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Boudreau on Crosby: 'He's the Second-Best Player In the World'

A few quick notes from this morning's media session with Coach Bruce Boudreau:

Injury Update
Defenseman John Erskine, out since Game 1 with a leg/foot injury, will take the morning skate in a few minutes before deciding whether to play tonight. There was no update on Eric Fehr, who missed Game 2 and 3 with a suspected upper body injury. I'll have more on everyone's status later.

'Second-Best' Sid
When Boudreau was asked whether Sidney Crosby poses any matchup problems for the Caps, he said: "Yeah, he's the second-best player in the world. Of course he poses problems. He's the best player we play against."

Boudreau on A.O. Threat
Asked whether the death threat to Alex Ovechkin was a source of distraction, Boudreau said he doubted the players even knew about it until local TV in Pittsburgh began reporting the story yesterday.

"I don't even know if Alex knew about it last game, or if he didn't know about it," he said. "I'm pretty sure the rest of the team didn't know about. It was business as usual."

Mental Healthy Day
For the first time in weeks, Boudreau gave his players yesterday completely off. No practice, no video, no meetings.

"You play seven games, then you're into a very intense series again," Boudreau said. "We've watched video and had meetings every day since the end of the season. I just told them to take a rest -- no meetings, no video. Unfortunately, we'll probably watch too much today."

Done Whining
Boudreau said he's done complaining about the officiating. It's unclear whether GM George McPhee or Boudreau will be fined for yesterday's comments about the officiating in this series, but it's not believed that a sanction has been handed down.

"I'm usually not a whiner," Boudreau said. "I think I've exhausted my bad officiating comments. Let's just let it go. ...Let's move on. Let's just hope the better team is the better team."

I'll have more from the morning skate in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 8, 2009; 11:14 AM ET
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Next: Two Nights, Two Cities, Two Games


I may be cynical but with the way the Caps have been s'ed on so far, I'm half expecting a fine for GMGM and Boudreau's comments.

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | May 8, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Bruce has recovered fully from his bout with whine flu. He should continue to wash his hands and try to avoid contact with the obvious carrier of the illness, Crosby.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 8, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Coach BB is all heart and all class. I tip my "cap" to you coach. Very well put!!!

I still like the way our boys are playing overall. Giving Crosby too much space but still should be up 3-0 in this series. I'm sure the boys are pissed about the officiating... which bodes well for us. They always play better when they are mad!

Posted by: dsphvywght | May 8, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau you sly dog "'Second-Best' Sid" now you know there's going to be massive photoshopping of ol' gabby in western Pennsylvania.

Posted by: superpaqman | May 8, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Right on, JohninMpls. This particular variant of the whine flu originated in Pittsburgh under the reign of Prince Mario the First. Unfortunately, it has migrated to Capital Land, although I'm glad the McPhee stood up for the guys. If you remember him when he played, he never shied away from a fight, even when he was going up against a much bigger player, which was most of the time. I'd like to see some of the GMGM haters who post on this board say to his face some of the things that they post here.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | May 8, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh boy.....

Posted by: LouLewis | May 8, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Is Semin skating?

Posted by: FancyDan | May 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I think the Caps hang five tonight on MAF.

Posted by: saintex | May 8, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I think McPhee admirably took one for the team. SOMETHING had to be said/done about the disparity our team has been facing since the start of the playoffs. It was either a fine for McPhee or the Capitals crushing another team's player, notably Kunitz, Orpik, Malkin, and our favorite target - Crosby. Glad we don't have to go to that level. Thanks, McPhee.

The Capitals are gunning for the Stanley Cup, whether the NHL wants us to or not. Let's GOOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@FancyDan: Check the ice for us, yeah? My view of the ice from Los Angeles is pretty bad.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Bruce means second to Nylander.

Posted by: TheLeaver | May 8, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't see how they can do anything to BB if they didn't to the Alpha Penguin. GMGM maybe, but he probably thinks it was worth it.

Posted by: ds_kelly | May 8, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Bruce means second to Nylander.

Posted by: TheLeaver | May 8, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Nah, he was clearly referring to Schultz.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 8, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have recalled forward Jay Beagle from Hershey.

I read a loud-and-clear message in THAT move, too: if you won't protect Varlamov... WE WILL!

Posted by: irockthered | May 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd guess he thinks Malkin is 3rd best then?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 8, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse


so when the Pitts people complain about reffing it is legit and the refs go watch videos with them, but when we complain we almost get a fine?


Posted by: richmondphil | May 8, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with BB. Why complain about it. The fact remains, Caps have not played to their potential.

If the refs continue their lopsided officiating and Pens win, so be it. The Stanly Cup will be tarnished, forever.

I feel it all boils down to Ovie being a better and more exciting player than Sid. NHL has pushed Sid as the face of hockey and well, he's not. Sid is a great player, but I also think BB gave him too much credit at being the second best. I'd give him maybe third, maybe fourth best.

But, BB's a pro coach and I'm just a schlub that has followed the caps since the 80's.

Posted by: dogboy | May 8, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

As much as I love to bash him, given his age, Crosby is probably the best centerman playing hockey in the world...

Posted by: richmondphil | May 8, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

According to the Caps' message boards, the Washington Times reported that Semin did not participate in the morning skate. Is there any word on that?

Posted by: 1995hoo | May 8, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember what Yahoo reported when Carolina beat NJ? Sindy Crosby actually was quoted as saying, 'Good, we get the Capitals' wow.... can anyone put that up on the Caps Locker room? That whiny biz nitch actually said that...

I think EveJenny and Sindy are broke back... I really do...

Go Caps. Give the Pens what they wanted. The Caps!

Posted by: doeshin | May 8, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

TARIK- you GOTTA report on whereabouts of mr. semin, who cares right now whos whining about what!!

Posted by: peabody2 | May 8, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Erskine does not need long shifts to play. He just need to be on the ice long enough to "Clock" Crosby and Malkin a couple of times when they camp out next to the Cap's goalie. "Bring on the Pain!"

Posted by: JohnWWW | May 8, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry anti-whiners, but the fact is that's just how "the game" outside the actual game is played.

The NHL wants so bad to be the NBA, and this is no exception, "working" the refs before the next game even starts, classic NBA stuff.

So get over it, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, not going to change anytime soon.

Posted by: soloman5000 | May 8, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: VamosUnited | May 8, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

in about an hour and half, it can all be settled on the ice....can't friggin wait...

Posted by: outrbnksm | May 8, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

As long as we have "WALL-EM OFF" Varlamov, we have a chance...f the GWENS....GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: klangley69 | May 8, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Valencia VS Real Madrid

Willhill 2.25 3.25 2.70
2.40 3.30 2.90 93.9%

For R.Madrid, PEPE is a big problem and lost the race with Barca. Valencia has been stopped winning and they really need a quick return in order to keep the hope.

Both teams will have something to prove in this match as they are desperate top make amends for the heavy defeats in the last round. We expect a very open match and over 2.5 goals looks like a logical choice.


Posted by: nowgoal | May 8, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

boy you craps fans are something else you sound like boudreau an leonsis always whining man your team gets away with just as much crap as then pens do an to talk bad on sid the kid man turn to alex the great an its all the same except sid plays for the team an alex is a puck hog how bout that knee to knee hit ovie meant to do that he stuck his knee up right into him stop being so biased i understand loyalty but damn the refs are crap in every game of every sport that is just how it works

Posted by: resolutionfound | May 9, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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