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Boudreau on Stamkos: 'Definitely the real deal'

Today was a bit of a scramble because of travel and reporting, so I apologize for the lack blogging. But I wanted to give everyone a heads up on what I was working on this afternoon.

The Caps and Lightning were both off. But Tampa Bay was kind enough to get Steven Stamkos and GM Brian Lawton on the phone with me.

If you haven't noticed, the 20-year-old sophomore center is chasing down Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin for the goal scoring title while trying to lead the 'Bolts back into the playoff race. In fact, since his hat trick Feb. 17, 2009, the NHL's goal scoring leaders are Ovechkin (59 goals), Stamkos (58) and Crosby (57).

And with seven goals in the last Lightning's last eight meetings with the Caps, Stamkos certainly has the attention of Coach Bruce Boudreau and his players. Boudreau doesn't praise too many of his team's opponents, but I can tell you that he's got a ton of respect for Stamkos.

"He's definitely the real deal," Boudreau said. "He's going to threaten Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby and Nick Backstrom for scoring titles down the line."

Anyway, here's the link to the story. And I'll check in again tomorrow morning from St. Pete Times Forum.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 19, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin: 'Vacation is over'

Comments

He's going to threaten Ovie, Crosby and "19 for scoring titles - woo hoo Nicky.
(but work on those turnovers, dude :-)

Posted by: bluejeener1 | March 19, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

This could be good for the Caps. Another great white Canadian hero for the hockey establishment might cause the zeal to promote Crosby and the Pens to dissipate slightly.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 19, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Stamkos is incredible. Significantly better than Crosby. If the Bolts build around him, they could be a significant threat in the near future. I'm interested to see how he develops.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Well gang, GMGM should have traded those spare parts back in 2008 for Tampa's #1 draft pick and then we'd have Stamkos.

Okay okay, who knew Stamkos would be that good. Plus, our priority was trying to make the playoffs that year. Well, we succeeded and turned our franchise around. (Plus, Tampa would have turned down any deal involving the trade of their #1 pick, especially if it's a lottery pick.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 19, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Before I read down to BB's quote, I had formulated the question:

Over the next ten years, beginning 2010-11 and ending 2019-20, the top 5 NHL scorers are Ovechkin, Crosby, Backstrom, Stamkos and ???. Malkin? Kopitar? Kane?

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

One of the Sedins, for the next few years at least. I'm pretty sure Kane will be there. There will probably be some other assist men up there - it's usually easier for them to get high in the point totals.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of young players playing very well this early in their careers. I think the top guys will definitely be Ovechkin Crosby. But other guys that will be followed and buzzed for the next decade: Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos as well as some others.

I think Stamkos is really profiting from having St.Louis has his set up cause he is a great and very veteraned guy at this point. Will be interesting to see if Tampa can rebuild like the Pens, Caps and Hawks did around stamkos with very large and heavy contracts (lecavalier) some of whom aren't producing, others will leave large wholes to fill when they do part.

Posted by: breaklance | March 19, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

... according to nhl.com seabrook is back @ practise... what a bunch of bull i though he was supposedly murdered by OV, wasn't this the only justification in the suspension?

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | March 19, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

ups, that wasnt even the scrub OV hit, nevermind :), the point is, this is all still somehow Crosby's fault.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | March 19, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

@ovi

brian campbell is not a scrub and neither is seabrook, they're both elite dmen and u shouldnt be talking so lightly about player's injuries, show some respect. whether or not you agree with the suspension campbell is out for the season, not fun.

Posted by: capsfan387 | March 19, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Even if Tocchet may be thuggy and a crook, we certainly have to admit that he's a more competent coach than Melr

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 19, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Continuation of last post.

Tocchet is a more competent coach than his predecessor.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 19, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | March 19, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201

Bad news for the "new kid". Especially since he hasn't been the same since his last injury.

Holtby stepped up, at least. We'll given him props since he can do back to backs.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

@OVIwankanOVI

Wishniewski of the Anaheim Ducks is the guy who injured Seabrook, not Ovi. Ovi injured Brian Campbell. With the news of Seabrook back at practice, I'm sure Ducks fans are probably grumbling that the 8 game suspension was way too harsh. (I didn't see the hit but heard it was a bad hit.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75 - I don't think the suspension on this one was based on the degree of injury. It was clearly an aggressive, retaliatory hit on a player completely separate from the puck. It was not THAT bad a hit compared to the other ones voiced here ie. Cooke, Richards, and even Ovie's recent hit had a more "violent" outcome.

Posted by: gonchpup | March 20, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Stamkos is incredible. Significantly better than Crosby.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 19, 2010 9:37 PM |

lol.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Wishniewski of the Anaheim Ducks is the guy who injured Seabrook, not Ovi. Ovi injured Brian Campbell. With the news of Seabrook back at practice, I'm sure Ducks fans are probably grumbling that the 8 game suspension was way too harsh. (I didn't see the hit but heard it was a bad hit.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 12:16 AM |

Seabrook laid out someone on the Ducks cleanly prior to the hit. Then Wiz comes out of nowhere and levels Seabrook.

Dirty hit. Pre-meditated. Glad Seabrook wasn't seriously hurt.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Will be interesting to see if Tampa can rebuild like the Pens, Caps and Hawks did around stamkos with very large and heavy contracts (lecavalier) some of whom aren't producing, others will leave large wholes to fill when they do part.

Posted by: breaklance | March 19, 2010 11:00 PM

I bet Vinny and his 10 mil/yr contract gets moved at some point so they can in fact build around Stamkos.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil & gonchpup

On the Wishniewsky hit, yes, it was a dirty hit. I would not have been happy with no suspension. Just think 8 games was overkill, in the suspension department. 4 games would have been fair. Then again, I'm not exactly a good judge on hits.

Seabrook used to be a friend of Wishniewsky when they were Blackhawk's team mate. Note: used to be but not any more.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

So who will get Vinny?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Montreal?

haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

so wonder what the lines would look like

ov backs knuble
flash bleanger semin
chimera morrison fehr
laich steckle bradley

the 4th line or 3B line did well in the playoffs last year. This would give us 4 very strong lines. 3a line looks like it has great chemistry

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Laich would be a top 6 forward on a decent amount of teams. Insane to think about having to put him on the 4th because of our depth.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

so how would you reconfigure this and play all your best players. flash does not fit the 4th line player.

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm not trying to call you out or anything.
I am just pointing out how ridiculous our depth is right now.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Seabrook wasn't even hurt and he totally faked it when he was falling down. That was so fake. But with a hit like that, I'm surprised he didn't have a concussion.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 20, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

ov backs knuble
laich belanger semin
flash morrison fehr
chimera steckle bradley/walker

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sproting News has Tarik's twitters and reports Tarik says the lines are this tonight:

"The lines: 8-19-22; 21-9-28; 14-39-16; and 25-18-24."

So, the surprises are BMo centers the second line, Steckel the 3rd, and Belanger the 4th.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

and I'm pretty sure it's the Sporting News (not Sproting News).

Posted by: Sonyask | March 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

somewhat surprise shuffling of centers. i really liked the third line with chiemra morrison and fehr

Posted by: samb99 | March 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@samb99 - I love those lines, although I'd flip Laich and probably BMo. I'd love to see Semin-Belanger-Flash, that line could do serious damage, IMO. And not just for a period and have BB pull them, a few games together.

Flash is a legit top-6 forward. Too many folks look at straight #'s, not noticing all the little things (touch passes, takeaways, etc.) he does to keep plays alive and make line-mates better.

To wit: what has happened to Semin's production since Flash got taken off his line?

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Belanger would make a very good checking line forward.

Brads got the scratch it seems.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo

Actually Flash was taken off Semin's line when he got his hat trick against Ottawa (and B Mo was centering it).

No, I'm not dissing Flash's performance. Semin had produced well on the line with Laich and Flash but they had reached a point where they needed to be broken up.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Montreal is famous for having people with big overly expensive contracts, as is the Rangers.

BTW, how has Montreal been so good as of late? I'm not exactly impressed with the way they do business.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Montreal's got a decent team together. Their problem is going to be all the injuries they have.

I actually named Montreal because the "big rumor" every single year for every year since Vinny was drafted was that he's going to be traded to Montreal.

Well now, with Stamkos coming into fruition, Vinny's 10 mil/yr just might have to go, and I'm sure Gainey would find a way to rip his team open to make space. And now that you mentioned it, I can see Sather trying to clear up space for Vinny too.

That's a slightly scary hypothesis though..Vinny going to the Rangers. Vinny centering Gaborik? Yeesh... Of course, the Rangers would then have 17.5 million of cap space dedicated to 2 players.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 20, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I like BMo, I just don't believe he's a top-6 forward at this stage in his career - and certainly not a #2 center, especially considering the competition.

@richmondphil - pretty good insight, Vinny centering Gaborik would be scary indeed, and the Rangers definitely need more offense. Prospal and Vinny played very well together in TB. That Gabby will hit 40+ goals playing on an offense-starved team like that is pretty impressive.

MTL would love to have Vinny, and must be hating that exorbitant Gomez contract right about now.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

The Vinny to Montreal happens every spring, so to speak.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers also seem to have a tendency to pick up albatross contracts, as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

But since the Semin hat trick though? Not killing Semin, he's a great player - but he needs to play with the right people, just look at his production of late.

For whatever reason, he and Flash have magic together - and you don't fvck with chemistry. Well, maybe you do, but you shouldn't.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 20, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo

Semin's been good with Laich, as well.

If anything, the people playing on a line with Semin resemble a Temp Agency. No consistency whatsoever.

Semin's linemates last year: Nylander, Laich, Flash, Ovi, Backstrom, Fedorov, Aucoin. (Okay, it may not be an exhaustive list but it's people I remember on his line last year)

This year's linemates: All of the above, except Nylander, Fedorov, and Aucoin, BMo, Belanger.


Semin's linemates in general: 1) Place the names of all the Caps' Top 6 left wingers and centers into a hat. 2) Choose two names. Voila, this is Semin's line tonight!


Luckily, Sasha's a flexible sort and can score with all kinds of different people.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 20, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

... to whom it may concern ...

Carolina 1 : 0 ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | March 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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