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Bourque Recalled From Hershey

Chris Bourque has been recalled from the Bears and is expected to make his NHL debut tonight in Atlanta, where the Caps are facing a critical game against the Thrashers. They've lost three straight, nine of the past 11 and have scored only two goals over the past 193 minutes.

So why recall a 21-year-old player with no NHL experience for such a big game? I guess it's gotten to that point for the Caps.

Bourque, who is generously listed at 5 foot 9, 173 pounds and is the son of NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, has three goals and five points in eight games for the Bears. He was among the last players cut in training camp, so there was always the expectation that he would get a lookat some point this season.

The Caps did not announce a corresponding move that would make room for Bourque. But I'm guessing that it's going to be one of the injured players, like Semin or Clark, going on IR.

Note: Alex Ovechkin and Olie Kolzig will be the Caps' representatives on the all-star ballot. But I'm willing to bet that both of them would trade an all-star appearance for a playoff appearance at this point. Heck, maybe just a win or two.

Note:Don't forget tonight's game is not being televised anywhere because of a conflict with Versus' national game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 6, 2007; 12:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Big Lineup Changes in the ATL

Comments

Who sits tonight?

Is Brashear suspended due to the game misconduct?

Posted by: PFrampton | November 6, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

which line is he gonna be at ?

any line formations for tonight ?

Posted by: Helge | November 6, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Given GMGM's and Hanlon's prior record, Bourque will be on the first line getting more PP minutes that Ovechkin himself.

Posted by: Finn | November 6, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, this team is in trouble and if it were the Redskins or Wizards, the sports writers & reporters would be calling for the coach's head. I don't understand why there isn't more blame being placed on GMGM and Hanlon right now by the media. Perhaps there is more going on then meets the eye but if this was any other team the coach would be gone. I actually like Hanlon and supposedly the players really like him. However, with the team's uninspired play it certainly doesn't look like they want to keep their coach.


Posted by: CAPSFAN=Ulcers | November 6, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

relax people. golly, they've only lost 9 out of the last 11, have one of the best players in the world, and have Donald Braeshear on the power play!

I mean, they did send Motzco back down. what more do we want?

Posted by: Lee | November 6, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I think the sportswriters are letting hugs off the hook cause he is such a nice guy.

I don't remember anyone asking Hanlon any tough questions.

Posted by: TJ | November 6, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon will mismanage Bourque's NHL debut. If it's clear Chris is doing well on a particular line, then Hanlon will break up said line.

That, or he'll keep Bourque on the bench because he's not 6' or taller.

Posted by: Green Trees | November 6, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Screw Versus.

Oh well ... I'll be in the nosebleeds at Phillips Arena cheering loudly for our Capitals. Remember, Ovechkin owns ATL.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | November 6, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

What does Versus showing the Islanders game have to do with the Caps game not being shown?

Posted by: Dan | November 6, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone should have a fireside chat with OV and ask him to lower the trajectory of his shots. He almost took out Petti last knight! Glad it wasn't an eye or something serious, but geez, if the puck is 6 ft off the ground, the blasts have no chance of success. One last observation; the offense needs to work more in front of the net to score. 75 ft shots from the point may get through now and then, but there's alot more time for the goalie to react.

Also; a surprise move on Bourque. I'd have thought Wilson was a more likely call up, but Chris is agile and tenacious. It's anybody's guess who the "favorite" is for tonight's game with Atlanta. Tied for last place isn't exactly where everyone had expected the Caps to be this early in the season.

Posted by: dogdaze | November 6, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the sportswriters are letting hugs off the hook cause he is such a nice guy.

I don't remember anyone asking Hanlon any tough questions.

Posted by: TJ | November 6, 2007 12:59 PM


Tarik: ask him a tough question!

Keep up the good work...

Posted by: Lee | November 6, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

A mutiny should be in order for Caps against coach & management.....

Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 6, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the replay of the Pettinger incident last night it looked like he took more of the defenders shoulder to the face then the puck. I'm sure the puck hit him, but I think the impact of the shoulder contact was a little more direct. Then again, I'm 100% wrong because I'm not Pettinger and I couldn't tell you what really hurt him the most if my life depended on it.

Onto other matters, I agree with the majority consensus that this team is in SERIOUS trouble. I realize that the players like Hanlon as their coach, but eventually they are going to have to ask themselves if they like Hanlon the coach and getting their butts handed to them or do they like the idea of a new coach and winning some games. Don't get me wrong, Hanlon has managed to pull some tricks out of his bag over the past couple of seasons with the mediocre rosters he's had. But this year there should be no excuse. We're a deep team that can play at a higher rate then they have shown. I think the biggest problem the Caps are facing is the reluctancy to play at high speed. If you noticed last nights game...and every other game this season, Carolina was flat flying around the ice. Washington on the other hand was trying to be too CUTE again with the puck while creating opportunities.

Lastly, it's painfully obvious that Ted Leonsis lied straight to everyone's face when he said the rebuild was over. If this is his version of the rebuild being over, I can only imagine what we have in store for us in the years to come.

It's probably a good thing tonight's game is not being broadcast on television. I don't think I can handle another night of sitting in front of the tv, having my blood pressure skyrocket and keeping the remote control in the "cocked" position ready to be launched into my television.

Posted by: Mitch | November 6, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

While I'm sure that Tarik asks tough questions, there's a very fine line out there. Sports isn't like politics. If they don't like the coverage, they can clam up, restrict access, etc. Now if some irreverent bigwig like Wilbon should happen to show up and ask some hard questions, he might get better answers -- only because Wilbon is on national TV. But even there... I've heard him say that "they won't talk to me."

We do the best we can do. Tarik has an ear in the room. He gives us good service and opinions. And he lets us read between the lines.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and who WANTS to watch this game? Two loser teams fighting for the cellar? I'm sure Versus is proud to own this one!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

You've got to remember that I'm a beat writer. I don't write opinion or call for firings. That's the job of a columnist. And columnists in this town don't care about hockey.

Posted by: Tarik | November 6, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Mitch-I think saying Ted "lied" is a little harsh and the wrong word. Now I agree he wants people in the seats and saying that a club is "rebuilding" is a no-no....but didn't we all feel the same as he did a few weeks back?
If Hanlon goes, will you believe Ted then?

Posted by: dave | November 6, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Figures... Bourque's first game and I can't even watch it. Bleh.

Posted by: Larry | November 6, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

That's it in a nutshell, isn't it? How pathetic.

Posted by: Wanda | November 6, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If the media isn't calling for Hanlon's head I think part of it is that they follow the team day in and day out, watch all the games, and know that the Caps deserve much better than 5-9 for how they've played and that the injuries have had a huge impact.

Posted by: DMG | November 6, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"critical game" Tarik? I'm sorry but the "critical games" that save a season happened a long time ago. Wev'e already gotten pass those games and we spectacularly failed. Right now, we are in 2008 NHL draft mode, saving their jobs mode, looking forward to next year's Alzner hype mode.

Posted by: caveman | November 6, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

But Tarik, you can ask a tough question! ;)

At least you care....

Posted by: Lee | November 6, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Does it come down to coaching? I live in Montreal and I can't believe that the Canadiens are 8-3-3 with 19 points, and 4th in the conference. I really don't think they are more talented than my beloved Caps. But when I look behind their bench and see Carbonneau, Jarvis, & Muller with Bob Gainey upstairs..... its obvious that proven winners and leaders have much to do with a successfull team. We lack that Washington.

Posted by: tapmtl | November 6, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Dave- it could be harsh and wrong, but it could be right and accurate as well....depending on each individuals opinion.

I said he lied simply because a team NOT rebuilding is organized, up tempo, in contention for almost every game.

Now, we can honestly say that this team is not clearly organized and that reflects directly in Hanlon's line combo's, PP units and the teams inability to stay out of the penalty box. Their tempo has been good in the first 10-15 minutes of every game. After that they shut down. As for being in contention our first two games against Atlanta and Carolina were the only ones we dominated and were in serious contention to win. The win over Toronto doesn't count because the Leafs rolled over and played dead. Outside of those first two games, the Caps have not been in contention to win the majority of the games they've played.

Posted by: Mitch | November 6, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Tarik ~ my earlier post should have been directed @ you.

Posted by: Wanda | November 6, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I have it!

Tarik, ask why the Red uni's look so ugly on TV!

Posted by: Lee | November 6, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Will everyone please cheer up? How about a little support for our guys, huh? Would you want to be in their place?

Posted by: thepuckstopshere | November 6, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Cause they are ugly in person too!!

Posted by: Mitch | November 6, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Look, nobody wants to be 5-9 after 14 games. Obviously we were hoping to be over .500 at this point of the season. But to say that "we are in 2008 NHL draft mode" is absurd. The Caps are FIVE, yes count them...5 points...out of FIFTH place in the East!

Now, I'm not saying everything is fantastic and that nothing needs to change...obviously calling up Bourque shows that GMGM realizes SOMETHING needs to change, and he also said there aren't really any trades out there to be made. I'm sure he realizes that Bourque isn't likely going to reverse things all by himself.

But ultimately, there are over 60 games to be played.

The Caps should practice their shooting for 30 minutes every day, picking the corners of the net and working on rebounds.

Posted by: Jeff | November 6, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Mitch - isn't it possible Leonsis thought/thinks the rebuild was/is over but his projections were premature?

What I thought he meant was that the organization's emphasis had shifted from stockpiling and developing talent to winning now and wasn't necessarily a comment on how competitive the team was.

I think you make good points about the lines and special teams, but I have to disagree with your assessment. I think the Capitals have been in contention, to say the least, in most of the their games. Haven't they lost something like 6 by two goals or less and 4 by one goal?

Posted by: DMG | November 6, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik...can you let Dave Fay know that since he's a beat reporter he shouldn't write opinion or call for firings or the like in his stories.

Oh wait.

Oops.

Posted by: Yeah | November 6, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

MIX IT UP BABY!!!
Ovechkin/Nylander/Kozlov
Pettinger/Backstrom/Bourque
Laich/Gordon/Steckle
Brashere/Sutherby/Flash

Posted by: Zack Attack | November 6, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the fact that we all come to this blog everyday and post our concerns about the team shows that deep down inside we love this team dearly and want nothing more then to see them win on a nightly basis. Like all fans though, we also express our thoughts and opinions about how the team is/isn't being run and what we as outsiders think the best moves are to get everything on the right track. Plain and simple, we're all frustrated. The players play the game and lose and we as fans pay the money to sit in stands and watch them lose. That to me equates to a lot of frustration on both sides.

Posted by: Mitch | November 6, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@ Zack Attack, I like' em except for Brashear. I've had just about enough of seeing him on the ice, even if its for 5 minutes a game.

Replace him with Bradley, who at least has shown some discipline and speed.

Posted by: Roddy | November 6, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with writing an opinion yourself, Tarik?

Posted by: Finn | November 6, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik. would love to watch Borque's first game, apparently his dad taught him how to work the point on a PP....

Also I'm guessing (ex) Coach Hartley isn't doing anything for the next 6 months. Maybe Ted should give him a call.

Posted by: pch49 | November 6, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Training Camp??? How do most NHL teams do it? 2 weeks, with 5 games and single session practices and a few days off in the middle. Call me crazy, but for professionals, doesn't at most 10 days of preseason practice seem insufficient at best? Is that a coaching, team, or league thing? Could lack of practice in preseason have something to do with the fact we can't seem to figure out which lines are best and were still changing them daily in February last year?

Also, I know Ovechkin is a star and all, but does the fact that he is excused from practice regularly have anything to do with his difficulty meshing with other players. I know he plays at a different pace, but do stars from other teams regularly miss all or part of practice? I find it hard to see that this is not an organizational/coaching problem.

Posted by: 121K | November 6, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik

I hear you. Keep on plugging away. You're greatly admired and appreciated here.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash actually played well last night...I also think Jurcina looks more and more like a player that was picked up for nothing.

And it was funny last night that Hanlon played OV with the Swedes, but wouldn't seperate nylander from backstrom. Is there something going on there that the they can't be seperated from each other?

Last thing, i can't wait for the report tomorrow that after 4 minutes of ice time tonight, Bourque was sent back to the AHL. So that way, no one will get to see him, and the Caps will just say "oh, he wasn't big enough".

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Brashear needs to be dressed for most games, especially tonight. That said, he should not be on the ice more than a couple minutes, and that's really only if the game is getting out of hand (on the score board, or with dirty play).

He should NOT be on the PP. Worse case you double shift OV in his place if you want to roll 4 lines, tho we all know that is unlikely to happen. At this point he is mostly a deterant, so he needs to get a sweater each game, and to sit on the end of the bench closest to the opponent and just stare at them. That's sufficient. :-)

Posted by: Jeff | November 6, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

the fact that this game is not on TV is rediculous...there should be no reason for an NHL game to not be televised. if they really want people to get into the sport how could you not give each and every team as much exposure as possible

Posted by: Mike P | November 6, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't like to say I told you so. But, at the end of last season, I said if the Caps get off to a slow start, consider looking for another coach. I questioned Hanlon at the end of last year. They have been regressing ever since his first year. BRUCE B. WILL REPLACE HANLON, BOOK IT.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | November 6, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

On Brashear....he is miserable, and if you play Morrison, Jurcina, Erskine, Sutherby and Bradley, do we need Brashear as well?

I find it hard to believe that OV needs someone to protect him.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@ Jeff, I don't think the other teams are much intimidated by seeing Brashear sitting at the end of the bench.

The Caps need top roll out 4 regular lines. It's the best way to maintain a high tempo level.

Posted by: Roddy | November 6, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Dan | November 6, 2007 01:09 PM
"What does Versus showing the Islanders game have to do with the Caps game not being shown?"

Dan, you can thank the NHL for giving Versus an "EXCLUSIVE" night. Nothing like forcing you to watch a game do don't want to see. I'll be watching a Canadian game on Centre Ice in protest.


Posted by: Yeah | November 6, 2007 01:45 PM
"Hey Tarik...can you let Dave..."

To Yeah, absolutely classless you vile punk.


Posted by: ~ | November 6, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Borque. hopefully he'll do something to warrant him staying.

Note:Don't forget tonight's game is not being televised anywhere because of a conflict with Versus' national game.

By Tarik El-Bashir | November 6, 2007; 12:13 PM ET
---
Damn Vs.

then again, thanks vs for your stupid rules so i don't have to deal with the caps breaking my heart.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | November 6, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Saying the rebuild is over and having a lousy team aren't mutually exclusive. To me, saying that means that results matter now. So Hanlon and gmgm aren't going to save their jobs by saying that team is still learning to play.

A note to NHL schedule makers, if you're going to sell exclusive braodcast rights, you need to schedule only one game that night. Can you imagine the NFL doing this? It's understandable in baseball where you want a backup game in case of rain, but hockey is played indoors.

Posted by: tallbear | November 6, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I really think we are in trouble too. I have been worried since the first losing streak. I think that we need a guy like Pat Burns to light a fire under this team. I just don't see any emotion.

Posted by: CAPSFAN | November 6, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't really serious that Brashear sitting at the end of the bench would make anyone think twice about taking a cheap shot. But he is getting paid a million bucks this season because he WILL drop the gloves, and does it well. He doesn't do any good in the press box...so he might as well be on the bench ready to do what he is getting paid to do.

This team doesn't drop the gloves...and when they do it's not the guys who should be. Laich? Morrisson? Pettinger? Bradley can fight -- fine. But honestly, I'd rather have OV double shift and have Brash on the bench than dress Bradley and roll 4 lines. Ultimately, this team isn't set up to roll 4 lines for an entire game.

Tonight, however, I think if Flash is slated for the 4th line, he shouldn't even dress (tho I agree he had a decent game last night, all things being equal). Have a 4th line of Brash, Sutherby, and Bradley. After the way the game went last night, this team had better come out ready to play, and be willing to throw the body around and play a physical game. Too many games, as of late, show the Caps being out-hit. To me, that's a lack of effort.

Posted by: Jeff | November 6, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

On Brashear.

He was brought in for AO, but now is needed for Semin and Backstrom. Since noone else on the caps will stand up to them being bullied around, he's needed. Of course, having said that, Hanlon needs the guts to use him like that.

As for him being on PP. His job is NOT to be an AO. Good grief! He doesn't hold a candle to AO. His job is to stand in front of the goalie and block his vision and get deflections and rebounds. I just wish he had better hand-eye.

Also, with AO taking hard HIGH shots, he has a hard head, so it shouldn't hurt as much. just kidding around, folks.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I still believe in this team. I think they, and Hanlon, will get it turned around. Just wanted to get that out there.

Posted by: Scai | November 6, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Injuries weren't supposed to decimate the team THIS early, but they did.
The Caps weren't supposed to have Semin, Clark and Poti out for extended periods ALL AT THE SAME TIME, but it happened.
Scoring wasn't supposed to be an issue, but it is.
The Caps have only allowed 3 more goals than Carolina, but have scored TWENTY FIVE fewer than the Canes. WTF you say, how does that happen?
Sure, blame Hanlon - his PP is in disarray and they take way too many penalties - but how is that Hanlon's fault? These are skilled guys, remember?
I think the ship will turn at some point. No team can have their fortune go this badly forever.

Posted by: Shaggy | November 6, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

A line of Brash - Sutherby - Bradley is just not an effective line combo.

Great, we got some guys that will mix it up. But the caps can't score. Their problem isn't playing hard, it's putting the puck in the net. If you put that line out there, you are basically saying that for 8-10 minutes every game, we aren't even going to ATTEMPT to score a goal.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg S.

Brilliant ! I had a good laugh over that one. Poor Brahear is probably the only one who has enough :- to stand there with Ovie at the point.

Posted by: Roddy | November 6, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are 5-9 so they called up a player who's 5-9! makes sense to me.

Anyone know where the Ferraro brothers are - we could have them be on the same line as Bourque and call it the "mini-me line"

I'm willing to be $$$ that Bourque will somehow get a shift with Ovechkin tonight.

Posted by: I got it - | November 6, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Brash plays a very important role. While Erskine and Sudsy fight - they are not feared. Brash is a preventative deterrant.

Now, if the Caps manage to win some games, socre some points and start moving into a playoff team (one can dream cant they), we'll start frustrating other teams and thats when other teams will try to take liberties with OV, Semin and Backstrom.

Greg S. - Good point about Semin and Backstrom. - I agree Brash is needeed for them too.

Posted by: cs | November 6, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Enforcers are useless.

Semin is a big boy (and not even in the lineup), and as was mentioned, Bradley, Erskine, Mo, Jurcina and Suts can all stick up for Mr. Backstrom.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Rob, the 4th line doesn't get 8-10 minutes on this team. They are probably closer to 5 minutes of even strength ice time, IF that. And that 4th line combo I listed of Brash/Sutherby/Bradley wouldn't get any more than that.

I don't see how that line, playing 5 minutes, is any different than having Flash in Bradley's place playing the same 5 minutes. The 4th line, on THIS team, isn't going to consistently score. That's not their role. But these 3 guys, in theory, can hit, play decent D, and dig the puck out of the corners and get the occassional offensive chance (as shown in the Toronto game). Against a team like the Thrashers, I'd rather have these 3 guys ready to go on the ice if things get dirty than have Flash wasting away on the bench.

If Laich ends up the odd man out of the top 9, then yes, he should be on the 4th line because he contributes elsewhere. But for tonight, give me 5 minutes of Bradley rather than 5 minutes of Flash. 'tis all.

Posted by: Jeff | November 6, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

i posted this on the caps board but figured i might add this here too:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/1040/gamelog

Pay attention to his game log. Then look at his points and then look at the Capitals record.

Kozlov needs to seriously start producing NOW. He has at least 1 point in ALL of our wins. And he has only 1 TOTAL points in ALL the other losses COMBINED. That is NOT GOOD. This is a very important point with Kozlov. He is STIFLING our OFFENSE!!! He is ATROCIOUS on the PP! He is ruining this team like an undetected cancer!

Posted by: cp | November 6, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

To "Yeah":
I know you don't care what anyone thinks or you wouldn't have written your comments in the first place, but that was way out of bounds you A$#. Feel free to NEVER offer anymore comments if that's your contribution.

Posted by: Shipdriver | November 6, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Chris!
Now at least Leonsis can blog about having
a HALL OF FAME NAME in the line-up!

Maybe the re-build IS over.....LOL!

Posted by: caphcky | November 6, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think Brashear got hosed last night? Two weeks ago that might not even have been called a penalty.

Posted by: zamboni | November 6, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Flash looked better than anyone else last night. I'd rather have him playing than all those borderline ECHLers the caps have.

We have had those grinding/scrapping lines throughout the lineup this season (and last season), and it just doesn't work. Show me when the fourth line (or 3rd line) has made an impact this year. And don't say Toronto, because the leafs were terrible that game.

We have had a "tough" lineup for years now, and it's time to get a speedy team full of danglers and snipers (Bouchard, Perrault, Bourque, Flash and hopefully Fehr someday) added to Semin, OV, Backstrom, Clark, Pettinger and Nylander. I'm not gonna go so far as to call Bradley, Sutherby, Laich, Brash, Erskine and Jurcina no-talent hacks, but I will say I'll never confuse any of them for double-digit goal scorers.

The teams that win score goals.

Posted by: Rob | November 6, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Even professionals need leadership, hence the calls for the firing of coach Hanlon. A ship can't right itself without a captain to apply and direct the talents of his/her professionals effectively. Give professionals all the training and tools they need, they'll still run a ship aground without leadership.

Cite stats all you want, but the team appears to be lacking in the "intangibles" right now, those immeasurable qualities that bring out the best in people. Leadership, passion, wisdom, hockey sense, timing, "playmaker," genius, etc.

Posted by: DireTroll | November 6, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

just looking at the numbers(5 points out of fifth in the east)it doesnt seem that bad at all. but when you couple that with the complete lack of optomism that i and im assuming many others are feeling right now, the playoffs seem much, much further away

Posted by: shameful | November 6, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The rebuild is over. It just didn't get finished. I'm sure they can make the playoffs just the way they are.

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | November 6, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S: thanks for the post, that is a very interesting read. It also raises a question I've had about Ovie at the point on the PP. Unless he's using a different twig when he's on the PP, it has to be just about impossible for him to consistently keep his shot down from out there.

Posted by: Fred | November 6, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

5-10

Posted by: love them caps | November 6, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fire Hanlon! If the Caps lose to the Trash, put the loser coach in the trash! If they win, lucky him. But the time has come for Hanlon to go. Don't let the door hit you on the a$$ on the way out!

Posted by: Jim | November 6, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@Rob

I know Semin's a "big boy". But he was fairly well pushed around last week, held, beaten and battered. No one on the Caps stood up for him. When no one does, that makes it open season on those players. That's what the tough guys are for. If it's not Brashear, it has to be someone.

@Fred

Yup! I noticed that, too. And Kolzig's comment on the D-men with their feet still, and a few dozen other points. Oh, like Hanlon's our system is to send the pucks into the players in front? Well, he didn't exactly say that, but he sure implied it!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 6, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, did the Official Message Board leak over here somehow? Yesh.

Greg, thanks for the article. For the peopel biting at Hanlon's heels, go read that. It's very obvious that he is not happy with certain things on the team right now and that they need to make changes. He's not just sitting back and saying "*bleep* happens".

I also agree that Brash got toally hosed last night. That was barely even boarding. The guy was standing up and he went straight into the glass, no head down or anything. I can maybe understanding 2 minutes, but certainly not 5 plus getting tossed. Brash looked like he wanted to rip the Ref's head off at the end of all of that. Do thye have some kind of history?

Posted by: EricS | November 6, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

sweet
pens win 5-0
caps lose 5-0

crosby has 22 points and 9 goals
ovechkin has 9 goals...

malkin has more points than ovechkin...

life is good!

Posted by: go pens go | November 6, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a Penguins fan that can do math. Give yourself a gold star and go find your own blog.

BTW, I agree about the call on Brashear. I saw worse hits with no calls at an ECHL game last weekend. Sad thing is at the ECHL game I was at, their power play mirrored the Caps. Everyone standing around waiting for the perfect setup/shot.

Posted by: Erika | November 6, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 6, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

alexovetjkin...Nylander was centering OV for a while last night with Backstrom playing the wing...

Posted by: Jeff | November 6, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Dire Troll, sometimes luck factors in as well. Right now Mr. Murphy is laughing his butt off at us.

Posted by: Steve | November 6, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@ I Got it - I think the Ferraro brothers are playing in the ECHL for Las Vegas.

Posted by: Scott | November 6, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I thought the call on Brashear was harsh, but I also saw the ref look under the helmet of the player he boarded before making his final call. The rules note that the ref has considerable discretion in boarding calls. Assuming the ref saw blood and for that reason assessed the major, under Rule 42, the game misconduct is automatic. It may be that this is simply an area where the refs have been instructed to tighten up considerably in order to try to control head shots, and if so, then Brash's penalty and others like it are just the price that's going to be paid while they see if this approach helps clean it up.

I was pleased that the Caps brought Brash in after watching Ovie get mugged his entire rookie season. I'm still glad he's there, and I bet his teammates are, too. The skill players get more time and space if there is a heavyweight to stand up when the bell rings.

Posted by: Fred | November 6, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Towards the end of last year I said that Hanlon had lost the team. They weren't responding to him. I thnk that is the case now.

There are coaches who are great with youngsters, but can't reach more seasoned players and especially those who slip into some variety of self importance. To me, this describes Hanlon.

And even if by some miracle, they make the playoffs with Hanlon, they will never advance very far: He will get that 'deer in the headlights" look when the going gets tough.

Posted by: Clarendon | November 6, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Dire Troll,
Very well put.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 6, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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