,000,000 times better than that wet noodle, Schultz.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

wet noodle. ha. they'll both be scratched if Poti plays. hopefully at least.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse


Finally common sense is working...

Better late than never! :-)

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 6, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

wow this sucks. Eminger's back Backstrom is in his rightful posision and i don't get to see the game! And what's Hanlon's problem? He is luckey enough to get chemistry with ovechkin and kozlov and they're not even on the same line?!?! have to be pecimistic but we're gonna get CRUSHED

Posted by: DC FURY | November 6, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree, scratch Shultz before Jurcina...

Posted by: Murshawursha | November 6, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Hell, scratch Pothier before Juice. I love me some Juice - we need that kind of hitting on the ice (even if he is a bit aimless at times). :)

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

At least he is finally making some changes. drastic, positive changes. lets see what happens. juice needs to refocus, bet he comes back stronger from this.

Posted by: Lee | November 6, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Emmy back in the lineup. To all who say scratch Schultz ahead of Juice, realize this: Eminger is absolutely terrible playing on the left side, so if they put him in it needs to be in the place of a righty. The only redeeming value I've noticed for Pothier is that he consistently puts pucks on net, which may be enough to have him play ahead of Juice, although I'm not sure if it's the decision I would have made.

Posted by: Brad | November 6, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Mr. Bourque, you'll be skating on the first line, just follow their lead. No pressure since no one will be watching. Watch the slap shots inbound from the left point.

Posted by: CapsPDX | November 6, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok so I am confused Tarik, did you mean that Jurcina was physically wiped out from yesterday or did you mean he played bad last night and that is why he was scratched? Because although he didn't have a great game last night he certainly would be the LAST d-man I would make a healthy scratch!!! WTF!!!!Really I mean come on...Schultz/Pothier plays and Jurcina is out!!!! That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard, and now I am really beginning to slowly climb onto the ledge, I appreciate things needing to be changed up in order to get some flow/luck back but in my heart of hearts I know that scratching Jurcina is a mistake!!! I am beginning to think that I should be thanking Bettman for not letting me see this game tonight...I am totally getting depressed...

Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | November 6, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

He's healthy. He's scratched. He's a healthy scratch for the game tonight.

In other words..."Juice, go sit in the corner and think about what you've done."

I guess Pothier got away with just wearing the dunce cap the first few games in.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Getting ready to listen to the game. Would rather be watching it, just for a glimpse of good ole #44!

Let's Go Caps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Wanda | November 6, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I liked Jurcina for a while but he has got to stop taking LAZY penalties in the

Schultz should be paired with Erskin.

Posted by: livinit | November 6, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I like the lines...but it is rather comical that whoever gets called up gets 1st line duty. I'm not even saying it's a bad decision...just interesting that it keeps happening.

Game time!

Posted by: Jeff | November 6, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Erskine should be paired with a bus pass

Posted by: Danny | November 6, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I like the move of Nylander to the 1st line and Backstrom to C on the 2nd. Why the heck is Bourque getting 1st RW though? Kozlov should be there. Bourque can play with Flash and Backstrom.

I'm not so much wondering why Schultz is starting ahead of Jurcina as I am wondering why he is still in the NHL. Jeffy needs some more time in Chocolate town.

Posted by: Mike13 | November 6, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Tarik --

How do they actually look?

We can only judge by what we hear...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 6, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's game is scheduled to be broadcast tomorrow @ 11:00 AM on Comcast SportsNet. This recorded version may be available through "On Demand" before that.

Posted by: Dan, Jr. | November 6, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The best thing about this game so far (other than hearing Backstrom getting off a shot on goal) is not having to hear Locker. :)

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, make that 11:30 AM.

Posted by: Dan, Jr. | November 6, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Mitch ~ Thanks for your comments on previous topic. We are frustrated, but we do love our team, and just reading some of the posts gives me comic relief.

First Intermission...............

Posted by: Wanda | November 6, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I would rather be watching the game, but listening to it is not all bad - NO TATTOO COMMERCIAL!

Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 6, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow! It just dawned on me. I must be slippin'. Because, it's so obvious. Christ! I can't believe Puckguru could "Sleep" on this, this long. Ray Borque will be the next Capitals coach. As they say, "You can book it." Sure! Absolutely! Positively! I mean, come on, guys. What could be more "McPhee like" than that? Looking back, I'll bet that's why he drafted the little runt in the 1st. place. For sure it ( Borque's 2nd. round selection ) most definitely wasn't based on talent. CHRIS BORQUE DOES NOT HAVE 2nd ROUND TALENT!! Or, 3rd, for that matter. He was selected as an inducement to Ray Borque. Just remember where you heard it first. As usual.....

Posted by: Puckguru | November 6, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-How many games in will the owner and gm give Hanlon before he starts to really feel the heat about his job security? Uncle Ted seems to have expressed he expects results this season or heads will roll. Rumour has it that the former ATL coach may be at the top of the list if he keeps the gm and fire the coach deal. Any thoughts

Posted by: Capper4life | November 6, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

YAY! We're a goal down meaning we could win the fight for worst in the league!!

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

That comment of Erskine pair with a bus pass was priceless.

I really don't understand why everyone hates on team +/-, 3rd in scoring, 4th in SOG (and leads D in every catagory except ice time).

Erskine, Shultz and Jurcina all have big flaws (mainly, not being very good at hockey), but everyone always throws Pothier under the bus (that Erksine should be riding to the Stingrays).

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Espn boxscore has 8 guys on the Caps with a -1 rating. Our defense really has problems if Kovalchuk can score at 5 on 8.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

damn, they updated their stats.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm warming up to Pothier but he had a horrible start this season which is why he draws my fire. Schultz is far more offensive to me.

End of 2nd period - let the Caps penalties begin!

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

If I'm Alex Ovechkin, I'm looking for loop holes in my contract. "I WANT OUT!! I've had enough! This is ridiculous. Caps' management gives me absolutely NO RESPECT. I'm a once in a generation talent, and they treat me like I'm your average grunt. I've been paired with every rinky - dink in professional hockey. The list is too long, and painful to list. Now, Chris Borque. Are you kidding me? This is the last straw. Mom, get me OUTTA HERE."!!!

Posted by: Puckguru | November 6, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching the game on VS. and they had an interesting segment on Al Arbour and Ted Nolan. In it, they made reference to a quote from Fred Shero that Hanlon and gmgm should follow, "Learn to win with what you have. Don't focus on what is missing."
Then again, let them learn that with another organization.
Yes I agree the Tattoo commercial is awful. Did the scouting department come up with that?
And Puckguru, I have to disagree with you. Ray wouldn't deal with gmgm. He probably feels like his kid is doing time at Shawshank!

Posted by: someone else who knows | November 6, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Commercial aside, can anyone explain that tagline to me?

"The cool alternative."

Alternative to what?!?!? And didn't cheesy lines like that go out in the early 90s?

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I believe the (non)marketing department is responsible for the tattoo commercial; they are the same people that bring no Caps promotions to MD TV.

Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 6, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Was the ATL goal on the PP?

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Alternative to "WINNING!"

Posted by: someone else who knows | November 6, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

No, even strength.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 6, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

keef, on a previous post someone suggested the tagline should be: Caps Hockey - The Cruel Alternative..........

Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 6, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to take bets on who takes the next penalty for the caps (after the Big MO penalty)?

I got Shultz with hooking.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"Caps Hockey - The Cruel Alternative"

Comedy gold!

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"the tagline should be: Caps Hockey - The Cruel Alternative.........."


Gotta say, that's pretty funny.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rob

I'll take Green for Boarding please.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Rob - Schultz isn't strong enough to keep that stick on someone long enough.

I'm gonna bet Nylander comes down with the next penalty.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Keef
Play by the rules...what's Nyls going in the bin for?

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I watched Bourque a lot in Hershey and he has the best hands and a hardest shot on the teeam, but to stick him on the first line in his first game. I don't think so. Hanlon is trying to pull out all the stops cause he knows he is on the way out. Poor Ovie, he has a new linemate every game.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | November 6, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Semin for Hooking.
(Oh yeah, sorry)

Posted by: LazyRussian | November 6, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Nyles for roughing. :)

Nah, I'll take hooking.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute....
Holik isn't on our team.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

OOPS. I'll take Nyles for the equalizer!

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Nyls with a goal!!!
None of us called that one, eh?

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Hossa with shorty.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you guys really ruined that for me. I'm listening on the internet and got that like two minutes after you posted that.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Rob

What feed are you using?
I'm on the feed through the Caps website.
3wT seems to be pretty quick.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

No worries, just on 3WT I guess. I thought everyone was messing with me.

Backstrom could use a goal.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that tattoo commercial blows. How do we send [polite] requests to Caps marketing to stop with the garbage?

Posted by: Green Trees | November 6, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse


Who called it? :)

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Good call Keef!

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone from Caps marketing reads these posts and will get the message, politely or not.

Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 6, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

haha. nice call.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Green Trees

Take it easy now.
I think the tatoo chick is hot.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

So maybe they could just get the girl to jump up and down a bunch of times at a caps game and make that the commercial. maybe hose her down with some a cool water, really tie together the theme.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you Rob.
If the hockey is marginal, at least the advertising should be top notch.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

awww Petty....what the He!! are you THINKIN'!!!!

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

You wish, guys. Caps marketing is probably done by interns, who'd rather be working on stuff for the 'Skins, Terps, Wizards, DC United, etc.

Or, maybe someone thought the tattoo commercial was excellent (Ted). Keep the girl, sure, but put a commercial together that makes sense.

At any rate, I'd rather be watching the game instead of listening via radio.

Thanks, Gary.

Posted by: Green Trees | November 6, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the first OT game, potential shootout as well isn't on TV.

And NHL On the Fly doesn't start till 11.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

A standings point!

Posted by: Mike | November 6, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ROB | November 6, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

News flash Mr. Leonsis......You are the owner of the worst team in the NHL...

Posted by: Same old Caps | November 6, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

i've looked back on game stats and am concerned about the number of give aways. nhl coverage of stats for the caps & national broadcasters name w/ photo match & name pronunciation hasn't been great so maybe there are some errors there. i liked jurcina last year. i guess we'll see.

from earlier posts, i think Ted thought they would be doing a line. gmgm (lower case because there should be no more capitals for you!) or somebody in management sold him a bill of goods.

at least they got a point and didn't help set a record w/ 3 straight hat tricks.

Posted by: Jim | November 6, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

darn it now, i'm capitalizing my own name. i've got to start posting under jim1 or something. anyway, that's me just above not upper case Jim. lol.

Posted by: jim | November 6, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

But we are alone in the basement.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

We lost to the Trashers. Wow.

A team that started 0-6 and then fired their coach has started to win with 6 wins in 9 games.....I guess firing a coach sometimes may be a good idea.

3 goals in the last 253 minutes or so.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Look on the bright least Ovie didn't hit another Cap in the head with the puck.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

At least we're not as bad as Edmonton...yet.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I think from now on I'm only watching bocce ball and lawn darts!! I just can't take any $%&*@ more of this!

Posted by: LoserLover | November 6, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

This is abso-freaking-lutely horrible. It's like watching helplessly as an Eskimo poacher clubs baby seals to death!!! It's too brutal to watch. I really thought we some talent this year, but I guess......

Posted by: can't watch it! | November 6, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: NOOOOOO | November 6, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I know there are injuries, but if Hanlon can't figure out a system to get things done with the team he has, then he needs to go. He's a great guy, but not the right coach for this team anymore. I'm guessing he'll have his shot against Ottawa. If he manages to eek out a win, he'll be safe for another day. If they get blown away, he'll be done.

Posted by: Hanlon Needs To Go | November 6, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@can't watch it!
But that's the painful part, isn't it? We DO have talent this season, lots of great talent. It's just not being used properly. There's a reason we were all so hopeful at the start of the season - that reason's still there, it just isn't surfacing.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps lose to Ottawa, which they probably will, and Hanlon still has a job in D.C., I'm going to be pretty insulted. Not that I'm not ALREADY insulted, but I'll be REAL insulted.

Posted by: Sam | November 6, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not on the "fire Hanlon" bandwagon yet, but maybe you get to a point where you need to send a message to the players.

It's easier to fire one guy, than it is to trade three or four.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 6, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Guys! And Girls!

We've reached the pinnacle of ineptitude!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The Cool Alternative to losing is losing in overtime.

Maybe we should go back to...

"We've got the team that cuts right through the ice. The Caps!
We've got the fans that bring the team to life. The Caps!
Check out the power check into the game.
We've got the team to take it ALL THE WAY!
We're ice breakers, goal shakers THE CAPS!
The Washington Capitals
Goal Shakers THE CAPS!"


Posted by: Oneal | November 6, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Wake up Ted your coaches and gmgm are putting the team in a hole that they will not get out of it's time for a change.I guess instead of being on a five year plan we are now on a ten year plan.


Posted by: Anonymous | November 6, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Just to bring it to the attention of everyone......
2006 Caps 6-5-4 16 Points
2007 Caps 5-9-1 11 Points

The hard working, no talent Caps from last year were better than this year's "The rebuild is over" team. "The Change" has come Mr. Leonsis, our team has gotten worse. Looks like this goes higher than just the coach. Bring back the old team who lost but played hard and use the money you spent on the free agents to repay all the season ticket holders. You can start with me.

Posted by: Not the Same Old Caps | November 6, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Caps lost yet again. I hope Ted realizes that there's no way in hell that people will spend money on this crap-tastic organization until things turn around. Fire the GM and coach, ANYONE could do a better job at this point.

Posted by: Sick of wasting money | November 6, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Can't say anymore "it's just the start, 60 more games". 16 games into the season, it's a lot already. We need a smarter coach. It's obvious to any opponent how the caps are playing: they attack a lot, many shots on goal, but very vulnerable...

*jumps into the fire Hanlon bandwagon*

By the way, anybody notice how comcast has audio/video out of sync? Or it's just us in newport news, VA?

Posted by: mauree | November 6, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm late to the party tonight, but how did Eminger and Bourque play? I see Eminger was -1...

Posted by: Raber | November 6, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Considering Eminger faded to center allowing a short breakaway for the first goal, I'd say he didn't fare so well. :)

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I know what I think needs to happen, but I don't see it happening.

Hanlon is the right personnel guy for the Caps. He gets along with everyone, and does push everyone to get the best out of them. We saw that the last two years. Everyone who says that they like Hanlon is stating his best attribute: personableness (it is, in fact, a word).

The systems are his problem. His systems just do not work consistently with this team. Every now and then, they'll go on a 2 or 3 game streak, or a blow out win, but the systems are so easily conquered, only the worst teams (and now we know not even then) are going to be beaten by them.

Let's see a new head coach, and let's see Hanlon stay behind the bench as an Assistant. I like Hanlon, just like everyone else does. I don't want him gone, just not in the position of power.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 6, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

But let's be absolutely fair: the Thrashers have been playing good hockey recently, and the Caps have been extremely unlucky. But that kind of thing is bound to happen when all of your shots come from the point or by the boards. They're not going to scare any teams by shooting from the outside every single time.

I'm actually surprised that the game went to OT.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 6, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I love this age of instant information and understand that grammar sometimes is excused in blogs but check this out:

"The Capitals injury also situation..."

"After falling behind on a second-period goal by Thrashers star winger Ilya Kavalchuk the Capitals finally pulled in the third period..."

"White streak down, took a pass from..."

I'm sure it will be corrected for tomorrow's edition and all in good fun Tarik...Keep up the good work.

Posted by: capfan1 | November 6, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

So Kovalchuk scores then minutes later he's gone for the rest of the game. Atlanta plays their 3rd goalie and the Caps still can only get one goal. Blow it up TED! Complete house clearing is in order. From Dick P. down. BTW BMAC, ten year plan? They need a plan! Turn on the lights and the cockroaches scramble. And Drinking Partner, Glen was an assistant here before, he's got to go. If you took over as head coach would you want him working under you? Before answering ask Bruce Cassidy.

Posted by: someone else who knows | November 6, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay. I just saw some highlights of the game.

I must say, Wow.

The Caps actually looked inspired. Hell, Ovie got downright robbed 3 times, just in the highlights I saw.

It didn't look like a terrible game. They got some shots off from the slot, even.

Just goes to show that I have no clue what I'm talking about :-). I have no idea what the Caps need.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 6, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

So the Thrashers lose their first 6 games and fire their coach. Then then proceed to play slightly better than .500 hockey. The Caps, meanwhile, wallow in the dirt and for what?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"It didn't look like a terrible game. They got some shots off from the slot, even."

Yeah...but...this was the league's worst team until the end of OT. This defeat for me signifies that there's something more off and it's not just bad luck.

They need to get back to shooting basics and get the angles needed to work the puck around the tender.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse


"It didn't look like a terrible game."

None of the losses (except for the couple in NY and last night's) were terrible games. But they don't get you over .500. Johnny was great in the net (Olie's been great in the net) and the D at times has allowed few goals in the net (most times I would say) but the offense isn't getting the job done.

I know that all of these games are losses but in a way it says that the team is either inconsistent (plays the same way against a solid team like Philly as it does the worst team in the league) or they have no drive to overcome the 1pt deficits and dig down to get the winning (or even equalizing) goals.

Posted by: keef | November 6, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps played in front of no one, does the game still count in the standings? I can't wait to see how empty Verizon is on Saturday. Blow this thing up and let it die. Hockey will never work in DC.

Posted by: n..n | November 7, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I am so freakin' tired of hearing how nice a guy Hanlon is. That, and $ 1.00 won't buy you a cup of coffee. Would someone PLEASE TELL ME what being a, "Nice guy" has to do with being a successful Head coach. PLEASE!!
I've always been of the opinion that "Nice guys finish last." As is certainly the case with Sad Sack. Hey! We're not auditioning for a priest's position here. Nor, a prospective son in law. We're talking hockey here. We're talking having the ability to win with less than a perfect line up. We're talking success vs. failure. Not how "Nice" someone is. That's completely irrelevant!
It's been my observation that the most successful coaches in professional sports, were anything but "Nice guys." On the contrary. The best coaches are usually somewhere between being tyrants, dictators, and down right bullies. People like Vince Lombardi, Scotty Bowman, and Papa Bear Halas immediately come to mind. Nobody would ever describe any of them as being "Nice guys." But, they won! Consistently!!
The fact is that most pro athletes don't want "nice guys" as their head coach. Why? Because they simply don't respect them. And, why should they? They don't respect them any more than most women respect "Nice guys" either. Generally speaking, "Nice guys" are push - overs. "Nice guys" have no resolve. "Nice guys are easily manipulated.
Give me a tough, ornery, s.o.b. any day. Give me a guy with some gravel in his voice, and a perpetual sneer on his face. Give me a guy I don't feel too comfortable, or "Chummy" with. Give me a "LEADER." Give me someone who absolutely, positively WILL NOT CONDONE LOSING. Not some wimp who always has a multitude of excuses. Give me someone with a "Win, or hit the bricks" mentality.
Another successful coach, once made the statement that, "Losing is like dying." Boy, did he hit the nail on the head! Furthermore, the more one loses, the more acceptable it becomes. That's when management feels comfortable proclaiming "Fire Year Plans" and other such nonsense. The very concept of a five tear plan is fundamentally repugnant to me. What they're really saying is, "Continue giving us your hard earned money for an indefinite period of time WHILE WE SUCK." Well, only a "Suck - er" would agree to something as blatantly foolish as that. And, I for one, ain't no sucker. They can take their 5 Year Plan and shove it. The Philadelphia Flyers' Management WOULDN'T DARE ask that of their fans. And, they didn't. They went out there and paid top dollar for top - end Free Agent talent. The Caps did not.
Get me a REAL coach. One, the players fear, and respect. Not, some touchy, feely, full of compassion misfit like we have now, and suddenly we'll start winning. Suddenly Semin's being out won't be an excuse ( As it's currently being used.) suddenly, the Caps will start winning! The future is NOW!!

Posted by: Puckguru | November 7, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

If you guys haven't seen the NYI vs. NYR highlights tonight, they're really something else. Comrie's pass to Fedotenko was SICK. Really shows you what movement can do on a PP.

Posted by: Raber | November 7, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse


I wouldn't say that hockey won't work in DC. Just not this TYPE of hock...well, you really can't call it that, can you? I mean, they would win and could score if it were hockey.

If the stands look full, it's probably comps.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 7, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting sick of the 'fire Hanlon' bs.
Sitting here, watching the Ottawa/Leafs highlights, and seeing plainly what the problems are with the Caps and Leafs. The Caps have too many players whose skill set is very limited. The Sens are skating hard and forcing 2on1's, passing spot on, and shooting accurately. Its that simple. 3rd line players in Ottawa are shooting like Heatley. The Caps fumble passes, shoot well wide or directly into the chest and legs of the goalie. Nylander lifts the puck up and scores. These are not stupid people. They've been playing their whole lives. They just can;t do the things they need to do to be considered elite. By elite I mean NHL worthy. The Caps just throw the puck at the net and hope for the best. Other teams, not all but most, make the Caps look like a joke.
Is this because chemistry needs more time to develop? Seriously? I'm not saying we should have a team full of Kovalchuks. What I'm saying is the players have not shown that they are capable of getting it done. I don't care how good they are in the AHL. So were Boumedienne and Fata. They couldn't even make THIS team. Its the players, its the mngt, unfortunately, for putting it together, its ownership's fault as well - for handcuffing the team - its scoutings fault for 7 of the last 10 years... the blame goes everywhere, not just on Hanlon's shoulders. You could make the LA Galaxy go up against Manchester United if you want, Beckham or not, LA is going down.
Just look at Atlanta. Kovulchuks awesome but the rest of those guys are highly questionable. Atlanta looks like what the Caps might become. I mean, come on, shutout two games in a row, one with a 2nd/3rd string goalie (we cant win with our #1 let alone our #2). Thats pathetic. I've seen the Caps like this before; it was right before they brought in Jagr, Lang and Miller. Bondra and Gonchar were the only two that scored. The Caps lost games 2-1, 3-2. We're right back there, with a bit more promise. BUt the promise is based on Semin and Clark and Ovechkin being healthy. God help them if Ovechkin gets injured. Inevitable the way he plays, wouldn't you say? not to mention his erratic, inaccurate shooting might potentially take out his whole team with lacerations and concussions.

And some of you want to blame all that on Hanlon? Get him fired; you'll see.

Posted by: 007 | November 7, 2007 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, what do you think about the problems the caps are currently having? Do you think GM or Coaching changes should be made?i guess to make your job more interesting i think changes sgould be on the way.

Posted by: I am GMGM | November 7, 2007 3:20 AM | Report abuse


We were told that the Caps were done with the rebuild. We bought in, drank the Kool-aid. We're all dying because of it. The Caps can't replace a whole team - get rid of the GM and coach, see what shakes out. It's the ONLY option now. It can't get any worse than being at the bottom of the division, which is EXACTLY where the Caps are now.

Posted by: Jezum crow | November 7, 2007 3:43 AM | Report abuse

I have great news! It turns out that there was a miscount earlier and we are in fact the SECOND worst team in the league, thanks to Edmonton. We're only the worst team in the East.

Everyone rejoice!

Posted by: Raber | November 7, 2007 4:29 AM | Report abuse

I saw the Rangers game and thought the same thing. Looked like another league. Which pisses me off cause we got good players this year.

Do we stand a chance against the the Senators? They're 13-1 ...

Posted by: mauree | November 7, 2007 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Unless half of the Senators team comes down with a severe case of the Hershey Squirts then we don't stand a chance tomorrow night. Couldn't they have moved the no TV game to tomorrow and let us watch last night's contest?

Posted by: Mitch | November 7, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I hope Leonsis has a spine. He spent his money on the players GMGM picked. Hanlon cannot inspire and motivate this team. Our players (well, at least some of them) have a lot of potential. So something MUST be done! Bring in a new coach!

Posted by: Finn | November 7, 2007 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Fire Hanlon either before or after the Sens game because this guy cannot get a team to win. He is too affiable, too nice. He doesn't have the fear or respect of his players. The Caps deserve a real coach who will kick them into a higher gear. And give gmgm (no caps for you) the boot. Look at his two lousy coach hires, the lame-o players he signed early on (Kiwi & Doig come to mind), and the questionable first round picks besides Semin and Ovie -- these guys don't develop or were not that great to begin with. See if we can get back Dave Poile, or one of the Murrays, even. Sheesh, enough with superbad hockey.

Posted by: Jim | November 7, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

It's time for Don Cherry!

Posted by: kenhockey | November 7, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

@ Tarik

be our ambassodor! Tell them that the "people" wants Hanlon head.
Seriously, this can turn out ugly. If nothing happens (coach fired), I don't see why OV would choose to stay. It's like nobody cares. You can't "rebuild" on these shaky foundations.

Posted by: Mauree | November 7, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Greg S, I'm thinking about hurling myself off of the pinnacle of ineptitude into the pit of despair...

Posted by: Steve | November 7, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Has the word boycott come into anybody's mind? As is boycott Caps games?

Posted by: inthepitalready | November 7, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Help me!! Somebody please Help me!!!!


Posted by: Little Richard | November 7, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

the more ovechkin doesnt score the better it is for my boys crosby and malkin

hell yeah baby!

malkin >>> ovechkin

crosby >>>> ovechkin


crosby >>>>>>> ovechkin

Posted by: bwahahah | November 7, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

The disparity in time while listening to a Caps game on the internet is extremely annoying ~ I am almost always 2 minutes ahead of my daughter when we are listening on the net and it pisses her off when I hear a goal scored before she does. As to dissynchronization between audio/video on CSN, I have not noticed it. I live in Pasadena, Md.

Posted by: Wanda | November 7, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Jezum crow wrote:

"We were told that the Caps were done with the rebuild. We bought in, drank the Kool-aid. We're all dying because of it. The Caps can't replace a whole team - get rid of the GM and coach, see what shakes out. It's the ONLY option now. It can't get any worse than being at the bottom of the division, which is EXACTLY where the Caps are now."

Drinking the cool aid was your fault, not theirs. The rebuild is over when a team plays like it, not because some billionaire told you. You should have looked, as others did, at who would be on the ice. Backstrom is a rookie so you can't expect too much, as is Steckel. Poti is a 4-5 dman, Kozlov hasn't scored more than 20 goals but twice, Nylander is an elite player. The rest of the guys are the same players that couldn't score last year or the year before. SOme are developing nicely, others are in a rut. They';ve had little to no mentoring. Be thankful that Nylander and Backstrom are playing together. The kid is learning. But all these kool aid drinkers want him on the top line already. He hasn't even scored a goal yet. If you want to blame the coach, go ahead, it isn't going to make much difference. The problems dont begin in the coaches office, they just end up there.

Posted by: 007 | November 7, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

How is it possible to take someone like Bourque, and shove him on the first line right away?? This is Motzko "part deux" and we all know how that turned out.

2-9 in last 11 games??? WOW!

Olie "We didn't necessarily get the best players out there, but we got the "right players" for our team" - might want to take that one back now eh Olie??

Ted - "Fast start" "rebuild is over" "great things ahead" "buzz in the locker" "great atmosphere" BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

Same old "S", just different season and new uniforms.

Posted by: Caps stack | November 7, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse


So what you are saying is it takes 1 of our scoring players (Ovie)to equal 2 of your scoring players (Cindy & Jeanie).

Posted by: sickofbwaguins | November 7, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

From the AP report:

"Washington did not take a shot on goal in overtime."


Posted by: Finn | November 7, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

As for the ottawa game, I think the Caps have a really good chance. They really match up well with a fast, skilled team with defense that can break the puck out because of all the grit that we play with.

Posted by: Rob | November 7, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

As much as I hate to say this, because the Penquins are our biggest rivalry, but the Caps front office should take a look at the way Mario and the grew in Pittsburgh has built that organization. Even their less talented guys are contributing to their success. Here in Washington, we can't say that too much. I really want to tell bwahahah to stick is Crosby and Malkin talk in his year and listen to it by himself, but he makes a good point. Malkin and Crosby are better then Ovechkin simply because Pittsburgh has a great supporting cast behind those two guys. Here in Washington, from Ted down to the Coaches, they expect OV to do it all on his own. For 2 plus years he's done a great job of carrying this mediocre team, but at some point someone needs to stand up and realize this guy cannot do it on his own. As for the guys we picked up over the summer, it's safe to say that the best of the bunch is Nylander. He might cork screw himself into the ice alot by skating in circles, but he does lead the team in assists and has 5 goals. What do Kozlov and Poti have to add to that mix? Now, a lot of people think that getting Clark and Semin back into the lineup is going to be the blessing in disguise that we're looking for. Yes, they will contribute, but they won't be the end all be all to this slump that we're hoping for. Right now it's a matter of motivation and discipline....something we had the first two games of the season. So, here we sit 5-9-1 with 11 points in the bottom of the Eastern Conference looking up. We have 67 games left and the only thing we can do is sit back and see what happens because no matter how much we would like to see GMGM and Hanlon canned, I don't think Ted is willing to pull that least not yet.

Posted by: Mitch | November 7, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

To the idiot Pens fan Bwaha -

Your attempt at a syllogism is laughably flawed. Retake that logics course.

P.S. Write on your own team's blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 7, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

One consolation: Our Capitals are only four points out of sixth place in the East.

But we better starting winning now.

OK, well maybe AFTER the Ottawa game...

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | November 7, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, please mention in one of your articles how the Caps are 10-31 (no that's not a misprint) dating back to Feb 10th of last season. Maybe that will get the right people's attention so they realize that Hanlon has gotten NOTHING out of this team for the equivalent of half a season now. Bob Hartley (a coach with a Stanley Cup win on his resume) was canned for far less.... and the Thrashers are 6-3 since.

Posted by: SM | November 7, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, by my count the Caps are only 5 points out of a tie for the fifth seed. I continue to preach patience, I know I'm one of very few that believe this, but let's see what happens when the injuries begin to heal. Yes, the Caps have a little bit more depth than they did last year. Yes, GMGM and Ted brought in three big (relatively) names this summer. But the Caps depth is still young...give it time and the true Caps will emerge. Just look at the defenese as an example, yes there have been defensive breakdowns, but look how much they've matured over the 6 months.

Posted by: Yosh | November 7, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Here is a new concept: GET SOME TRAFFIC OUT FRONT and then SHOOT THE PUCK!!! Oh by the way, the really crucial part of "dump and chase" hockey is the CHASE! The dump doesn't do any good if you don't chase!!!

Posted by: Shoot the puck | November 7, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Caps are angling to get the last Staal brother.

Posted by: FN | November 7, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@ FN

Or one of the Hanson brothers...

Posted by: Shoot the puck | November 7, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

craps fans are the biggest loser crybabies

you guys suck. ovechkin aint anywhere near as good as malkin and crosby

keep up the whining its the only thing yalls are good at anywayz! WHHOOOO!!!!

Posted by: wah wah wah | November 7, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I realize he is a likeable guy and all, but seriously - enough is enough already. Fire hanlon now before it gets worse. Bring back Ron and maybe he can take the team to six flags for some roller coaster riding / team building. Seemed to work wonders in the 90's!

Posted by: fansince72 | November 7, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey wah wah, don't forget how close you losers came to being the Kitcher Penguins! And our management didn't have to forfeit the team a player because they were too dumb to figure out that they were paying him more than the crappy team was making! I guess the cheapskate fans in Armpittspurgh weren't buying enough tickets...LOSER! By the way how's that phenom goalie of yours working out? Marc-Andre minor league...

Posted by: Shoot the puck | November 7, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"craps fans are the biggest loser crybabies

you guys suck. ovechkin aint anywhere near as good as malkin and crosby

keep up the whining its the only thing yalls are good at anywayz! WHHOOOO!!!!"

And you're the coolest guy ever because you come on a message board and call another team's fans losers??? Wow. When's the last time you talked to a girl without giving your credit card information?

Posted by: Sam | November 7, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The last time I was at your mom's house!

Posted by: sam2 | November 7, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@ wah wah we'll see the pens on the golf course in April too...

Posted by: crosby's a baby | November 7, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

hmmm losing making you said there sam?

too bad. cuz crosby is making the penguins a WINNER

ovechkin is making the crapials a LOSER

Posted by: sam's #1 fan! | November 7, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

That's the best you could come up with?

Posted by: Sam | November 7, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

hey sam's fan, you'd better get back to work...the trash needs emptied buddy, and those bathrooms aren't going to clean themselves! Now get to it!

Posted by: shoot the puck | November 7, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans, I apologize for letting this deteriorate into a bunch of 7th grade name calling non sense. My bad.

Posted by: Sam | November 7, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse


OK, Puckguru. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

And, yes, I agree 100 percent. We need someone to make life uncomfortable for the players. I stated before that NO ONE is safe from being reassigned or traded. No production, trade or go to Hershey and learn how to play the game. When you make hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars, you'd better be damned motivated and leave the ice with nothing left in the tank. They have to play smart hockey. They have to think. They need to play with discipline. They need a winnable system. Coaches provide this. We have a favorite uncle.

Look at how Herb Brooks coached. The players hated him mostly. But they loved his results so they worked with him. When they didn't, they were hammered. Yet, when things looked grim, he was encouraging and calming.

His team overproduced because of him. They never should have won. The Caps need a "Herb Brooks" type coach - a scheming, conniving SOB that offers no quarter to anyone that doesn't work 110%.

Could that be a Grapes? No. Grapes is interested in promoting Grapes. I don't know who it would be.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 7, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I'll grow a mullet if we get Barry Melrose

Posted by: fullright | November 7, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Pens fans...

As soon as Crosby learns to play defensively, starts back checking and hitting on open ice and into the boards, let us know. THEN you have something to say to compare. Until then, you only have a shooter. The Caps have a complete player.

Of course, it would be nice if he didn't take out our own players in front of the net with his slap shot....

Posted by: Greg S. | November 7, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

You're absolutely correct. It's not as simple as merely firing Hanlon. Although he surely doesn't play the cards ( Players ) he's been dealt with very much incite or understanding, he IS LIMITED by the sorry personnel gmgm has availed him. Which is precisely what I've been saying all along. THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT TEAM STINKS! THEY'RE ALL AT FAULT.
But, you have to start somewhere, 007. And, Hanlon is that "Somewhere" because it's HIS JOB to coax wins out of the players at his disposal. And, he simply hasn't done it.
I firmly believe the Caps have enough talent to make the playoffs. I don't believe they'll advance very far, but they're ( As currently constructed ) capable of making it to the dance. But, not under Hanlon's guidance. IMHO, he's one sorry excuse for a Head Coach. I think he's in W A Y over his head.
So, basically i think you and I, and a whole lot of other Caps fans are in agreement. Maybe not totally. but, we're certainly on the same page. Keep the faith, baby. And, "Let's WIN, Caps!"

Posted by: Puckguru | November 7, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Could that be a Grapes? No. Grapes is interested in promoting Grapes. I don't know who it would be."
I love listening to Don Cherry rant on HNIC. But I think that is where he should stay.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 7, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse


I think you may have summed it all up.
"I think he's in W A Y over his head"
Sure he's a nice guy, the players all like him, there has been some bad luck with injuries.
But at the end of the day, this is the big leagues...results are all that matters.

Something drastic needs to change.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 7, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"As soon as Crosby learns to play defensively, starts back checking and hitting on open ice and into the boards, let us know. THEN you have something to say to compare. Until then, you only have a shooter. The Caps have a complete player."

I'd rather have Ovechkin putting up 150 points a season than learning to backcheck. I don't understand this fascination with trying to turn him into the late-in-his-career-Yzerman. It's amazing to me how the Caps find so many different ways to ruin hockey players so early on in their careers.

Posted by: zamboni | November 7, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I think we need someone, I don't know who though, comes from the Herb Brooks school of coaching. All I know is Hanlon has to go and he shouldn't have until Christmas to get to .500

Posted by: IrresistibleForce | November 7, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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