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Boudreau likes his lines' chemistry

After spending a day away from the rink, the Caps returned to KCI this morning for an uptempo, systems-heavy practice. Everyone was in attendance with one notable exception: Semyon Varlamov.

Varlamov, who's been sidelined since Dec. 7 with knee and groin muscle injuries, said Saturday morning that he planned on skating this morning.

"None," Coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked if there was an update on the goalie's status. "They keep pushing it back a day."

While Varlamov's situation may be up in the air, there have been two positive constants around the Caps in recent weeks: the forward lines and marks in the win column.

For the 23rd consecutive day -- a span of 10 games and an unofficial Boudreau record -- the first, second, third and fourth lines remained unchanged. In the past, Boudreau didn't begin focusing on building continuity among his forwards until the playoffs were right around the corner. This season, he decided to get a four-month head start on that.

After the loss in Los Angeles on Jan. 2, Boudreau put Alex Ovechkin with Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble; Brooks Laich with Tomas Fleischmann and Alexander Semin; Jason Chimera with Brendan Morrison and Eric Fehr; and Boyd Gordon with David Steckel and Matt Bradley.

The result? The league's best offense has been even more potent, scoring 4.9 goals per game and 3.3 at even strength.

"When you've stuck together [this] many games and you get into a rhythm, that's why you're seeing our team score four, five goals a game because each line knows its responsibility," Brooks Laich said. "Right now we're playing really well, so there's no reason to change.

"It's nice to have linemates," Laich cracked. "When someone asks, 'Who's your line?' you don't have to name nine guys."

The offense is on cruise control and so are the Caps, who have won nine of their past 10 games.

"Since we made the trade for Jason and since we've moved Fleisch to the middle a lot more, things have fit," Boudreau said. "I like the chemistry on all four lines. I anticipate this is the way we'll go unless injuries dictate otherwise."

I'll have more on this in tomorrow's Post.

One more note: Brian Pothier (broken hand) is ready to return and will travel with the Caps tomorrow. Boudreau said the defenseman will play at some point this week.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 25, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
 | Tags: Brian Pothier, Brooks Laich, Bruce Boudreau, Semyon Varlamov  
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Next: Morning roundup: Caps know their lines

Comments

1st + 3rd + ShaMo + Osala 4 Phaneuf = CUP

That's all we are missing.

Posted by: MFepelst | January 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

God, keep Phaneuf away from the Capitals.

We have enough pylons.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@MFepelst

There is no way Calgary would ever make that deal.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Phaneuf sucks...

Posted by: tvn22 | January 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Why would you want to take an overpaid Phaneuf? He isn't worth the 6.5 mil he's getting paid and will be getting paid until what, 2014? No thanks.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Say no to "Celine" Dion Phaneuf. My guess is McPhee picks up a puck mover. Kubina or Zdlicky seems likely. If he goes for a stay at home D then Seidenberg or Ward might be available from the Canes. I'd love Volchenkov or Hamhuis but they're not gonna be available cuz their teams are still in the hunt

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | January 25, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Think the canes would be willing to deal within the division?

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 25, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

no phaneuf...please...god...no...

Yhy single out Osala as possible trade bait...? It is ridiculous to ponder trading an undeveloped pick, with size and decent hands...for an overpriced slow, cheap-shot defenseman that really doesn't fit the Caps AND give up such high picks...

The Capitals will acquire and develop, or draft and develop their Cup...not buy it.

Handling of rosters and payroll needs to be a marathon under this CBA, not a sprint. Chemistry also needs to be valued over everything.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 25, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

calgary is looking for scoring. so that trade does not make sense. plus phaneuf has has a long term contract with big dollars. does not fit.

Posted by: samb99 | January 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

ESPN nhl trade rumors had this to say about Kovy:

Alexander Semin just signed a one-year extension with the Washington Capitals, but there is speculation that the Caps might move him for Ilya Kovalchuk.

OK, OK, this one might be a longshot, but the Russian website, Sport-Express.ru, asked Semin about it. And the enigmatic Semin said he didn't sign a one-year deal to be traded -- although he didn't discount the possibility. Many have speculated that Semin won't stay in Washington beyond next season, because he'll want a huge contract while the Caps still have to pay Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Aaron Ward sucks.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

A top stay at home defenseman would be nice to compliment Green's lack of defense...neidermeyer?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What about Souray? I know he has a heavy contract 5.4 for 3 years more....

He is a two way d-man and EDM isn't going anywhere.

ShaMo, and a couple picks maybe?

Posted by: broud0 | January 25, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Kubina is an interesting possibility. I still remember the hellaceous hits he used to put on Jagr - I bet Jagr does too.

Posted by: zmega | January 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The caps won 9 of 10 against some of the best teams in the league. The goaltending is coming in line. Team D is getting better. BB found some balanced lines that work. The remaining schedule is against bottom half teams. BB and GMGM know what they have in the AHL callups.

Why would we trade now??

Let guys walk in the off season and unload what you can to Toronto(Nyls) on draft day.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | January 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Neids...but he is going to cost a lot.

Expensive rental.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I can think of 67 players I'd rather have than Phaneuf, wait make that 72, 75.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Niedermeyer would be perfect.

While Phaneuf has been playing worse lately and is probably not worth $6.5 million/year, he doesn't suck and would likely be a top pairing defenseman on the Caps and many other teams.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

niedermayer is not a stay-at-home defenseman

i dont know, pavel kubina could fit very nicely...but getting him from within the division would be a chore...

Posted by: cotelloer | January 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

As to who is available for trades, you have to look at which teams are not going to make it, then eliminate the SE Division teams as most teams do not trade within the division. Then maybe someone like the Islanders that may make the playoff, but know they are not there yet. With SE team being so bad this year, that does not leave a lot of trading partners. Only Tor, Edm, ST.Louis and Columbus remain options and a lot of teams may want any players made available so the price could be high. Teams outside the SE have more options. I also am ducking my head as I say this.....Brendon Witt( not sure on how long his contract is he only good as a playoff rental, may fit as well as Andy Sutton(contract expires this year, only a rental) from the Isles. Stay at home physical dmen. I am now hiding under my desk waiting for the artillery to fire back....lol

Posted by: RichC3 | January 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

What about Souray? I know he has a heavy contract 5.4 for 3 years more....

He is a two way d-man and EDM isn't going anywhere.

______________________

Think about what a 5.4 mil/yr hit past this year is going to do to us.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

also in the far fetched category....if the wings fall apart before March 3rd and fall to far behind to make playoffs, Linstrom may be made available as they rebuild....just a wacky thought

Posted by: RichC3 | January 25, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Neids isn't the cookie-cutter physical stay-at-home d-man, but he defends and defends well. He's also the best leader/vet guy available.

As far as Phaneuf is concerned, the guy sucks at defense. period. He is one of the best hitters in the league and has great puck-moving ability and a great shot. However, he's a pylon on defense. If he can't make the hit/misses/etc, he's usually turned and burned.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@RichC3 - Stay down and covered up. I'll let you know when it's safe to come out.

Posted by: zmega | January 25, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

We are going to have to trade at least one D if not 2 if we acquire a D so I believe the Caps are inline for a couple deals at the deadline, I could see Pothier or Erskine being traded for mid to late draft pick with ShaMo going to any team we trade with for a better D.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

ESPN nhl trade rumors had this to say about Kovy:

Alexander Semin just signed a one-year extension with the Washington Capitals, but there is speculation that the Caps might move him for Ilya Kovalchuk.

OK, OK, this one might be a longshot, but the Russian website, Sport-Express.ru, asked Semin about it. And the enigmatic Semin said he didn't sign a one-year deal to be traded -- although he didn't discount the possibility. Many have speculated that Semin won't stay in Washington beyond next season, because he'll want a huge contract while the Caps still have to pay Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

If this is even a remote possibility, the Caps should take all efforts to pull the trigger on this deal. Semin for Kovalchuk striaght-up = STANLEY CUP!

Posted by: kkd76 | January 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Who says the team wants ShaMo?

Erskine, Pothier, SHaMo..all pending free agents btw.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I will 100% guarantee you if somehow a trade for Kovy is made, it is going to be Semin+ for Kovy+ .

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Someone brought up the Islanders. The defenseman I see as a beast on the Islanders is Andy Sutton. At 34 years old he might be someone they move. I know he just got suspended, and earned, but it was more of a miscalculation of where Dupuis was going to go. Sutton always plays physical as heck against us. Probably wouldn't have to give up much for him either, but he would be a physical force for us.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I wish we could trade Semen for Malkin. That'd be sweet.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Carlson is the two-way defenseman everybody is talking about. I wouldn't give up anything, especially not the goaltender in Hershey for a defenseman if he's not Chris Pronger (who looked defeated at last Caps-Flyers game, wasn't even there). Put him on a real Cup contender and he might help a lot. But I don't think they want to deal for a defenseman because they have Carlson who's best 19 yr old defenseman in the world, imo.

Posted by: milfordone | January 25, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I've been hearing the Caps are trying to get Souray...I don't understand this?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I hope they don't trade Alex Semin. I wonder how a D Man trade will change the chemisty that has gelled.

Posted by: ridgely1 | January 25, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sutton is big and tough, but he's also slow. A problem that a lot of our d-men have. He'd probably fit in the 2nd pairing somewhere, but is he really an upgrade over anyone? Sutton has decent hands for being a big guy too though. He can make a first-pass up ice.

Not sure on his availability...Islanders will make a push for a bottom seed.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

How about we trade Varlamov? He seems uninjured for about 20 games a year.

Kinda kidding

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I've been hearing the Caps are trying to get Souray...I don't understand this?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 2:33 PM |

Makes no sense. It would cripple our salary situation for the next 2 years.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Souray's NMC expires this summer, so a rental is possible if there is a market for him.

Posted by: zmega | January 25, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Kovy... Let's make it happen..

Posted by: CapsandRavens | January 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Phaneuf's cap hit makes that deal impossible.

I think the Chimera trade will be it. Everyone is expecting something....Caps are gelling and getting/staying healthy for June I think is really the only issue. The '08 trades were necessary...we needed help...and a goalie as well.

I dont think we "NEED" anything other than a healthy Varly. But Theo and Nuvy have done just fine of late.

We should stick with what we've got.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | January 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Only way Souray ends up in a Caps sweater is if we pick him up through re-entry waivers. Think about how much sense that makes and then post your reply.

Posted by: Raber | January 25, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I wish we could trade Semen (sic.) for Malkin. That'd be sweet.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 25, 2010 2:29 PM


@UnleashtheCaps:

NO!
No way!!
No how!!!
Nevereverevereverever!!!!

Perish the thought, boy-o; while many may believe that Malkin is a stronger and better-rounded player than Sasha, I do not EVER want to see our #28 in a Pittsburgh sweater--not at ANY price!!

'Nuff said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 25, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Lets not trade Semin for Kovy. Kovy will be more expensive to keep than Semin. Kovy is looking for a 10mil deal and Semin can't justify getting paid that much, as much as I love the guy on this team.

You'd be giving up a really good player you've already signed for next season for a guy who you wouldn't be able to afford to keep after these next 3 months. Stupid, stupid trade.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 25, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to think about the trade options, but probably nothing happens until after the Olympics. GMGM would probably hold out to see if there are any urgent needs due to (God forbid) an injury.

Posted by: zmega | January 25, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Very odd that in a thread on the great chemistry the Caps have developed that there's support for Semin/Kovalchuk. Not only is he playing like a beast, Semin is simply a greater asset for the Caps than Kovy ten years his senior will ever be. Please no.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 25, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

As far as Phaneuf is concerned, the guy sucks at defense. period. He is one of the best hitters in the league and has great puck-moving ability and a great shot. However, he's a pylon on defense. If he can't make the hit/misses/etc, he's usually turned and burned.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 2:16 PM |


@richmondphil:

I must respectfully disagree--as I may have mentioned in previous posts, the Phaneuf is desireable for any NHL team wishing to add sandpaper and scoring ability on their blueline; the man is like the Canadian version of Ivan Drago: Whatever he hits, he destroys.

I know, I know: the cap hit/potential trade sacrifice is too much. But I can dream, can't I? This would be just what the Caps need to:

a)discourage cherry pickers (cough cough Crosby cough) and
b)wear down opposing forwards during the playoffs.


And always remember:

You Must Construct Addditional Pylons

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 25, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Stop hypothetically trading Alex Semin!!!! What does he have to do to convince you people that he's a valuable cog on our team?

The guy has 10 points in his last 5 games and is our star player's BEST FRIEND. When we traded our captain, a guy who was barely on the ice, we looked like garbage for 3 games. Think about what would happen if we traded our third best scorer (barely - he's 49 to Green's 50) and star player's buddy.

Flash would tank, Ovie would tank, and the team would tank for far more than just 3 games.

Posted by: Raber | January 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

anyone that even mentions getting Pronger needs to go on that Doofus Brigade...

His contract is prohibitive and has him locked up in Philly until he's like 41 years old. Even if the deal is (CBA skirtingly) frontloaded, it is still stupid to want or suggest the Caps could use him.

Also, Lidstrom won't happen. He has the class to stay and retire there.

Zidlicky...yes.
Rafalski...yes. But not pending UFA.
Volchenkov...yes.
Sutton...maybe.
Hamhuis...a remote possibility.

After those the list looks lean w/ trade partners and years/money.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Phaneuf's cap hit makes that deal impossible.

I think the Chimera trade will be it. Everyone is expecting something....Caps are gelling and getting/staying healthy for June I think is really the only issue. The '08 trades were necessary...we needed help...and a goalie as well.

I dont think we "NEED" anything other than a healthy Varly. But Theo and Nuvy have done just fine of late.

We should stick with what we've got.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | January 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I will politely disagree with you. You are right about us gelling together and needing Varlamov back healthy, however, our competition isn't going to stay put and neither should we. Now, I'm advocating sweeping changes, in fact, we have enough resources to get certain player without disrupting our top 9 and top 4.

The simple addition of Geurin last year did wonders for PIT. We could add one or two pieces at the deadline and not suffer any type of readjustment period. I love the fact that Hershey is successful, but it shouldn't be successful at the expense of making things better for the Capitals, we have assets, lets use them smartly.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Volchenkov is the man. He is one of the toughest guys in the league and a great stay at home player. Moreover, he took a Malkin slapshot to the face in the playoffs two years ago, and played the next game (after they built him a new helmet that could contain the swelling). He won't demand the same return as Nieds will, and I have my fingers tightly crossed that he finds his way to DC. The only problem? Ottawa are rolling, so they may not be sellers. Here's hoping for a Sens massive losing streak!

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 25, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Say no to "Celine" Dion Phaneuf. My guess is McPhee picks up a puck mover. Kubina or Zdlicky seems likely. If he goes for a stay at home D then Seidenberg or Ward might be available from the Canes. I'd love Volchenkov or Hamhuis but they're not gonna be available cuz their teams are still in the hunt

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | January 25, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

A buddy of mine mentioned Kubina as a possibility and the more I think about it, the more I like it if GMGM could pull it off.

Kubina will be a UFA after the season, he's big and can be nasty but is mobile and can move the puck, and he could be used on the power play as he's got a booming shot. Plus he's a righty.

Posted by: cainoo7x | January 25, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Raber: Why would EDM expose Souray to re-entry waivers? 1) They'd have to pay half his remaining salary (and get cap hit) for 2 1/2 yrs and 2) they'd get nothing in return.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 25, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Very odd that in a thread on the great chemistry the Caps have developed that there's support for Semin/Kovalchuk. Not only is he playing like a beast, Semin is simply a greater asset for the Caps than Kovy ten years his senior will ever be. Please no.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 25, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk was born 4/83
Semin was born 3/84

We're not talking dog years are we?

Kovalchuk is a monster and really is talented, much like Semin without the injury stigma. Kovalchuk is regarded as a top 10 talent in the league, Semin is top 30/40.

Having said that, I'm not sure I would make the trade given the financial parts being what they would be to keep Kovy.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Kovy as a rental would be fantastic. Crosby + Malkin hurt us last year, having Ovie + Kovy would give us a similar one-two punch (and deadly combo on the PP).

No trade will happen pre-olympics, in case an injury occurs (imagine how horrific it'd be to trade assets for a player who gets knocked out), but that also will increase Kovy's price if he and Ovechkin play well together either on the same line or PP-- Don Waddell in Atlanta will bend McPhee over a barrel if he can.

We need some D as well of course, but not as clear what the right option there is. Niedermeyer is good, but a tad old-- still probably the best true D out there, and a rental at that.

Posted by: TheGJ | January 25, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I think the Chimera trade will be it. Everyone is expecting something....Caps are gelling and getting/staying healthy for June I think is really the only issue. The '08 trades were necessary...we needed help...and a goalie as well.

I dont think we "NEED" anything other than a healthy Varly. But Theo and Nuvy have done just fine of late.

We should stick with what we've got.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | January 25, 2010 2:47 PM

I completely agree with this.

Finally, this is a team that seems to feel complete and focused playing together, for each other and for a common goal. No egos, no whiners, no drama (as fans of the Caps, we should consider ourselves very fortunate on this front). Just excellent - really excellent - and determined (sprinkled with a bit of luck; the kind of luck that good teams have) hockey played by a group of great guys.

Everyone staying healthy is the biggest factor; that, and no additions that could end up being chemistry diffusers and upsetters of apple carts. Not neccesary in my opinion.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: nena1 | January 25, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Guerin is a perfect example of the kind of deal the Caps should be thinking of. It cost the Pens nothing but a 3rd round pick and he was exactly the type of player those farginbastages needed. We don't need a "big name" we just need to fine tune what is already a well-running machine.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE no Kovalchuk. Do we seriously need him? NO! No need to mess up the chemistry we have. If anything, we should be getting what we NEED. If GMGM trades for Kovalchuk, I'll be crushed. It's not worth giving up any of our prospects or more. I hate this rumor and I hope he'll go to Calgary instead.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Raber: Why would EDM expose Souray to re-entry waivers? 1) They'd have to pay half his remaining salary (and get cap hit) for 2 1/2 yrs and 2) they'd get nothing in return.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 25, 2010 3:02 PM

Someone's getting the picture! I'm going to assume that was tongue in cheek ;-)

To make things even less likely - at the place we're in 27 other teams would have to pass on Souray at half price for no compensation. Souray's cap hit is far too large for far too long for him to be discussed - let's move on.

Posted by: Raber | January 25, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. Stand firm GMGM.

Chemistry trumps rentals. This team really enjoys playing together, and they've even started playing for Theo. Without spending the farm and the cap space, there isn't a goalie better than a healthy Varly, or motivated Theo, or a mature Neuvirth that would help anyway.

Say no to Turco, Giguere, or Toskala. Harding (Minn) is just as unproven as Neuvie, and of the other H's (Hiller, Hedberg, or Halak) two are prob. not available and the other isn't very good.

Varly get healthy. Theo keep proving yourself.
Defense stay strong.
4 fwd lines...keep it up.
DONE.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 25, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Semin is simply a greater asset for the Caps than Kovy ten years his senior will ever be. Please no.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 25, 2010 2:53 PM |

Um, Kovalchuk is 26 years old.


@Rhino40

You didn't disagree with my assessment of Phaneuf. He is a great hitter. Sand-paper, etc.

But he is essentially a puck-moving offensive d -man who hits anything in sight. His defense is as inconsistent as Green.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the Chimera trade was a prelude for another trade to happen. GMGM was at least thinking about it, regardless if a trade happens to work out.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I would like a puck moving defenseman such as Niedermayer.

Another possibility is Thomas Kaberle. He has 1 year remaining at $4.5 but that could posibly fit well into the teams long term plans. $4.5 is a reasonably price for him next year and then with him leaving after next year as Alzner and Carlson start nearing their contract years.

Carlson looks like he will be great but barring injury he will not be playing for the Caps in this years playoffs. I think the team wants him to get stronger physically and have a full NHL season under him before taking that responsibility. I'm not sure if he could handle an entire NHL postseason this year.

I don't see the Caps trading Semin for Kovalchuk. That would hurt us because the Caps would start becoming thin at RW. I would explore the possibly of trading draft and/or prospects for him as a rental. But the price would have to be right. With other teams bidding I don't expect this to happen.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

As for no trades happening before the Olympics, people are predicting a lot of trades to happen on Feb 12th before the Olympics, as a "1st" deadline.

There's only a few games between the real deadline and the end of the break.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

We still have to trade at least one defensemen, we have too many.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

It just occurred to me, but did you think of Kovalev when everyone said Kovy? He was the first "Kovy".

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

Again, the Caps have no need or reason to have Kovy. Why give up picks or prospects for someone there's no need for? Any deal for Kovy smells like DanSnyderitous disease to me.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing there will almost be 2 groups of playing being traded. Those that are playing in Vancouver, meaning they may be traded but not until the games are over and injuries are taken into consideration and all the others. Teams have an advantage to make trades the first week on the games so player can move, have a few practices with the new team before games and generally get acclimated to new location. Anyone playing in Vancouver will probably happen at the deadline.

Posted by: RichC3 | January 25, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why Chimera can't be our version of Guerin however saying that was the only thing the Pens did last year to get over the top is 100% wrong. Did everyone forget that they fired their coach and also got Chris Kunitz who had 18 points in 20 games with the Pens after the trade and was a big reason they climbed from out of the playoffs to the cup. He also had 14 points in the playoffs and added some grit to Crosby's line. The Pens last year were not in the same position the Caps were. They were a team that if they didn't do something fairly drastic were going to go from cup finalist to missing the post season. Look at what Detroit did at the deadline last year, nothing, and they got one bounce away from another cup. Making a move at the deadline is something every fans seems to want but is not always needed. We have played very strong in the last month and are currently doing it without what is in theory our number one goalie. Why break up what we have by making a trade that isn't needed?

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe GMGM is floating a Kovy for Semin rumor to push up the price for Kovy for a competitor? (There's always room for a conspiracy theory.)

Posted by: zmega | January 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

We don't have to break up anything to make a couple of additions.

Geurin was traded for a 3rd round draft pick.
Fedorov was traded to us for Ted Ruth.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

netminder71, frontloading a contract doesn't skirt the CBA. Cap hits are determined by taking the total contract dollars and dividing it by the total number of years.

So if a guy signs a $25 mil deal for five years, his hit is $5 mil per year, even if he's really only making $1 mil in the final season of that contract.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 25, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@ RichC3 From everything I have read there is a total freeze on trades during the Olympics no matter if the player is playing in them or not

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

jsnyd1: Good reference. That would totally be a Dan Synder thing to do and I DO NOT want to compare GMGM to Dan Synder.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. We do not need Ilya Kovalchuk.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

JSchon If we get a Geurin what line does he play on? Does putting him on that line break the chemistry that line has? Is the person a good fit in the locker room with the rest of the guys? It is not just trading away players that can break up a team it can be additions too.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

JSchon If we get a Geurin what line does he play on? Does putting him on that line break the chemistry that line has? Is the person a good fit in the locker room with the rest of the guys? It is not just trading away players that can break up a team it can be additions too.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

You make room, period. Lets say we got a LW.

Goodbye Boyd Grodon.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Again, I'm not advocating anything other than GMGM putting the best team on the ice as possible and if there is a deal out there that makes us better, if it makes sense, pull the trigger.

Another defensemen, a 2nd or 3rd line C, whatever. You make room.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Folks who advocate a trade for a high salary player that is not in the last year of his current contract, are not looking beyond this season and that is a mistake.
Phaneuf and Souray are two such players.

Priority #1 for GMGM beyond this season is to resign Nicklas Backstrom, and long term at that. I can see virtually no way GMGM could get that accomplished, given the likely salary that Backstrom will be worthy of asking, and still find room under the cap after taking on the contract of a Phaneuf or Souray now. So let it go, please.

Any trade made, will need to be for either a remarkably under priced player with a year or two left on his contract, or a UFA who will be seen as a rental for this year's Cup run only.

As for Semin for Kovy, I say no way. Aside from the negative impact it will have to the team's current chemistry, and how the players would likely react, there's no guarantee that adding Kovy (at the loss of Semi) would bring DC the Cup.

And if it does not, then when the dust clears you have lost Semin AND Kovy (when he signs with another team for the $10-$11mil he'll be asking this summer) and have nothing to show for it but shouldas, couldas and wouldas.

Keep in mind that resigning Backstrom this summer trumps any consideration of trying to fit Kovy's inevitably massive salary under next year's cap.

In any case, I don't see the offense as what needs tuning on this team. The D is what I think needs tinkering, if anything at all. Regardless, nothing's going to happen until after the Olympic break. All of this is of course, IMHO.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

What we know is that making additions by trade or FA have worked out for us...

Huet, Cooke, Fedorov, Knuble, Morrison and Chimera...

Why would making a move this TDL be any different?

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@ice......thanks...I did not know that.ok...then make a trade prior to games starting.....the advantage is still a good one to get a player in and acclimated before having to play games....there is only a few days after the games to make any trades, but I guess that will not stop the GM's from talking while games are on.

Posted by: RichC3 | January 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

It just occurred to me, but did you think of Kovalev when everyone said Kovy? He was the first "Kovy".

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

No, but close -- I was thinking Kovalchuk but had a brain blip that had me thinking Kovalev's age. My mistake.

So, my point is totally trashed by actual facts, but I still don't want to see the trade happen. How's that for airtight logic?

Posted by: Sonyask | January 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

if GMGM makes a deal, it will be relatively a minor one, probably for someone with playoff experience and grit... someone who can help on defense more than offense.

it won't be anything major such as Kovalchuk...

Posted by: joek443 | January 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

folks, be reasonable. we are not getting bill guerin. why? why would the pens trade him first of all? second, why would they trade him to us, for what?

deadline deals dont typically happen between two teams in the playoff picture. they happen between one team in the playoffs (us) and another team who isn't (someone else). the team not in the playoff hunt trades a UFA who they dont think they can resign to a team who thinks that player can be the difference in the playoffs. the non playoff team hopefully gets a draft pick or prospect to help them in the future and the playoff team takes the risk that the player they pick up helps them win and that the player they gave up doesnt turn into a stud.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

if GMGM makes a deal, it will be relatively a minor one, probably for someone with playoff experience and grit... someone who can help on defense more than offense.

it won't be anything major such as Kovalchuk...

Posted by: joek443 | January 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. I doubt there would be anyone moved in our top 9 or top 4.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

folks, be reasonable. we are not getting bill guerin. why? why would the pens trade him first of all? second, why would they trade him to us, for what?

deadline deals dont typically happen between two teams in the playoff picture. they happen between one team in the playoffs (us) and another team who isn't (someone else). the team not in the playoff hunt trades a UFA who they dont think they can resign to a team who thinks that player can be the difference in the playoffs. the non playoff team hopefully gets a draft pick or prospect to help them in the future and the playoff team takes the risk that the player they pick up helps them win and that the player they gave up doesnt turn into a stud.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Geurin was used as an example, no one claimed that Geurin would be moved to us or even on the market.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Silly people, Semin is a more valuable player than Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk is a one-dimensional, shoot-first goal scorer. He's REALLY good at it but not much good at anything else. Does anyone honestly think what the Caps need to put them over the top is more goal scoring? Especially when he would only be a rental since there's no way he's getting Ovechkin money from McPhee.

Posted by: butcherbaker | January 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

netminder71, frontloading a contract doesn't skirt the CBA. Cap hits are determined by taking the total contract dollars and dividing it by the total number of years.

So if a guy signs a $25 mil deal for five years, his hit is $5 mil per year, even if he's really only making $1 mil in the final season of that contract.

Posted by: JohninMpls


Hey John...I didn't say it DID skirt the CBA, I insinuated that it was in poor business practice and was a bad loophole...so many of those contracts have/will be investigated...

Posted by: netminder71 | January 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker

Semin @ $6M > Kovalchuk @ $9+M

if money is not an issue

Kovalchuk is better player than Semin.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Chimera is our Kunitz and "stay at home defenseman to be determined" for a draft pick will be our Guerin. We can replace someone like Gordon or Erskine/Pothier/Sloan, etc. with a better player without any significant disruption in chemistry. But a think a bigger move would be Snyderesque and would be bad not just for this year but for future years as well.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 25, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think GMGM will be doing too much. Remember we have a player by the name of Melyander who is loaned out and if Grand rapids doesn't want him next season we are again stuck with his contract on the cap. If we trade ShaMo away I think it would be stupid. He is a solid dee who plays dee and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. him and Alzner are a great line combo that can play solid stay at home dee..

Posted by: TheTruth23 | January 25, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is off the cap for good. His NMC runs out this year so we can send him anywhere we want. Ted still has to pay him, but he won't count against the cap.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

ok, my bad on guerin. read it literally. back to work...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 25, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Tprpolen | January 25, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

As someone who once suggested a Semin for Phaneuf deal, I think all this trade talk is now crazy.

The chemistry and weak links are all solidifying -- just look at the stats on rockthered.com. Our defense and special teams are noticeably better and we have not one but two great blueline prospects in Hershey on top of the 7-8 solid, serviceable guys already wearing red.

We have no business trading ANY of our offensive guns, especially for a rental. It will be tough enough getting all these guys back healthy and humming after a two week Olympic break, let's stay the course. You wanna be the one telling Captain Ovie that we're messing with his team? Good luck with that.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | January 25, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Souray is nothing more than a bigger, more often injured version of Mike Green. There is no, repeat NO reason to obtain him, even if his salary was more affordable and he had less years on his contract. There have been rumors for many years that McPhee is interested in Kubina and I think that's because it's true. I think that deal gets done if Atlanta is OK with trading within the division. If not, then it'll be Zdlicky. So the pairings become:

Schultz/Green
Morrison-Erskine/Pothier
Poti/Zdlicky

Carlson and Alzner play for Hershey during the playoffs

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | January 25, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To all the people that want to trade for Kovy, Phaneuf, Nieds, or any other high priced name player....


THIS AINT A FANTASY LEAGUE Nor is it a Chinese restaurant menu. You can't choose one from column A and one from B and create a team. Great teams are a combination of all types of players and not just stars.

Kovy wouldn't fit for the Caps for a couple of reasons, one of which is PRICE in addition, he would not fit on a line with Ovi and WE DON'T NEED MORE SCORING Why would you want to trade a two way player for a one way player? It is STUPID and SNYDERISH. I don't want another Redskins. I want a great franchise and that is what the Caps are on the cusp of being.

Phaneuf or Nieds wouldn't work for similar reasons to PRICE plus Phaneuf is not a shutdown blueliner and Nieds is just too old and not that good any more. However, if we had to choose one off this list it would be Nieds.

To put it in simple terms that the fantasy league gms can understand, Kovy WILL NOT BRING US A STANLEY CUP either now or in the future.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | January 25, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This may be a stupid question, but why all this talk about trades...why trade for anyone? At this point, it seems everything is ticking just fine...why fix it if it ain't broke? Trade talk is good for discussion purposes, but my guess is that George is probably not interested in doing too much of anything right now.

Posted by: RogerNoVa | January 25, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The team needs nothing.

Every team has some weaknesses but weaknesses never fully disappear, which is why every team still has them.

Any earth-shaking move is a very, very bad idea. Nibbling around the edges can be risky.

I love this team, as is, right now.

Posted by: saintex | January 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Kovy has never won anything - no thanks!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The team needs nothing.

Every team has some weaknesses but weaknesses never fully disappear, which is why every team still has them.

Any earth-shaking move is a very, very bad idea. Nibbling around the edges can be risky.

I love this team, as is, right now.

Posted by: saintex | January 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

You're satisfied with the PK? You're ok with the lack of production from the 3rd C position?

I'm not.

SJS PK? #1 in the league.
CHI PK? #4 in the league.

B.Mo has 1G 6A in his last 23 games.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

http://twitter.com/Eklund

"The Caps and Souray is really heating up. going to talk to a few folks and then have a blog up."

Posted by: Morgal | January 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Kovy has never won anything - no thanks!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

That can be said about every Caps player. Its the truth.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@butcher you made the best point here - the Caps already have the highest-scoring O in the league; I don't see how adding Kovalchuk is value-added.

Not to mention, Flash and Semin are quickly becoming one of the top 2nd-lines in the league, why mess with that? And you don't get anywhere near a Cup without two scoring lines, as Harry Sinden and the Bruins' past 40 years can attest...(see, also: Forsberg / Sakic; Yzerman/ Federov; Messier / Gretzky)

Posted by: govtimbo | January 25, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Prediction: we will see plenty of Carlson come playoff-time.

Posted by: govtimbo | January 25, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

NO!
No way!!
No how!!!
Nevereverevereverever!!!!

Perish the thought, boy-o; while many may believe that Malkin is a stronger and better-rounded player than Sasha, I do not EVER want to see our #28 in a Pittsburgh sweater--not at ANY price!!

'Nuff said!

@ Rhino40

LOL point well taken. :)

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Please Mr. GMGM if you mess with anything make it defense only. Please do not screw with the offense, or throw a wrench into team chemistry.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

If Eklund says something you can be 100% certain it'll never come true

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | January 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

I could see Fehr getting moved at the deadline. I'm not saying I'm advocating it but due to his likely increased salary next year combined with the amount of playing time he receives I think it is possible.

If he is moved in a package with draft picks and/or prospects it will likely be for a high quality rental player or even two players such as a veteren RW(to take Fehr's place) and a defenseman.

Again, I'm not necessarily advocating this but I think it is a definite possibility.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

My prediction is that morrison will get traded.. He is a UFA. we have two many defensemen. He plus a pick should get us a stronger D man or a center. I would not mind seeing ray whitney has our 3 rd line center. Shaone Morrison and a pick for Sheldon would be a upgrade to our D.

Posted by: samb99 | January 25, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

SW Division Championships and the Caps have made the playoffs...Atlanta not so much. Kovey is an over priced, free agent offensive guy we don't need at all. I'd still take Semin over him.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

RogerNoVa and saintex - I completely agree with both of you. Bruce just stated he likes the chemistry, as do the players. Powerplay has been producing all year, PK has been improving significantly (though it may take a while for it to show up statistically). The D is much improved both as players and the system and our goalies have been holding up with Varly out. The most over-used "need" is a stay-at-home defenseman. Cliche. With Schultz, Alzner, and Carlson improving as they are, and puck movers like Green, Poti, and Pothier, I like what we have. Whether it is this year or next, we have Cup potential with the players we have. Keep it in tact, and we may have what it takes to REPEAT as opposed to being a one shot deal by bringing in high dollar rentals.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"If the Oilers want to trade veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray before the trade deadline, they're going to have to take his personal life into account, reports the Edmonton Sun.
Souray, who has a no-movement clause, is willing to accept a deal only if it makes sense for his family.

Souray's children live in California with their mother and visit throughout the season."

He has said he wants to stay out west all along...I don't want him either.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

SW Division?

Which league is that in?

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | January 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I think Kovalchuk --if ATL fails to re-sign him--will probably end up in one of the following places:

NYR
OTT
MTL

NYR & MTL always seem to have money to burn. OTT probably has more uncomitted $$ available for a long-term deal, though.

I'm not sayng the Caps have to have him...I just hope he doesn't end up in Pittsburgh--BLEEEACCHHHH!

I wouldn't put it past those evil b------s to shoot themselves in the foot financially if it meant getting the opportunity to stick it to us yet again in the playoffs...let's hope better sense prevails in Shero's brain...so that we can stomp them in April!,

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup

people who have been following the caps for 30 years are not concerned about REPEAT. They just want to win one cup. In a salary cap era window of winning is small. Our time is now

Posted by: samb99 | January 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"You're satisfied with the PK? You're ok with the lack of production from the 3rd C position?

I'm not.

SJS PK? #1 in the league.
CHI PK? #4 in the league.

B.Mo has 1G 6A in his last 23 games."

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 4:35 PM

The way the PK has played of late, in particular against top tier teams... yes.

They have the personnel to have a solid PK, it seems to me its more about the PK system in place, and perhaps the players buying into it, than about the players' ability to do the job.

As for Bmo, keep in mind he's still new to this team and likely still looking for chemistry among his linemates. One of whom (Chimera) has been with the team less than a month now. It's not at all uncommon for a player in his 1st year with a new team to have ups and downs as he tries to find his place and build chemistry within the team.

I think BMo is on the verge of an upswing. I think he's going to mesh well with Chimera and Fehr and that chemistry will grow by the end of the regular season.

Chemistry is a fickle and fleeting beast, but oh so very important to a team's success. That's why GMGM has to weigh heavily any potential trade target and consider the likelihood of potential chemistry with this Caps team and how that player will fit within, and/or adapt to, Boudreau's system.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@TempusFugitRGV1

Eklund was right about Chimera. He def has been wrong as well. But the trade will happen to get Souray.If not Souray then a Zidlicky/Sutton type of D man. Question is who are we giving up? GMGM is smart he def has something up his sleeve. We are top 3 in NHL, a move for a solid D man, enables us to win Lord Stanely's Cup!

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | January 25, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

samb99 - I AM one of those who have followed for 30 years and endured the frustration and heartache as everyone else. Just saying I like what we've got and feel we have a legitimate contender as is.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 25, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hordedog - I second your comments. Quick fixes are not always the best course of action.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

First off.. Bill Guerin isn't even an option. If anything, a player to watch would be Ryan Malone as a potential rental player. But Tampa probably doesn't want to trade in division.

Next question to ask is.. how does that help? All 4 lines are cranking right now.. so where would he play? Flash, Semin, and Fehr look good, Knuble is a nice fit with Backs and OV, B-mo and Laich and Chimera look good.. and our 4th line is one of the best in the league.

Our offense is fit to go. I think if you see anything, it will be Carlson more this year.. as he looks GOOD in the bigs. He is basically what I think the DEF is missing. The rest can be addressed at the end of the year, but I think we have a cup contender already.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | January 25, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

My figuring? GMGM knows better than anyone on this board what we need and what we can spare, and what we can make work. Case in point: how many of us saw the Chimera trade coming?

I betcha that what GMGM pulls out of his butt is something none of us considered but that kicks butt and takes names.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 25, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I love all this worthless trade talk.I say we trade varly while he still has a little trade value left in him.Not when hes a broken down 22,23 yr old goalie.

Posted by: gratefuldid | January 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If Souray has relatives on the East coast he will come to DC. If not then it may bot happen. Either way you guys are crazy if you think are D is solid. We are missing that one d-man who is scrappy, stays at home, and has experience.

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | January 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If ATL trades Kovy i think they will be willing to trade us Kubina for the right price, hopefully ShaMo and pick and maybe some of Uncle Ted's cash.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"samb99 - I AM one of those who have followed for 30 years and endured the frustration and heartache as everyone else. Just saying I like what we've got and feel we have a legitimate contender as is.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 25, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse"

I agree with gonchpup here. I like how this Caps team is being modeled after the Redwings organization. That's a club that has always built and operated with the future in mind, and never been one to make the big move to "win it now".

Since nothing is guaranteed, meaning no signing/trade is sure to have the impact being hoped for, why risk so much on one shot now, when you can play it safe and keep what's working in tact, and thus have four shots over the next four years?

I see your logic samb99, but I think it's too akin to the logic in place within the NYRangers organization. "Win it now" has been the cornerstone of that franchise for over a decade and look how they're looking right now.

And I too have am a longstanding Caps fan. Been such, since the days of the Caps' original "disco" uniform.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Does Boyd Gordon have any trade value?

He is our only forward I wouldnt hate to see go.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

How about Barret Jackman. What are people's thoughts on him? St. Louis would be willing to make a move.

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | January 25, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Andy Sutton should be an affordable option as the Islanders are still building even though they are in the play off hunt. ShaMo and a pick or prospect should work, we could even throw in Erskine if they want him.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"First off.. Bill Guerin isn't even an option. If anything, a player to watch would be Ryan Malone as a potential rental player. But Tampa probably doesn't want to trade in division.

Next question to ask is.. how does that help? All 4 lines are cranking right now.. so where would he play? Flash, Semin, and Fehr look good, Knuble is a nice fit with Backs and OV, B-mo and Laich and Chimera look good.. and our 4th line is one of the best in the league.

Our offense is fit to go. I think if you see anything, it will be Carlson more this year.. as he looks GOOD in the bigs. He is basically what I think the DEF is missing. The rest can be addressed at the end of the year, but I think we have a cup contender already.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | January 25, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse"

Not to nit-pick here, but Fehr has been skating on the 3rd line with BMo and Chimera, while Laich is on the 2nd line with Flash and Semi.

Otherwise for the most part I agree with your points.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Although Brendan Witt may be the sentimental pick-up.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

IMO- Semin is another 1 of these enigmatic Marat Safin type.
Plenty of world class talent. But the game isn't that important to him

& Neither is the money.
I think he stays here for however long it is he wants & then goes back to Russia.

No other organization can treat him as well has we have.

Look @ how we welcomed him back here after his holdout with not ill will.

He likes to play with OV & he doesn't mind being 2nd/3rd fiddle.

Posted by: Rocc00 | January 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I love all this worthless trade talk.I say we trade varly while he still has a little trade value left in him.Not when hes a broken down 22,23 yr old goalie.

Posted by: gratefuldid | January 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

well I say you've just topped all the other worthless talk with that one

Posted by: joek443 | January 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Although Brendan Witt may be the sentimental pick-up.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 25, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse"

Please, no. Just no. No.

And I'm thinking the Caps will show you tomorrow night exactly why I say that, when they expose him for the slow-footed goon he is.

I will, however, thank Witt ahead of time for the several powerplay opportunities he's sure to gift the Caps tuesday night.

Oh, and while his current -18 is better than last season's -30 +/- rating (league worst I believe), he'll surely delve into the -20's by season's end.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

@Hordedog

I disagree. I think there is a place in between "trading everything to win right now" like the Rangers and Dan Snyder and "not trading anybody" like some people are suggesting.

I agree the team should definitely not give up its top prospects (such as Carlson)or trade a high volume of quality prospects for a rental or a high priced veteran. But if a quality rental could be had for a draft pick or two or a decent prospect that may be the way to go. (such as the Fedorov and Huet moves)

While I agree that nothing is guaranteed by making a deadline move, if the trade increases the Caps chances of winning then I'm all for it because all future years will be just as much of a non-guarantee as this year. Every move is about increasing the Caps chances of winning not guaranteeing winning.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

IMO- Semin is another 1 of these enigmatic Marat Safin type.
Plenty of world class talent. But the game isn't that important to him

& Neither is the money.
I think he stays here for however long it is he wants & then goes back to Russia.

No other organization can treat him as well has we have.

Look @ how we welcomed him back here after his holdout with not ill will.

He likes to play with OV & he doesn't mind being 2nd/3rd fiddle.

Posted by: Rocc00 | January 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

enough with dime store psychology... Semin is a very good player in his own right, there's no need to keep comparing him to Ovie and say that he needs to do this or that.

they are two different people and two different type of players.

Posted by: joek443 | January 25, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"IMO- Semin is another 1 of these enigmatic Marat Safin type.
Plenty of world class talent. But the game isn't that important to him

& Neither is the money.
I think he stays here for however long it is he wants & then goes back to Russia.

No other organization can treat him as well has we have.

Look @ how we welcomed him back here after his holdout with not ill will.

He likes to play with OV & he doesn't mind being 2nd/3rd fiddle.

Posted by: Rocc00 | January 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse"

I agree with everything except that Semin doesn't care about the game. That's BS. I've really loved how over the last 2 seasons, this one in particular, his enthusiasm has grown exponentially. He rejoices with enthusiasm not just when he scores or assists, but when any teammate scores, even when he's on the bench.

If there's any one thing that Semi has picked up from his buddy Ovi is a passion for this Caps team and a passion for playing. It shows in his harder work ethic in backchecking and fewer stick infractions, and it shows in his PK time.

Not to mention games like the last vs Phoenix, where Boudreau had Semi out there in the final seconds with the score 3-2 and the "Yotes" with the extra attacker. Game on the line. And he delivered to boot. (The pass that sent Ovi off on his EN goal)

I do agree, given Semin's known introvert tendencies, that baring a trade to another team, Semin will return to the KHL when his time with the Caps closes. I don't see him wanting to go through the whole process of making friends and learning a new city unless it's back in Russia. But that's just my take on how he ticks. He could prove me well wrong.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

throw in a new chili recipe and sign the 40whaterver chelios on the cheap..maybe ben's secret recipe!

Posted by: ewwsombra | January 25, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@joe443

I think gratefuldid was being ironic!

In general:

This trade talk is pretty amusing. My only observation is why mess with the forward lines at all, even as an armchair GM. They really are clicking. Moving Flash to center and BMo to the third line center has been magical IMO. Now someone on each of the lines is scoring. Although BMo hasn't scored recently he is still playing well by creating time and space for Chimera and Fehr. Seems odd to me to start messing with the chemistry.

We do seem to have a little bit more in flux with the defensive pairings but then again we have some young ones coming up. If GMGM did anything which I am not sure he would I think it would be with defense. And making no move can be just as strategic. And it's not like he hasn't made trade and acquisition moves already.

I'll be content with whatever GMGM decides. No deadline trade is better than a bad one--seems obvious but we tend to forget that as we mull over options.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 25, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Again, if all we want to do is win the SE division and make the playoffs, then we are set, no moves need to be made.

I doubt any of the players or coaching staff or upper management are satisfied with SE division titles and simply making the playoffs. We were doing that before the blowup of the team.

Posted by: JSchon | January 25, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@ smg3

I didn't mean to imply that any move at all would be a bad thing, or that a small but smart move would be risking it all, but just that the "win it now" thinking is dangerous.

By "win it now" thinking I was leaning towards the talk of Semi for Kovy, or of sending multiple players/prospects/picks for a Phaneuf or someone else the Caps can't really afford next year.

While I'm not sure the Caps actually need it, I do agree that a smart move _could_ add a piece which makes the team stronger, at least on paper. By smart move, I mean something more along the lines of what Shero did in picking up Guerin last year. Very shrewd. (not to say I think GMGM should mess with the offense!)

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with saintex about weaknesses, every team has them and no matter what you can't get rid of it.

For all of those looking for a shut down D. Shultz and Green have two of the best +/-s in the league. Who is to say that adding a shut down D would make Green's +/- any better? Right now Shultz knows how to cover for Green and maybe someone else won't do as well.

@ JSchon when talking about adding a player your response is make room and goodbye Gordon, well Gordon plays on the PK and among our forwards only Steckel averages more TOI on the PK per game. So they guy we would get would have to be a killer as well or else that aspect of out game goes down.

For those talking about B.Mo he is actually our third line center now so his points are not bad for a third line center. Liach/Flash are our second line centers and they have been very productive this season. Our scoring depth is better then any other team, we have the most players with over 10 goals scored and we already have as many, 9, as we had at the end of the season last year.

My view is if someone come to the Caps with an offer we cannot refuse then maybe we take it but if we are the ones going out trying to make the deal we are going to give up more that way and we do not need it.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

sgm3 - This is where the disagreement lies with the trade/no trade debate. First off, as much as I loved seeing Feds in a Caps uniform, it ultimately did not bring us the Cup. Luckily, it was a good fit and team chemistry was probably enhanced... good move. Then you look at others we have brought in that turn into busts because of they just couldn't fit the system... Jagr and Nylander, and they were picked up off-season with time to gel. It's a gamble, no doubt. So, you keep with what you have and know, or risk it on speculation. I just don't think it's worth the risk, particularly since we have a great group to begin with.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Hordedog

comparing the caps to Ny Rangers is not really a good comparison. forget about apples to oranges. more like apples to shovels. The bottom line is that the team needs some additions. players themselves have said that an addition on the D is needed. This could be more psychological for the players. We can model after the wings and all and sounds good. But first lets put a banner up and see if should think about emulating some team. Great to hear about your disco memory. hope 30 years from now you want be telling someone about some gimmick but stanley cups

Posted by: samb99 | January 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I'm not the only person who doesn't think we necessarily need anything, and I called into NHL Power Play this afternoon wondering what the Caps might go for. The guys on there confirmed my thinking - team defense might just be enough. We could get someone, but I'm not convinced that what we need isn't already in the system in the person of Carlznerson. Maybe they do and maybe they don't - and they have the space to deal - but more importantly, if they can get the team defense thing down and play 60 minutes consistently, night in and night out, they'll be okay.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 25, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

samb99 - Which players have said there is a need for an addition on D? And interesting... YOU are saying this but it doesn't seem that Bruce or any of the players I have seen interviewed mirror your opinion.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 25, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

I agree the moves are a gamble. But picks and prospects are even bigger gambles than bringing in a veteran player for a year. While we all love the great prospects who have come along and the others in the organization seem to have a bright future but I'd be willing to bet a decent percentage do not become either a top 6 forward or top 4 defenseman. We can't get carried away in thinking all of our prospects will be great players.

That's why I'd be willing to trade a draft pick or a decent prospect (but not Carlson) for a quality rental player. You are taking a chance that it might work but you are also trading a "chance" that that particular player will become good and in the case of a draft pick that will likely be around 3 years from now.

I'm not saying trade many prospects or many draft picks but maybe one high draft pick (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) and/or one decent prospect would be worth the risk of adding a quality rental defenseman that would increase the Caps chances of winning the Cup this year.

But I do understand your thinking and it's definitely a possible way to go, I just lean towards the other side.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, everyone here is happy to win the SE and make the playoffs.

This org was one game away from the Conference Finals last year. Did is suck that the Pens one in game 7 here and then went on to win the Cup, yep? This team, as it's playing right now is leagues better than last season. Moves have been made, the edges played with, and I'll take this team, as is, in the playoffs. The PK, specifically has been solid over this ten game stretch - barring the TB debacle, and I'll take a team that can get it up to 82% or so for the season. We can talk PK all day but it's not an independent stat: Caps have 51 PPGs, SJS has 44 and CHI has 39; SJS has given up 25, CHI 26, and the Caps 40.

By my reckoning,

SJS +15
Chi +13
Caps +11

When I look at special teams over 50+ game for all three, I don't see much in it...at worst 4 goals down to SJS over that many games? Pure %, though good in some ways, doesn't tell the story.

Yep, I'm good.

Posted by: saintex | January 25, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

You must not have gotten the gist of what I said, because I was not likening the Capitals in any whatsoever to the Rangers.

I was merely using the Rangers as an antithesis to the Detroit Redwings system of building from within and for the long term, not making big, expensive moves/signings for a "win it now" Cup run.

And you don't emulate another team _after_ your own team has already won the Cup, you emulate another successful team in hopes of winning that Cup, in similar manner that they did.

Anyway, it's already been mentioned by both Boudreau and GMGM that the Caps wanted to emulate Detroit's system of building from within, so I'm not pulling anything out of my backside here.

And by "disco" uniforms I was merely referring to what some in DC called the original Caps uniforms, the one with the stars and bars, etc... which went virtually unchanged into the 90's. It was merely meant as a time reference.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I say we trade nobody.

I don't want to quit on Semin yet.

I don't want to move Boyd Gordon, he and Steckel are money faceoff guys and defensive forwards.

Phaneuf, I think will do well in a change of scenary, but not here. Too expensive.

Souray is overpriced. He would end up being another Nylander.

If anything we need a rental goalie. Maybe Roloson or Turco...?

And I'm not moving : Alzner, Carlson, Holtby, Varly, or Neuvirth.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 25, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz
"Carlznerson"

hah! I love that, nice one!

Posted by: Hordedog | January 25, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Seems like no one thinks we can win the cup with the players we have now? Man if this is how people are talking during a 6 game win streak what are you going to say during a 2 or 3 game loosing streak?

Posted by: CapsXXVI | January 25, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Eklund was right about Chimera. He def has been wrong as well. But the trade will happen to get Souray.If not Souray then a Zidlicky/Sutton type of D man. Question is who are we giving up? GMGM is smart he def has something up his sleeve. We are top 3 in NHL, a move for a solid D man, enables us to win Lord Stanely's Cup!

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | January 25, 2010 5:04 PM

What exactly did Eklund get right? If he had what every other hockey website had that morning which was that the Caps had a deal going with the Blue Jackets then that means nothing. Souray will not be a Washington Capital anytime soon, for the reason that I gave above, put simply that he's similar to Mike Green

If Souray has relatives on the East coast he will come to DC. If not then it may bot happen. Either way you guys are crazy if you think are D is solid. We are missing that one d-man who is scrappy, stays at home, and has experience.

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | January 25, 2010 5:20 PM |

Souray isn't stay at home and he is not scrappy

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | January 25, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Seems like no one thinks we can win the cup with the players we have now? Man if this is how people are talking during a 6 game win streak what are you going to say during a 2 or 3 game loosing streak?

Posted by: CapsXXVI | January 25, 2010 6:42 PM

Here is my reason why I think we could use another defenseman: the team doesn't get into trouble because of opposing players parked in front of the net knocking in rebounds or tipping in shots. They get into trouble by the inability to clear the puck. Then they get running around, tire themselves out and leave the opposition some choice opportunities, which often go in. I think a defenseman who can clear the puck would be helpful. Boudreau loves guys who can transition quickly. That's why I suggested Kubina or Zdlicky

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | January 25, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Is this great or what? The Caps -
1.Are in first place in the EC,
2.Have the most exciting player in the world,
3.Have lots of other very good players who are good guys,
4.Have salary cap money to spend, and
5.Have a GM who knows what he is doing.

A moment of silence, please, for the Redskins, Wizards, and Nats fans.

Posted by: zmega | January 25, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I think the main problem with our defenders are that they are slow as a group. They clear the crease when they get there.
No to Zidlicky, but Kubina is a possibility, I guess. He's big and hits.

I also don't think we necessarily need anyone, but any team can upgrade. Plus, the Chimera trade has "clearing salary space for rental later" all over it.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

all the Caps need is a gritty defensemen. Some veteren who is respected by the league and has a reputation for getting upset by opposing forwards taking liberties or going to our net. A Dave Manson in his prime type. Anyone out there fit this description?

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 25, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Count me as someone who thinks the Caps absolutely can win the Cup with what we have. Look how close we were last year and that was without Knuble, Morrison, Chimera, a healthy Fehr, an improved Schultz and Fleischmann, Carlson, Alzner. Did I miss anything?

But also count me as someone who thinks that a small deal, like a rental for a draft pick, could improve our chances this year without hurting the future. I'll mention Guerin again because he was huge for the Pens last year, and is pretty key for them this year as well. I'll give up a 3rd round pick for that any chance I get.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 25, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

HERE HERE!!

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 25, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Note, the pick to the Isles was a conditional pick. It could have been a 5th rounder, but the Pens won the Cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 25, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of trades, funny to see Robert Lang still around (on the Coyotes) - remember we traded him to Detroit (when he was leading the league in scoring) and ended up with Flash and two picks, one which turned out to be Mike Green. Not a bad deal.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 25, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

The NHL on NBC - I had forgotten what a cindy crosby love-in that always is. Get ready for our match on NBC with the Pens on Super Bowl Sunday. I may have to turn the sound off for that one.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 25, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup

In one of the recent broadcasts joe b and locker were talking about players and referenced to players hoping that GMGM adds a vertern D for the playoffs

Posted by: samb99 | January 25, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious that the trade Kovalchuk rumors are not going away.

He's a very good player who I like and respect. Ovi would also love to play with him, I am sure.

Given that his price is so high, it would be very difficult to give him the money he wants and still have room to resign many of our other key players. Trying to sign Semin past next year will be tough enough, from a dollars and cents standpoint. The problem would be even worse if we had Kovalchuk, even if we acquired him for Semin. The consensus is that he would be a rental for the rest of this season. Trading any key player (including Semin) for a two month rental is not the best move.

It sounds like defense is not Kovalchuk's strong suit at all. (It is not the strong suit for the Thrashers in general.)

I vote No for acquiring Kovy. (I would certainly vote against including both Fehr and Semin in a deal to get him.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 25, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Depressing news. The Pens are winning the 2nd game of the back to back games. This time against the Rangers after beating Philthy yesterday. Fleury back in goal. Gaborik took a costly penalty for the Rangers.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

the rangers are done... looked for a sec like they might actually win this one but the pens scored 2 goals in a min

Posted by: joek443 | January 25, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Some of the posters here have to be the ones that throw their hats on the ice when a player makes his third goal during the shoot-out. Thank God that GMGM has more sense than some of the proposed trades these people would like to see the Caps make.
We might not have the best player at every position, but we have a team that is playing with a lot of chemistry among themselves and which just happen to be one of the best in the league -- HELLLLOOO, IS ANYONE OUT THERE??? LALA-LAND might be a fabulous place to live but it is not real.

Trade Semin????? LOL, only if you are an imbecile and not a Caps fan.

Posted by: hock1 | January 25, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

Semin seems to be everyone's favorite guy to trade. I vote to keep Sasha.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 25, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

The Penguins have won their last two (back to backs) after we beat them. Both low scoring affairs, one game with Johnson and today's with Fleury. It seems like Fleury has not lost a beat since coming back. (The Rangers' offense is not anything to write home about.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 25, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

We have one poster here who assigns the persons who make the most ridiculous posts to the Doofus Brigade. There's Company O for the Ovechkin bashers. And Company G for the Green bashers. And Company S for those who bash Semin and Schultz and are ready to get rid of either of them for peanuts.

Don Cherry, of course, is the commander of the Doofus Brigade.

TomInFla is the creator of the Doofus Brigade and writes many very entertaining posts here.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 25, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

This is unrelated to the trade posts, but interesting in terms of goaltending. Since 1993, the goalie on every Cup winner except one has had a playoff GAA of 2.14 or less (most under 2) and a save percentage of at least .920. The exception?....Fleury in 2009. His GAA for the playoffs was 2.61 and his save percentage was .908. Or pretty close to what JT60 has put up so far this year.

Which makes me think it was the Pens offense more than anything else that won it for them. I know numbers don't tell the whole story, but they do show that Fleury's performance last year, whether you go by GAA or save percentage, was the worst of any Cup winning goalie in nearly 20 years.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 25, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"Count me as someone who thinks the Caps absolutely can win the Cup with what we have. Look how close we were last year and that was without Knuble, Morrison, Chimera, a healthy Fehr, an improved Schultz and Fleischmann, Carlson, Alzner. Did I miss anything?"

_____

I agree that this year, the way the team has been playing, and recently, how they have been showing signs of maturity (no letdown vs. Yotes, winning the Detroit game by adjusting their game plan half way through...etc...)I would feel comfortable going into the playoffs and their chances of being successful with the team as is.

Some posters seem to be pointing to the Guerin deal the Penguins made for their push (they made a whole bunch of significant changes for their push, and had a healthy Gonchar back in the lineup though...). From a "mentoring" viewpoint, and scoring that game 7 goal, I believe Fedorov did some wonders for this team, however, I honestly think that though he is not a deadline deal, the addition of Knuble may be just as significant for this year's Caps team as the addition of Guerin was for last year's pens team.

Special teams aside (well, PK aside), the two areas I felt that the Caps needed to improve upon were backchecking (forwards/defense...aka team defense) and net presence. Not only has Knuble drastically improved the net presence issue, his influence has truly rubbed off on his teammates.

I think that overall, and especially in the past stretch of games, backchecking has improved as well. Sure with the system the Caps play they are always going to allow the occasional 2 on 1's or breakaway, however, overall I feel that I have seen significantly less of those this year (maybe I have just tuned them out though...? )

Of course there can always be another area to improve, or a player that will upgrade a part of their game...however, I think we found a huge piece of that puzzle in the off season...who knows? Maybe Knuble is the difference??

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 25, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, half our D were sidelined or playing injured for most of the playoffs last year ....as well as a key offencemen in Semin. Lets say they were healthier last year...could things have been different?

Could haves, would haves, ifs, ands, or buts aside....lets say (hope) the team has some better health luck this season, along with the Knuble addition from the off season...imagine the possibilities.

Lets not forget what moving Flash to the center position has done so far for this team..

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 25, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Any team can use upgrades, whether we need them or not.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 26, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Hock1. You said it very well. The trade speculation is over the top.

KEEP SEMIN!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 26, 2010 5:09 AM | Report abuse

The NHL on NBC - I had forgotten what a cindy crosby love-in that always is. Get ready for our match on NBC with the Pens on Super Bowl Sunday. I may have to turn the sound off for that one.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 25, 2010 8:11 PM

@CAP-lanta:

Right you are!

Might I suggest Steve Kolbe's radio broadcast on WFED 1500 AM/XM/Sirius as an alternative audio source--not certain how it'll sync up though...

Unfortunately, the Brigade veterans over at the "Nothing But Crosby" network are not the only ones guilty of excessive Penguin-love: NHLOTF also gave a lengthy dissertation on how-great-Crosby-and-the-Penguins-are after their game against PHI--which IMHO the ref's stole and handed to PIT.

While I'm on the subject, where's the Caps- and OV-love I used to witness on NHLOTF, anyway? Watching those guys gush about how good OV and the Caps are had been a savory coda to an evening of watching the Caps emerge victorious. Now the Caps are no longer "under the radar" so-to-speak. Indeed, by most objective standards, they are playing better (both individually and as a team) than last year. So why, then, have we lately been seeing something like this?:

"Oh, by the way the Caps won...again" (yawn).
"...against a team that everyone says they weren't supposed to beat..." (yawn)
"and Ovechkin scored...again" (yawn)
"Oh, wait--he didn't but the Caps somehow still kicked @$$ anyway" (yawn).

I don't know...I hope it'll get better soon...as it becomes clear to the entire league that the Caps are no longer a team to be trifled with or underestimated...

We Shall Not Be Denied!!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 26, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

I really think we can upgrade the PK, that's it. Move the #2 and #3 picks from the upcoming draft (God knows we have enough in the system) for an extra PK forward and that gritty defenseman so many want. I doesn't hurt if one of these guys can fight. Also, I realize many of said, "I like the team as it is," but these two players would also provide depth in case of the inevitable injury. Like, what if Steckel goes down? The only back-up we have now is Laing and maybe Perreault at forward. I really think having a depth player, preferably a center, would be prudent, as this guy could play the PK with Steckel and cover key draws if Stecks gets tossed.

Our PK is "average" at best. It can be helped, and w/o much cost.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 26, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Anyone calling for a trade for Phaneuf is suffering from the Greener Grass Syndrome. Name three NHL teams which would not jump at the chance to take Green, Schulz, Poti, Pothier or a medicated Sloan off of our hands?

I've said it before, our D is set, the Caps need to concentrate on TEAM defense, not finding [Insert "big name" D-man here].

Posted by: rovingbandit | January 26, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"NHLOTF also gave a lengthy dissertation on how-great-Crosby-and-the-Penguins-are..."

NBC/NHLOTF- they all gush over the Crosby/Pens. I don't like it anymore than you do. But let's step back and take a look at the past 2 seasons. Pens made it to the finals twice and won it once. That legitimizes all of their coverage. Is it annoying and sickening? Yes. Do the Caps need to step in and win the Cup/steal the spotlight? Ummm- yes please.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 26, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have been coming together nicely all season, with a few minor ups and downs/distractions. I continue to believe that this team, as it stands now, can keep winning and be the last team standing.

This isn't just about the perfect trade, addition, or about building the perfect mouse trap. In team sports, chemistry, the right kind of pride, good leadership, collective drive and a common focus can indeed win important games. To me, this team finally and right now has all of these characteristics going for them and it's really exciting to be able to be a part of it! I hope they can keeping building on it.

As for the team, I hope that they do what any runner, biker or climber does when pusing themselves uphill: look directly in front of you and forge ahead, while keeping the goal of reaching the top present in every move you make. If you only look at the summit, you will forget what it takes and what you need to do to get there. Tonight, the game is against the Islanders.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: nena1 | January 26, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Can we stop with all this trade talk and start naming the lines we have. We haven't had lines this good stay together this long since the J.O.B line of 90's.

Posted by: sailchef1 | January 26, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

So who do you think that the Caps should trade for as a rent-a-blueliner: Kubina, Kaberle, Sutton, or some other not in this list? I think a first-rounder and/or prospect may be a decent price. Toronto is hungry for a first-rounder and second-rounder, so Kaberle may work well. Sutton is more of a tuff SOB the Caps need, but what is the price?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | January 26, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

If Arron Asham wasn't a flyer- I think I'd like him more. Dude is tough (and UFA with a cap hit of 640K, 5G, 11A, -4, 10:52 ATOI)
Why am I even mentioning him? To get flamed- of course.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 26, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I suggest looking at the Bruins roster. They will be the ones selling here in the next few weeks. Although, I'm not sure what we would want from that roster. Mark Stuart maybe would be the only piece that makes sense. They will try to move Dennis Wideman, but he's not even coming close to producing what he should be for what he's paid. Also, they havent been very quick to re-up Zdeno Charas contract. Just food for thought.

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 26, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

While watching the Flyers/Pens game on Sunday my sons (20 and 17) and I started talking about how relieved we were that the Caps didn't have a bunch of goons running around. The only time players like Carcillo and Asham are mentioned in the post game is when a game became out of hand. People can say Carcillo has skill all they want but he is ALWAYS on the edge. He takes stupid selfish penalties whether the game is tied, or still within reach. Asham and Hartnall are the same way. Watching "Broad Street Bullies" hockey has become predictable and boring.

I know someone mentioned Asham, but back on Carcillo since he's on that dirty team. If Backstrom or Semin, or any other non-fighter type Capital is being pummeled by Carcillo another Cap better step in to get them separated. I don't care if a 3rd man in will be called, or a suspension will follow. Carcillo fighting Gaborik was a joke. IMO Gaborik dropped his gloves because he could not get a grip on Carcillo's jersey and Carcillo commenced to whaling on him. Carcillo is a goon that needs to be addressed by the league. Now, Asham claims that Cooke bit him, I don't know, maybe he did. However, Asham was cross-checking Cooke at the face-off, in the hip, constantly, and trying to get him to go. At that point I say why the F don't the officials just remove him from the ice for an unsportsmanlike conduct for 10 minutes? Just punish the goon, don't even put your team short-handed. Those darn rules are put in place to give officials the ability to circumvent stupid crap.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Somebody mentioned Sutton, and I first brought his name up a few months back. Based on what it cost last year for Guerin and Morris, a 3rd rounder or 2nd at most should nab him. Or someone who rates in value to Ted Ruth at the time we got Fedorov. Sutton might be a good guy to have down the stretch and in the Playoffs for a relatively cheap cost. He's not a world beater, but he doesn't mess up the chemistry either. And then I think we need a checking line center, similar price, for PK.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 26, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: It would be great to see goons sent of the ice for instigating before the fight actually starts. Although I'm sure there's a contingent out there that would scream if anything was done to lower the goon quotient in the NHL.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 26, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Varly told me Sunday night he was planning to get back on the ice Wednesday, so it's no surprise he wasn't out there today. (Caps Casino Night was Sunday.)

Posted by: farmgirl19C | January 26, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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