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Monday injury update

With at least seven players injured or suffering from bumps and bruises that we know about, here's your full injury rundown after this morning's practice at KCI. One thing's for certain though: The Capitals refuse to use this growing list of injuries as an excuse.

"I hate teams that make excuses about it," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's opportunities for guys that play five minutes to play 15 minutes, for guys that play 15 minutes to play 22 minutes. Quite frankly they all go home and [complain] that they don't play enough and now is the chance to show us what they've got. I can only believe when I played and I was in similar situations, you want guys to stay out so you can play. Show them what you've got. There's no excuses."

--Boudreau said he expects Mike Green (shoulder) to be ready for a full game Wednesday against Carolina. Green played just 5:39, all on the power play, against Atlanta on Saturday and winced when attempting his first slap shot since suffering the injury against the Islanders on Oct. 13. Green said he feels close to being back but that no decision had been made about his status against the Hurricanes.

"Probably, yeah. It's an interesting situation here right now [with all the injuries]," Green said when asked if he wouldn't have played against the Thrashers if the rest of the defensemen were healthy. "I was asked to play on the power play and healthy enough to shoot and pass the puck but not to play a full game. I was okay with that."

--Semyon Varlamov (groin) will not join the Capitals on this week's road trip that begins in Carolina and continues on to Minnesota and Calgary. Boudreau said he will be off the ice for a couple days. Whether that leads to Braden Holtby making his NHL debut isn't for certain.

Michal Neuvirth played three games in four days to start the season and Boudreau wouldn't rule out the possibility of it happening again.

"We might want him [ to play all three games]," Boudreau said. "He did good last time, it depends on how much rest he gets and how the games go I think is important too. ...We've got tons of confidence in both Sabourin and Holtby they're playing great... We just think Neuvy, right now, is playing really well. As long as he's healthy and not fatigued and not overworked we can run with him for a little while."

--Boyd Gordon, who Boudreau said was healthy and resting last week when he did not practice for five days, took part in all of Monday's practice and skate.

"I felt good today, that's all there is to say," Gordon said. "We'll see what goes on this week. I don't know what my timetable is."

--Marcus Johansson (hip) said he's hopeful he'll be ready to go on Wednesday and that he tweaked his groin when his skate got caught in a rut at TD Garden during the second period against the Bruins last week. By the end of the game, his muscles tightened and he was sore, but the rookie center lasted the full practice and lengthy skate afterward without any pain.

--Tom Poti (lower-body injury) skated before the group but only stayed out on the ice for roughly 10 minutes once formal practice began. Boudreau said he would make the road trip but that his status is uncertain for the games. If Poti or another defenseman is unavailable look for the Capitals to recall someone from Hershey for this trip.

--John Carlson was given an extra day to rest. In recent games Carlson hasn't been able to skate at full strength or push off and has walked with a limp. "He's had the regular days off but we want to give him a little extra time to heal what's ailing him," Boudreau said.

--Matt Bradley (lower-body) participated in the complete practice but Boudreau had no definitive update on his status.

--Karl Alzner's grandfather passed away this weekend and he was excused from practice so he could fly home to Vancouver. Boudreau said Alzner will be back on Tuesday.

--Also, Washington reassigned Jay Beagle to Hershey.

By Katie Carrera  | October 25, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Matt Bradley, Mike Green, Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti  
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Next: Capitals recall defenseman Brian Fahey

Comments

Matt Bradley (lower-body) participated in the complete practice but Boudreau had no definitive update on his status.

Time for the return of Capt. Clutch!!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 25, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

FIRST to say that Matthew Perrault is our new #2 Center!

Posted by: Wemiss21 | October 25, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wemiss21 -
I would think it is now his job to lose. He clicks with Semin, that goes a long way.

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Not so sure about that.....what do you do with MaJo who played a great game in Boston and Precious Little Flush? I think as soon as MaJo is healthy MP will be sent back down.

Posted by: PhilR | October 25, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR

Maybe we see MJ on 2nd line, and MoJo on third and Flush gets the hot dog stand.

Gotta take notice of the click between MP and Semin

Shout out to Section 115 !!!!!!

Drop the Puck !!!!!

Posted by: bqts | October 25, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree that they clicked but Flush is BB's boy and he will not sit him. That trade needs to happen as there is simply no room for Flush at this point and is long as he is here BB will play him.

I also woory that MP may fizzle after about 10 games like he did last year, his size really is a big concern.

Posted by: PhilR | October 25, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Should be "as" long and "worry"......I hate Monday!

Posted by: PhilR | October 25, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't often carry over posts, but thought I would with this one:

sgm: Again, I've repeated this often, but Laich had 25 goals last year. Here's your stats:

http://espn.go.com/nhl/statistics/player/_/stat/points/sort/points/year/2010/position/forwards/count/41

He was 54th in scoring for forwards. If we count the top 90 as first wingers (3 per team times 30 teams), Laich clearly rates "First Line LW" based on scoring. His defense is also clearly adequate for #1LW. This is why he's worth, depending on how he does this year, in the $4M range.

There's no way you can really call a player with his scoring ability "3rd Line." Look through the stats. You have to go past the top 180 forwards to get to "3rd Line" and what you will find is these players have around 35 pts, not 65 pts.

Respectfully, as always, tominsocal1

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I would like to think that the production should speak for itself. I like MJ90, but like playing the goalie with the hot hand...it should be the same with the forward putting up the numbers. Not that it's a bad thing but the team has so many great players with so little spots available. I would like to see Flash moved back to wing.

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I know MP is small, but it is possible that he could be productive on the 3rd line and MaJo could take the 2nd. and then it's bye bye flash.

Posted by: capscoach | October 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

Laich is talented but his game for this team like sgm3 said is best suited for the 3rd line. He can play the 2nd line with no problem, but his all around game makes him more valuable on a 3rd line come playoff time. So thats my reasoning, not exactly the same as sgm3's. Also he is a $3M type player, would a team offer him close to $4M yeah maybe. If he stays a member of the Caps, his contract won't be over $3.25M per year.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR

If theydon't do something other than send MP back to chocolate town he will be another Chris Bourque. While I agree that Chris is a little under-sized and lacks in certain aspects of his game, we can't lose another pick this year.

Posted by: bqts | October 25, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

j3rockstar,

Hey, you don't have to convince me but the guy who thought this team has no trouble with the "trap" style of play needs to be convinced. We are talking about the guy that still thinks they were bumped from the post season last year simply because of a hot goalie. Sounds pretty stubborn to me!

Posted by: PhilR | October 25, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

bqts,

See my post addressed to j3rockstar.....

Posted by: PhilR | October 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:
The Caps had 6 forwards in the top 90 scoring in the NHL last season (ie: 1st liners)

...Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Laich, Knuble, Fleischmann. That's 2 #1 lines... or a great #1 and a solid #1... for our top 2 lines...

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

if MP can keep this up for the road trip he is your 2C. He is not a 3C, they need to be responsible defensively. Thats why having both MP and Flash in the lineup scares me a lot. If MaJo is back and healthy, I don't know what happens. Another roster move is coming though soon.

Ovi-Backs-Knubs
Laich-MP-Semin
Chimmer-Flash/MaJo-Fehr
Hendricks-Steckel-Bradley
King-Gordon

That's 15 F's. Can't keep that many when the team is completely healthy. Something got to give.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR

Agreed :)

Posted by: bqts | October 25, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

bqts and PhilR,
I guess we are all in agreement then.

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 25, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the 3 of us should be behind the bench - sorry guys but that just scares me :)

Posted by: bqts | October 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

FIRST to say that Matthew Perrault is our new #2 Center!

Posted by: Wemiss21 | October 25, 2010 2:44 PM
-------------
Hopefully you'll be the only person to say that, given that you misspelled both his first and last names. :-) In fairness, the Caps' staff had his name misspelled on the telescreen during Saturday's game as well.

Posted by: 1995hoo | October 25, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Nylander appears to have a broken neck--really terrible. Is that not worthy of news on this blog or in the newspaper?? If he goes on long term injured reserve, does that help our cap issue in anyway?

Posted by: vafan3 | October 25, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Lacih had 12 PP goals out of those 25. He also had 9 PP assists. He also had 1 SHG and 1 SHA. So Laich only had 12 even strength goals and 24 even strength assists (36 even strength points).

Where would he rate in terms of even strength goals because that's all that matters when determining line combinations(Laich could always still come out for the PP and PK).

I don't know and don't really feel like checking either, but my guess is that it is lower than where he rates in terms of points.

Laich has an inaccurate pea shooter for a shot. He is a very good overall player but his skills, IMO, are best suited for a 3rd line checking line.

If Laich received a contract worth $4M/yr he would be vastly overpaid IMO.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 25, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Katie was busy enough compiling the Caps ER list. :D

It sounds like Nylander's surgery went OK at least: http://www.13wham.com/content/sports/local/story/Nylander-Undergoes-Surgery-Out-for-Season/FrFp-D-3lE-p9P-mtB3ueQ.cspx

Apparently he was able to at least skate off the ice under his own power, so that seemed like a good sign. The sad thing is, it sounded like he was finally productive again (4G, 2A in 7 games).

Posted by: blackjack65 | October 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

vafan3: Nylander's injury was mentioned on a prior thread. Here is a link to a report:
http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2010-10-25/michael-nylanders-career-in-jeopardy

Very sad news indeed.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

At this point in their careers, MP is a much better fit for 2C, plus he has wicked chemistry with Semin. He is not a defensive liability, but MaJo is clearly better at that than him. MaJo is better suited for 3C right now.

By my count, if both continue to play well, that makes Flash and Stecks expendable.

I'd rather have Gordo than Stecks when Gordo is healthy. And when he is not, I'd rather call up Beagle.

My lineup would be:

Ovi-Backs-Knubs
Laich-MP-Semin
Chimmer-MaJo-Fehr
Bradley-Gordon-Hendricks

King sits mostly and Beagle is first call up.

Flash and Stecks as trade bait. Package both of them and a prospect and we might be able to snag a Top 4 D.

Posted by: cbl-pdx | October 25, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Ted. Make GMGM man up and issue some sort of statement about Nylander. Stay classy San Diego!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:

go here for 2009-2010 points and sort by Even Strength Points...
http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20102ALLFAFAll&sort=evenStrengthPoints&viewName=scoringLeaders

Apparently Ovechkin and the Sedin twins were the only ones to average a PPG at Even strength...

2-Ovechkin
4-Backstrom
12-Semin
52-Knuble
85-Laich
----2nd line even strength scoring
99-BMo
101-Fehr
104-Chimera
116-Belanger
120-Flash
----

interesting eh?

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

the above post are rankings for even strength points for the 2009-2010 season, just to be clear!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Nylander came off the salary cap when he was assigned to the AHL. His injury has no bearing on the salary cap figure for the Caps. If anything, the Caps can now have a large portion of his salary covered by insurance so the acutal payroll may decrease a bit.

As for Boudreau, I understand what he's saying about ice time, but there's a reason why certain players only play 5 minutes a night. It's usually because they aren't good enough to play 15.

Raise your hand if you want D.J. King or Matt Bradley skating for 15 minutes a night...

Posted by: CapsNut | October 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

Yes it is. So can someone again explain why the HELLLLLLLLL we gave Flash $2.6M?? If he's not scoring on the PP he's not scoring period basically.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

(36 even strength points).
-----------

That's not very many for a player not on the line the other team sends its absolute top defenders out against every shift - not to mention keying on your own linemate out of necessity [I realize not everyone here likes Semin, but he sure draws an awful lot of defensive attention].

Against good d-men - meaning, the kind you go against in the playoffs, 2nd pairing-types on good teams [Seidenberg, Hjalmarrsson, Timmonen, Spacek, etc.] he struggles - thus, by definition, he's a 3rd-liner. On a team with supposed SC-winning aspirations, he at least should be a 3rd-liner.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 25, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@FraknM73

Do you happen to have the stats for Points per Minutes at Even Strength for last season?

Posted by: sgm3 | October 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

sgm: No disagreement - Laich is great as a 3rd liner. My point is he can be either #1, 2 OR 3 line.

Even at ES, he is in Top 90.

I don't think he'll get $4M from Caps (but would as a UFA if he does that). I'm on record that he'll sign 4 yrs/$15M if his production continues this year at 2009 rate.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"That's not very many for a player not on the line the other team sends its absolute top defenders out against every shift - not to mention keying on your own linemate out of necessity [I realize not everyone here likes Semin, but he sure draws an awful lot of defensive attention]."

My thinking exactly. The Caps need a winger who is a better finisher opposite of Semin because Semin draws so much attention leaving open glorious chances for the opposite winger.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 25, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

Yes it is. So can someone again explain why the HELLLLLLLLL we gave Flash $2.6M?? If he's not scoring on the PP he's not scoring period basically.

Posted by: ThePat
----
@ThePat

Probably for his future production and he's clearly been a lot better than last year, especially defensively... He's only been on the ice for 1 Team goal against and 6 for... and pumped in 3Goals, 2 Assists in 8 games. I'll take that any day at 2.6mil... H@ll, I'd take 2 of that at 2.6 any day!

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112WASSASAll&sort=teamGoalsAgainst&viewName=plusMinus

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree that Laich can be a 2nd liner in the NHL, but if a team wants to be at the top in the NHL they need to have players who are at the best for their lines. Laich was 11 points ahead of 180th(2 goals and 9 assists). Having Semin on your line helps get you a few more even strength assists.

Semin creates so many chances that I think the Caps would be much better off having a winger who is a great finisher on the opposite wing. So that winger can take better advantage of all the opportunities that Semin helps create.

In my opinion, Laich does not have the skill set to thrive in that role. I think Fehr's skill set is much better suited for that role than Laich's. Just my opinion.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 25, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm raising my hand for Brads to get 15 minutes of ice time a game. I'm doing the math here, and I figure he would be good for about 20-25 goals. Thanks for the great suggestion CapsNut!

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 25, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

more on even strength points - by position
(from nhl.com stats)
centers
#3 backstrom
#34 laich
#115 steckel
#143 gordon

lw
#1 ovi
tied #5 semin (#4 if he would have been listed right wing)
#30 chimera
#121 laing

rw
#14 knuble
#33 fehr
#60 bradley

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 25, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

he has offensive talent I know, but just because he's only been on the ice for 1 goal against doesnt tell the whole story. When hes on the ice, penalties have been taken due to his lack of responsibility. I've always said he has offensive talent, but he doesnt impress me at all with the rest of his game. And we have a lot of guys with offensive talent and ZERO Defensive depth. So I hope he continues his offensive production, increase his trade value.

Heck on the last game of the roadtrip against Calgary, I think we can scratch Flash and then leave him in Calgary with the Flames for one of their Dmen :)

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Heck on the last game of the roadtrip against Calgary, I think we can scratch Flash and then leave him in Calgary with the Flames for one of their Dmen :)

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 4:16 PM

Come on now ThePat that makes no sense what so ever...I'm sure we can find a flight or bus out of Carolina to Calgary and get said Calgary d-man to meet us in MN to finish the 2 games of the road trip. Pssh.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 25, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:
The NHL.com stats engine is the bomb for breaking down stats but it doesn't have the option to add Points Per Minute to that...

@ThePat:
I understand your point and can agree with the intangibles... but at the same time when you are on the ice for 1 goal against and 6 goals for, you are doing something right and you'll likely going to get more ice-time.

Personally, I'm more concerned with Fehr... considering he's a 3rd line player on an offensive juggernaut and had 2G and 2A and is a 0 in the +/- category... he doesn't seem 'on' if you know what I mean...

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:

this link shows you the average shift length for forwards... and Ovie is at the top with 66 seconds

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20102ALLFAFAll&sort=avgTimeOnIcePerShift&viewName=timeOnIce

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 25, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@capsnut: thanks for answering my question.

Posted by: vafan3 | October 25, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

Yeah, that site is pretty good. Thanks.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 25, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73 - that's a great stat; granted it's inflated in that BB insists on keeping him out for the entire two every PP [historically rare for even the best PPs, btw, but whatever] but those are still very long shifts.

Granted the guy is an absolute phenom, just an incredible athlete - but even he gets tired, at some point. And the guys he's going against aren't exactly slouches.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Ovi-Backs-Knubs
Semin-MP-Fehr
Laich-MaJo-Chimmer
Bradley-Steckel/Gordo-Hendricks

I don't hate Flash, but I just don't see a place for him on this team. Trade him for a shutdown D or at least a solid stay at home D with some grit that will clear the crease.

Posted by: LetsGoCaps2 | October 25, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't we pay Varly to play? Fragile kid

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't hate Flash, but I just don't see a place for him on this team. Trade him for a shutdown D or at least a solid stay at home D with some grit that will clear the crease.

Posted by: LetsGoCaps2 | October 25, 2010 4:51 PM

i can agree with this. flash doesn't s*ck like some here would want you to believe.

he is the most expendable based on:
* can get by without his scoring
* he isn't what is needed at 2C
* losing some of his possible production as he tries to learn new position
* $2.6M would be better spent on D
* team would be better served by letting go of a 'soft' player for some more grit (either another forward or d) - a more 'balanced' team

since he is still on the team - i'll root for him to do well - not because i want him traded - but because i want the caps to win

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice the highest DET guy was Datsyuk, who clocked in at #91 in the league in terms of average shift length?!? Right around 48 secs, IIRC. And Ovie's by no means the only one - there are like 15 Caps guys who take longer shifts than the single longest RW.

We're taught since a very young age to "come off early," that goals are usually scored against when you get "caught out there too long." Looks like certain teams take that to heart much more than others.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 25, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo

that's called a coach having discipline over his team.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 25, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

You all want some vomit inducing numbers...

Ovi
Salary per game = 109756
Salary per min. = 1829
Min per game played = 23
Actual Salary per min played = 4772
% Paid Over Actual Min Rate = 260%

Green
Salary per game = 60975
Salary per min. = 1016
Min per game played = 23
Actual Salary per min played = 2651
% Paid Over Actual Min Rate = 260%

Tyler Sloan
Salary per game = 8536
Salary per min. = 142
Min per game played = 14
Actual Salary per min played = 609
% Paid Over Actual Min Rate = 428%

What does this mean? We pay Tyler Sloan 4.2x his actual cost in salary per minute break down, where players like Ovie and Green only are around 2.6x their actual cost. Kind of like that value you get for your dollar spent. Ugh.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 25, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I do not mind Bradley playing the occasional 15 min game. When the first two lines are not clicking and the 4th line is the only one putting any pressure on the other team (which is not terribly rare) I wish BB would put out the 4th line more.

Posted by: BorntoHula | October 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Fehr undoubtedly has terrific hands, but right now he seems to be struggling against other team's 5th & 6th d-men; if he were on Semin's line vs. good teams he'd be seeing the likes of Seidenberg/ Hjalmarrsson / Timmonen / Spacek most shifts; i.e., pretty elite d-men. He's so slow [by NHL standards, at least] I just don't see how he gets any room to breathe against guys like that, even if his center is a quick guy like MP or Flash. Now, if it's the MJ we saw against Boston, maybe that's another story - maybe.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

FWIW:

Caps are paying avg cap hit 2.75 each to 14 forwards and 2.28 each to 7 d-men. Most teams I think have this the other way around, as your bttom 3 forwards are generally lowest paid on team.

Ex: Flyers are paying 2.31 each avg 14 forwards and 3.5 each to 7 d-men.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't like Nylander but, I'm glad he doesn't appear to have an injury that will hamper the rest of his life.
If MP can stick, he should be 2C. MaJo is a better defensive player and would fit as 3C.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 25, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

According to the Caps Fehr is one of the fastest skaters on the team. His quickness isn't that great but he does have some speed. But he is definitely more mobile than Knuble.

In addition, I don't think he has been struggling against 3rd pairing D-men as his high points/minute last year would attest to. The problem is that he has never been given a true chance of playing on the 2nd line with 2nd line minutes.

I don't think Fehr would have much of a problem facing the opposing teams 2nd line, I think Fehr just needs the minutes to prove how valuable he is.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 25, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Flash needs to go while he still has some trade value so that Perrault and MaJo have a real opportunity to battle to become the No. 2 center on the Caps. Flash is a LW masquerading as a center. He's not good on faceoffs or strong defensively. Semin is much more effective with a center who is pass-first, shoot second & can open up the ice liek Perrault.

Laich is important to the 2nd line since MP is small and Semin is a finesse player. Without Laich going to the net, there would be little presence on the line. Fehr's a pure RW like Semin and I couldn't see them playing well together. Bigger issue is that neither Laich or Knuble have scored many of the "dirty" goals that you need from the guy who is in front of the net most of the time on the 1st and 2nd lines. Hopefully, they will get it going soon since they both topped 25 goals last year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 25, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@lyle

Whatever it's called, something seems pretty wrong if the likes of Andrew Gordon and Chris Bourque had longer average shift lengths than Hank Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Nick Lidstrom, Johan Franzen, etc.

Does.not.compute.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 25, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Really? Who said that? I find that kind of astonishing. I guess it'd help explain why they drafted him so high, if they really think that. But in any case hockey's a game of bursts; i.e., explosive speed in tight spaces is much more useful. And saying he's faster than Knuble, well - not a high bar. Not to mention Knuble is much more physical.

I agree he put up decent #'s last year - but he didn't do much in the playoffs, and has almost seemed invisible for shifts at a time this year. From what I've seen, anyway.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 25, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the 3 of us should be behind the bench - sorry guys but that just scares me :)

————

There is psychiatry ward with three beds somewhere, delusion of grandeur is treatable … I think, it might work for you guys. — BB

Posted by: hock1 | October 25, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I came across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (!) about Tampa Bay's offensive system. Here's hoping the link works: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304510704575562283087818978.html?KEYWORDS=tampa+bay+lightning

Looks like Boucher's system of 1-3-1 instead of a 1-2-2 formation is working out for them. There's also a mention of the trap system in the article.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"slurpee: Your last post made absolutely no sense. I'm a fan of the Caps, 'Skins, and Bullets, I mean Wizards. I live here, so, these are my teams. I didn't jump to the Ravens just because they won a Superbowl because I'm a 'skins fan. I don't need to jump to a different team in hopes of having some kind of braggin rights the next day at the office. This season, better the Caps and the 'skins, if I have ANY hair left, it will be gray.

Now, jumping to the Habs is a bad move on your part if you are looking for bragging rights because the Habs are not going to win anything in the foreseeable future. The key to being a good bandwagon fan is identifying who will win a championship now. Since you were a runt in the early 2000s, you are still young, so you will learn and eventually be able to pick the next season's champion. The way the NFL season has gone I think there are a lot of new smelling Saints jerseys being pushed to the back of the closet."

I suggest you look up the definition for a bandwagon. Montreal is not new hottest team on the planet. They aren't the most talented. Hell, they'll be probably treading water all year. Well, that doesn't matter because I'm willing to suffer through that than suffer through ignorant fanboys of the Caps. The Habs are the team I know I can stick with.

I also left on my own accord and with no popular "trend" to follow along. All I know is that my support for the Caps became more and more half-assed as time passed by. Well, I'm not going to a team where my support wavers like that again, and the Habs were that team.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | October 25, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

bon pour vous slurpeesarecool. amusez-vous d'enracinement pour les habs

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 25, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Good on ya, slurpee. Sounds like you made the best decision for you - anyone can respect that.

But I do have to ask: so why are you here?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 25, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

I don't know what's up with Fehr in the Plus/Minus department this year. Normally (based on his stats of the last 2 years), he's one of our better people in that department. I don't know what's going on.

Then again, it seems that most of the players on both our 1st and 3rd lines have been off this year. The second line's been our best, even despite any issues.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Knuble is too old and slow to play with OV/Backis. It's definitely time to give Fehr a chance on that line. Knuble's numbers have been terrible, but it's not just his lack of production. He looks lost half the time. Missing passes, turnovers, jamming pucks into goalie pads instead of putting any touch on anything. Fehr has a great scoring pedigree, it's time to give him a legit chance.

Posted by: rsl13 | October 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@rs/13
@capt kirk

Starten'to think the same about Knuble.

We don't like Flush because he doesn't give you an "NHL level" effort. MP does.We know Flush is talented. That's why his playoff performances drive us batty.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 25, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

@CSTANTON

Are you alive out there?

Heard that you've changed your name and you're posting on the Pens site. "Say it aint so, Shoeless Joe!"

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 25, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised nobody has brought up Michael Nylander. Such a tragic incident that has likely ended his career. I know a lot of Caps fans bashed him during the last two years, but give the man credit where it's due. He's an elite playmaker and didn't disappoint anyone.

Sad to see a guy who will be turning 40 soon most likely won't be suiting up in a hockey game for possibly the rest of his life. He's extremely fortunate that he isn't paralyzed from the neck down.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | October 25, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Never mind, it was brought up earlier, just hasn't been a popular conversation. Hope he gets well soon.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | October 25, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@rsl13

The whole first line has been terribel...not just Knuble, and he has been STELLAR on the PK.

Posted by: capscoach | October 26, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Certainly the PK has improved leaps and bounds from last year [granted there was, um, room for said improvement] but the most credit has to go to Neuvy, he has really kept them in some games. If Varly can stay healthy, I love the Caps' goaltending situation; two of the best young goalies in the game is an envious spot.

The 2nd-best PKer [not counting Poti with his time on the IR] has been Johnny C - even with his 'lower-body injury' he's been outstanding, his quickness and his instincts allow him to be so disruptive back there.

How many d-partners has Erskine had in his career thus far - and I don't think it's any mystery why #4 has been playing some of the best hockey of his career. Poti-Carlson were terrific in the playoffs when it mattered most, but the lumberjack is making a strong case to remain his partner, I'll say that much.

I haven't noticed Knuble on the PK all that much, to be honest. He seems even slower this year, somehow.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 26, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@ @Frank

Yes it is. So can someone again explain why the HELLLLLLLLL we gave Flash $2.6M?? If he's not scoring on the PP he's not scoring period basically.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 3:51 PM

How soon we forget. He had the game winner in O.T. last game.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 26, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@govtimbo

Carlson has been letting people slip by him a lot. Knuble has cleared the louck numerous times and then proceeded to chase it down in the offensive zone and then keep it glued to the boards for prolonged periods of time all while sacrificing his body to continuous hits from the PP team.

Posted by: capscoach | October 26, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

nice move by Clark against Philly, and Kyle Wilson gets his first NHL goal...

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=79988

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 26, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@capsfanmiss

I am not a Flash hater at all...the truth is many teams would be very happy to add flash to their roster (my guess is that he is gone by the trade deadline b/c of that)

I would (and I think he would 2) be happier if he were put back on the wing.

Posted by: capscoach | October 26, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

correction on the above NHL.com link... that will take you to a great D play buy Zidlicky of the Wild, click the "Team Effort" vid in the Oct 25 section to see Clark making a nice move!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 26, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@ @Frank

Yes it is. So can someone again explain why the HELLLLLLLLL we gave Flash $2.6M?? If he's not scoring on the PP he's not scoring period basically.

Posted by: ThePat | October 25, 2010 3:51 PM

How soon we forget. He had the game winner in O.T. last game.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 26, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - I'll keep a closer eye on Knuble but he still looks a step behind the play to me.

I agree that Flash would be better off at wing, and he has great chemistry with Semin. Semin needs to play with someone who can get him the puck - BL neither skates nor passes well enough to be that guy, IMO.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 26, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - re: your criticism of Carlson - the kid played almost 27 minutes Sat night, was the Caps #1 d-man and ended the night plus-2. Methinks you criticism is misguided, to say the least - nevermind the play of Knuble, who seems to be anchoring down that first line.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 26, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Anybody think that having Milan Jurcina on this team for 1 million would have been a good idea? Sloan would be in Hershey as the 8th defenseman. Jurcina would be 6th and Erskine the 7th spot. That depth would have helped with injuries. I'm sure nobody claims Sloan.

As for Sloan being able to play wing...with the Caps depth at wing, I bet he won't see 1 game there this year.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

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