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Boudreau on Avery: 'Sean Is Not Going to Change'

Here are some odds and ends from this morning's practice at KCI:

Boudreau on Avery
During his news conference, Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked whether he's worried that Rangers pest Sean Avery could get under the skin of Alex Ovechkin or Jose Theodore. Remember what Avery did to Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas last week? If not, check it out here.

"I'm sure Sean is not going to change," said Boudreau, who coached Avery very briefly with Manchester of AHL. "He's a really good hockey player. I've had him, know of him, played with his dad and all of those things. But he knows how important the playoffs are and he's just going to be a really good thorn in our side that can play hockey with the best of them."

Heightened Expectations
The most frequently asked question after practice was some variation of this: How deep must the Caps advance for this season to be considered a success? The best responses came from Boudreau and Alex Ovechkin.

Boudreau's response: "Our goal has always been to win the Cup. Our goal was to win the Cup last season. The people who said last season was a successful season was the media. We didn't say it was a successful season because we didn't fulfill our goal. We thought we should have beat Philadelphia, and we didn't. All people with character want to win the Cup when they have the opportunity."

Ovechkin's response: "Why are series or two? We want to win everything. But first thing we have to beat the Rangers."

Are Lundqvist's Pads Too Big?
Ovechkin thinks so. When I asked the reigning MVP about the keys to beating three-time Vezina Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist, he said: "Well, he has big equipment. You have to make some traffic and go to the net. ... He's a great goalie, but you still can beat him."

Are Lundqvist's pads "too big"?

"Oh, yeah," Ovechkin said with a laugh.

Gordon Ready
In addition to Donald Brashear being ready to return, it also looks like Boyd Gordon will be able to play this week, too. Gordon missed 10 games with a broken finger. His likely availability is the reason the Caps sent down Keith Aucoin, Boudreau said.

"It seemed like we were going to have [Boyd Gordon] healthy," Boudreau said. "We didn't want to keep [Aucoin] up here unless he was going to play 100 percent of the time."

Aucoin had five points, despite seeing limited ice time in seven games.

Drury Hurting
According to Rick Carpiniello of the Journal News, Rangers center Chris Drury did not practice again. Drury is their fourth-leading scorer with 22 goals and 34 assists.

Drury did not skate for the fourth day in a row and is listed as day-to-day. I thought originally it was a leg injury. He did indeed limp off during Thursday's game, and tested something with a little twirl on the ice during a stoppage, and continued to play.
But MSG Network, on Sunday several times, showed him being hit in the arm or hand with a shot. So it's a guessing game, and you get the idea the Rangers aren't sure about his availability for Game 1.

That's all for now. I'm writing a story about Jose Theodore for tomorrow's paper, so I had better get cracking on that.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 13, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Video: Getting Ready for the Rangers

Comments

FIRST!

Posted by: gtowncapsfan | April 13, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Avery's pictures will be in the urinal....

Posted by: SA-Town | April 13, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Avery's pictures deserve to be in a urinal! I really love Ovie's comments on Henrik..."He's a great goalie, but you still can beat him". I guess that is a nice way of saying, no matter how much the media hypes you Henrik...my stick is faster! That is why he is a "three-time Vezina Trophy finalist" and not a three time winner! Can't say I would be sad if Drury wasn't able to make a few games!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay I am reseaching all kinds of statistics trying to find a magic formula for predicting the future results and I can't make much sense of anything. For example, I looked at the Rangers' stats after Tortorella--the last 21 games. They are:
12-3-6

The Caps' stats in the same period are:
12-2-7.

Almost identical, right? So does this mean they are equally matched or, perhaps, that even with a new coach and the Caps' slump they didn't surpass us? I don't know if I should be glad, sad or indifferent with these numbers.

Then I looked at both teams' previous 21 games, before the coaching change (Jan. 5-Feb.26) and the are:

Rangers: 8-9-4
Caps: 12-7-2

Okay, clearly the Rangers made progress, though I wouldn't say it was a huge leap. I was surpised however that the Caps' stats were comparable to the later period. I expected the "slump" to have taken a bigger toll--maybe paralleling the Rangers' progress in reverse, with the Caps going 8-9-4 in the last few weeks.

Was the slump in our minds only or was it longer than we thought? Of course it is not only stats but the way they played and struggled--whether they won or lost. But I suppose the poor playing made it seem like the win/lose ratio would show a huge difference.

So much for trivia.

Posted by: caraveli | April 13, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli,

Those are interesting numbers. The slump was totally in our minds because we're a bit jittery. I'm pretty sure a 12-2-7 is doable, right?

I also think there are factors in both teams' records. The Caps were coasting in the division and fairly set in the playoffs and the NYRs were battling for their lives. I think they no doubt played harder. Of course, that leads to the question of "if they play harder and can be our equal, aren't we in trouble?". The answer is no. If we play hard and they play hard this thing is over pretty quick. The only thing that can turn the series is to let Avery get under Theo's skin. He won't bother AO. For me, I'd rather we not do the urinal thing nor acknowledge Avery AT ALL: no boos, no whistles, nothing. If you don't acknowledge his presence he becomes a piece of furniture.

I'm ready.

Posted by: saintex | April 13, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

@ saintex:

You definitely have a good point about Avery. But now how can we talk 18,000+ fans to ignoring him?!? I would love to see him get no attention at all...that is exactally what he deserves!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 13, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Still out of town, but checking in whenever I can. I saw TSN's power rankings. Its official: they're a joke. Backstrom whould be way higher than a number of other players, be they centers, wingers, whatever.

How long will it take before Avery gets a real beat down?

Posted by: oo7 | April 13, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I think I agree with everyone on Donald Brashear to an extent. First off, I love the guy but I kind of felt like I would rather see Aucoin up over Brashear for the playoffs. However, after thinking about it and re-seeing what Sean Avery did to Tim Thomas, now I remember exactly why he's going to be in the lineup against the Rangers. Let's face it, Brashear is really the only guy on our team who is a true enforcer. I have a feeling Avery will pull a stunt at least once in the series and we need Brashear to put him in place.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 13, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Avery would run away from Brashear, haha. But I have a bad feeling he may conk Theo on the head with his stick the way he did to Tim Thomas. Gosh, I hate Avery.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Any more ideas on a poster or two I could make for Game 2 against the Rangers this Saturday? I want funny and insulting. Help?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 13, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

saintex

Good attitude. Let's go CAPS!

Posted by: caraveli | April 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan:
you could go with a theme about the jester (avery) and the kings (henrik) court

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 13, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan -

Poster: on the left, Aragorn; on the right, Avery.

Caption: on the left, Real Ranger; on the right, Wannabe.

Posted by: irockthered | April 13, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Easiest way to eliminate Avery is to completely ignore him and just check him hard like any other player. He feeds off everyone's reactions to him. I'd love to start a "Sean Who?" chant Wed night and for the crowd to not react at all to his antics.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216 - Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. Avery's a prime specimen of a jerk. Fortunately, Ovechkin doesn't respond to chirping, and neither do most of the rest of the team, though if he tries to run Theodore, he can expect to have his teeth handed to him on a wreath, because someone *will* take exception.

Posted by: irockthered | April 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

irockthered: Yeah, if he "accidently" runs/bowls over Theo, I think a brawl would start. Without a doubt, he will go after Theo. If he goes after a big guy like Tim Thomas or Marty Brodeur, he will go after a smallish goalie like Jose. I hate Avery so much. Everyone time he does something blantantly cheap, he has a stupid "what did I do?" look on his face. Ugh, he angers me. He is a classless, cheap player. Unfortunately he is effective and a great hockey player. It will be very interesting come Wednesday at 7pm.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

That's suppose to be everytime, not everyone time. Sorry.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Every time. I cannot type today. :/

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

If Avery goes to Theo (some 'if') Caps should go as hard to *Lundquist*. If Avery's hacking 8, Jurcina runs *Gomez*. Parallel structure's a price even the Rangers can't afford to pay for Avery, and they won't.

Posted by: redlineblue | April 13, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered: Thanks! Great idea! DC has Kinko's Office, right?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 13, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

You're not the only one who finally analyzed the numbers comparing the Caps recent performance to the Rangers.

I had noticed (and posted) the fact that the Caps' record in the last 10 games was better than the Rangers. Not to mention the fact that the Caps have actually played pretty well since the trading deadline. (3 of their 4 losses in their March slump were just prior to the deadline.) And they also had some bad stretches in October, November, and January.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 13, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Easiest way to eliminate Avery is to completely ignore him and just check him hard like any other player. He feeds off everyone's reactions to him. I'd love to start a "Sean Who?" chant Wed night and for the crowd to not react at all to his antics.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 13, 2009 5:18 PM

you're gonna ignore him when he runs over our goalie? or digs hard at the puck when its being coverd? or push a defensemen **cough Schultz** on top of our goalie?

you can't ignore Avery unless he's just chirping. If he starts actively harassing our goalie, you have to acknowledge it in some manner. The referee won't just whistle penalties on Avery when he takes liberties. Same way the referees didn't penalize Upshall and Hartnell and Knuble when they ran our crease.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 13, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

irockthered: Yeah, if he "accidently" runs/bowls over Theo, I think a brawl would start. Without a doubt, he will go after Theo. If he goes after a big guy like Tim Thomas or Marty Brodeur, he will go after a smallish goalie like Jose. I hate Avery so much. Everyone time he does something blantantly cheap, he has a stupid "what did I do?" look on his face. Ugh, he angers me. He is a classless, cheap player. Unfortunately he is effective and a great hockey player. It will be very interesting come Wednesday at 7pm.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 5:29 PM

Avery's no different than Dale Hunter was. Hunter would do the same things and more. I don't know how many times I saw him jab the goalie with his stick or give him a nice facewash or pretend to lose his balance and plough into the crease and fall on top of the goalie and then act like his legs and skates were tied up with the goalie and he couldnt' untangle himself. How soon we forget.

Avery may be a "jerk" but thats what makes him valuable. A few more Caps could learn to be a little more pesty. This team is just too nice to play against on most nights. They're going to have to learn to get a little dirty if they want to start winning some playoff games.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 13, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

i just hope the caps remember what a problem having their goalie knocked into in last year's playoffs was. people need to step up to the plate on that issue more.

Posted by: am_jim | April 14, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan you could make a poster mocking Avery's love of women's clothes and purses. That could be funny if put creatively.
Caps can't let Avery take liberties w Theo in the crease!

Posted by: capsfan01 | April 14, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Avery won't even show up to the game. He might be out shopping for women's clothes.

Posted by: capsfan01 | April 14, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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