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Boudreau: Bradley expected to be 'okay'

The Olympic break has arrived, and not a moment too soon for the Capitals, who played their best game of the road trip but still lost, 4-3, in the shootout at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Since I covered a decent amount in my gamer and video, I'm going to keep things brief on the blog tonight. Check out my story in tomorrow's Post here, then come on back for few notes and quotes:

*The big news, of course, was Cam Janssen's hit on Matt Bradley. It was dirty, it was late and it was exactly the type of head shot the NHL talks about wanting to eradicate.

"It was pretty ugly, I think," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But I've made comments on other hits and it hasn't gotten me anywhere. So my concern is with Matt. ...I thought it was a late hit and unwarranted. I'm sure the league will do the right thing. Those are just bad hits."

Janssen, who appeared to lead with his elbow, said: "I was just coming back and [Bradley] had the puck. He cycled it back, and he was looking back like he felt the puck was still on his skates. I finish my hits. I thought it was a good opportunity. His head was down and I was just trying to get the boys into it. I hope no suspension, but we'll see what happens. If it happens, it happens and that's the way it is."

Certainly seemed to me like a suspension-worthy offense for a repeat offender. But the only opinion that matters is Colin Campbell's. So we'll see.

As for as Bradley's condition, I did not see him in the dressing room afterward. But both Boudreau and David Steckel said they were encouraged.

"I think he's going to be okay, but we'll see," Boudreau said.

*Alex Ovechkin finished with eight shots on goals, missed the net four times and had four shots blocked. But he finished without a point for the first time in 10 games and only the second time in 21 games.

Ovechkin also was stopped by first star Chris Mason in the shootout, as were the other three Caps. The two time MVP is now 1 for 6 in the shootout this season.

Seems to me, a team with so much skill should have fared better in the "skills" competition.

*If it seemed like Mike Green never came off the ice, you weren't seeing things. The defenseman skated 33:48, put four shots on net and was credited with five hits and two blocked shots. Green also finished with two assists.

*The Caps reached the 90 point plateau for the third straight season and enter the break atop the NHL standings. So it's not all bad. But the past three games have underscored the need for some help on the blue line.

Boudreau said he was pleased with the young defensemen Karl Alzner and John Carlson (they combined to take three penalties), praising the youngsters for asserting themselves. But as a unit, the Caps still yielded 36 shots and were caught running around a bit on the Blues' first goal.

In six of the past seven games, they've yielded 35 or more shots and a total of 26 goals in the past six contests. That ain't going to cut it when the games really matter come spring.

Although the there is a roster freeze through the Olympic break, that doesn't mean GMs won't be talking. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if George McPhee makes quite a few phone calls.

*Mike Knuble's bid to notch the Caps' fourth straight hat trick came up just short. Knuble was robbed by Mason late in the third period alone in front of the goal.

*Jose Theodore had another solid effort tonight. He stopped 33 shots, including a highlight reel save on Alexander Steen. With a mess of bodies surrounding him in the crease, Theodore, seated on his rear end, reached up and snagged Steen's shot with his glove.

Theodore also stopped three breakaways, including Roman Polak in the final seconds of overtime.

That's it from me tonight. I'll post an update tomorrow if there's any news on Bradley or Janssen.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 14, 2010; 1:12 AM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin, Caps arrive in Vancouver for Olympics

Comments

I suppose it's good that our defensive issues came to the forefront before the trade deadline. McPhee may end up being just that much more aggressive in addressing them. He was probably going to make a move either way but now he may make two moves instead of one or he may set his sights on an even bigger upgrade than he may have been planning to make a few weeks ago.

It's also good to face some challenges before the playoffs. Even if the Caps had avoided some of the bad habits that have crept into their game over the past couple of weeks, I still think it's good to face some adversity before the real season.

There isn't much of a race in the Southeast and the Caps are basically locked into a playoff spot so they aren't being pushed like some other teams. These recent struggles have humbled the players and given them additional things to work on and strive for over the final 20 games.

Altogether, this may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. For one, McPhee may make an extra move or a more agressive move than he would have if not for the recent defensive meltdown. Secondly, the players that remain Capitals, along with the coaches, will work that much harder on the fundamentals in order to eliminate some habits that may have otherwise been overlooked and not addressed had the problems not come so glaringly to the forefront.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 14, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

"There isn't much of a race in the Southeast and the Caps are basically locked into a playoff spot so they aren't being pushed like some other teams. These recent struggles have humbled the players and given them additional things to work on and strive for over the final 20 games.

I really like this thought. I honestly feel that even if the Caps did not have this winning streak, they would have still locked up their division pretty easily. Weren't they about 14 points ahead of the next team in their division before their streak? They pretty much doubled that lead by now.

What I like about the team this year, is just like they fight to the end during a game (win or lose), overall, they do not seem to really be taking their foot off the petal. No one is really pushing them, other than themselves. Great point TMAC2YAO!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 14, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

The break comes at a PERFECT time for the Caps (contrary to Mike Wise's recent column... which was written about a week prematurely).

I agree that these recent losses have perfectly illustrated the areas where GMGM needs to improve the team. I worry that had they gone into the break on a 17 game streak he mightve been a bit more passive about things.

This team clearly needs a top 4 d-man who excels on the defensive end of the ice. Doing what he did last year and basically saying "Nobody out there was better than what we already had" isn't going to cut it this time. He needs to do whatever it takes to FIND SOMEONE BETTER THAN WHAT THEY ALREADY HAVE, otherwise it's gonna be a disappointing playoff run.

They could also really use a 2nd line center with a good blend of size and skill (I wonder if Jason Arnott could be had from the Preds?).

Posted by: chombie13 | February 14, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Glad Bradley will be okay.

Wasn't Erskine listed earlier as nursing a bad shoulder so he was not exactly a healthy scratch?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 14, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Nice blog post Tarik, pretty much no insight. Appreciate it.

My 2 cents: we don't need to trade for a defenseman, we need to leave alzner and carlson up for the rest of the year. Send Shaone morrison for a third line-caliber forward.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 14, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

From the previous thread...

Schultz has had some bad moments in recent games but he has definitely added a little intensity to his game this season. I haven't compared his stats to last season but it's pretty obvious he's hitting more and blocking more shots.

I'm not opposed at all to seeing Schultz get traded but I'm not nearly as horrified at the possibility of him being here in the future as I was at times in past seasons. He still looks like he should be no higher than in the 2nd pairing though, even on a team that is average-at-best, defensively.

He should never be on the ice in 4-on-4 situations unless it's the last resort. I put together a long post about that after the Montreal game. I believe he was standing right in front of the net tonight during the Blues' 4-on-4 goal, completely oblivious of the guy behind him and slow to react when he did see him there, even though it was too late.

In addition to slow straight away speed, he has slow reaction time and can't change directions effectively. Steckel and Poti are in the same boat.

We've had a lousy penalty kill for the past few seasons and Schultz, Steckel and Poti have been mainstays on those units. I'm not saying it's all on them but they may very well be part of the problem.

I look at good penalty killing teams and see more players that are quick and can put pressure on the puck, change directions quickly, and cover ground. Those teams are also better at clearing pucks and are often more of a threat to score shorthanded.

I think the Caps are using too many players that are tall and slow with the thought that their reach and length are advantages. While that is true to an extent, I think we need more speed and skill on our penalty killing units.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 14, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

We are on top of the NHL at the break with 20 games to go in the regular season. We can't ask for anything more. Let's rest up, finish strong, and win the Cup.

Posted by: pdo3 | February 14, 2010 2:45 AM | Report abuse

If Green got 3 games Janssen should get at least 3 as well. It'll be interesting to see what Campbell does. If there's no suspension I think we have good reason to be P!ssed!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 14, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Janssen is so full of crap. He knew Bradley didn't have the puck. He has to get at least a 5 game suspension.

Posted by: jmy999 | February 14, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

"Nice blog post Tarik, pretty much no insight. Appreciate it."

Wow.

Posted by: Alisterio | February 14, 2010 4:30 AM | Report abuse

I, like many others Tarik, appreciate your posts. All of them without exception.

Posted by: Alisterio | February 14, 2010 4:31 AM | Report abuse

"Nice blog post Tarik, pretty much no insight. Appreciate it."

Wow.

Posted by: Alisterio | February 14, 2010 4:30 AM | Report abuse

When the poster's name is chrisclarksucks what do you expect? @chrisclarksucks has come here from time to time before and has never failed to make an absolutely idiotic comment. The above is more proof.

Thanks Tarik, for keeping us informed. You and Lindsay and Gene are doing a great job and have earned a bit of rest.

It was a tighter game last night, and we did a far better job robbing them of room in front of the net and often robbing them of the puck. Still, the failure to get the puck out of the zone was frustrating. Love Green, but his errant passes can be maddening when he picks up that habbit.

Semin is a beast.

2 out of 6 points is better than none. Not only are we on top of the NHL, but we will learn more from these losses and shed the complacency we embraced toward the end of the streak.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 14, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

we need a big time defenseman that can put the hammer down , clear pucks , block shots and clear the crease . GMGM I hope these last 3 games has had you on the phone and we might not know yet but he may have a trade in place already.... lets hope so. We also could use a center that can win face offs . GM you can;t sit back and say this is are roster going in . Please take a good look . Please help us were its needed.

I love may CAPS and the next 2 weeks will help them heal and rest . I hope you guys stay focus hang together while watch OV win the gold have a couple of cold beers and please invite the coach's over for rock lobster and steak . Be safe Caps and stay out of trouble please & leave the ladies and late night dinners alone until July ...lolol...hehehe

Posted by: terryreece | February 14, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

I had to attend a concert last night and didn't see the game. The print version of my Washington Post didn't have one word about hockey in it this morning, other than box scores on the back page. Plenty of room for basketball (and the Olympics.) C'mon, Post! What's with that? Anyway, thanks Tarik, for being on line.

Sorry the Caps lost, but it's good that management and the players are seeing the obvious holes on the team. Good luck in the Olympics for those players going, and I hope all players come back ready to rock the red again.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 14, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Did I miss something or did the game go back to 5 on 5 after Knuble scored on the 5 on 3? I thought we had 12 seconds left on the 5 on 3, then a goal was scored and it was back to 5 on 5. Just seemed odd.

Posted by: pebowers | February 14, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

There are always odd things happening during hockey games - unfortunately, often referees are involved in (and sometimes are the reasong for) such things ...

However, Janssen played 49 seconds ... are there really people attending hockey games to watch such players and their actions? I don't understand it ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Pretty much the best thing that could have happened to this team. They needed to be knocked down a peg. This should make them hungrier.

A much needed break, for everyone, fans included.

Now it time to see if McPhee is worth anything. Other teams will try and improve.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 14, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

pebowers - I thought the same thing. First, Knuble's goal was scored on a 5 on 3, but the first penalty was the remainder of a 5-minute major from the hit on Bradley. Since time remained, it should have remained 5-3 for like 12 seconds or so. The caps should have then had the remaining 40-something seconds as 5 on 4. Oh well...I'm sure I'm missing something.

Tough break on the game winning penalty shot. Live by the post, die by the post.

Posted by: Rainier1 | February 14, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody know where I can see a replay of the Bradley hit? I can't find it anywhere.

Posted by: capscoach | February 14, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: This is more of the fight than the hit though.

http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/92532

Posted by: rachel216 | February 14, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I hate Darren Pang, so annoying

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Seems as if opponents are bringing in a second trailing defender on Ovie. I know he's routinely double-teamed but the puck seems to be bouncing off his stick more than usual. Also there has been A LOT more poke checks on Ovie lately leading me to wonder if defenders are using longer sticks when they play the Caps.

Posted by: david_P | February 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@pebowers / @Rainier1:

Ive noticed that the penalty clock that we see onscreen doesnt refresh the manpower situation until AFTER the next face off. So while it still had 12 seconds showing for the 5 on 3, it was actually 12 seconds for the 5 on 4. It confused me for a few moments as well.

Posted by: chombie13 | February 14, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the Caps need a top 4 Dman and a 2nd line C. A suggestion for a 2nd line C to me would be 1 of the young kids we played against last night, TJ Oshie. I really like this kid. Not sure how he is in faceoffs but he sure does have a good knack for making plays. Putting that kind of young talent on a line with Semin and Flash!!??!! WOW!! that would be like having 2 1st lines back to back. :-))

Posted by: capsfanNtheATL | February 14, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I think the Blues are trying to rebuild with their young guys like Oshie so it's not likely that they'll trade him.

I hear that Brewer might be available and he'd definitely help the Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else sick and freakin tired of seeing our guys try to do the right thing by stepping up for a teammate and getting his Sh*t rocked? I know BB would rather take the extra PP's but other teams know they can mess with our boys without Brashear like consequences. Props to Laing for trying, but damn. Same thing with Backstrom against Kennedy. Shouldn't be happening. If we still had Brash things would be different. And it's not like Brash couldn't play either. Oh, And guess who NY just waived. Lets get him!

Posted by: gregmcdonald17 | February 14, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Janssen has exactly 6 points in 201 career games as a winger and 517 penalty minutes. If the league were serious about eliminating this kind of stuff they would take the opportunity to ban him permanently from the game for this.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@gregmcdonald17

I am not! BB's system seems to be working fine...and Badley and Erskine are decent fighters...we can not wast cap space on a minute a game enforcer.

Posted by: capscoach | February 14, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@gregmcdonald17:

There is a reason, why NY waived Brash ...

as was often stated on this board, Brash would fight only other enforcers and wouldn't prevent Janssen (and other "players" like Koci) from doing cheap shots ...

and I agree with ccCapsfan ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"However, Janssen played 49 seconds ... are there really people attending hockey games to watch such players and their actions? I don't understand it ..."
Posted by: FCKoeln1

FC, do yourself a favor - go up and see a Flyers or Rangers game. Mingle with the Jersey guys a bit, listen to their takes on the game. Then come back and tell us what those fans look for in a hockey game. It's a sad situation, but big portion of hockey fans in several NHL cities are major knuckleheads.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Per Bob McKenzie on twitter 3 hours ago:

Cam Janssen will face NHL discipline for late hit on Matt Bradley.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 14, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@zmenga

Ok, so such fans don't want to watch a hockey game ...

... its like the hooligans in soccer here in Europe ...

By the way, it would be a long travel for me to attend a Flyers of Rangers game (playing against the Caps) ;-) ...

... however, I would very much like to watch a game of the Caps (preferably Rocking the Red in Washington) ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln - I hope you can make it to a game here some time - I would be honored to buy you your favorite beverage.

The NHL will probably suspend Janssen for 3 games, because that is what Green got. Of course, the situations are very different - Janssen is a career goon. Suspending goons has zero impact - such players are completely fungible. I don't think it is much of an exaggeration to say that a visit to a few bars in Saskatchewan would enable the Blues to find a perfectly suitable replacement for Janssen.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals are the worst team in the NHL. We lost last night.

Trade Ovechkin. He didn't score last night.

There is no way we are going to make the playoffs.

Posted by: large23220 | February 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"I don't think it is much of an exaggeration to say that a visit to a few bars in Saskatchewan would enable the Blues to find a perfectly suitable replacement for Janssen."

Hey--Watch it! Caps have a couple of players (or at least 1 that I can think of) from Saskatchewan that are more than capable of playing a hard and clean game of hockey :)

Too soon to have Caps withdrawal?? At least we get hockey during this break, but the games I would really like to watch tend to be the really late ones. Oh well.

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 14, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Janssen will get 2 games. I bet 35 cents on it. Canadian cents though, so roughly 34 American cents.

Posted by: Aldred15 | February 14, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Janssens won't get anything he was playing against the Caps . or he might get the same as Carter did for his elbow/shoulder late hit on Anssi Salmela .

Posted by: heathdog1119 | February 14, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@The_Stanley_Caps - I did not intend to suggest that all players from or citizens of Saskatchewan are comparable to Janssen. My apologies to any who were offended.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe in conspiracy theories but if Janssen only gets 3 games for that hit, I might actually start to believe that there is something to them. Janssen as I understand is a repeat offender and Green wasn't.

Finally the start of the racing season, go 11, 18 & 20!!!

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@zmega. Oh, I was just trying to be funny. Not offended at all. Though, some of the nicest Canadians I know have come from that province :)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 14, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@zmenga

Thank you very much, maybe I can manage it sometime - and I'll let you know, it would be a honor for me to have a drink with you whilst talking about the Caps ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Rest up, Capitals. Let's stay positive here - I mean, we're in first. As a longtime Terps/Redskins/Capitals/area baseball fan, this is a welcome feeling.

Wayne Gretzky said on NBC the best thing for interest in North American hockey would be for a US/Canada gold medal game. But would it?

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 14, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Knowing that Orprick is on the U.S. team makes it impossible for me to generate any enthusiasm for the them.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Wayne Gretzky said on NBC the best thing for interest in North American hockey would be for a US/Canada gold medal game. But would it?

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 14, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

that's rather stating the obvious, ain't it? you think anyone outside this area in North America cares to see Russia in the final? I seriously doubt it

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I think a Russia-Sweden final would be a great game.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

hmm lets see

Ovechkin gets entangled with Boll, gets hurt
Mike Green gets run over by Colton Orr, ShaMo has to step in and get waxed by a true heavyweight
Laing steps in for Bradley, and Jansenns kills 2 Caps with one stone
Semin gets crushed by Ballard, hurts his limpy wrist
Steckel gets sick of Konopka running around, steps in and gets his butt kicked by a kid who is 5 inches shorter.
Brads gets beat up and bleeds profusely in every scrap he engages in since he's really not a fighter.

The only halfway decent scrapper is Erskine and he's already had a concussion or two in the past.

hey McPhee, great talent-laden roster. Maybe I dunno, build up the team toughness aspect a little? Brashear was past his prime but its no coincidence that this season more Capitals than ever before have been on the receiving end of some heavy abuse.

Getting a tough grinding winger and a tough defensive defenseman would be at the top of my priority list. It'll make everyone on this team play with a little more fire and give em some more confidence. I don't expect GM to ever bring another tough guy 4th liner on this team so I won't bother with that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 14, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@zmenga:

Of course, Russia - Sweden final would be a great game and a lot of people would love to see it ...

... however, the TV ratings in the U.S. and Canada wouldn't be that high ...

... and therefore it wouldn't be that good for the NHL ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It's not a great translation...

http://www.sports.ru/hockey/69028339.html

Forward team of Sweden Nicklas Backstrom admitted that he was slightly afraid of meeting with his mate from the "Washington" by Alexander Ovechkin during the Olympics-2010.

"Ovechkin will do absolutely everything to win the match. If it will be possible, he must apply the power reception at my address. Alex I already said. At the 2006 World Championships in Riga, I pushed him in the first period, as Ovechkin recently reminded me. I asked him: "Why the hell do you think about this still remember?". I forgot about the receptions of power rather quickly, and at Ovey damn good memory "- Backstrom said in an interview with Aftonbladet.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 14, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@csstanton - I agree that some additional grit would be a good thing. But I think whoever they bring in has to be able to play, too. A physical d-man would be great, but not a pylon - we need someone who can move the puck too. I think the need is greater at center than at wing, but the need seems to be for someone who can play with high skill guys like Semin. If he's gritty and can kill penalties too, that would be great.

Now, I didn't say it would be easy to find these kinds of players.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Finding myself agreeing with cstanton...what about a guy like Brad May who was recently put on waivers? I know he's like 64 years old, but would give the team some grit and toughness, w/o the stupidity that Brashear presents.

Speaking of stupidity, Rangers now have Prust, Voros, Shelly AND Avery? A real MENSA club over there for sure.

Posted by: rnscaps | February 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

what's ironic now is that the Caps used to be built on such gritty and tough players, in fact they had too many of them and not enough skill players.

you would think that it wouldn't be so hard to find a couple of those players ... which is all they need and if the Caps can't win the Cup because GMGM can't add a couple of those role players, what good is he?

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I'll be rooting for the Russians with players that I know. Lets not forget this is a game. Forget the politics.

Posted by: rjma1 | February 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

when I say gritty and tough, I don't mean goons like Brash and Brad May... I mean guys who can actually play and are good PKers like Kelly Miller, Bobby Gould, etc

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

joek443, I wouldn't put May in the goon class at this stage in his career. More of a character type, but willing to step in when needed, which is what these team does need.

Posted by: rnscaps | February 14, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Cam Janssen is a thug and a repeat offender. He deserves much more than three games.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3E_GpC5040

Posted by: meagle | February 14, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@ rnscaps

call him what you want but there is NO need for guys like him in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers are a mystery to me. If I were running the team, I would try to assemble a high skill team like the Caps and market them to white collar types (who are, of course, abundant in Manhattan). But I assume they know their fan base.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@pebowers / @Rainier1:

The Blues were serving a major and minor penalty at the same time. The minor had just started and the major had like 1:40 to go. Caps scored after about 30 seconds. Had it been two minors, the most recent would have been left to serve and Caps would have had 1 minute + remaining PP time.

But, remember, major cannot be shortened due to goal being scored. So, Caps score, and the minor gets shortened. When puck dropped, it was 5 on 4 with 12 seconds left on Janssen's major. That's how it works.

What the Caps really need is a Mike Green equivalent as a defensive defenseman. I've been saying for a long time, we need a Mark Tinordi type. Of course, that was back in the day when they could be slower. If the Caps really wanted to get this kind of player, and keep him going forward, it would cost a solid winger like Semin or at least Flash and a #1 and a prospect maybe. You'd need to move talent and cap space. OTOH, maybe Carlson is the guy, we don't know yet, so maybe this year we get the snarling rental guy like Sutton.

People keep mentioning Brewer. He has one more year on contract with cap space of $4.25M. If you trade Flash and Erskine for Brewer, cap space fits next year and likely beyond if Brewer is extended at a slightly lower salary.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

It is hockey not pro-wrestling or MMA where the Caps compete, right?

Lets assume that all those guys mentioned above by cstanton got their butts physically kicked. Who would have had a better game than Semin did? Bradsheer? What goon would have played over 30 minutes and as well as Green? What tough guy would you substitute for Steckel on the face-offs? Would you trade OV because some guy gave him a good hit and he gets hurt?

Time to lay-off the Ripple wine and learn the game. Do they make mistakes? Yes. Do they sometimes get outplayed? Yes. Are they going to lose more games? Yes. These might not be the best guys at their position on the entire NHL, but they are playing as a team which has the best record so w-t-f? Good grief! I am not going to call cstanton a moron but any moron can nitpick and find problems, it seems as that is their only enjoyment of the game.

Posted by: hock1 | February 14, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@ hock1
"It is hockey not pro-wrestling or MMA where the Caps compete, right?" right! ...

... and hopefully the "time of the goons" is all over ...

... for me it would interesting to know, why some of the star players in the past didn't have any "encounter" with goons ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

IMHO the NHL has let this whole thing happen. They give us stiffer penalties/suspensions and go light o those who take runs at us. It sends a message to other teams that if they take runs at the Caps, the Caps will end up not getting the advantage (see Laing, Knuble, Green misconducts/suspensions). That is just dangerous for the players in DC. It sends the wrong message completely. Don't be surprised when Jannsen gets a game or 2 at the most.

When is someone gonna get in the leagues face and say something?

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 14, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao I did some of the research for you. This season Shultz already has as many hits as he did last season and seven more blocked shots so you are right on both accounts.

cstanton1 say we do have a tough guy. Someone does a cheap shot on Green, or Semin, or Ovechkin and where is our tough guy? On the bench because he wouldn't be playing with our top guys. This makes him useless to do what you want him to do and doesn't keep other teams from going after our top guys are all. You want an example of what I am talking about look at what happend with Carcillo and Gaborik earlier this season. Carcillo went after Gaborik and could have hurt him big time in that fight and none of the Rangers came in to do anything because all of their tough guys were on the bench. Yes they came after him in other shifts but it didn't stop Carcillo from going after him and won't stop him from doing it again.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 14, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

As I stated months ago, expect teams to take runs at the Caps. What are the Caps going to do besides go on the power play?

I hope McPhee wakes up and picks up SOMEONE that can protect these guys. If we had an enforcer Cam would have lined up with him, had an honest one on one fight and done his part for his team/coach. Since there was nobody to fight his contribution was a run at Bradley.

Wake up McPhee!!!

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

I agree

@FLDave

An enforcer want stop a goon ... per definition a goon can't be honest ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

FLDave once again that would not happen. Look at Carcillo going after Gaborik. NYR has plenty of enforcers and yet Carcillo went after Gaborik and they did nothing during the fight. All they did was go after him well after the fight took place. Enforcers will not stop guys like Carcillo from going after other teams top players.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln1,

As I stated, if we had someone in the line up to deal with Janssen he would not have been forced into making a goon hit.

How many more times do you people need to see a Capitals player knocked into next week before you wake up?

Get ready for more players to be helped off the ice during the playoff push. Next it might be OV, Semin, Backstrom or Green.

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry:

want = wan't

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave:

"... would not have been forced into making a goon hit..."
... this is a new interpretation for me ...

... would this mean that a goon is not responsible for his actions?

... may I remind you that last year Semin was severely insured (cross checked) even with Brash playing for the Caps ...

The only way to get rid of the goonery is good refereeing (at least in my view) ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I love it when Tarik mentions in the top of his blog entry, "I have to keep it short tonight..." and ends up writing the same, plenty more than adequate amount as he usually writes.

Posted by: blindskateluke | February 14, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry

insured = injured

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The league had an opportunity to prove that the Green suspension was due to a new found hard line against head shots with the Jeff Carter hit, and they dropped the ball.

This is now their second opportunity, like I said after the Green Suspension - "I'll believe it when I see it."

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

FCKoeln1,

I'm not going to spend my Sunday going back and forth. The Caps are marshmellow soft and the opponents know it. They know they can take runs at our players and we don't have anyone to stop them.

I believe it will get worse after the Olympic break. Teams will begin to know they are out of the playoffs and points won't matter.

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Red Rocka Recap of last night's shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues:

http://capseye.typepad.com/

Posted by: meagle | February 14, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave

ok, I agree - we will see whether our marshmellow soft Caps, which by now have the most points in the league, will be stopped by goonery and bad officiating ...

... at least our best player is often confronted / described with the word "dirty" ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 14, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Carter hit was legal and the injury to Salmela (sp?) was unfortunate. The Janssen hit was different. I'm hoping and betting on 3-4 games. It was about equal to the Green hit, maybe a little worse. MAybe the Janssen hit is equal to Brashear's hit in the p0layoffs last year, but not quite (that one was five games).

Janssen is due 4 games. We'll see.

We don't need goons to fix it, we need better officiating. Laing or anyone should be able to go after Janssen w/o all the extra minutes he got.

I would love to have a player on the Caps who can mix it up and play. Don't want a goon though. Tried that last year and it wasn't effective.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

FLDave hit the nail on the head. Teams out of the playoff picture are going to take advantage of the Caps because they can. The old saying, it will get worse before it gets better. While I agree that Brash isn't the answer, there are guys out there that can provide toughness and play a regular shift.

More importantly, what is the price of winning...so what if we're in first place if we're scraping guys off the ice every other game. If I'm a leader on this team, OV, Knuble, whoever, I'm dropping not so subtle hints to management that this is unacceptable. This team won't make through the first round of the playoffs if this type of stuff keeps up. Maybe next time it's OV or Backstrom. Or both. Then what.

It's not the league or the officials responsiblity to protect the Caps from harm. It's up to the Caps to do it themselves. Any statement calling for bans on players is patently absurd. Brash had 350 or so PIMS in one year in Vancouver. Up until this week, he was still playing.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 14, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97,

Actually Gaborik went after Carcillo, Carcillo should have held him off but chose to fight him. The Rangers "Answered Back". Avery who is smaller than Gaborik, 25lbs lighter than Carcillo sent a message. The Caps do not answer back; they do not send a message. They depend on the refs and league to protect them.

In my view that is like expecting a cop on every corner to protect you in a bad neighborhood. You end up getting mugged and beaten half to death. Since you have more money in the bank than the mugger and he spends a couple days in jail you're the winner? Don't think so.

Ask Bradley if he was the winner last night and see what his answer is. Well that is if he can put together a sentence after that elbow to the head.


Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It will be very interesting to see what the league does with Janssen.

5 games or more means that they are at least somewhat serious about dealing with head shots. Janssen is a repeat offender and there was no issue of responding to an uncalled dirty hit by the Caps, so this situation is clearly more severe than the Green hit.

3 games means that they really don't want to do anything, but they have to give the same penalty that Green got or there will be an uproar from Washington.

Less than 3 games means "F--- the Caps."

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Janssen won't get anything, the hit was Bradley's fault, he was admiring his pass.

Posted by: SC87 | February 14, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97,

Not only did Avery go after Carcillo, but the Rangers just traded for Jody Shelley and Brandon Prust after realizing what toughness they had was not a deterrant. Both can play a regular shift without hurting their team and add plenty of toughness. I don't think Carcillo will be fighting Gaborik next time Philly plays the Rangers, regardless of who initiates it.

More importantly, the Rangers management, incompetent as they are, just sent a message to the team and to the fans that what Carcillo did won't be tolerated. They saw a weakness and addressed it. Still waiting for GMGM to recognize that there is a recurring problem that can't be solved by the power play.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 14, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@FlDave - How's it going? I agree that playing in the NHL is in some ways like walking through a bad neighborhood. However, I think the analogy breaks down beyond that. There is a cop on every corner in the NHL - video from several angles. It's not so much a question of crime going undetected as the police not being motivated to enforce. That's where the "effective power play serving as the enforcer" breaks down - the NHL law enforcement is ineffective and some would even say corrupt.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Janssen won't get anything, the hit was Bradley's fault, he was admiring his pass.

Posted by: SC87 | February 14, 2010 4:15 PM


SC 87 I know you are a troll and an idiot, but I didn't believe that even you were that big an idiot to make a statement like that.

Posted by: fromthebeginning | February 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't really tell, but it didn't look like an elbow to me, like Green's hit did. This looked like it was late, and I get that the NHL doesn't want folks hitting people in the head (even with their shoulders, I think), but it was too fast for me to see how Janssen's elbow entered into the equation, if it did. It looked more like his elbow just rose naturally just after the hit, as elbows often do.

To me, Green's hit looked worse because of the elbow factor.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 14, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Fletch22 you really think a guy who is willing to fight anyone at anytime is going to back off what his job is just because someone might go after him?

Guys like Janssen and Koci are guys who are out there just to do what they did. Go after a guy and it doesn't matter if they get thrown out or suspended. What is a suspension going to do to keep this from happening again? The team's coach just has to find someone else to take the 2 minutes of ice time the guy misses over the next 2-3 games. Does anyone think if Janssen gets 4 games he won't do the exact same thing in his next game no matter who they are playing and what enforcers they have. These guys are not scared of anyone and having an enforcer will not stop things from happening.

Guys took runs at Gretzkey even with McSorley, guys take runs at Crosby even when they had Laraque. Guys are going to take runs at players and no enforcer is going to stop them.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 14, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Also the Red Wings who have had guys get hurt all season because of people taking runs at them just waived Brad May who was the only fighter they had. They finally figured out that having him didn't stop guys from taking runs at their players.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 14, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Janssen won't get anything, the hit was Bradley's fault, he was admiring his pass."

He was still admiring it five seconds after he delivered it? The hit was dirty, period. Anyone with half a brain knows that. Even if it was right after the pass Janssen led with the elbow.

The Blues announcers (after a couple of replays) later said it was delivered way too late. Although they still defended him saying "Well maybe he thought it was still in Bradley's skates? Only Cam knows maybe we'll find out later..."

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that the second coming of Joey Kocur isn't available, for the folks who favor adding an enforcer, who's available? And, assuming Chimera and Brads get healthy, who sits? Does anyone want to mess up the fourth line--Brads, Stecks and Gordo? I don't. So, if you buy that, who sits out of the top three lines if such a player was available (and I don't think that there is, at least no one leaps to mind). If the suggestion is that the tough guy should also be a D man who can police the crease, who polices the crease while the guy we brought in to do that is in the box after standing up for someone. I hear the arguments, but the practical difficulties seem very large to me.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | February 14, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97,

If anyone ran Gretzky without a doubt McSorley or Semenko would make them pay. Ask Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey and Messier how important Semenko and/or McSorley were to the Oilers.

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Your Washington Capitals, heading into today's games, had three of the top five in points-per-minute of ice-time. Backstrom has finally passed Joe Thornton and joined Semin and Ovechkin up there in the stratosphere.

Caps also have four of the top 15, five of the top 18, and six of the top 30.

PROD is a stat kept at ESPN's website, and it's a backwards version of points-per-minute, so lower is better. Your PROD top 30 (minimum 30 games played):

1. OVECHKIN 13:15
2. H. Sedin 14:37
3. D. Sedin 15:00
4. SEMIN 15:31
5. BACKSTROM 16:32
6. J. Thornton 16:36
7. S. Crosby 17:12
8. P. Kane 17:25
9. S. Stamkos 17:46
10. E. Malkin 17:52
11. M. Gaborik 18:06
12. B. Richards 18:20
13. M. St. Louis 18:25
14. D. Heatley 18:57
15. FLEISCHMANN 19:27
16. I. Kovalchuk 19:34
17. Z. Parise 19:39
18. KNUBLE 19:46
19. E. Staal 20:08
20. T. Connolly 20:24
21. M. Hossa 20:28
22. P. Marleau 20:31
23. J. Jokinen 20:38
24. N. Antropov 20:44
25. D. Alfredsson 20:55
26. A. Kopitar 20:59
27. A. Burrows 20:59
28. R. Getzlaf 21:09
29. T. Plekanec 21:16
30. FEHR 21:20

And Green's lead of all NHL defensemen in PROD (minimum 30 games played) is now nearly 3 minutes, and he's more than 6 minutes in front of fourth-place Kaberle.

Your top 5 defensemen so far:

1. GREEN 23:57
2. M. Bergeron 26:53
3. K. Foster 27:28
4. T. Kaberle 30:06
5. D. Keith 30:50

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 14, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

icehammer,

To answer your question, I think that for the most part, tough guys will fight amongst eachother to keep both teams honest, and avoid what we saw last night. Look around the league. Philly is the closest example. They have a few guys that fill that role. How many times have Briere or Jeff Carter had to fight, or how many times have you seen them picked up off the ice by a teammate from a cheapshot? Not a clean hard check, but a cheapshot. And Pittsburgh, teams go after Crosby on occasion, but it usually doesn't happen more than once. Mike Green gets run every time he has the puck.

For the most part, the enforcers around the league aren't the trouble makers, it's the guys like Avery, Cooke, Rutuu, and particulary Patrick Kaleta in Buffalo. Those are the guys that normally run around with reckless abandon dishing out cheap shots and hiding behind the instigator. I think this year with the Caps is different and you have to ask why. My belief is there is no threat of retribution. Again, the Carcillo/Gaborik incident and the Rangers roster moves shortly thereafter.

Gretzky himself credits McSorley and Semenko for much of his personal success, as well as the teams success in the 80's. It's true, look it up.

And Laraque has never been a good enforcer, and that's why Pittsburgh did not resign him and then went out and got Godard and Rupp. Read the articles about why Laraque was waived by Montreal, he's not a good teammate, he fights on his terms, and he puts himself above the team, which is the exact opposite of what you want in an enforcer.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 14, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Canada is taking some hits in the press for the luge crash fatality. The points being made are that the course was unsafe and Canadian officials restricted the access of non-Canadians to practice on the course before the Games. I don't think the press has yet picked up on how Canada was able to get the IOC to agree to let them use the smaller NHL rink for hockey, to benefit its team. This "home cooking" may become something of a story as the Games go on. Not the kind of publicity Canadians hoped for from the Games, I am sure.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Having an enforcer would only stop if all the guys on the team were taking runs at our guys. Since it is only the other teams enforcers they will still take runs are our guys and then fight our enforcer. It won't change a thing that they do. The reason why you don't see guys taking the Flyerrs players off the ice is most of the time they are the ones taking runs at people.

The enforcers of the league today go out and do what they do they aren't afraid to go after a star and fight someone for it. By the time they have to fight they have already done their damage.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Home cooking or not, Russia is going to win the gold.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

that's what they said in 1980 too

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't know whether the Caps need more toughness, but I suspect that the real issue is to get the PK working. When you struggle on the PK you are limited in your ability to retaliate for cheap hits and attempts at physical intimidation. Detroit has been successful for a long time without being an incredibly physical team. But they punish you on the power play (which we do) and they stifle you on the PK when they have to retaliate (which we do not).

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@joek443: Obviously, stuff can happen. But, in 1980 they were overconfident and just surprised by a physically inferior team. They know that they can be beaten by US, Canada and Sweden and they won't be overconfident.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@ ccCapsfan

as far as I'm concerned the Olympic hockey is the most over-blown hockey tournament in the world. whoever wins will prove nothing to me. ANYBODY can win it, it's just an one game deal once they get into the medal round. Not only that it has shootouts.

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

A lot of times, when Caps had Brashear, it seemed to me that the way Brashear decided to "retaliate" most of the time, against an opponent's cheap shot, was not to go after the individual that actually did the cheap shot, but to go after the team's enforcer, which is pretty much useless. Not all the time--I remember at least once when someone on Atlanta did something mean and Brashear beat up that individual. But that Atlanta guy was pretty big, as I recall, and generally speaking it seemed kind of like Brashear was unwilling to get in a fight with a smaller person.

To me the whole point of being an enforcer is beating up people who deal cheap shots, regardless of size. I'm not sure if it's just considered totally unsportsmanlike to fight a smaller man, even one who's giving cheap shots, or if that's just Brashear's way of thinking. If it's the latter, Brashear seems pretty much useless to me. If it's the former, all enforcers seem pretty much useless.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 14, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

My lasting memory of Brashear will always be losing his mind against the Bruins and costing us a game late in the 2007-8 season and almost costing us the playoffs.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Having watched the replay from a different angle, it pretty much seems Janssen had Brad lined up for a big hit some 20 or so feet away. He's just another punk who gives the homefolks something to cheer for when their team sucks. The NHL needs to step up and show these goons this type of junk will not be tolerated, before something serious happens and ruins a great sport.

Posted by: pacapsfan | February 14, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@pacapsfan: I second the motion.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I was just watching the Blackhawks v. Blue Jackets game. The Blue Jackets' Stralman gave Kane a clear knee-to-knee hit at the blue line. Kane dropped to the ice.

Then Chicago's Troy Brouwer went after Stralman. The Blue Jackets broadcasters were saying, to paraphrase, "Oh, someone's gotta step in here. Stralman's not a fighter!" They kept whining about the linesmen not breaking it up sooner.
Stralman is listed as 6'0", 176 pounds. Brouwer as 6'3" 220.

So Brouwer beat up Stralman pretty good, but then I guess the refs didn't see the knee-on-knee thing that started it and Stralman got only the 5 for fighting, while Brouwer got the 5 plus 2 for instigating plus 2 more for instigating while wearing a face shield. Blue Jackets tied the game during one of the power plays.

Stralman did something dirty, and immediately was physically punished by someone much bigger than him. I enjoyed seeing it. Unfortunately, Blue Jackets ultimately profited with the tying power play goal.

I think there's a lesson in here. I'm not sure what it is. As a fan, I'd love to see real retribution. And who knows how much deterrence value that would have--possibly a lot. I'm not sure it's worth giving up the occasional extra goal, but maybe it is.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 14, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy: Good info here. One lesson is that the Caps are quite well equipped to beat up on a 176 pound guy who can't protect himself and they are also well positioned to throw away a game for doing so until they fix the PK. To me, this is really job one. We already have guys who can take a run at the other team's star to retaliate as long as we can kill of the penalty.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 14, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

And Brouwer just got the game-winning shootout goal. That's a nice story. I like it.

I think maybe what we really need is someone who's good at fighting and not completely terrible at playing forward like Brouwer.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 14, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know any other place besides NHL.com to get an Authentic Caps jersey? I need to get one for my dad's birthday and they don't have his size. Thanks.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 14, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm referring to the expensive $300 authentic blank Caps jersey, not the replica that most people have with the iron on bird patches, etc.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 14, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Lloyd: try River City Sports web site.

Man this no Caps hockey thing is like summer. Not sure what to do...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 14, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Watch the Capitals in the Olympics, especially Team Russia. Team Russia starts at about midnight on Tuesday night (yes that's technically Wednesday morning) on CNBC.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 14, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, man.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 14, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Caps have a talented offensive team built for the playoffs. However, they have no physical presence at the end of the bench for the late season push. Taking liberties with the Caps is a no brainer for our opponents.

The rash of tough guys (janssen, koci, Boll, etc...) doing this instead of the cheap shot artists is for one reason. Sending a message to McPhee and company. The enforcers don't want their jobs eliminated and that's what the Caps, Isles, Red Wings, etc... are trying to do. Tavares on the Isles has been knocked around a lot this year.

For the short term grab Brash if the Rangers bring him back up from AHL. (he will have to clear waivers) They are looking to unload him. Once season ends...sign UFA Derek Boogaard Minnesota Wild. Ovechkin and company will be able to skate around the rink with a dozen eggs under their arms and not break one. Thats what happens when the Boogeyman is looking over their shoulders. Go Caps!

Posted by: bomber2428 | February 14, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy - Maybe another way of saying it - the lesson is that if you are a little guy it's probably not smart to cheap shot guys on the other team. Probably a lesson that Stralman should have learned no later than middle school.

Posted by: zmega | February 14, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

LloydChristmas

I got my Rebook Edge Jersey from JerseyExpress.com. When I purchased mine it ended up being $279 and that included the number kit. I am very happy with the jersey. It seems to be the same as the on ice RBK 1.0 jersey. Mike Green currently is the only cap that wears that jersey. All others wear the 2.0 version. I got that info because I bought Mike Green's Set 1 GU Jersey from this years Opening night. Good Luck

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | February 14, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"Once season ends...sign UFA Derek Boogaard Minnesota Wild. Ovechkin and company will be able to skate around the rink with a dozen eggs under their arms and not break one. Thats what happens when the Boogeyman is looking over their shoulders. Go Caps!"

Indeed!

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

janssen didn't run bradley because the caps don't have an enforcer!
he probably thought he was laying out a legal hit. if he was just going to run someone with the possibility of getting tossed from the game - there is NO way he would choose bradley - he would have looked for a much more skilled player.
having an enforcer would not have detered jannsen from making that hit.
whoever is on the ice needs to step up at the time the incident happens - laing did that.
there is no place on the roster for a goon or an enforcer that has little to no skill and will only get 2-4 minutes per game.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 14, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"To me the whole point of being an enforcer is beating up people who deal cheap shots, regardless of size. I'm not sure if it's just considered totally unsportsmanlike to fight a smaller man, even one who's giving cheap shots, or if that's just Brashear's way of thinking. If it's the latter, Brashear seems pretty much useless to me. If it's the former, all enforcers seem pretty much useless."

Posted by: youaresquishy

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

I think it is ABSOLUTELY wrong to sit there and wail on someone who can't fight back even if that person made a dirty play. Did you enjoy seeing Laing get the crap kicked out of him while the refs watched? Laing didn't even throw a punch but somehow got a double minor...

Brashear is not a good hockey player, and I don't want him on my team, but he seems like a fairly classy guy. I remember Steckel asking him to teach him how to fight and Brashear declining saying that it was his job to fight and Steckel shouldn't worry about it.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 14, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I remember Steckel asking him to teach him how to fight and Brashear declining saying that it was his job to fight and Steckel shouldn't worry about it.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 14, 2010 10:12 PM

sounds like we could use brash as a consultant, but not for a roster spot

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 14, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

if they're not gonna have an enforcer, maybe they should bring in a boxing coach and teach some of them how to fight.

I think they did that many years ago, I remember seeing a video clip of Kevin Hatcher taking a boxing lesson.

this is nothing new in hockey, lesser teams have always been known for taking runs at the stars of superior teams. If I was playing against the Caps, that's exactly what I would do as well.

Posted by: joek443 | February 14, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ,

Whatever... Janssen knew what he was doing. Look at his own words.

"His head was down and I was just trying to get the boys into it."

The hit was late, elbow up and intentional period. Laing stepped up, got ragdolled and beaten like a rented mule. How many dirty hits and beatings do the Caps need to take before McPhee does something?

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

joek443,

The Caps sent Kevin Hatcher to the Kronks Gym in his hometown Detroit in the off season. However you can't turn a possum into a tiger with lessons.

Hatcher was a BIG man, I stood next to him several times at the Mt. Vernon Ice Rink waiting to get on the ice. I was 6' 2" 235lbs at the time and I felt like a midget next to him.

The Caps are one of the biggest teams in the league, but they are cream puffs. They need aggressive players that know how to throw punches with ill intent.

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are one of the biggest teams in the league, but they are cream puffs. They need aggressive players that know how to throw punches with ill intent.

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 10:30 PM

i remember the teams they had that could throw punches - those teams would struggle to make the playoffs (or not make the playoffs) and then get beat in the early rounds.
cream puffs or not this is the best team the caps have ever had with the best prospect of winning a cup as well as making a run each year for the next few years.
imo - having someone that can fight will have zero impact on making this team any better and would be a major waste of resources

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 14, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@LloydChristmas I got an authentic Ovechkin jersey -tags attached - for about $75 (including shipping) If you know the specific differences between the two and the person has their own personal pictures, you can identify them, at any given moment, there will be 2-3 bargains available.

Posted by: wis193 | February 14, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

And this team has made it how deep into the playoffs?

Posted by: FLDave | February 14, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't someone do a quick study of how many of the Stanley Cup winners of the last 20 years had major enforcers? I read earlier tonight on this board that Pittsburgh didn't have an effective one last year and I'm pretty sure Detroit has never employed one. I also know that the NJ Devils in their 3 Cup years didn't have enforcers. Where's the evidence that it is helpful to winning a Cup?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 15, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm completely on the fence about the enforcer issue. Good points for both sides here.

If there were 21 people per side instead of just 20, then I bet we'd all agree we could have a full-time fighter hanging on the bench until fight time.

I think I like joek443's idea of getting a boxing coach. Seriously. Even the greatest boxers have boxing coaches. I will suggest it to Mr. Leonsis. He will probably scoff and never read my email again.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 15, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

The Devils had Scott Stevens. One of the toughest players to ever lace up skates. Pittsburgh had Laraque last year.

I'm not worried about having an enforcer in the playoffs. I'm worried about players surviving long enough to see the playoffs.

Posted by: FLDave | February 15, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's not so much about having a heavyweight enforcer who can't really play hockey. Maybe it's more about having real hockey players, some of whom are decent at fighting, at least within their respective weight classes. That's kinda what I'm sure joek443 was thinking when he suggested hiring a boxing coach.

I seem to recall some folks on all of those teams that you mentioned that you might not want to mess with, ccCaps, even if it's true that they had nobody that fit the definition of enforcer real well. I could be wrong though--I'm just going from my hazy memories.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 15, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

year team
pims player(s)
88-89 flames
375 - Tim Hunter
250 - Gary Roberts
241 - Jim Peplinski
89-90 oiler
180 - Craig Simpson
90-91 pens
133 - Kevin Stevens
91-92 pens
254 - Kevin Stevens
206 - Ulf Samuelsson
92-93 canadiens
205 - Lyle Odelein
193 - Todd Ewen
93-94 rangers
170 - Jeff Beukeboom
94-95 devils
167 - Mike Peluso (only player w/over 100)
95-96 avalanche
250 - Chris Simon
96-97 red wings
167 - Martin Lapointe
97-98 red wings
157 - Darren McCarty
98-99 stars
133 - Pat Verbeek
99-00 devils
184 - Krzysztof Oliwa
00-01 avalanche
155 - Scott Parker
01-02 red wings
126 - Chris Chelios
02-03 devils
115 - Turner Stevenson (only w/ 100)
03-04 lightning
140 - Chris Dingman (only w/ 100)
05-06 hurricanes
138 - Mike Commodore (only w/ 100)
06-07 ducks
140 - Shane O'Brien
07-08 red wings
116 - Aaron Downey (only w/ 100)
08-09 pens
171 - Eric Godard

ccCapsfan:
i couldn't readily find fighting majors for players - so i chose the player(s) with the most pims on the last 20 SC winning teams
it would seem the trend most recently would be that an enforcer is not required

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 15, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

@FLDave -- Laraque left the Penguins after 2007-2008. They won the cup the year after he left with no enforcer on the roster.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 15, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"if they're not gonna have an enforcer, maybe they should bring in a boxing coach and teach some of them how to fight"

This coming from a guy who doesn't understand the sport enough to know how necessary fighting is and thinks the NHL would be a better league w/o fighting.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 15, 2010 2:34 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody know of an easy way to figure out who was on the ice for the Caps during all 4-on-4 goals for and against?

I know I can go through the game summaries for all 62 games but I was just wondering if there was a stats site that may have that information by team or player.

I believe that as of now, the Caps have scored 2 4-on-4 goals and have had 11 scored against them?

I know that Schultz, Pothier and Fleischmann have been on the ice for the last 2 against (the Montreal OT goal and the Blues' 1st goal in the last game).

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 15, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

You don't necessarily need an enforcer in the playoffs, alot of teams don't even play their 4th lines with any regularity, but it helps having one during the regular season so that a team can arrive in one piece. The thing you need in the playoffs is an element of toughness, grit, whatever you want to call it. It's about survival, grinding out 2-1 wins. The power play won't help because the refs put away the whistles. This team isn't built for the playoffs. They're a great regular season team, but they're incredibly soft.

Last year, guys like Orpik and Kunitz and Matt Cooke hit our team frequently, and wtih bad intentions. Those are the types of players we need, as much as bothers me to say it since it's the Pens. We have no balance of speed, finesse and toughness. It's not good that OV is the toughest guy on the team.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 15, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ,

That is a pretty good list of enforcers and tough guys.

Posted by: FLDave | February 15, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

@FLDave -- almost none of the players on that list are enforcers. There's some tough guys who could also play some hockey like our old friend Chris Simon. Could the Caps use someone like him or Dale Hunter today? Absolutely. Do they need a 0-point, 200 PIM guy? Heck no.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 15, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Butcher,

I disagree, Godard, Downey, Dingman, Parker, Oliwa, McCarty, Simon, Peluso, Ewen and Hunter are thought of as pure enforcers. Ok, maybe not Dingman.

Kevin Stevens and Gary Roberts were two of the toughest guys to ever play the game. I'd go so far as to say that Gary Roberts at 42 years old is tougher than anyone we have on this team.

More to the point is the fact that the Caps have no one on their roster that matches the toughness of the guys on that list. It's not necessarily about being an enforcer, which I personally think we need, but having some semblance of toughness. We have none. OV is the toughest on the team. Brads is tough, but in a 'I can take a beating' kind of way. Not good at all.

Though I agree with you with that a guy needs to be able to play the game. This team doesn't need more goal scoring, but playing the game the right way away from the puck, being responsible defensively, etc etc.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 15, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch22 -- how is Kevin Stevens who had a couple 50 goal seasons and was a great all around player an enforcer?? Simon and Hunter were BAMFs but they also knew how to play hockey. They were not enforcers, they were tough players. Could we use guys like that? Of course.

What the Caps don't need is a Brashear, Laraque, or Cam Janssen (38 games, 0 points, 163 PIM). We had one last year. Did you really notice any difference?

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 15, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln1

I'm a caps fan living in Philly. I know alot of Flyers fans old and young. I can say that Flyers fans only really like a good fight as much as the next guy. They are really no more interested in dirty hockey. I think the difference is that they tend to be way more vocal about it. To be honest, it's similar to why so many people watch nascar. Some are there for the driving, others are there for the fights. It's a reality in the NHL. I'm pro-fighting, but the cheap shots have to stop as the era of the goon is over.

The thing I love about Caps fans is that we are reasonable. Mike Green's hit was dirty and we are willing to be unbiased (for the most part) and say as much. The League however, needs to punish others as rigidly as they do the caps.

Posted by: Beggarsandthieves | February 15, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Fletch22,

Lapointe and McCarty could chuck em pretty good as well. McCarty would go with any heavyweight, Lapointe picked his spots.

Like I said, most of the list consists of teams with enforcers or maybe better stated 'guys that could fight AND come out the winner'.

Simon was one of the purest goons in NHL history until he had ONE fluke year. He produced points by catching everyone off throwing shots on net. Once the league/goalies caught on that he had a decent wrist shot they shut him down and his offensive days were over. He then went back to his goon role until he was forced out of the league for beyond goonish behavior.

Posted by: FLDave | February 15, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

FLDave,
I agree with you. However, the list is a little misleading. I feel that PIMs don't accurately reflect the toughness of most of those teams.
Obviously, the 07-08 Wings with only Downey 56 gp 116 pims.
and the 05-06 hurricanes one of the softest teams ever to win a cup. (traded jesse Boulerice in season 26 gp 51 pims)

Those two teams got away with winning cups and getting thru the season without much toughness. But the rest of the teams on the list had plenty of grit. Much like you, I feel you have to have the grinders who only play 20 to 30 regular season games but provide the muscle and protection in those battles against the Flyers, Rangers, Lightning, etc......

08-09 Pens- Godard 71 gp 171 pim (legit heavy)
Bissonnette 15 gp 22pim (coyotes heavy)
Guerin 17 gp 18 pim (aquired from Isles for grit)

06-07 Ducks Parros 32 gp 102 pim (legit heavy)
S. Thornton 48 gp 88 pim (does it all for B's)
Brad May 14 gp 13 pim (just released)
Also, traded Todd Fedoruk and pim leader O'Brien

03-04 Lightning- Dingman 74 gp 140 pim (king of the huggers)
Andre Roy 33gp 78 pim (liked to scrap)

02-03 Devils- Stevenson 77gp 115 pim (Ok fighter)
Mckenzie 76 88 pim (classic Heavy)
White 72 98 pim (game when young)
Rupp 26 21 pim (newcomer)
Grant Marshall 10 gp 7 pim (filled in/call up)
Daneyko 69 gp 33 pim (Erskine)
We could go on and on and forget about all of those 90's teams. They had plenty of fight. And I loved watching Kevin Stevens scrap and score, although with the 91-92 Pens he had some help.

Troy Loney 76 gp 127 pim (light to Middle)
Grant Jennings 53 gp 104 pim (only when he had to. See Probert!!)
Rick Tocchet 19 gp 49 pim acquired trade
Jeff Chychrun 17 gp 35 pim acquired trade
Jay Caufield 50 gp 175 pim (Heavy but not great)

Posted by: bomber2428 | February 15, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Butcher,

I don't think I said that Stevens was an enforcer. He wasn't on the list of guys I named. I said him and Gary Roberts were two of the toughest guys to ever play the game.

And I agree, we don't need Brashear, but I'd take Cam Janssen any day. Scoring goals is something we don't need more of. But the guy can't be a defensive liability.

@FLDave,
Agreed. McCarty also had a great playoff series one year. He was scoring all kinds of goals. We should all reserve a special place in our heart for him, if only because of what he did to Claude Lemieux. Hate that guy. I'd take a guy like Lapointe any day. Solid player, who could play the tough guy role on occasion.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 16, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Butcher,

Did I notice a difference last year? Absolutely. I don't think I'm the only one.

And I don't think Brash was a particularly good enforcer last year. He fought on his own terms alot of the time, but the team loved him. A bunch of them, including OV, came out at the end of the year last year and campaigned for his return. That's good enough for me.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 16, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

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