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Bourque Lifts Caps in Boston

A few weeks after saying that he would do just about anything to earn a full-time job in Washington, Chris Bourque is letting his play do the talking.

Bourque continued his impressive training camp in today's Caps' 4-3 preseason victory at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, beating Tim Thomas on the power play with 2:15 left to play. He also had an assist.

On Thursday, the small but feisty left winger had a goal and assist in the Caps' 5-2 win over Carolina, a performance that helped him earn the game's first star. Bourque also reported to camp in the best shape he's been in since the Caps drafted him in 2004.

Still, I think it's going to be tough for Bourque to force his way into the lineup out of camp. But he's certainly not making the decision to send him to Hershey any easier for General Manager George McPhee.

Also, make sure to check out my story on Jeff Schultz in tomorrow's paper. He's bulked up and is looking to add a physical element to his game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 27, 2008; 7:09 PM ET
 
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Next: Capitals Taking It Easy With Varlamov

Comments

uh, first?

Posted by: oo7 | September 27, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, where the hell is everyone? I'm the only loser with nothing to do on saturday night? pathetic.

Posted by: oo7 | September 27, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope Bourque makes the team, but i doubt it like Tarik says... We are defintley jacked/loaded when it comes to Offense...

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Clark
Semin/Nylander/Laich
Flash/Federov/Kozlov
Brashere/Steckle/Bradley

Gordon, Bourque, Laing, and Fehr are basically SOL! it sucks but its good that we are this deep in the long run...

GO CAPS!

Posted by: ZackAttack | September 27, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I choose not to run around like a chicken with my head cut off tonight. Too wet here and I spent the day at RenFest.

As for Bourque - whoever said he was a non-factor until the third period ... well, I dunno, I'd consider an assist and the game-winning goal to be a factor. Call me crazy. ^^

I agree he'll have a tough time cracking the lineup, though, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that someone gets hurt and he's the first guy they call up.

Posted by: this space for rent | September 27, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

If Schultz's is going to bring a physical element then Michael Nylander is our new Enforcer..

He still plays like a mouse. He got ran off the puck 4 times tonight and got the stick knocked out of his hand once at center ice.. More Physical my butt...

And all the while guys like Carlson, ERskine, and so on stay in and take the hit..

This team's hard on for Butter Schultz is amazing

Posted by: ButterSchultz | September 27, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

awesome that chris bourque gets a game winner in hometown boston, i like this kid and hope he gets substantial time as a cap.

about schultz, i have to agree with butterschultz on this one. for a while ive wondered why he gets a free ride. he doesnt play with much intensity, his positioning is lacking, hes slow, hes awful with the puck but he kinda flew in under the radar somehow and is assumed to be top 4, even with our deep roster. had to get my schultz rant in its been bottled up for a while

Posted by: mike d | September 27, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@mike d you feel better now that that's off yer chest?

Posted by: TheCapitalist | September 27, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Only thing is, it takes multiple injuries for a hershey callup of Bourque.

You've got Gordon, Fehr, Flash all in ahead of him. Potentially Aucoin as well just based on experience.

Posted by: Stormblue | September 27, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@oo7

ready for the draft tomorrow nite?

Posted by: fullright | September 27, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Tenth!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm home on Saturday night..

Wish I could find some highlights of the game this afternoon..

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | September 27, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

yeah i feel better now i hope he has a good year

Posted by: mike d | September 27, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

how'd Feds do tonight? Nyls is looking to be our #2 C so far.. can Feds break in?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm more curious as to how Alzner looked. D: Anyone?

Posted by: Akira | September 28, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

@Fullright
if by ready, you mean excited, then yes. if you mean confident, then no.

Posted by: oo7 | September 28, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't Theodore finish the game? Just to switch? Or was it something else? Tarik? Anyone?

Posted by: oo7 | September 28, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

007 no goalie had played an entire game in the preseason.

also I think we should kick flash off and let borque try some games out. flash hasnt been able to find the net last yr, and when he did it were fluke goals. give chris a shot

Posted by: GoOVcaps | September 28, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Alzner looked pretty good.
He got on the wrong side of Blake Wheeler and was out-muscled in front of the net for the bruins' 2nd goal. Otherwise he looked solid, calm with the puck and poised in his own zone. Karl had Brooksie all alone coming out of the box but didn't put enough on the pass (and got called out by the bruins' announcers as a result).

I figured Alzner was a sure bet to crack the Caps line-up right off the bat this year. But now i'm starting to think, having only played in juniors, that Karl needs some time playing against men in the AHL.
Maybe only for the first month or two of the season.
Injuries will happen and Alzner should be the first defensive call-up.

Posted by: galu | September 28, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

"Solid, calm with the puck and poised in his own end" sounds like high praise for only his second preseason game. Greene, Morrison, Poti, Schultz are locks. Galu, sounds like you think that Jurcina, Erskine and Lepisto are all better than Alzner?

Posted by: WA Capital fan | September 28, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Bourque playing well does nothing but good things for the team. Flash is feeling the pressure of someone who wants to make the team really bad, and he'll pick his game up. If he doesn't, Bourque looks like he's getting closer to, if not already at NHL level. Depth is a luxury we can finally afford.

D still looks weak in places IMO. Alzner is going to take a few weeks into the season to realize he can actually play at this level. Schultz needs to step up in the meantime.

Stoked for the season opener. October 10 can't get here fast enough!

Posted by: Raber | September 28, 2008 5:31 AM | Report abuse

TSN's 30 Teams in 30 Days features the Caps today:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=250905

Posted by: Joe B | September 28, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Stop the Schultz bashing! Last years NHL coach of the year thinks Schultz can play so give it a rest.

Alzner makes the team because he has good hockey sense and sneaky wheels too. Needs to work on his front of the net positioning but I have a feeling he'll learn fast.

Watching Bruins telecasts is excruciating. If I had to listen to Jack Edwards for 82 games I'd shoot myself.

Posted by: Harry | September 28, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

If all of you recall the beginning of last year... We looked like crap, big piles of waste on the ice, fecal matter on skates... You get the point...

This was our defense...

Green - No one had any clue what to expect from him.

Morrisonn - Again not much expected here.

Poti - Veteran was supposed to be our anchor our blueline.

Pothier - our best all around defensemen.

Schultz - Young and thin, who knows?

Jurcina - Geez...

Erskine - Seriously?

My point is that this defense (minus Pothier), didn't play horribly even with Kolzig in net for most of the season. They managed to remain a + unit despite Kolzig and Hanlon (and Semin). Most of the issues late in the season can be attributed to injuries and obviously the enormity of stage.

Everyone is one year older, one year under their belt with BB. Poti's shoulder is healthy, Schultz has gained some weight. Lets also not put unfair expectations on Schultz, he will never be a top 2 guy, never, can he be a 2 line guy? Yes. Is he there now? No. Is he still young and learning? Yes. Give him a break. Erskine has no excuse, he has zero upside, he is who he is. Juice is and always will be a healthy scratch/3rd line guy.

All of our guys have flaws, and I have news for you, so does every team with the exception of Red Wings I guess.

I'm not worried about our defense, we have the reigning Jack Adams award winning coach calling the shots from the beginning and have a much better goaltending situation.

If BB thinks Alzner is ready for the bigtime, I'm ok with it.

It looks like his Flash call might be right and thus proven 99% of the people in here wrong.

Posted by: JSchon | September 28, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Jshon--
Given our depth at forward and the weaknesses you point out at defender......do you think we should trade for a defender?

Posted by: C-Way | September 28, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@ goOVcaps

I have not been much of a flash fan but hard not to give him a chance when he has scored 3 goals in the 2 games he has played in.

Maybe this is his year to break out and BB will prove the couch coaches wrong.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | September 28, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The only reason to trade for a defender at this point is injury or someone really forgets how to play. We have good pieces now and plenty in the of the guys a year away. Carlson looks to be a steal.

I've been touting M.Komisarek for awhile now. He would be the type of guy to trade for and he I believe will be available, but again, I wouldn't change a thing unless there were an injury.

Posted by: JSchon | September 28, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

For "space for rent"
"As for Bourque - whoever said he was a non-factor until the third period ... well, I dunno, I'd consider an assist and the game-winning goal to be a factor. Call me crazy. ^^ "

He played 12 minutes and was -1... and the winning goal came in the 3rd period. I stand by my statement. It's a great story and he's certainly giving it all he's got but there are just too many guys in front of him. If it was just about heart and a being a great story Laing would be on the 1st line... but his name isn't even in the discussion this camp. It's coming down to players who spent most of last year here -- Fehr, Gordo and Steckel. That being said, there are certainly worse problems to have.

Posted by: Dave in Alexandria | September 28, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

JSchon

I disagree with your assessment of our D. We have 3 good D-men: Green, Poti and Mo. Pothier if he was healthy would be there too.

The D did not look good all last year. Schultz took up space as did Juice. They were consistently used as pylons and screens. Schultz couldn't hit anyone. He would only push off. Juice - well, he was juice. And Erskine liked looking at the inside of the penalty box door. Of those 3, Eminger was the best of them, and he didn't play much.

I'm hoping that Alzner is ready to go now. Maybe Lepisto is better than the few times we saw him last season. Either of these two are better than the Erskine, Juice and Schultz trio.

I really hope that I never see Pothier again on ice in a game - for his sake and that of his family's. He's one hit away from permanent brain damage or worse, and Bertuzzi or some Philly player will do it just for fun.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Is varlamov ok? He left practice early

Posted by: O-V-P | September 28, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Jschon, regarding our D. They might not be the most prolific blueliners, but they didn't play bad last year. They held their own far better than expected. I remember Sundin calling them a joke, behind the scenes, at the beginning of the season. But even with holie Olie laying the blame on them all the time, they still anchored a huge comeback and held opposing teams to less than 25 shots on many occasions. It seems a lot of people around here forget the target age for developed Dmen is 26/27. We're way ahead of the curve. Before fates are sealed, the guys need to play 10 games. Juice and Big John might surprise us. They have a solid Offense in front now, and that's very relaxing, wouldn't you say? They won't be getting spun around all the time now.

Posted by: oo7 | September 28, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Schultz being physical..... hahahahaha

Posted by: Villainaire | September 28, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Schultz being physical..... hahahahaha

Posted by: Villainaire | September 28, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Anybody concerned that Jose gave up 2 goals on 15 shots in 40 mins of work?

Has me a tad concerned.

Posted by: Jotay13 | September 28, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I can see Bourque slotting in on the LW of the 4th line in games in which we don't need Brashear to kick someone's ass. Although, yes, there are also others in front of him, however no one goes through the season without any injuries. It's great that we have such depth at forward and I'm sure Chris will get his chance.

I watched the game on NESN and his Hall of Fame papa was very proud of his performance. His whole extended family was in attendance and he gets the game winner. Very nice.

Posted by: ranndino | September 29, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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