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Boudreau: 'I'm Hoping Eric Seizes the Moment'

With Chris Clark out indefinitely, Eric Fehr is going to see a lot more playing time than he did previously. But with that expanded role comes increased expectations.

"There's a chance he's not going to be in every night; we still have 13 forwards," Boudreau said. "But you give guys chances and it's up to them to seize the moment, take it and run with it. And not be known as a guy who is a good player and who has potential. I hope he seizes the moment and proves, like Tomas Fleischmann did, that he's a solid NHL player."

Fehr, who has four goals and seven assists in 30 games, is well aware that at age 23 and with a clean bill of health it's time to start realizing his potential.

Some other notes and quotes from this morning:

*Scott Clemmensen will start in goal for the Devils, who have won eight in a row and are led offensively by Zach Parise (29 goals, 58 points) and Patrik Elias (22 goals, 56 points).

*Brendan Shanahan did not skate this morning, but it's believed he will play tonight. The 40-year-old has three goals and an assist in five games since joining the Devils.

*If you've watched New Jersey on the dish this season, then you already know that these are not your grandfather's Devils. In other words, it's not a nightly snooze-fest.

"They are playing a different game than they played three or four years ago," Boudreau said. "I remember last year, for example, we had them 4-0 in the third period in [Cristobal] Huet's first game here, and they were still trapping and pulling out and everything else. You watch them now and they go, go, go."

"They still trap when the situation calls for it," he added. "But they are way more aggressive in the offensive zone than they used to be. So the talented guys are allowed to be talented."

*Boudreau on Clemmensen, who has proven to be a more than adequate stand-in for the injured Martin Brodeur: "Two things happened, 1) Clemmensen is a lot better than people give him credit for and 2) the [other] players sat there and said, 'Hey, we're not all Marty Brodeur. As good as Brodeur is, we can play, too.' And they've gone out and shown the hockey world how good they can be individually."

*Last year, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green became the first teammates since Mario Lemieux and Paul Coffey to lead the league in goals and goals by defensemen. Don't look now, but Ovechkin and Green are threatening to do it again.

*Ovechkin needs one more goal to reach 200 in just his fourth season, which would make him the fourth player in history to accomplish that feat. Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Lemieux also did it.

That's all for now. I hope to get the Caps' lineup before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 1:06 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

why am i first? where is everybody?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

From last post..Interested to hear you calls

Would it be crazy to package Steckel or Gordon with Morrison and a prospect for an impact 2nd or 3rd line power fwd with hands?

Just throwing it out there...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@numero94 - I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass on Mister Days tonight... this cold is killin' me. :-(

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Aside from salary issues and the UFA and RFA stuff that will affect next season, I see no reason for any trades. I know it's the hot topic for the D but I think our six, plus Alzer in Hershey if something happens, are getting the job done. The pairings are working well. Even if you don't like Schultz, and think he's the worst D-man we have, match him up with every other team's sixth D-man and I don't think you'll see a huge difference. So, in order to improve somewhere on D (from a sixth-best comparison) you'd have to give up something. Right now, there aren't any players I'd want to trade. And even then, you know what?, you'll still have a sixth worse D-man to fill that new role.

Right now, the teams looks good. Let's play it out.

Posted by: saintex | February 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

If it can be done, I think that Mo and Nyls are gone at the deadline, for Komo, for Bouwmeester, for Kaberle, etc.

It's undeniable, though, that we will again need Centers if Nyls goes down, as we can't depend on Fedorov next year.

Who do we bring in over the summer if Nyls and Feds aren't here next year?

Perrault? Bourque? ...Aucoin?

As much as I think it might happen, I think it probably won't happen, just for that reason.

I know we've been over this before, but who are the notable UFAs this summer?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 3, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How about Wojtek Wolski from COL, or David Perron from STL?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

saintex,
i second your opinion. it will have to be a young and extremely good player for me to even consider a change, one like Kovalchuk.

Posted by: superX | February 3, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Tarik is a lazy reporter should see how many posts he has had today ... ;-)

So I hear that the Caps are shopping Bradley.

Posted by: Boo- | February 3, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I saw the Bruins Devils game last week and that was no snooze fest. If the Caps come to play (and stay out of the box) this should be a near playoff-intensity game.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | February 3, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

UFA's are:

Feds $4M
Kozlov $2.5M
Brashear $1.25M
Johnson $812K
Sloan $475K
Helmer $475K
Mink $500K
Laing $487K
Guirox $475K

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know much about Perron, really, but I can't believe that the Avs would let Wolski go, especially with their record -- you think Mo and Nyls would turn that ship around? I doubt it.

Now KOIVU is a UFA, I'm just remembering. He'd be a hell of an addition. Expensive, but talented and a lot younger. He may even come just for the opportunity to play with Ovie.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay, only a year younger, but I would jump at the chance for a year or two (no more) with Koivu.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 3, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Boo
the Caps aren't shopping Bradley!
What is this comment area so slow we need to throw that out there?!!! :)

Ovie gets at least two, or zero tonight.
He typically doesn't just hit a mark (50 goals, etc), he shatters them. And he's one goal shy of a threshold.

Posted by: austinsteve | February 3, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I have one spare ticket in 426 for Thurs if anyone wants to claim it.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Update:

Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News UPDATE!!!

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

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

2 games against the Maple Leafs

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

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

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 3, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

According to HockeyBuzz.com, the Caps are shopping 3 players.

Nylander (no surprise there)
Johnson (he's UFA at the end of the year)
Kozlov (also UFA)

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: You said hockeybuzz.com. *boot*

That said, I'll buy the first two, easily. Having lost Chris Clark, though, do we really want to move another RW? We're not exactly drowning in them. And Kozlov has done pretty well this season. Granted that his playoff numbers aren't all that, but who do we put in RW?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve:
But I thought that every time a player was scratched he was being shopped, and every time he played he was being showcased?

Greg:
I don't see Koz going anywhere. I still think it is plausible that The Iron Curtain will be brought up before the deadline because Johnny will be traded. And Nyls? Well, we all know the story there.

Posted by: Boo- | February 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Overall, I have to agree with saintex. The only moves I can see us making are to clear cap space and maybe for either a veteran D or a gritty, hard-checking RW.

I can actually see us seeking to move Mo as well - the chances of us keeping him next year are slim to none.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@boo
Yes, that's very astute, and certainly true.

Maybe I spoke too soon, it would be interesting to see all of the reasons/stats/theories/rumors about why he's good trade bait and who we're getting for him.

...I'd take McCleod myself

Posted by: austinsteve | February 3, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@whoever was asking...

Someone wanted to know the record for most goalies suited in a single season. After much hunting about, I have found the record. It is a tie, at 7 goalies.

Quebec Nordiques - 1989-90

Tugnutt, Millen, Gordon, Mylnikov, Fiset, Brunetta, Tanner

St. Louis Blues - 2002-03

Johnson, Brathwaite, Osgood, Sanford, Barrasso, Divis, Rudkowsky

And yes, Johnson is our very own Brent. Several teams have suited six goalies in a season before, but I can't find more than 7. My source for this is hockeygoalies.org; I can't vouch for its reliability, but it has been around for a long time.

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S. - Are you sure about Brash being UFA this year?

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

ooh here's an interesting tidbit on McLeod's bio:
"Most PIM by a franchise rookie since Chris Simon had 34 on March 23, 1993 at Washington"

Posted by: austinsteve | February 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Boo-

I didn't say Kozlov was going anywhere. I don't think that he should, but he is prone to running hot and cold.

I seriously think that Johnson is traded at the deadline.

I do think that there'a a possibility that Nylander goes - possibly to Vancouver? But the cap issue is always there along with his NTC.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

IRTR

Yes, ma'am. He signs one year deals with the Caps.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

What about sending Nyls to Vancouver for Ohlund?

Posted by: BobLHead | February 3, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

tarik - lazy reporting...geez quotes and facts and stuff - wth?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Greg S. -

Johnny won't be traded at the deadline if he has to have surgery on his hip...Not much value there for an injured back-up. He just won't be re-signed, much to my personal dismay.

Posted by: caryh | February 3, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Bradley will be missed in the SO tonight.

Posted by: Section117 | February 3, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

No way Johnson gets traded, he'll be starting in the playoffs, since Theo gets flustered easily under pressure

Posted by: gtydings | February 3, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If he has to have an operation, then yes, we'll just not sign him next year. It's a shame, though for several reasons.

He has a level head - or appears to have one. Look at all the stuff he went through last year after the deadline. He wasn't very happy, but he still worked hard.

He's a good serviceable goalie that can carry a decent work load.

If we just let him walk, we don't get anything for him. If we trade now, we could get something for him.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@gydings

that remark is completely off. Theo has never lost in the first round of the playoffs, so I am not sure where you are coming up with that. That and he has been absolutely awesome for almost two months.

Posted by: ThePat | February 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hershey Bears Game!

Hey, a bunch of us are heading up to Hershey as a herd for the game on Feb. 21st - the Caps aren't playing. Anybody wants in on that, drop me an e-mail at irockthered {at} gmail {dot} com!

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

what is wrong with the nhl's website??

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216 - Nothing as far as I can see, but I have to admit I'm not fond of the layout/design... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see OV knock Shanahan into retirement. Maybe a Lavar to Aikman type hit!

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74 - I wouldn't do that to Ovi. He'd hate himself for it.

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

1) Come on guys, stop the silly Nylander trade proposals! He's not going anywhere.
2) he's a triple threat:
a) Makes too much for his production
b) Has 2 years more left
c) Has a No Trade clause
3) The third more than the first two will keep him in DC through the season. He has a big family (kids in area schools) he's not going to up and leave to the west coast to a non playoff team(Vancouver). What does he gain? Not like he wants increased playing time to get a contract. He's pretty set.

Posted by: fauxrumors | February 3, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

just a nice clean hit that ends his career. is that too much to ask for?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Theo's playoff record 19-26. Not exactly stellar

Johnson 5-6, not stellar nor as much experience.

Pick your sieve

Posted by: gtydings | February 3, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

19-26 isnt that bad. Unless your constantly going to Conference Finals and Cups, your going to have a losing record in the playoffs.

Whats your thought on Tim Thomas's playoff record? He was good in game 7 last year.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't know much about Nylander but I would suspect that any NMC/NTC has just as much of a chance at being waived by the player as not. Based on what I read here, he's comfortable, he doesn't want to move his family, and he's getting paid. But, I also suspect that as an NHL'er he hasa desire to skate and if he wasn't playing night in and night out than he might go somewhere in order to play, even for a fringe playoff team and possibly leave his family here to see out the season. We're getting late in the season so it wouldn't be such a huge portion of time.

That said, as an opinion strictly on the assumption that the NMC/NTC would be invoked, I'm not intimating trading him or sitting him; just looking at the mind of a professional athlete. I'm very happy with the team as it is right now and I think Nyls has player quite well of late.

Posted by: saintex | February 3, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else been to the Caps homepage and taken a look at Neuvirth picture? The really small one before you click to the big article makes him look like a third grader. The bigger one in the article seems to show him in fifth grade.

We need tougher player photos if we're to scare anyone.

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

Theo's playoff record 19-26. Not exactly stellar

Johnson 5-6, not stellar nor as much experience.

Pick your sieve

Posted by: gtydings | February 3, 2009 2:58 PM

Theo's playoff SV% is .914, while Johnson's is .931. I like those numbers

Posted by: GoUnited | February 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's game, although important in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, is not as interesting to me as Thursday's home contest against the LA Kings. I'm still worried about the Caps' ability to come out hard each night, not just against the NHL's elite.

Posted by: djdavew2002 | February 3, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing:

Is playoff seeding for #1 - #3 set by head-to-head if there's a points tie? We've got the season series in hand vs. Boston with one to play and it looks like it's 4 points apiece with the Devils with tonight being the final game. Would we hold the tiebreaker with a win?

Always looking to the experts for the good scoobies.

Posted by: saintex | February 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Is playoff seeding for #1 - #3 set by head-to-head if there's a points tie?

Wins
Points in Games

Then H2H

Posted by: Section117 | February 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

BB calling out Fehr and saying his has to play like Flash did last year to prove himself. I don't get it - he's scoring the same pts/game as Flash did last year and has been much more noticeable then Flash was last season. Flash was invisible in many games, where as Fehr has drawn penalties and created chances. I agree he has to finish on these chances but it's not like Flash was a 50-60 point guy last year. If he had been given 75 games like Flash who knows - ????

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

I'm guessing none of those teams that made the playoffs with Johnny and Theo had Ovechkin... just a guess.

Posted by: _828 | February 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@saintex - How scary can a 20-year-old be?!

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if there was a precap today?

Posted by: bagasome | February 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@saintex:
Re: Neuvirth
He's just as baby-faced in person. My 15 year old niece didn't believe me when I told her he was 20. She thought he was closer to her age.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 3, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Seriously! What's up with all of the trade proposals period? We have no idea who we're going to get, or if we get anyone at all. Brent Johnson will not be going anywhere and in fact the Caps will most likely re-sign him.

The plan is to let Theo play out his contract, and since Johnson is a solid and reliable backup we might as well keep him, and in two years when Varly or whoever else is ready will be mentored by a veteran goalie such as Johnny.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 3, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I sure wish I knew what that last 21 games looked like!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gtydings | February 3, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@saintex:


The baby faced assassin?

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Boo
You misunderstood,they are notshopping Bradley,they are shopping for Bradley! Ovie wants to spruce him up a bit in some nice designer clothes for nights out in NYC. Some Dolce and Gabbana for Matt and he's ready to rock!

Posted by: majiksea | February 3, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I sure wish I knew what that last 21 games looked like!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gtydings | February 3, 2009 3:29 PM


What, you can't scroll up?

Posted by: Section117 | February 3, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Rachel216 and Irockthered,

That is the mobile nhl site as there is an m before the nhl.com so people on their cellphones such as mine could get scores and news without loading all the pictures, flash, etc.

Apparently there is an mistake with their coding, server, or something that all people are directed to the m.nhl.com as opposed to the regular one.

Posted by: HobbesLionheart | February 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"According to HockeyBuzz.com, the Caps are shopping 3 players."

Nylander - we all knew that... any takers?
Johnson - who would want a career backup goalie, who's contract expires at the end of this year and, uh yeah, has been playing hurt all year? A team looking to clear salary cap space maybe - all $1 mil of it? I see him as a throw-in if anything at all...
Kozlov - i dont see us dealing him. Remember how shell-shocked Ovie was (and went into a slump) when we traded Zubrus away? Same situation. We will let him walk in the offseason though...

I want to add to the list;
Morrison 1) we're not re-signing him this offseason 2) he could help another team
3) by getting rid of him we would clear a spot, salary space, and controversy (ahl or nhl)surrounding Alzner.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 3, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm KIDDING about the last 21 games

Posted by: gtydings | February 3, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Any predictions on the game tonight? I am guessing that the Caps take it in OT.

austinsteve:
I assume that you know I was kidding, right? :-)

Greg:
I realize that you were just posting what someone else said; I was commenting on their predictions.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

117:
The Caps will miss Bradley in the SO - HA!! :-D (Hey, if he just jumped off the bench that time, he may jump out of the press box this time!)

majiksea:
Oooooohhhhhh! Now I get it - my bad! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@hockeynightincanada -

You have it backwards but your logic is right. Yes we are riding out Theo's contract, but it goes for two more years after this year. Johnson runs out this year so we'll let him walk as we have better players in the minors. SO Theo will be the veteran to tutor Varly or Neuvirth next year and beyond. I.e. IMO, the goalie situation for the next few years (unless we trade Theo) will look like: 08/09 Theo,Johnnie 09/10 Theo,Varly 10/11 Varly,Theo 11/12 Varly,Neuvirth

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@ThatGuy

Next year is Theo's last year. He only signed for 2 years w/us.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I believe JT60 is signed only for 2 years, this year and next.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Theodore only has one more year. I think the FO will prefer that Varlamov play in Hershey rather than sit on the bench in DC. So I think Johnny will get one more year.

Posted by: koalatek | February 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Theo signed a two year deal, meaning he's gone after next year unless we resign him.

Posted by: reesem37 | February 3, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"just a nice clean hit that ends his career. is that too much to ask for?"

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 3, 2009 2:56 PM

It is just flat out wrong to wish injury, much less career ending injury, on anyone. Clean hit doesn't get you off the hook. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: _Mark | February 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Varly needs a backup and we sure are not going to make Varlamov a backup next season.
Let him develop another year. There is no need to rush him.

Just ask the Habs and Carey Price and they will tell you that. Maybe the Thrashers with Lehtonen as well.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | February 3, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps are gonna go out and get another goalie after next year to be a veteran presence for our young goalkeepers. Johnson is not a number one goaltender, and I don't think Varlamov will be ready to assume the number one once Theo's contract expires. Varlamov could benefit from a year behind a seasoned vet. The Caps will be looking at goalie options once Theo goes in 2010.

Posted by: reesem37 | February 3, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

i stand corrected... Theo is on a two year deal. Regardless, I doubt we'll re-sign Johnny - why? I think the caps will/should take a leap of faith and start either Varly or Neuvirth next year with Theo as the back-up. Throw them into the fire ala Carey Price in Montreal last year and DiPietro and Fleury before that.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 3, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Just to let everyone know. I have reserve tables at the Mister days in Clarendon. We will have the big screen and the noise for tonights game.

94

Posted by: numero94 | February 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not ashamed - I cant stand Shanahan and I would love to see OV knock him into next week - with a clean hit. Whats wrong with that? Its part of the game.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 3, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

ThatGuy2:
theo is only signed through 09/10 - he's a UFA in 10/11 - unless he has an extension i haven't heard about yet
i think 10/11 is johnnie/varly about 50/50 and 11/12 varly/(johnnie/neuvirth) at 75/25
i like johnnie and think he is solid - probably will never be a standout #1 though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74 - I'm with _Mark. I'm not wishing any sort of an injury on anyone, especially not a career-ending one, and to wish our star player, a guy who would sooner eat his own left arm before he did someone an injury on purpose, would do it... No.

That's just not cool. Period.

Yes, hard hits are part of the game. Yes, Ovi hits hard, but if he does injure someone, it's not on purpose, and he suffers, too. I would not put him through ending the career of the most-hated player in all the NHL.

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

capsfansince74:
Why the Shanny hate?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to worry about Varlamov... he's more often injured than not... tess, and the people watching him regularly: what are your thoughts on this?

Tonight we meet one team that is stronger than the Bruins imo, in that they have really good chemistry going on. I'm happy that BB is giving Eric more time until the end of the season. He's big, he hassles (which is always good). He can mature in a Holmstrom-like sort of player. Actually, even better, since Fehr has a very quick release.


Posted by: mauree | February 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Injuring opponents is an unfortunate occurence in the sport that we love to watch. Wishing that injury on some one is wrong.

Making them have their head on a swivel and hear "footsteps" is part of the game.

I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree about what we are looking for in an entertaining game.

Posted by: _Mark | February 3, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

By the way, sorry if somebody discussed this, but Alzner wasn't recalled... since now the cap problems would allow him to play, it means management/coach don't think he's our third best D?

Posted by: mauree | February 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
If I was the one making the decisions, Varly would spend the rest of this year and most of next season in Hershey. We're 49 games into the season and he has only played in 21. And yes, he has the groin injury that's been a problem since training camp. As for his play, no doubt that he's good and going to get better, but he's not there yet. His positioning is good, but his rebound control needs work. All in all, I like what I see, but I think if you send him up now it would be a mistake. He did good in DC for two games, but once NHL team figure him out it could be ugly. Let him ripen in Hershey for awhile. If he gets healthy, he'll probably be our lead guy in the playoffs and that could build a ton of confidence for him.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 3, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@HobbesLionheart: yeah, thanks for clearing that up, I thought it was only on my computer, they need to fix that now.

@saintex: you can't see Michal's face in his goalie mask anyway so who cares if he doesn't look tough... he's adorable. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@mauree: I think it's too early to rush into bringing anyone up. Let's assess what our real needs are and what is likely to happen come the trade deadline and then decide. He is a good D-man, but the ones we have now are doing well enough.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@--Boo-- - I suspect it's because Shanahan has been around for half of forever.

He's got to have *some* enemies...

Among active players, Brendan Shanahan is:

* #2 in games played
* #3 in points and #1 in goals
* #3 in PIMs

...and he's supposedly got more "Gordie Howe Hat Tricks" than Howe himself had.

Shanahan has been playing in the NHL since the 1987-88 season (WOW! - 21 years!) and will likely end his career where he started it, with the New Jersey Devils, though he has three Stanley Cup rings (or whatever they give individual players) from his years with the Detroit Red Wings.

I don't know what capsfansince74's problem with him is, though... :-p I'd love to hear it.

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

dont know if this was posted yet, but this is a must read.

http://www.homermcfanboy.com/2009/02/03/the-man-with-the-plan/


My favorite part: We’re in the salary cap era now and experts say dynasties are gone and it’s nearly impossible to keep a good young team together. The Capitals aren’t even to that level yet and people are already saying you guys won’t have the cap space to be able to retain guys like Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin once their deals are up. Are you going to be able to find a way to keep these young, core players?

“We’ll have the cap space,” McPhee said. “We’re not worried about that. In fact, we’re one of the clubs that, two years from now if this cap goes down, we’ll still be in pretty good shape. We have flexibility and optionality, and you’ve got to have options. That’s the way we’re going to operate. There will be a few players who we’ll lock up long term and everyone else will be on short-term deals.”

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

just a nice clean hit that ends his career. is that too much to ask for?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 3, 2009 2:56 PM

Yes, it is. That's no way to end a career, and no one should be out to do that. There's no place in professional sports for that.

Think Harding. Would you want to be remembered like that?

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@tess

thanks. What do you think about him being injured so much? Can he actually make it in the NHL?

You know him a lot better than I do, but I was really impressed by his two games, especially with the first one, against the Canadiens in Montreal. They were no shy at all in charging the net and he ended up being first star of the game.

As you, I think it would be a mistake to play him in the playoffs. But I would let him taste a game or two if our standings are good enough. A game or two in the NHL can go a long way in motivating a young goalie, and in teaching him invaluable experience.

Posted by: mauree | February 3, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

hey where is the doominator-pawz??

he ones we have now are doing well enough
I wonder if you'll have the same opinion after tonight. I hope so, cause it means we did well.

Posted by: mauree | February 3, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

irockthered:
These are the reasons I like Shanny. Plus any active player who is older than me is solid in my book! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Oooohhh! A new word of the day - optionality.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@ Boo
Oooohhh! A new word of the day - optionality.

You cant have two words of the day! That has to be the word of the day tomorrow! Good interview though.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

mauree, I don't have any inside knowledge as to the extent of his injury. He plays a couple games and seems good to go, and then all of a sudden they announce that he's injured again. Is it just one of those things that needs time and rest to heal and he's rushing back too soon? Is it his style of play that lends itself to injury? He didn't seem to have a problem last year when he was in Russia, but he admitted having trouble adjusting to the N.American style. Hopefully the Caps have Dave Prior working with him to solve it. He's just a kid, really, and hopefully he's going to get bigger and stronger.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

irockthered, It was me asking about goalies, thanks!
Not to add to the worry, but Varlamov was also injured (groin) at the end of last season right before the IIHF tournament. IIRC, he caught the toe of his skate on the goalpost and pulled it. Could that have been the start of it?
Boo, banish all thought of a Bradley trade from your mind. It would severely destroy my enthusiasm for the rest of the season.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@mauree: Right here, and I was just thinking about the Devils game tonight. These guys are no joke, and we've lost in overtime twice this season to them. This is a four-point game and I'm hoping we really, seriously bring it tonight. We need the road wins - we have issues on the road.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Boo
Oooohhh! A new word of the day - optionality.

Also, Im not sure optionality is a word. Sounds like neologism to me.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@mauree: Right here, and I was just thinking about the Devils game tonight. These guys are no joke, and we've lost in overtime twice this season to them. This is a four-point game and I'm hoping we really, seriously bring it tonight. We need the road wins - we have issues on the road.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 4:37 PM

They were actually shootouts, but your point still stands.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one:
Word of the afternoon?

JMU:
First of all, I don't think it is possible to severely destroy your enthusiasm for the rest of the season. Secondly, really? Brads is that high on your list? Lastly, my deepest apologies for causing you so much distress, but I was honestly just kidding! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@steve_r:

If that ticket is still up for claims, I would be interested in it. Please let me know how much it is: Oleegoalee @ hotmail . com Thanks!!!

Go Caps!!!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 3, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one:
Word of the afternoon?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:42 PM

Uhhhhhh, I guess. I still feel deprived of a great honor :(, but I guess I can share the adulation with Mafki!

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Where the hell is my thesaurus???

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one:
1. I didn't say it - GMGM did.
2. I would never want to deprive you of a great honor.
3. Let's add adulation and Mafki to the list!

Greg:
What does it say in your thesaurus under thesaurus?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

the stanley caps,

Sent you that e-mail.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Where the hell is my thesaurus???

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 4:47 PM

McPhee started it! Just kidding. I dont know a synonym for neologism :(. I could have just written creator of new words I guess (although Im sure youre kidding anyway.) Anyway, Caps win 4-2 tonight.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one:
Oops - forgot to add that one to the list, too!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Boo, Naw, my enthusiasm for the season is unbounded. Are you kidding me?!? Brads is the list! Well, he's not the entire list, but he's at the top. I have a special place in my heart for scrappy players with a good sense of humor and a horrible sense of fashion.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Boo,

I like the word obfuscate. It's fun to say.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Not as fun as Clutterbuck!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

what about the possibility that the Caps go after Brodeur, now that NJ has found a reliable young replacement for the future, they can still get value for the great Brodeur, and the Caps might be thinking this is the year to run at it, with cap considerations coming down the pike...? (say what you like, Backstrom and semin will be asking 5.5 or more, and we still need a healthy bunch of value palyers behind that core)

think McPhee is thinking about that?

Posted by: capsfan7 | February 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one:
1. I didn't say it - GMGM did.
2. I would never want to deprive you of a great honor.
3. Let's add adulation and Mafki to the list!

Greg:
What does it say in your thesaurus under thesaurus?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 4:50 PM


1. I know. I was making fun of McPhee for making up a word, not you!

2. I was also joking about the honor of word of the day. YOu were giving me a hard time so I played along with it. No malice intended.

3. My friend calls McPhee Mafki (and a few other people i know too.) Its not a word but a nickname. I dont have emoticons to show that Im joking or being sarcastic so I think you may have misunderstood my intent. Sorry. I read this blog everyday, and you guys seem cool. Sorry if I came off like a jerk.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Is "neologism" and "optionality" in the Queen's English? Or are people messing with my mind?

They do sound cool though.

Boo

Storehouse, treasure house (like that one!), lexicon, dictionary ...

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

lol @ the idea of NJ giving up brodeur.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

I see now that you werent upset. Im a little old school so Im not fully acclimated with the art of blog posting. Sorry.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

OK, have to give you that one jmu.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if I came off like a jerk.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 4:59 PM

At some point in time we all come off that way.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Is "neologism" and "optionality" in the Queen's English? Or are people messing with my mind?

They do sound cool though.

Boo

Storehouse, treasure house (like that one!), lexicon, dictionary ...

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM

neologism is a word. Im pretty sure McPhee adlibbed optionality.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
Good one! Wasn't that the original word of the day??

JMU:
YEAH - CLUTTERBUCK!! :-D Now THAT'S a word of the day!! (BTW, I can't argue with your assessment of Brads ... you're so silly!)

thegr8one:
LOL!! No you did not come off as a jerk - I was just kidding back! :-) It's all good.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

JMU

Since you're so infatuated with Clutterbuck... You going to marry him or something? Give yourself a cheap thrill all day long. "Hi, this is Mrs. Clutterbuck..."

:D

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

cleaning out his locker? Bradley? Really?

Who said that?

Posted by: austinsteve | February 3, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, lol. Obfuscate is still a fun word to say though.
I was looking through draft stuff, and if we didn't draft Seabrook, we could have gotten Clutterbuck. (A bit of a stretch since they were 20 picks apart, but still, he coulda been a Cap!)

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, lol. Obfuscate is still a fun word to say though.
I was looking through draft stuff, and if we didn't draft Seabrook, we could have gotten Clutterbuck. (A bit of a stretch since they were 20 picks apart, but still, he coulda been a Cap!)

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:07 PM


But we wouldve incurred the wrath of Don Cherry, and if there is one thing we dont want to do, its piss off a guy who's colorblind, jingoistic and xenophobic! Word of the day overload :) :)

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Boo, haha, what can I say, I have horrible taste!
Greg S, I'm not infatuated! I just think his name is cool. I'm actually thinking about using it as an expletive this weekend in the kitchen so I don't get graded down for using actual curses. And besides, I don't generally go for guys with muttonchops.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm very nervous for tonight's game.. :(

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
GMGM is messing with your mind.
Treasure house? Ooohhh - I like that one!

thegr8one:
Stop apologizing! :-P If you apologize for everything that you say here which offends, upsets or otherwise discomforts someone (or even just those things that have the potential to do so), then you will be apologizing all of the time! Trust me, nothing that you say will make EVERYONE happy. As far as I am concerned, too many people take things too seriously. It's just a game and this is just a blog ... it's all in good fun! :-) So relax and enjoy the ride.

ARE WE READY FOR SOME HOCKEY OR WHAT?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one, I'm not afraid of the wrath of Cherry OR Blue! Besides, we've already got it since w've got so many "sissy Europeans" on our roster. And that cheap-shot taking, over-zealous Russian mobster we all love.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve:
Well played, sir!

JMU:
Yes, Clutterbuck has a "Newman" type ring to it, doesn't it?

Yeah! thegr8one is playing along!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one, I'm not afraid of the wrath of Cherry OR Blue! Besides, we've already got it since w've got so many "sissy Europeans" on our roster. And that cheap-shot taking, over-zealous Russian mobster we all love.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:16 PM


I thought that once too. I thought,"what can he do to me.......he's all the way in Canada somewhere," but let me tell you JMU, he'll find ya. Wherever you are, he'll find you, and he'll make you pay :).

Anyway JMU, I saw your handle scroll across the jumbotron once when I was at a caps game. It said,"JMU is here" or something to that effect. It was pretty cool.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Boo, haha, there was another guy I was going to use too but heck if I can remember who it was. Somebody we played recently. It was a good one, too. Eh, whatever. Clutterbuck will suffice along with the few Russian & French bad words I know.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Clutterbuck does make a fine expletive.

So you don't like guys that are a leetle bit fat. Have hairy backs. Watches a loooootttt of football. Goes out with the guys. Goes to the, how you say, striptease.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 3, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It is not surprising that the Caps have yielded more pp goals than they've scored this year but it might surprise you to know that the same is true of the Devils. I guess the key to the game tonight for both teams is to stay out of the penalty box.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

why does everyone want to trade MO?? I can think of a few others that need to go before him, and also he is an RFA he will be comming back.

Posted by: rarcr | February 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

thegr8one, haha, my own father will probably turn me in to Grapes. He loves him. Might have been me! I generally go for "JMU roots for the Caps" or something to that effect.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg S., lol. Not reeealllllyyy.
rarcr, I think its because he's arbitration eligible again. I doubt he gets as much as he got last off-season if he goes back, but he's still overpaid. He might decide not to, but he said at the end of it this summer that he'd go back if necessary. It's just hard on the team and the player, probably something they both want to avoid.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 3, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R:

Thanks!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 3, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Lisa Hillary and future considerations for Clutterbuck. Howbout it.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 3, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Leeguru | February 3, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

So what do you think, Leeguru? Penalty or power play?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Lines from the Times:
Ovechkin-Fedorov-Kozlov

Laich-Backstrom-Semin

Flesichmann-Nylander-Fehr

Brashear-Steckel-Gordon

Posted by: jmhall1 | February 3, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Any streaming sites of the game?

Posted by: vik191 | February 3, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

jmhall1:
Thanks! Gotta say I dig 'em.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 3, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Boo thanks

Posted by: vik191 | February 3, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

stl @ det 3-3 going to OT - it better finish before the caps start - game is on VS

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

it's replay - DET won in OT yesterday. BTW isn't this the second time you report a non-live game score haha :D

Posted by: mauree | February 3, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ, LOL! That game was last night's game! Detroit won in a shootout, Hossa with the winning goal... that's really funny!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
thanks - now i feel like a fool. and you called me out in front of everyone - and told them its not the first time :)
at least i know it won't run into the game i really care about

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk

Dude that game was played yesterday...

Posted by: JSchon | February 3, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
btw - you ruined this game for me - i was pulling for stl to keep them from getting that extra point :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Tiberius,

I'm sorry :D

Posted by: mauree | February 3, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
no piling on!!
i have to be carful about refreshing this page during games. once i 'paused' the game for about 10 minutes and restarted it, refreshed the page and couldn't figure out why everyone here 'new' what was going to happen.
give me a break - I'M OLD - well older anyway

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

LOL

I was going to seem like a clairvoyant to goof on you but the crowd is much too fast for me too.

Posted by: JSchon | February 3, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Plus, Capt_Kirk_in_AZ, can't you press info and see that it says LIVE?? Haha, I'm just messin' with you! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
i really would have been impressed if you had predicted det in a SO

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

rachel216:
wow - i hope this doesn't turn into 'pick on Capt_Kirk_in_AZ'.
with any luck the caps will score in the first minute or two and i'll be off the hook

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
impress us with your clairvoyance
lets hear some of the highlights of the first period. and you can't go with green scores on the PP, semin has a weak hooking penalty or theo lets in a soft one. haha

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 3, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I think we are looking at a scoreless 1st period. We effectively stop 2 powerplays.

We wear white also.

Posted by: JSchon | February 3, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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