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Boudreau on Nylander and Tonight's Lineup

Coach Bruce Boudreau just spoke about the season-ending injury to Michael Nylander. Here's some of what he had to say:

"I give him full marks for having the courage to play the last three weeks with it - until he couldn't play anymore," Boudreau said. "He's tried and he's taken [practices] off, but he just couldn't go anymore. So it was best to get it done. We just have to band together ... and survive without him."

I also asked him whether the injury contributed to Nylander's team-worst minus-19 rating.

"Absolutely," Boudreau said. "As centerman, when you have to compete against the big guys, that's when Mike would come to me and say, 'I feel so bad because you're not seeing the real Michael Nylander.'"

As for a replacement, Boudreau said the plan for now is to fill the void with players currently on the Caps' roster, though he did mention that Hershey Bears Chris Bourque and Eric Fehr could be options. One person I spoke to a few moments ago, told me George McPhee has the money to explore his options on the trade market and acquire a rental, although that decision has not been made. Considering the team's precarious position in the standings, that makes sense to me.

Update:George McPhee just said he won't trade away a young player for a rental and that he's going to stay the course -- for now. He also said that he doesn't plan on recalling anyone at the moment.

Anyway, here's the lineup for tonight's game against the Senators.

Forwards:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Gordon-Semin
Laing-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Laich-Pettinger

Defense:
Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Erskine
Jurcina-Schultz

Johnson will start in net; Kolzig will back up.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 15, 2008; 6:03 PM ET
 
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Next: Gordon Aims to Make Most of Chance

Comments

Nyls, what a bummer. Good luck with the surgery, heal up soon.

Say NO to Sundin, the price is too high for a rent a center.

GO CAPS!

@Lee,

Was subjected to three hours of Pens greatest moments on DVD. At least the beer was cold.

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I really respect Nylander for this, he played as long as he could to try and help the team. Hopefully we'll see a 100% Michael Nylander next season.

Posted by: Hey | January 15, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Being as the trade deadline is looming in the near future, doesnt anyone think it would be wise to see what shape the team is in around then.

If they are close to contention, then by all means, be a buyer and pick up some players..if they arent...SELL SELL SELL

Also, at this point..what are you going to get out there, most teams are not going to give up a guy without knowing where they stand in the playoff race..i'd wait.

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R

And you wonder why I'm going over later. Notice the Pes colors everywhere?

It would be nice to make a trade and get something more than a rental UFA

Posted by: Lee | January 15, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

That makes so much sense about his +/-!!! I had been wondering why he wouldn't step up for awhile and now you say it it couldn't make more sense. Good for him playing in pain he's earned my respect, I just hope it doesn't come back and bite him with a longer absence. I'd love to see Fehr and Borque up here, but if the team is really looking to win the trade market is really the only option. But hey i've been wrong before (I know it's hard to believe) maybe the current team and or call-up's can do the job. Just wait and see i guess.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 15, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

One word: Forsberg

Posted by: Steve | January 15, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Why would you want him?

Damaged goods

Posted by: JamesD | January 15, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

1) you don't have to trade a prospect to sign him; and 2) a "damaged" Forsberg is far, far better than any other option on the roster to replace Nylander.

But it's a pipe drean. He won't sign with the Caps.

Posted by: Steve | January 15, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, did someone say Forsberg? Are you kidding me? That guy is as reliable as a cheap clock. Granted when he was younger and healthy he was great. But today he can't even get on the ice without feeling uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, GMGM isn't the sharpest tack in the box, but I sure as hell bet you wouldn't be dumb enough to sign Peter Forsberg. Let's get realistic here.

Posted by: Mitch | January 15, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Repost from last thread:

Am I the only one annoyed by the NHL press release re Young Stars? Why did they only call out two players and relegate Backstrom to the "also on the roster" status? Look at the point totals! Rookie of the Month for December! Arrgghhhhhh!!!!!!

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | January 15, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I swore I just saw Eminger in the warm-ups.

Is he playing?

Posted by: Tyler | January 15, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

He warms up every game.
That way if somebody pulls something during the warm-up, he is ready to go.

The entire roster usually takes the pre-game skate.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 15, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

No way should we call up Fehr yet. Let him get back into gameshape and get some confidence first. If Forsberg could be had for cheap, it might be worth a shot. I know he has been extremely injury prone but it might be worth a shot.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 15, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Man, so far its safe to say our Power Play unit is missing Nylander.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 15, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Well Schultz just got decked and he had that nauseating turnover in the beginning. Great start for him...

Posted by: nautikal | January 15, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I say GMGM should call up 40 something year old Adam Oates and see if he wants to play for us!

Posted by: Mitch | January 15, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Semin is playing with some fire tonight. I like what I see.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 15, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Well the first 8 minutes or so didn't look too pretty, but I think they found some offensive rhythm. We've had a few good chances such as the one timer to Ovechkin (from Backstrom?) who had the empty net but his stick was blocked by the defense. Then Laich charged the net well as did Pettinger to draw the penalty. I don't think Emery like that too much :D.

But I honestly don't know why Schultz is still playing. Ottawa almost scored when he was out of position and too slow to get back.

Posted by: nautikal | January 15, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Could somebody explain to me the anticipation about Fehr? The dude has 2 NHL goals, and has looked about as sure on the puck as Tomas Fleischmann. Eric Fehr had some potential once, but I can't see him as being the answer to the Caps troubles now, or down the road.

Posted by: katzistan | January 15, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

So gmgm just said in the pre-game presser on Nylander that the gm or the coach CAN'T tell a player that is clearly injured not to play?

What is this man's job then?

Posted by: Clarendon | January 15, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

whats the score?

Posted by: gosh | January 15, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

@Steve,

Forsberg? Kind of hard to find skates to fit him. Bad choice.

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Ugh...

If we could just get Chris Clark healthy, it would be easy just to move Kozlov to center and keep chugging away as usual. I mean, let's be realistic, we've been minus at least one significant forward all season long.

Posted by: aybee | January 15, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

@Lee,

Ask to see the Western PA high school championship on DVR. It's the only way you'll avoid the Pens highlights.

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Man ... I am a thread behind yet again ... I can't keep up with you guys!! ;-)

RE-POST

Hello Fellow Fans!!!!!!!!! :-D

Glad to hear that I am still on the "good" list (schucks!). I just hope that Santa uses the same list!! ;-)

I am even happier to see that we have finally scored! That Green ... he really should be going to the ASG. What a shame ...

Yippy for Backs! He deserves it.

Bummer for Nyls - I hope he heals well, quickly and completely. I also hope that we don't lose anyone else! If we can get everyone else back, then we should be OK without Nyls. Should be interesting ... we'll see!

Johnny seems to be playing well. I couldn't believe that he got clobbered 38 seconds in! Thank goodness he bounced back.

Not to get ahead of myself, but I am looking forward to going to the game on Thursday. Wish I was there tonight ...

LET'S GO CAPS!!!
(oh, and TROLLS GO AWAY!!!)

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Sign Bondra!!!!!!

ok, j/k... sort of.

Posted by: 3vafans | January 15, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the heads up Boo! I was wondering why nobody was posting on our goal on the other thread lol...

What a nice power killing by our boys

GO CAPS!!

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

SEMINNNNN!!! You can get cute like that all you want!

Posted by: nautikal | January 15, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"FINALLY SCORED" great team support

Posted by: sillygal | January 15, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

What a goal by Semin :)
I really would like to review the second goal by Ottawa. I thought they were offside by like 3 feet.

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

Eh...you dont want to be here. Crowd stinks.

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmm ... I think sillygal is picking on me ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Crowds there always stink

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 15, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

@Caps Suck,

What team do you root for sparky?

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why gmgm is sooo freakin stubborn. I really think he needs to be looking into what's available before the trade deadline. We have so many injuries and we really could use the extra help if its available....especially if he has the money!
Johnny is looking good tonight...

Posted by: K | January 15, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

keef:
I don't want to be "here"?!? Are you at the game?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere today that Forsberg has stated if he comes back this year, he would only go to a cup contender. Also, he hasn't even started skating yet. He is going to try next week, and if it goes well he wants to try out for the Sweedish National team. He probably wouldn't even be avaialable until around the trade deadline.

PC

Posted by: PC Caps | January 15, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

OV!!

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

GOAL!!!!

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I am very excited to see this team potentially taking the win tonight. But what i see tonight, out of Brent Johnson, is proof that the Kolzig era needs to be over. Kolzig, for many years, held this team in games it never belonged in. But those years have come and gone. I think Caps Coaching needs to give Brent a chance to take the starting job, and to recognize that its no content, Johnson is moving so much quicker, so much sharper, than the sloppy, and slow Kolzig. I thank him for many years of loyalty, but its time for Brent Johnson, and maybe an off season acquisition.

Just a thought.

GO CAPS! WIN!

Posted by: S.L.S. | January 15, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

SLS: I don't know that I would say that this proves the Kolzig era is over - Kolzig has beat this time 3 times this year! In addition, Johnny has only turned away 25 so far - Kolzig has turned away more than that. Not to say Johnny is not playing great, just that this one game does not make him the "best" keeper ... we just seem to have Ottawa's number!

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

YEAH BABY!!! *high fives everyone*

S W E E P O T T A W A

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe it ... they swept the Sens!!!!!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Mauree: right back atcha!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Boo!

I think this win, in that there were no goals due to goalie error, highlights a big difference between this win by Johnson and the wins by Olie. Too many times I've seen Olie flopped on the ground waiting to see if the other team puts in the wrap around on a rebound. I saw a confident, quick, and sharp Johnson today. The idea that we would put Kolzig back in scares me. I'm too quick to jump to this conclusion, ill admit that, but we keep waiting for Kolzig to shape up and get hot, and he hasnt, nor does it look like he will.

Posted by: S.L.S. | January 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Sweep!

OK, not a bad thing if the Caps grab the #8 playoff spot..

Posted by: Steve R | January 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

What a sweep! Great showing by the boys again, considering the adversity of the day, and way to go beating an Ottawa team that must have been feeling the pressure.

So we've shown we can beat the good teams, now we just need to string together wins against the rest of the league.

Posted by: Kurt | January 15, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

SWEEP!

Ottawa better hope we win the SE because if we're #8 spot, they're one and done.

Posted by: tallbear | January 15, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Now THAT was a good game! The boys played strong in all aspects..offense, defense, and goaltending. It's a pretty thing when it all comes together in BB's system. Hope they keep it going and put together a string of wins. GO CAPS!

Posted by: Tess | January 15, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig may have beaten the Sens 3 times this year, but in one of those games, he gave up 6 goals, and in another, he was lucky to get bailed out by an even-worse Gerber after going down 2-0.

Johnson was solid tonight, I hope this earns him some more starts. Kolzig needs to sit a while.

Posted by: katzistan | January 15, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I will officially apologize now. My little girl (the huge Semin fan and offical Caps good luck charm) was off doing something else the first period. I plunked her tush down on the couch in the second and Semin scored immediately. Then the third period... Well she will never miss another period when the Caps are on and we are not in the Booth again.

Oh, and did I mention that I love Mike Green! Bloody lip and all. That Ovechkin kid ain't too bad either. I also cannot say enough about Johnny. I think he may have just earned a start on Thursday.

Yes, Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: Kim | January 15, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Come on Leafs, beat Carolina. Then you can go back to spiraling into chaos.

Posted by: tallbear | January 15, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

lol tallbear

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Forsberg had a skate that fit him properly, but for some reason just didn't want to use it. It was a skate that was fully moldable where the whole skate would mold around your foot.

I don't know, even though it isn't going to happen, I wouldn't mind seeing GMGM taking the chance and making him an offer. I still think he has some left in the tank and was always a good two way forward.

Posted by: Mike | January 15, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Break out the brooms! Send those mother canuckers back home. Semin played a great game, and Backstrom is getting stronger game by game. I really think that Johnson is going to earn more and more minutes, he looked great tonight.

Posted by: SuperCaps | January 15, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Something to chew on before we all go to bed. Does anyone else notice that in many sports it is the team that peaks at the end of the season that fares well. Not all teams can be the Patriots. Just look at the last few years. Did the Mets win the World Series? No. Did the Sabres win the Cup last year? Not. Look at Detroit's record in the playoffs the last few years. As much as it makes me want to puke to say it...both the Rangers and the Penguins made a significant move after last year's All Star Break. What about the Chargers this year (they were ready to fire Norv after the first four games).

Are we going to have to fight to make it? Yes. Now the guys just have to find a way to be the ones that everyone will be pointing to after the All Star break.

Okay, I am going to bed. Good night Caps fans. Thursday will be rocking!

Posted by: Kim | January 15, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

For everyone talking about Forsberg: I'm a huge fan of Foppa, but even i think that would be one of the dumbest signings we could do. For starters it's HIGHLY unlikely he'll go anywhere except the Flyers or Avs unless he gets a HUGE offer else where. For us to blow a bunch of money on a player as unreliable as old Foppa when we have guys like Green that need to be resigned would be more then stupid. We do need someone to step in for us to have any hope of making the playoffs, but unfortunately that someone is not Forsberg.

Posted by: DC FURY | January 15, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see that smile on Semin after his second goal. I don't think I've seen him that happy in a long time!

And does anyone know what the fans were chanting at around 6:50 left in the third?

Posted by: nautikal | January 15, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Em-Rey, Em-Rey, Em-Rey...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

nautikak,

They were taunting Ray :)

"Eeeeem-ry, Eeeeeem-ry"

Posted by: HolyOlie | January 15, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Carolina no more the Division Leader. Atlanta is the leader now.

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Nautikal:
I was thinking the same thing about Semin's smile. It was great to see. All those people complaining about Sasha's lack of personality, take note. He looked like he was really having fun out there tonight.

Posted by: Tess | January 15, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

For whoever might be interested, yahoo/sport is showing the Stars/Ducks game:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/scoreboard

Bottom of the page, click "watch".

It's a good game :)

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Folks:

We are not that far off!! Look at games played vs. points so far:

TEAM GP - PTS
Atlanta 47 - 48
Carolina 48 - 48
Florida 46 - 44
Washington 45 - 43

If we win the next game, then we will have 1 more point than FLA for the same # of games played.

If we win the next 2, then we will only be 1 point behind ATL (the division leader!) for the same # of games played.

If we win the next 3, then we will be 1 point ahead of Carolina for the same # of games played.

We are SO in this! It CAN happen!! And when it does, I hope that we see Ottawa there!! :-D

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

RE: Semin, I also noticed the smile. I love it when he does that - it is so rare! I, for one, never said that he has NO personality, but have certainly said that he has a very reserved personality. It almost seems like he plays better when he lets loose a bit! Go Sasha!

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I am so good just look at my prediction this morning


Let's kick Ottawa a$% once again.

4-1 Capts tonight

Goal from SEMIN (2) - KOZLOV and MVP MIKE GREEN

senssucks

Posted by: We win tonight | January 15, 2008 09:16 AM

Posted by: We win tonight | January 15, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice... Sasha celebrating the first goal...then celebrating and smiling! Sure hope to see more of that. Highlight of th night for me has got to be that open ice hit Ovie through at the blue line...BOOOM!!!!

Posted by: TheCapitalist | January 15, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik,
I know Mcphee said no trades...
Thefourthperiod.com reported that the Bruins are shopping Phil Kessel for a solid D-Man...
My take which will probaly wouldnt happend! but would you trade a Jeff Schultz and 08 1st rd pick for Kessel? We need a 2nd line C and he is solid and he can work the pp... plus we have the likes of Alzner,Godfrey,Pokluk,Finley coming real soon...
just my take looking for your Expert Opinion!

Posted by: ZackAttack | January 15, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

GREAT game tonight!! just what the doctor ordered. complete team effort playing BB's system to a T. Semin had an instant redemption game and Flash had his best game as a Cap BY FAR. Don't look now but do we have a potent (and balanced) line developing with Semin-Gordon-Flash? And last, but certainly not least, what can you say about Brent? Phenomenal effort. Sharp, quick, and great puck play all night behind the net (something Olie has downright STUNK at all year). I hope Locker is right in saying that BB will go with whoever is hot. It's time to give Brent another game vs. Edmonton Thursday. I'll be there to hopefully see that!

P.S. Thanks all for the feedback on my earlier post. appreciated Clarendon's thoughts too. I don't disagree with very much of what he said either. It's been a long slog for Caps fans but I see a good team developing now so I wouldn't want the bitter taste of failed past promises to necessarily be applied to this fresh situation.

Posted by: MTB | January 15, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

Yep, I was at the game. The crowd definitely perked up going into the third but it was the typical business guys that were hoping to see a fight.

A couple of days ago someone mentioned Sasha lighting up around kids...well, he held on to the first star game puck and when he came off the ice, he handed it to a little tyke with a smile.

About the game...it was great to see Semin getting physical and score a dirty goal. His first goal was gorgeous.

The officiating was atrocious for a spell early on, thankfully it didn't impact us. That 5 on 3 PK was ridiculous.

And I saw the most rarest of things...Schultz took someone down! Too bad he was on his back more than a lady of the night for the rest of the game.

...gonna go look up our draw percentage.

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh...and speaking of wanting to see a fight. Neil is more annoying to watch than Hatcher or Avery. Little f'er needed his clock cleaned.

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The Kings are stomping EDM 3-0 in the third. Thursday could be interesting.

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Keef:
Wow - that's cool that you are posting during a game! I have never tried that ... I may have to give it a whirl one of these days!! Anyway, glad you got to see a good one - I will be there Thur and hope it is just as good, if not better! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

@keef
Did you use your phone to post here from the booth?

Posted by: mauree | January 15, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear that Johnson looked good tonight, it's hard to make a judgment on that from listening to the radio.

I'd still like to see Olie around next year, he'd make an excellent mentor for one of the young goal tending prospects. I expect he'll be starting fewer games in the future, and hopefully the ones he plays will be of higher quality. He's still got some gas left in the tank. I'd also like to see him have a chance to groom a successor before he hangs up his skates.

On a side note, how many sticks has Olie smashed recently? Maybe the hockey gods are upset that he hasn't sacrificed enough sticks to them this year. :)

Posted by: Gelf | January 15, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

@mauree

Yeah...iPhone. Too bad the Edge network's been horrible lately, I stopped trying to get the page to refresh. :)

Must be something about "Edge" systems...

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else feel like Semin might read the blog? Ha, seems kinda ironic that after so many people were complaining about his lack of celebrating and smiling, he really gave us a show tonight. I LOVE to see him smiling and happy like that! I can only imagine what the boy would've done if he got a hat trick!

Great game tonight, even though the first period was kinda slow.

I didnt see any comments about this, so I don't know if it's been read yet...but thoughts/comments? (Caps Suck, you need not respond, thanks!)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/01/15/ST2008011504142.html

Posted by: SLM | January 15, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, just reading that Olie piece now...

"I've talked to my wife about retirement," Kolzig said. "Things just haven't gone as well for me as I've thought the past two years. I'll wait and see how things play out. But, yeah, it's been discussed."

Posted by: keef | January 15, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I know that beating up on Kolzig is a popular thing to do here, but I have to concur with Mike Wise on this one - so feel free to stop beating up on him and start beating up on me for a bit ...

Posted by: Boo! | January 15, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Nice column by Wise.

I appreciate a column on the Capitals ... and that Wise took a strong stand with his opinion.

But I prefer Olie being a back-up for the Capitals in two years.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 16, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Dear Olie,

"Glennie" is gone and never coming back

You are nearing 40

Denial is not a river in Africa

Your job is stop pucks, not start buzzkills

And it's not all about you, anyway

Posted by: Dr. Phil | January 16, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Olie still has something left in the tank, but the days of him starting 60+ games are long gone. Great game by Semin. I felt like he was skating with a purpose from his first shift and he got rewarded for it. Hopefully its the start of a trend.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 16, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Reading that article just made me so sad. I know Olie isn't doing well, but I love the guy as much as every Caps fan must. It's a shame to see him so down on himself. And like Boo! just said, beating up on Olie is a popular thing recently, but it's going to be a very, very, very sad day when Olie announces that he's no longer going to be Olie the Goalie.

I think he's going to resign for a much lower contract, and split some more time with Johnny. Olie cares about this team a lot, and he doesn't want to leave us high and dry. I think him and Johnny will stay the fort for a little while while Varlamov gets seasoned in Hershey

Posted by: Stephen | January 16, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Also, I don't know, but every sprawling block that Laing makes is bringing me closer and closer to shelling out the cash for my very own Laing jersey.

Posted by: Stephen | January 16, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Just checked out the 3 stars of the night, and was expecting to see Semin's face there. Unfortunatly we had a Hossa hat trick, a Theodore 32 save shut-out, and Phoenix rookie Peter Mueller (a very exciting player) with a 4 assist night.

No Semin

Posted by: Stephen | January 16, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Now the Sacred Cow is whining more than my three-week-old daughter.

WAAAAH...

"I thought I'd be approached about a contract by now and that hasn't happened either. We'll just wait and see."

WAAAAH...

"One thing about Bruce, he's hard on goalies because he doesn't understand the position."

WAAAAH...

"I didn't think I should have been pulled. In that game I honestly didn't think I was playing poorly."

WAAAAH...

"it's demoralizing when you get pulled. Especially at home"

WAAAAH...

With the daughter, you just rock her to sleep for a while and maybe change a diaper. I'm not sure what you do with a Sacred Cow.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | January 16, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

First things first. OH BABY!!!!! Have some Ottowa! Man, sounds like I missed a beaut.
Now... Dr. Phil, I feel you. Stephen, I hope Olie does stay AS A BACKUP for one, maybe two years more but reading between the lines I'd have to say he's caring less about "this team" and more about his role/ status as this team's icon. Also, Stephen, buy the Laing Jersey. You won't regret it. I have an obscure player's name(Barrett) on my old home white, red, and blue and I stand by it. Oneal, sad but true. I'm feeling you too. (inadvertant rhyme)
Boudreau for Coach of the Year. Nigh-ty night rab-bit.

Posted by: kevbpgc | January 16, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

John Barrett played parts of three seasons for the Caps in the late 80's and he was one of my favorites and everyone had either Stevens or Langway jerseys so I wanted #6. Also like the #. Also LOVED Calle.
http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=11923

Posted by: buy the laing jersey | January 16, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Good news first. Semin's goal tonight was the prettiest I've seen by anyone in a Caps sweater this season (even some of OV's dancer's). He's been on fire - hope it stays that way.

Now onto Olie. He's not what he used to be and he might not even be a starter in this league. But some of you guys are taking completely the wrong spirit towards a classy guy and what used to be a Vezina quality goaltender. It's one thing to say that Johnny should start more often, but to imply that the Caps should ice Kolzig for the rest of the season and not resign him is ludicrous.

Now if he ends up wanting a hefty contract this summer, then I'll be the first to back down here. But I can imagine us getting him back for a fraction of the $5 mil we're giving him now, freeing up cap room for players like Green, Gordon, et. al.

Plus, it's not like we have Denis and Holmqvist - lighten up people.

Posted by: Raber | January 16, 2008 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Sports Center had Semin's goal at #6 on their top 10 (ahead of Hossa's HT)... looked even better on slo-mo replay. He undressed Redden.

I love Olie and have been less than happy about the bashing going on here lately... but the fact remains his lateral movement -- never his strong suit -- has gotten even slower. He needs to smell the coffee and start sharing the net with Johnny a little more. And be the team leader he claims to be and deal with it... you think all those young guns like getting scratched? For the most part (Emmy excluded) their response has been -- "it's clear to me I need to work harder, focus, etc, etc, etc" Olie can learn from some of the kids. Sometimes the needs of the many are outweighed by the needs of the few, or the one.

Posted by: Dave in Alexandria | January 16, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Caps fan in TN, Sombrero Guy, Stephen, Raber:

Thank you!! It is so nice to hear people looking at the Olie situation reasonably and showing the guy a little respect! He may not be the best, but he certainly is not the worst. I, frankly, appreciated his candor. He seemed to be very honest in his statements and I, for one, feel for the guy. I hope he sticks around for two more, even if he is not starting. I would hope his closing contract is for less $$$, but that he at least has one. He's saved the day more than once this season, and I think he will again (and again). Maybe not 11 straight, but many times, nonetheless. Johnny played well yesterday, but I am still not convinced that he is the best keeper. Unfortunately at this point they are BOTH inconsistent, so it will be up to BB before each game to determine who is the best fit (i.e. how they have practiced, how they play against the team in question, how much they have played as of late, etc.). Olie may be down, but he's not out.

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

WHO WAS ASKING HOW A HOCKEY PUCK IS MADE?!?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xFbO4sQjPw

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Yup, the best part of the game last night was seeing Semin score twice ... and then break out that huge grin.

Second best part was Ovechkin using the word "cute" in his interview w/ Lisa Hillary after the game ... he gets the point BB was making about all that fancy passing crap.

Pettinger's stupid penalty that led to the short 5-on-3 was a no-brainer call. Get Clark healthy and put Pettinger back on the bench.

I liked the way Oneal phrased the Olie situation. If Kolzig is still a Vezina player, then please explain the .888 save percentage. Please.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 16, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey Oneal, Ditch the attitude directed at Ollie. The guy has bled buckets for the Caps through some really rough years and stands tall in the net nightly at 37. He is not the same Ollie as the 97-98 season, but neither are the Caps. His GAA and save % should be better, but Johnson's numbers aren't any better. Ollie has been overplayed this year and the current system leaves goalies on an island. He plays behind a young and inconsistent blueline. Give the guy a break as Mike Wise asked. I want to see Ollie back for less money for two more years to help guide one or two of the young goalies coming up next year. Oneal's post showed about as much maturity as his three week old daughter.

Posted by: JIM | January 16, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm torn about Olie.
He played very well against the Avs and 2-3 games before that.
On the other hand:
1) He's been weak and partially responsible on many goals this season, including two with Philly.
2) When I watch any NHL game other than the Caps, I expect the puck to go in much more than it actually does. It's a strange feeling: "hey, those kind of shots/situations CAN be stopped". I'm used to mediocrity?

In any case, he's been loyal and played for us for so many years - he surely deserves respect.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to know what to do with Olie. He just can't be the wall we remember and our D isn't good enough to keep him from doing too much. But he's still a favorite of fans and Ted. If we dump him, we'll probably have posters start ripping the Caps for abandoning a loyal soldier who stayed instead of jumping to a contender.

Posted by: tallbear | January 16, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...from BB's press conf:

"Semin? I can't read him."

:)

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

lol keef I was about to post the exact same sentence. Every day I look forward to BB interviews :)

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Semin stinks - we should trade him.


It's not too late to jump on my Semin wagon. I have seen him celebrate like that before. And, last night is the reason why I like him so much. He does more things positive than negative. Sure, he makes mistakes, but he also makes up for them.

Did you see him dive at the puck so it wouldn't be icing? Or racing back to help out in the D?

The only thing I saw that I did not appreciate is that he needed to come out because of him hustling back and he was trying to get off when the puck was in the Caps zone. BB was like - stay in stay in... At least he tried to get some fresh skates out there.

Semin is sick!!!

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Like I said, get off Semin's back.

Posted by: MKI | January 16, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I'd say our PP is fine...

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

as I suspected yesterday, Ottawa second goal was offside:

http://www.nhl.tv/team/launch.htm?hlg=20072008,2,676&event=WSH241

They overskated the puck. It doesn't matter cause we won, but it could have costed us the game.

@828 I'm partially on your wagon :D I don't wanna see anymore games like Philly and more games like yesterday's by Semin

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Mauree makes a very good point about Olie's performance against the Avs; he made the best save of the season to preserve the win in the 3rd and obviously is still capable of contributing. When he came out of the game against Philly, I thought it was less his play (although we sure needed him to make a couple of saves we didn't get) than it was one of the very few ways BB had of changing the dynamics of a game that was out of hand. Sometimes the goalie gets yanked because it's the only way of sending a message to a team that's not focused. BB wasn't a goaltender but he certainly understands the psychology of the team and the psychology of an individual player, and knows damn well that yanking Olie at home has an effect on him that goes beyond the immediate situation. His job isn't to be nice to Olie, it's to win hockey games, and in my book he was using one of the last alternatives he had to try to do so. Olie deserves respect for what he's meant to the team over the years, but also for what he can continue to contribute today on AND off the ice. Whether we like it or not, the Caps have decided to "dance with the one who brung us," so it's pointless to just run the guy down constantly. I expect, though, that we're going to see more of Johnny.

Last night was a terrific team effort as well as a game in which some wonderful individual efforts came through. I agree with many of the posts about the game, but haven't seen any mention of Tom Poti's play. While I haven't been a huge Poti fan this season, he made what could have been a game saving clear in the third period on a rebound sitting in front of a wide open net and generally played very well in my estimation.

No let down Thursday! Two points from the Oilers would be very big going into this weekend. If the Caps keep this up, the "p" word might officially start creeping back into this discussion!

Posted by: Fred | January 16, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Mauree,

I agree - I think we wont see that for another couple of years though - that includes ALL the Caps. They are young and they will make mistakes. Inconsistant is the word.

So, we have 4 out of 6 possible points so far. Remember, the goal is no less than 7. After beating Co and Ottawa, you would think we could beat a team with one more point than us and another that is in the bottom of the Western conference. I think we have a legit shot at getting 8 of 10. And then there's Pittsburg.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@Oneal,

Wow. That was harsh.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@Fred
Good points. Actually I liked the whole D yesterday. Erskine was sitting people, Morrison is playing very good lately, and everybody was doing a good job in clearing rebounds.

While talking about defense, what I still think needs improvement is that we sit too far back in our zone. The opponents possess the points. That can happen when down a man, but shouldn't while 5 on 5. As a result, we spent too much time in our end when defending.

Let's not underestimate the Oilers... they're 5-4 lately and they lost yesterday, so they're going to want to bounce back bad.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line with Olie, he obviously deserves respect, but he no longer has No.1 goaltender credibility -- he should have to fight for it every season.. and this should be reflected in his next contract. Maybe its time to try the Wings' approach, where its essentially 1A and 1B between Osgood and Hasek. I'd give Olie 2M/year, maybe 2.5M, one year deal.

The key, of course, is Kolzig would have to accept it.. which I think he will, because after this season, I don't think there are any teams that will bring him in as the clear-cut No.1 goalie. The other alternative would be to retire, but somehow I can't see Kolzig giving up just when things start to get interesting around here.

Posted by: Vlad | January 16, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@Boo!

"He may not be the best, but he certainly is not the worst."

No, he's just two away from it.

I keed. I keed.


@Caps fan in TN

That Petty call was definitely a good one, but the call on Steck before it had me scratching my head.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see that article as Olie whining at all, Oneal. He was responding to questions by an interviewer, and interviewers tend to get the words they want. If you hate Olie, you obviously haven't been a fan longer than 5 years, and no one is saying he is still a Vezina quality goaltender. He used to be. When he goes, you'll see most Olie bashers (Cow? Seriously?) turn into "Well, he was with us at the high, and low, of our franchise" and you'll clap when his number gets put up in VC.
Great win.
Kozlov looked kinda like Nyls on that pass to Green :x

Posted by: Whiter Mage | January 16, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, please smack Mike Wise over the head 30 times today. So many positive stories he could've written about and he tries to start the mudslinging. Get the Post's Redskins sensationalism out of our Caps locker room.

Has he ever even been to a game? How does this even count as journalism?

Posted by: sean | January 16, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have the dates in which Nylander was out before. From when to when? I thought it was in November, but I'm not sure.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Bruce Boudreau has literally brought this team back from the dead. Wake up people, they were DEAD DEAD DEAD when "Glennie" was here.

So for Olie to call out Bruce in the Washington Post because he got his feelings hurt Sunday -- it's crazy. It's childish. Olie should have gone to the coach to talk in private, man to man.. instead he went whining like a little baby. And don't blame this on Mike Wise -- even though Olie's acting like a baby, he is a grown man who makes more money than Martin Brodeur and he knew exactly what he was doing talking to a reporter.

As for my length of time as a Caps fan, well, let's just say it would be nearly impossible to have been with this team longer than me.

On a positive note, great game last night. And as many of you know I have very little confidence in Brent Johnson either, but he did play well to get the win.

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | January 16, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind - I think it was Dec 2-13. For all of you that are worried that we cannot win without Nylander. Currently, the Caps are 4-1 without him.

So, I think we will be alright...

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@ 828, yeah looking to Pittsburgh, they are red hot (yuck!). But then again, so were Ottawa, Detriot, New Jersey, and even Toronto (early on) when the Caps played them very well and even won. The Caps will have to be on their A+ game, but boy will it be great to send them the Pens packing with their stunted tails between their nearly useless legs (on land at least).

Posted by: JIM | January 16, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

MTB, Thanks you are a class act. This year for the Caps seems to be the year where they are truly gelling (especially with Gabby in place), but there is still much to do. Again, It would really help to have a tough stay-at-home defenseman to give Olie some breathing room.

I was impressed to finally see a column about the Caps and Olie today. Is this the beginning of the groundwork that befitting a franchise player like Olie to ease him out? (At this "early" date, Wise gets to have it both ways: raise the issue and support the player.)

I still don't think that gmgm is the guy who can manage the team to a Stanley Cup. At some point you do have to say to a hurting player that you can't play. I don't buy that is always the player's decision.

cool that the Caps have gone 23 games without back-to-back regulation losses, best since 00-01. They are much more fun to watch with Gabby in charge.


Posted by: Clarendon | January 16, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

When I saw the coverage the Caps got in the Post today I was thrilled. We were not after high school sports again!

I respect the heck out of Olie. He seems like a wonderful man, and he has been loyal to the Caps.

However, I was a little disappointed with the timing of that particular article. Hopefully it will not be devisive or a distraction just at the time the Caps are trying to make a surge. The whole Bruce doesn't understand goalies, the Hershey players are responding to him, etc. could easily get blown out of proportion.

I feel for Olie and hope that he has a little Brett Favre in him the rest of the season.

Posted by: Kim | January 16, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Can't we just play the Sens the rest of the season?

Posted by: LetsGoCaps | January 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Wise's column contained some of the more frank comments, other than locker romm bravado, that you'll see here in the post. I feel like e-mailing Wise and thanking him for elevating the discussion of hockey here in Washington and we need more spirited debate among DC sports fans just like this.
O'neal was a little over the top - Olie's comments smacked a little of self pity, if you ask me, PARTICULARLY for lind of throwing Boudreau under the bus for not "understanding" his position(!!!) What kind of BS is that?

Posted by: Shaggy | January 16, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@828
I think it was different then. The team has improved, many people found their spot - including, and particularly, Nylander, who was playing terrific (much better than before) the last few games.

I hope we'll be ok, but Nyls will be missed, especially in the long term.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I love it when the game is tied or the Caps are down by one when Ovy hasn't scored yet. I just think to myself "Alex hasn't scored his goal yet, we'll be fine," and then he goes out and does it just about every single time.

It's great to see Semin happy and scoring consistently, and Green with goals in back-to-back games as well. This team is looking up in a big way, even without Nylander.

Posted by: Jordan | January 16, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I still think you're over-analyzing his words. He didn't seem to be whining about anything, just stating that Boudreau is not a goaltender's coach. Glen was. His numbers haven't been worse since BB has shown up, so I don't really know why anyone thinks he's throwing him under the bus. I dunno. Easy to read words and perceive them as whining, easy to perceive as stating, and when you get it in your mind, it's hard to break it. Problem of the internet and text.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | January 16, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I was playing fine? Stopped 12 of 16 shots with a .75 save %. Johnson was 14 of 15 during that Filthy game.

Olie should be a bit more careful in his words. What do you want? To win or just to play... if the team can win with Johnson, wouldn't that be okay with him?

Pothier - when he was benched - he said, yes, I have been playing terrible as of late and I need to focus on what I can do better. Even if he hated being benched, he should still remain positive about it.

All the players should KNOW what the "media" is capable of. If you say one thing, they turn it around. So, even if Kolzig was being honest or said some other things that alluded to him being whinney and not a team player - we will never know because the media twists things.

I doubt this will be a distraction. I honestly believe that BB won't put up with that sort of stuff.

Ya know, I was real worried that when Alex got his contract - that the Caps would lose and lose and Alex wouldn't go into a serious drought... because of the distractions. But now, he has two goals in 2 games and the team is looking good.

Blow it off Olie and get that "eye of the tiger" back.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

or is it "eye of the lizard"?

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Phil,
Great post on Olie.

Posted by: Puckguru | January 16, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I tried to read all the posts above, but I skimmed a few, so if this was said earlier I apologize.

BB simply needs to state "we are going to ride the hot goalie until we lose, and when he does we'll switch and try to ride the other guy until we lose." At this point it's all about W's, and if Johnson (or Kolzig) can go out and win 3 (or more) in a row, let them play as many games as possible. Additionally, it wouldn't really be benching Kolzig, and both goalies would be able to contribute to the success of this team.

Great game last night...hope to see Kozlov score a few in addition to his impressive assist totals.

Posted by: Jeff | January 16, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@Jeff,

Well said. Why not start Johnson next game?

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect for Olie, he forgot that with Hanlon he was starting half the times. Hanlon was basically choosing which goalie had the best record for the next opponent (not a good criteria, if you ask me).

BB stated at the beginning: "Olie is our goalie", and started him most games, putting 100% trust in him.

Olie deserves respect and BB gave him respect, more than Hanlon imho.

Whining about having to "just stop the puck" is honestly out of line. And yesterday I had the feeling the players were playing more for Jonhson than Olie - the same way they are playing more for BB than Hanlon. Maybe it's just a feeling?

I'm not in any anti-Olie wagon ( Boo! :D ), I'm just whining about Olie whining.

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Mauree,

In a way I agree, however, Johnson was REALLY lucky last night. How many pucks were just sitting there in front of the net while Johnson was out of it? It was a mess, but sometimes, the goalies that win are lucky.

I agree with riding the hot goalie. Every OTHER team in the league besides San Jose does it.

I honestly believe that Johnson will work harder than Kolzig. I didn't say he was better, I said he works harder. Why, because Olie knows he is the starter and Johnson has to fight. Reverse the situation, will that make Olie fight and try harder? Will we ever find out?

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night. I'm *surprised* that we haven't heard from "Caps Suck" today! Must be crying in his/her coffee that the Sens lost to the "lowly" Caps.

One of my stars of the night (besides the obvious ones of Semin, Green and AO) was Kozlov. Never thought I'd say it, but he did really good. I'd bet that Coach B pulled him aside and told him that he'd better wake up out there from here on out.

That pass to Green was gorgeous, and what Green did with it was amazing. Semin's first goal was just plain sick! I mean, there were 2 sets of jock straps out there!

I really liked the article on Olie on a lot of levels. O'Neil's take is totally off base. He wasn't wining. He's coming to the realization that his career is winding down, and he has regrets that he can't play to the level that he did before. Nothing wrong with that. His GAA and Save % is not good, but he has a very valid point. It's the wins/losses that count.

While Hanlon may have been a goalie's coach, Coach B is more effective for the other 21 players on the bench. That's what's making his win/loss percentage approach .500.

He may yet play out his time in DC. I rather hope he does (did I just say that?). Loyalty is important. Olie did yeoman's work when the Caps truely sucked. He stuck with it when he could have demanded a trade. We shouldn't lightly give that up. He continues to have value, possibly not as a starter, or at least sharing the starting role.

My 2 cents...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I see Fred's the only one above that's heaped any praise onto Poti. He definitely deserves some. He had some great clears last night and was very deft when avoiding that near self goal. ;)

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I want to give a nod to the poster on a previous thread who said that according to his sources that Nylander would succumb to his injury after the Philthy game. This poster got beat up pretty badly for his "prediction" and his unnamed sources. Guess he got it right.

Posted by: Clarendon | January 16, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@keef

On the Steckel call, my view of the replay was that Steckel got his stick caught under the Sens skate ... and then the falling Senator hauled Steckel down.

Also, I love listening to the opposing coaches' interview on the Capitals Web site after the game. Paddock looked quite glum, like a man who had been beaten four times by a worse team. :D

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 16, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Oneal. Kolzig's feeling's hurt? How about him hurting the team's chances of winning with his soft goals? He's old, he's slow, he's just bad. We passed on a better goalie because GMGM didn't want to hurt Kolzig's feelings. The idea is to win! And not to keep the old psycho happy! Don't change the winning team for the Oilers' visit. Keep Johnson in goal.
I hope Kolzig does retire, so that we'll spend that $2.5 million that everyone throws at him on another goalie who is better than Kolzig.

Posted by: Finn | January 16, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Considerations about the current standings

* Can somebody stop the Penguins? Can we? I watched their last two games... you might not like Crosby but he and Malkin are doing really good out there.
* The only way to make the %insert banned word here% is to win the division. Second in the division won't make it.
* Big regret for the two points lost with Philly. Among the first 8, only Atlanta has played more games than us. Not good.
* Nobody should say: "easy win against the Oilers, they're last in their division". Truth is, they have a better record than us. We must win - but need to play the same A game, nothing less.

@Greg S.
Nice post, I'm with you, except I think he was indeed whining.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@Caps fan in TN

Yeah, that play happened right in front of me...they got tangled up against the boards and it was just one of those crap penalties that happen if they're calling a tight game. Definitely not an intentional play.

======================================

NHL.com gave the boys (mainly BB) some praise today:

Goodbye, First Place - Injuries, illness, bad breaks. For all those reasons and more, the Carolina Hurricanes - who dropped a 5-4 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs - lost their hold of first place in the Southeast Division Tuesday night.

And more company is on the way.

With the Atlanta Thrashers' impressive 5-1 win at Detroit, Don Waddell's squad has earned a first-place tie with Peter Laviolette's bunch.

But wait, there's more!

With the Washington Capitals' 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, Bruce Boudreau's comeback kids have pulled to within five points of Carolina and Atlanta. Hard to believe that a team that won only six of its first 21 games has climbed back into contention less than two months later, but it's a testament to the job Boudreau has done in Washington since taking over for Glen Hanlon.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Anybody get a kick out of the videos up on the HD-megatron right after the Caps score.

The first time I saw Frank-the-Tank (during the Colorado game), I almost died from laughing to hard. It's actually a pretty fun idea when they score or when they get scored on. Just wish they had more film and switched it up a bit more.

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

comeback kids?

Heck, we are 300 Spartans... we will be ready at the gates...

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@Mauree: I agree about the D getting a little too deep. We did play too much in our own end for stretches last night; our forecheck seemed a little inconsistent, and I thought we gave up the blue line a little too much. We were also playing a very skilled team....

@keef: I had a great view of that near own goal last night, and after an initial "wtf" reaction, realized that Poti really had nowhere else to go with the puck that wasn't potentially much worse. Besides, it was at least four inches outside the post, and I think Johnny was in position to make the save!

Posted by: Fred | January 16, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Ah good old Kozlov didn't let me down last night! Man, was that a sweet pass through traffic to Green or what?! Very nicely played. I'm hoping he can continue this play in the coming games and months.

Posted by: G-Rub | January 16, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Anybody know what attendance might look like for the game tomorrow? I'm trying to decide if I want to buy tickets now or just get the $10 student tickets after work tomorrow.

Posted by: Jordan | January 16, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Johnson, can't figure that guy out. He never really stands on his head, but he never really does anything stupid either. Olie on the other hand is good for a softie and some jaw-dropping saves every night. Kind of frustrating.

Agree that Johnson's rebound control was awful. Late in the third he dove right and made the save but left the puck sitting, stationary, on the left side of the crease where a strong breeze could have knocked it in. Thankfully, it was sent sailing the other way... eventually.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 16, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@mauree

As we seem to own Ottowa, those bloody Pens seem to own us. (From Damn Yankees):
"Those damned Penguins why can't we beat them!" A lot of the reason goes to Gonchar. So, why did we give him up again?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

GMGM's comments about not being able to force Nyls to play hurt got me thinking. Maybe Puckguru was (gasp) wrong, maybe GMGM doesn't need to burn in H@LL for "forcing" Semin to come back too soon and play hurt.

Just a random thought.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@Steve R

But...but...but he's a guru!!!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

GMGM should force Kolzig to retire

Posted by: Finn | January 16, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I've gotta say, I love all of this honest, rational, reasonable discussion about Olie! Very little of the bashing and cheap shots that I have gotten so used to on this board (when it comes to Olie, anyway) - less Olie bashing and more Olie assessment. I dig it! It has been a very enjoyable read.

I personally don't think Olie was whining ... maybe lamenting a little, but definitely being genuine. He sounds less "woe is me" and more "I am obfuscated" ... ya know?

In terms of being frustrated/demoralized about being pulled, well I bet ALL keepers feel that way EVERY time they are pulled. He said he was playing well ... I honestly don't remember all of the goals so I will not refute or defend that statement, but I do remember the last one, and I defy ANY keeper to have recovered from that deflection. He was in position - Jurcina was in the way (dangling that Jurcina carrot again ... no one seems to want to take it?!?).

So I remain on the fence with Olie this season - I love him, I respect him, he can make monster saves, and he can let in softies. Go figure. I don't know if he can be a consistent keeper again. I hope so, but I am not convinced. Regardless, I think he has a place on this team right now, whether he is #1, #2 or plays 50% of the time. I am glad to hear that many others (maybe even mauree ;-)) agree!

Posted by: Boo! | January 16, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I didn't take that article as Olie "whining". I took it as Olie answering questions honestly. He's frustrated, he knows he has not been playing well enough (Avalanche game aside) and he wants to help the team win. I'm kind of tired of the disrespect people have shown to the man in these comments. If you thought the last 3 seasons were tough, imagine how bad they would have been if Olie had decided to bolt via free agency when he had the chance. he stuck by us through the thin times, lets return the favor and show a little respect.

That being said, I believe Johnny should and will see more playing time. A 37 year old should not be starting 10 games in a row.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 16, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@Greg,

Re: Gonch. Caps got Mo, and 1st and 2nd round picks in 2004, and a bag of pucks for him. Pretty hefty price for the Bruins as he played 22 games for them. I'd be a happy camper if he scored goals for the Caps instead of against the Caps.

Re: Guru. There's a direct proportional relationship between how loud someone yells "I'm an expert" and that not being the case. At least I know that I have my bozo moments.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero Guy ,

Are you willing to foresake playoffs to "show respect" to Kolzig?

Posted by: Finn | January 16, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Finn,

Can you come up with a solution does not involve he who shall not be named from the Anaheim/Phoenix organizations?

Because I'd love to hear one if you've got it. Unfortunately, we're stuck with the Kolzig/Johnson tandem for now.

Posted by: Yosh | January 16, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Yosh,

I agree we're stuck with them. For now. I think that GMGM could have moved for a goalie at the trade deadline if it wasn't for the Nylander injury. And, of course, if the Caps are in the play off hunt.

But at the end of the year, Kolzig should not be resigned. Or resigned for "respect" reasons for no more than $1m per. With Ovechkin taking up at lot of the cap space, every $ must be put in good use (trying to secure a starter). And not on paying Kolzig (read: foresaking playoffs) for "loyalty". It is pro sports. It is big business. Kolzig knows that.

That's the solution IMHO

Posted by: Finn | January 16, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@Yosh,

I don't see anything happening during the season on the goalie front. The price would be too high to get someone like Huet for the balance of the year when resigning him would not be a done deal.

Plus I'd like to see Green and Mo get locked in.

Posted by: Steve R | January 16, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to Kolzig, I think he is the first one to say that he has not been playing up to standards. This is not whining, this is a guy that is struggling with the idea that he might be holding the team back.
For him to come out and say the things he said, I don't think Olie is going to be around much longer.
That being said, I think #37 belongs overhead with 7, 5, & 32.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 16, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom knocks the ball away from Senator centers Cody Bass. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)"

Who writes these?

'knocks the ball' away??

c'mon

Posted by: JamesD | January 16, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I think #37 belongs overhead with 7, 5, & 32." You are absolutely right, but it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

The organization is too emotionally attached to Kolzig and has compromised the ability to make rationale decisions in his regards. BB is a new guy, certainly respects Olie, but doesn't have the history with him that Olie shares with Ted, GMGM, most Caps fans, etc. So BB can be more detached in his decision making and realizes that Olie can no longer be the only horse in the stable. Not an insult -- just a fact -- we all get old(er).

Posted by: Dave in Alexandria | January 16, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree:

If this were an NFL replay, they'd have to say the call on the field stands due to a lack of conclusive evidence. The angle precludes us from seeing Kelly's skates go across the blue line before the puck.

That being said, it would strain credulity - as well as tax the laws of physics - to assume that Kelly somehow avoided entering the zone ahead of the puck, especially considering where he is in the play when the camera picks him up again.

Good pickup.

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 16, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Where is our update from Practice? Is Tarik out too with a torn writing hand? We cant afford any more injuries.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 16, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So hockey is played with a ball, and Cody Bass is two people?

Can someone get the Fact Checker in here?

Posted by: John in Mpls | January 16, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I know... no posting from Tarik yet!@#@! Not like him at all. Wonder if there could be another annoucement coming.... Maybe Greenie has been signed! Now that would be AWESOME news! Tarik - Where are you?

Posted by: Tracy | January 16, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@Steve R.

Yup! We both know you have your bozo moments. :)

I, of course, have none. roflmao

Seriously, the difference between us and any self-proclaimed "gurus" is that we're big enough to admit our screw ups publicly. I've had more than my share. I can only hope that I learn from them.

I also know to keep my yap shut when I really don't know, or better yet, ask a question and seek information before I make a statement. I'm glad to say you and a few others seem to do the same. That's why a lot of us trust your opinions.

Yick. That's all very sappy! Onto HOCKEY!!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarik just made a post see you guys there lol

Posted by: mauree | January 16, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Tarik is writing an article about the signing of Patrick Roy...

Posted by: 828 | January 16, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@Fred

Yep! Hence the "deft" part. :)

Maybe it's me and maybe it's Johnny's blue pads, but I'm noticing him wrap his leg around the outside of the net in those situations and if Kolzig had been doing that some more this season, we could have averted a few goals.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

...and a new post is up so I'm talking to myself.

Posted by: keef | January 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Its great when people wait for my comments.

I still think the Caps suck. Too bad they dont have any games against Ottawa.

Now for Kolzig...I take everything I read in newspapers with a grain of salt because things are too easily taken out of context. However, Olie has been around way too long to even allow himself to say some of those things in public. Too much self pity with him. His comments should have been....

"The team is playing well and winning, and if having Johnson between the pipes gets us into the playoffs then I am all for it."

Then he should have gone into the coach's office and had a discussion with him..not saying it to Mike Wise.

The team will eternally be terrible until Kolzig is on the shelf.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Disregard that, I suck balls.

Posted by: Caps Suck | January 16, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with many posters who have said that Olie has slowed down & is but a showdow of his old self. Johnny, well he is an adequate backup & that is all. I am surprised that so many seem to think that the 2 young goalie draftees will be the answer in the very near future. I disagree---in the future yes, but not for 3-4 years. Look at montreal Cory Price, I think that is his name, was sent back to the minors for mor seasoning. there is no question that if in fact Olie is washed up, the Caps are going to have to find another starter for next year.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 16, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank God!!

Watch out boys, cause the zebras are going to give Pittsburgh another PP.

Posted by: Old Bob | January 21, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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