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Brashear, Poti Questionable

I haven't posted a practice updated because, well, there was no practice today. With the playoffs about a week away, Coach Bruce Boudreau opted to give his players the day off to rest and relax. (There was a mandatory team meeting at St. Pete Times Forum, but it lasted only a few minutes.)

Anyway, it looks like Donald Brashear (sprained knee) will be out again tomorrow against the Lightning and Tom Poti (groin) could take another game off. Both Brashear and Poti appeared to be moving slowly, and I'm thinking Brashear might miss both of the Caps' remaining games.

I'm working on a story about Simeon Varlamov and his immediate future with the Caps for tomorrow's Post, as well as getting a head start on my playoff preview. Also, The Post has outfitted me with a digital camera and webcam. Yep. Finally. The blog will never be the same. Once I figure out how to use all of this stuff, that is.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 8, 2009; 12:49 PM ET
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Next: Morning Reading List: Caps Confident in Varlamov's Progress


Thanks for the no update update & good luck with the camera. I look forward to great photos!

Posted by: uncatim | April 8, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to video blog updates!

Posted by: Bagher | April 8, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

You should do a story on Semin's English.

I have been a die hard fan for a long time, and have not heard that guy attempt to say a complete sentence.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

that's terrific, the camera is long overdue

Posted by: sroessle | April 8, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

maybe varly is really quite, like Nuevy? Remember when Flash professed to not know Nuevy spoke Czech because he never says a word?

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 8, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I wish Poti would take the rest of the year off. The Caps are much better without him.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | April 8, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sad that your readers had to shame the Post into providing necessary equipment. Oh well.

Let Poti get healthy. No, seriously. There's no benefit to having him skate if he's not 100%, since we're doing a D-men rotation anyway. If he's not 100%, let him sit out and rest and let the others fill in.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 8, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Wooohooo! WaPo splurges on Tarik. We look forward to the pics.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | April 8, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

That could be the Post's version of an Ovech Cam!

Posted by: mikesfan | April 8, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

YAY!!! its about time with the camera and a webcam is even better. Thanks for doing such a great job covering the caps! With newspapers struggling these days i hope they see the value in things such as your blog which draws traffic and ad money.

Posted by: finnmeg | April 8, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see a story on Semin and his English. I am a fan of his and have seen him speak English (especially four letter words) when necessary, but otherwise he denies he speaks. Would be an interesting piece. As for Poti and Brashear, we have been and will be fine w/o either of them, but I wish them a speedy recovery.

Posted by: capsfan01 | April 8, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Ditto about Semin

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

wow, free WaPo schwag to help you do a better job... what an idea! lol. jeez, a digital cam and webcam may cost all of $200 these days...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | April 8, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik, when's the Playoff preview going to run? Monday of next week or a little later?

I'm sure when Tarik told his bosses that the readership was so outraged at his lack of a camera that we offered to buy him one out of our own pockets, the Post was forced to give in. I guess we won't have to take the money collected for a camera to buy that full page ad in the print edition begging the editors of the Sports Page to get Tarik a camera.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 8, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Semin is my favorite player, and the less he is speaks to the press the better.

Posted by: opita1 | April 8, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 8, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@mofo: It's called your employer providing you with the tools to do your job. It's ... expected.

Tarik, digital cameras are not difficult to use. they're even easier on a mac.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 8, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

jeez, a digital cam and webcam may cost all of $200 these days...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | April 8, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, that's like 2 months worth of per diem for newspaper companies these days.

Posted by: Section117 | April 8, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Did you find the keys to the storage closet finally? Does this get me a press pass?

Posted by: Leeguru | April 8, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

maybe an all encompassing article discussing the effects of the noticeable language barrier on the team. There are advanced speakers (Fedorov and Kozlov) and...a novice? (Ovechkin)...and an obvious beginner (Semin). Some on the team have embraced this as an opportunity to learn Russian (Brashear), but it'd be interesting to see how this affects communication on the ice.

Posted by: fronesis1016 | April 8, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-town

Semin knows and can speak english better than anyone thinks. He is just shy and doesn't really care for the press so its easy for him to play the no english card.

Posted by: ThePat | April 8, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Do like I do, Tarik -- Ask your Mite-age kid to show you how to do it ;)

Posted by: WhyGo | April 8, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Awesome Tarik!

I've always been a fan of your daily, and sometimes hourly, daily blog and can only imagine the photo editing that will need to take place. Just practice with your son!

Best of luck!

Posted by: IzzySez | April 8, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I think I detect a good bit of psychological-photoshop-face-alteration in that battery photo. Ovie never looked so good. I mean, really - he NEVER looked so good.

Neither do I, but who cares?

Posted by: WhyGo | April 8, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Also, The Post has outfitted me with a digital camera and webcam."

AWESOME!! :D Tarik, hurry up and learn how to use all that stuff!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Holy Moly!

I just took a couple of recent actual face shots and put them up next to this add photo.

Dude, they do good work over at Eveready.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 8, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse


I think that's right. But, I'm assuming Semin's no gifted speaker either. He probably muddles by. OV is actually trying to learn English and he's still tough to understand sometimes. I'm assuming there's a lot of Russian in the Room. Guys like Flash and Juice probably passably understand Russian.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 8, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town: Same. I have a lot of fascination with Semin and his english.. or lack of knowledge of english. Is he learning it or does he just not want to learn? I dream of that day when Semin can talk to the media after games, I can't imagine it, IF it ever happens it'd be so weird. What we do know is he can say "on me?" :)

RedBirdie: There is a youtube vid where Neuvy is speaking in Czech, (and he looks really cute.) :D I heard Varly is taking classes.. but Neuvy seems to picked up english very well in a short period.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Was anyone else at the game on Sunday doing the "if I were down there for the shirt off their back" winners parade and doing the math to sort out where you wanted to stand in line if they sort of just let people choose? (I'm sure there were some forced process.) Right away I'm thinking numbers because I want Ovi's jersey. Oh man, does Brent count at #1? Do I want to be fourth in line or fifth to get #8? Okay can't get 8, what about Nicky? Shoot, is Boyd here at #15, or not? I would have driven me crazy. What about Semin? Crap, forgot AuCoin is in at #20...

Posted by: saintex | April 8, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"The blog will never be the same. Once I figure out how to use all of this stuff, that is"

Hey Tarik, Just turn on power stand in front of camera and start talking!! Easy as pie!! Thanks for all the great work!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | April 8, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: yeah, my wife was busily trying to figure that out. She also wondered how the order of the line was determined, like, did the woman who ended up matched with Ovie get first pick?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 8, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The day Semin does an interview, I bet you he just start speaking perfect British Accent English.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 8, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't care if Semin *speaks* English well at all, as long as he can *understand* it. There are enough Russian-speaking players on the team that if he has questions, he can ask Ovechkin, or Fedorov, or someone else, and get an answer in his native tongue.

@capsfan01 - Learning to swear is always important in any language. ;-) And it's also one of the first things people learn how to do voluntarily. I know I spent a fair amount of time looking up French swear-words when I learned French...

Posted by: irockthered | April 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

saintex, I did wonder if they drew spots or just lined up in the order they were called on the jumbotron. I forgot, what did they do with the person who was supposed to get Schultz's jersey? Get a trip to the trainer's room? Stand there like an idiot? Get Theo's jersey's instead?

Posted by: koalatek | April 8, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: Varly's English skills

When he was in Hershey I saw him talking to other guys on the team, and he said he was taking English lessons, so I'm sure he has some grasp of the fundamentals.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 8, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Schultz winner just sort of stood there since he was getting stitched up - Brash, Brent, Boyd, and Clark met them at the bench. I wonder if they were from this blog and were thinking, "Man, I hate Schultz, send him down, give me the next guy, I don't want a dang #55 jersey...", then looked up and said "Crap, I hat JT60, too. He's weak and we'll never win with him."

Posted by: saintex | April 8, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I should have said, for those not there, that the Caps players lined up on one blueline in jersey number order and the winners were on the other blueline - so the winners were just married up with the next numbered player. If you were first in line you may have thought it was Pothier you'd get but it ended up being Brent Johnson. Jerseys were also given from Boyd, Clark, and Brash so whoever you thought was the next number on the ice might not actually be the one you got. It was pretty cool.

Posted by: saintex | April 8, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the Schultz winner just sort of stood there since he was getting stitched up - Brash, Brent, Boyd, and Clark met them at the bench. I wonder if they were from this blog and were thinking, "Man, I hate Schultz, send him down, give me the next guy, I don't want a dang #55 jersey...", then looked up and said "Crap, I hat JT60, too. He's weak and we'll never win with him."


Posted by: Redwolf1 | April 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Awesome news about the new techy toys Tarik! Can't wait to see some pics! I want to chime in on the language barrier thing and also would love to find out about Semin. Thanks for all your hard work Tarik and keep it up!

Posted by: mikesgirl1 | April 8, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, tech gadgets! Amazing the kind of pull you have when you're the hottest team in the area.

TEB, does LaCanfora have any cameras/webcam gadgets? Something to hold over his head for a bit. ;-)

Posted by: FFSEnough | April 8, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

rachel216, Don't forget Neuvy's been playing over here in the OHL for three years. He's had more time than Varly.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 8, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

here's proof that semin understands english:

part 2:

Posted by: virkulous | April 8, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Semin understands and speaks enough English to get by but he is not fluent. As Tarik said a few weeks ago, it's obvious during conversations with him that he sometimes gets lost. He also has a tendency to be shy around people he doesn't know. Since fluency requires practice, he relies on his knowledge of hockey and his fellow Russians to communicate. So it will be a while before Caps fans really feel like they know him as well as most of the other players. He has given several interviews in Russian in the past few months which have been translated into English and provide insight into his personality (besides his opinion of Sid the Crybaby).

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | April 8, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Two thumbs up to the WaPo for providing Tarik with a camera / Web cam!

Posted by: Cerealman | April 8, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

So the 100% Red Out is now in effect. For those of you with White Jerseys or shirts, make sure you have red instead...get a t-shirt or something.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 8, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse


You can't be serious.

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | April 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Virkulous, thank you for the links to the interview. Well done by Hillary. As a foreigner myself who came to this country with zero knowledge of the English language I relate to Semin on that respect - People unfairly misjudge you.

Posted by: opita1 | April 8, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town : Yes! If you have a white jersey, don't wear it!!! It has to be ALL red. There can't be some spots in Verizon that are white or another color.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. I sold my large Semin jersey and just bought a medium size but it won't be here in time for Game 2 next week. Sorry.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 8, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse


I agree...Even if someone doesnt have Caps gear that is going..just wear a red shirt...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 8, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks virkulous for posting the interview.

Posted by: capsfan01 | April 8, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Get more Dunkin' Donuts and stay up all night to figure out the digital equipment. Thanks for the updates on Brash & Poti

Posted by: kfoley311 | April 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I think people will still wear their white jersies. :/ Just as long as VC is as red as possible. Can't wait for the playoffs! Let's just lock down the #2 seed tomorrow night and get it started!! :D Bring on the Canadiens!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Semin couldn't stop giggling in those interviews! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse


For those wondering, Tarik said he was not allowed to accept any gifts from readers, so I took the $230 I collected from people and cut a check to the Washington Capitals Charities earmarked for "So Kids Can".

Posted by: SombreroGuy | April 8, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the goalie interference no-call late in the 3rd period of the Tampa-Pittsburgh game last night? I was absolutely shocked there wasn't a call. I was watching the game to root against Malkin getting points, please someone tell me you saw this. Really hope those refs won't be doing the playoffs (although they most likely will be).

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Was looking at something interesting as far as MVP race goes...and a lot of the arguments for Malkin beyond the obvious scoring has been him emerging as such a defensive force and leading the league in takeaways, etc. You also read how Green should get extra consideration for the Norris being a +24 (at the time of the writing) on a team with no defense and no goaltending (exaggerated obviously, but the impression out there is we have inconsistent goaltending and shaky D).

I guess the odd thought that popped into my head is for all our supposed failings in giving up goals, how is it that Malkin and also Crosby should get so much praise for being such "forces on D" when the Pens have given up 1 more goal than we have over the course of the season. That one kinda just made me think for awhile today.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse


There was no way that was goalie interference. I even had to listen to the horrid Tampa broadcast and them whining about Rammo being "turned completely around" which was completely untrue. I think it was Fedetenko who had the original breakaway that Rammo saved but left a big rebound that Skyora went around him and stuffed it. Fedetenko barely touched him with one skate, managing to get the rest of his body out of the way even though he was charging hard at the goal on his breakaway which in my mind is doing everything he could to avoid the goalie.

Couple this with the fact that Rammo was not turned at all and apparently wasn't being interfered with enough to prevent him from standing up to square himself to Sykora. That was a good NO CALL and I'm far from a Pens fan. Far too much whining from the Tampa side of it as that was no interference.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the world has found the chink in the Cap's System. Weak Spleens. Pretty soon its going to be all "Spleen Shot" and "Spleen Checking"

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 8, 2009 5:47 AM

Seems like we need a SAVE YOUR SPLEEN campaign.

Posted by: MNMNT | April 8, 2009 6:49 AM

@trunkenmath & MNMNT: Haven't you heard? New rules change for '09-'10:

Rule 47.23 Spleen Checking: if a player strikes or intentionally collides with an opposing player in such a way that the latter suffers an injury to the spleen, the Official shall assess a Major Penalty and a Ganme Misconduct to the offending player.

Rule 47.23 (a) if i) Bill McCreary is officiating the game, ii) the player thus injured is a Washington Capital, or iii) the offending player rooms with Mario, then no penalty shall be assessed.

Rule 47.24: Spleen Shot: if a player deliberately shoots the puck at an opposing player in such a way as to injure the latter's spleen, rules 47.23 and 47.23(a) shall also apply.

Just joking of course.

I do hate McBleary, though.

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 8, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

What are y'all whining about? I would have LOVED to be on the Ice to receive a game worn jersey from (and more importantly, to shake the hand of) ANY CAPS PLAYER...I just wish I knew how the selectees were chosen.

Last time I went to a Caps practice, sure I would have liked to get a Feds or Poti autograph, but for me just as good that I got to shake #4's hand--decent guy, BTW.

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 8, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse


I happen to disagree strongly with you. The forward's skate hooked inside Ramo's right leg pad and opened him up completely. Without that having happened Ramo would have had a chance (probably a good one) to save the incoming shot. With the contact, he had no chance to save the puck. Therefore, the attacker interfered with Ramo's ability to save the puck and it should have been ruled so. Just my opinion though, not really worth arguing about.

In the same vein of bad reffing, there was a play in the Caps game that really pissed me off. Not sure who it was, but I think in the third period Fedorov was going into the near corner with an Atlanta player and was given a shoulder check at least 10 feet away from the puck, before either player was near it. Normally this is an interference call. Any thoughts?

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Dave: That's very interesting. I don't get that either, people always want to praise Sidney and Evgeni for anything they do. If Ovie ends up behind Malkin for the scoring title, Ovie should still get the Hart. OV would've played 3 fewer games, he has 10 game winning goals, he is a lot more physical, Malkin isn't even a bit as physical as OV is. Like someone said before, OV lays out people, Malkin gets layed out. It would just be a shame if OV can't pull ahead of Malkin in the scoring race cause he'll win the other 3 awards. I'm hoping OV gets a hat trick tomorrow with a couple of assists. I want to kill the Lightning like the Canes showed no mercy on the Islanders. I'm also hoping for a miracle that Geno will register zero points, I mean, the Islanders shut out the Red Wings a week ago, right?! :D or two weeks ago..

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I agree with you on your MVP points Dave. Malkin's strongest points are: (his points, if he can hold the lead that helps him), and the fact that he kept the Penguins afloat during Cidney's injury plagued season. With this said, I see no reason why Malkin deserves it over OV, for the reasons you and Rachel have stated as well as others.

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Semin knows enough English to jaw at the refs :) I catch him doing it every so often. I wonder if he's getting lessons in that particular skill from Fedorov, who seems to never stop yelling at refs lately.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 8, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Feds has been taking many stupid penalties. He shouldn't be yelling at the refs, nothing that has been called on him lately has been iffy. He's been committing some blatant penalties. He better get smart and stop.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Gotta have hope that the Isls will come back for a strong game against the Pens after getting flogged last night. Minimize Malkin

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I think if Malkin was leading the points race still by 10, he should definitely win the Hart as well. Crosby's play has been superb of late, but Malkin has been the driving force on that team all season. When you're able to stand out on a team that includes ANOTHER of the top 3 players in the league you should get some consideration based on that. Now that the points race is a dead heat it's much tougher to argue how valuable Ovechkin is to us. We'll see how it shakes out, I just want them to give it to whichever of the two for the right reasons and not some phantom stats.

I still disagree on the interference thing, Fedetenko (I think it was him) did as much as possible to avoid making contact and given he was on a breakaway skating in full speed that's all you can ask. Rammo had no chance to stop Sykora as soon as he gave up that monster rebound...he's out that far at a dead stop and Sykora is coming with speed, easy skate around and stuff no matter how it plays out.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse


I understand what you're saying, but you have to realize that the ref's job is not to decide what a player's intention or effort was, but to call it how it happened on the ice, and he impeded Ramo from moving laterally.

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

has tehre been any news on Finley or Holtby up in Hershey?

Posted by: superpaqman | April 8, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

superpaqman, pretty sure they're there. Hershey doesn't have a game until Friday.

The new Bears lines:
And on Finley:

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 8, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and thanks SombreroGuy! Glad the money's going to help the kids!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 8, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

apollak8: I have to agree with you. The refs absolutely missed the call. After Ramo stopped Fedotenko, Fedotenko's stick wrapped/hooked around Ramo, making it impossible for Ramo to get back and have a chance to stop the puck.

Yes, it was unintentional, but either way it was goalie interference and it should've been called.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Wonder what the lines will be tomorrow. Should we now consider Fleischmann, Backstrom, and Kozlov our new first line? They collectively scored 2 goals and were +2 on the night last night. Boudreau was happy with them.

Boudreau wasn's as happy with the "other" top line. They scored two goals but were on the ice for Atlanta's 2 goals so they were 0 in plus minus.) Ironically, if memory serves me correctly, the Caps have won the games with that particular group. (They once beat Carolina with them but Fed got injured, was replaced with Backstrom, and they came back from behind. Another time, they played Detroit. That group played sleepy, was broken up for 3rd period, but the Caps won the game.)

Feds, you're supposed to be setting a good example for the kids on your line, not making the mistakes that the kids tend to make.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 8, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I think there is a portion of the rule that states a player is expected to make an effort to avoid the goaltender...and when a player is on a breakaway there is no where to go when you are at that speed, much like we complained when Ovie got called for a penalty in a similar situation a few games back. Rammo never was "hooked" or impeded in any substantial way, he had time to stand back up on his soon as he gave up that juicy rebound he was done, he was not stopping Sykora. He was contacted, but he was not "spun" in any way or prevented from getting back on his skates which he clearly does on the replay before Sykora even slides the puck around him.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it, whatever Backstrom touches turns to GOLD. He's absolutely brilliant

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you 100% on Backstrom...he doesn't get as much credit as he should because most people attribute all of his numbers to playing with Ovie.

Sorry to come off so strongly on that interference debate too, but in my opinion those are the type of plays I think they should let go because they are unavoidable if a player is making an honest effort in going to the net. Plays like checking a defender into the goalie are the type of things I think should be looked at as actual interference going forward.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I think goalie interference is the hardest thing to figure out for the refs.. there are so many different situations. Tocchet got pretty bent out of shape over it and said the refs blew it. But whatever, I do see what you're saying though, Dave.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse


I know what your saying and your last comment clears it up even further. I guess the way I feel about it is that the same rules should be enforced league-wide, so when I see something happen in one game result in a penalty, I believe that all other games should be treated the same way and subsequent plays of the same nature should be penalized.

Aside from Backstroms stats, which have greatly improved, it's more the intangible things that catch my eye. His confidence on the puck is really what amazes me. He carries it like a seasoned veteran, with the flair of Green, but with the patience of Fedorov. In my mind he's the best possession guy we have on the team.

Posted by: apollak8 | April 8, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Not that I'd trust Tocchet's word on anything...for all we know he was more angry cause he had Tampa for +1.5 or something last night.

Yeah when Backstrom is on the puck I never worry about it, he doesn't look like a big guy but he shields the puck very well when hanging on to it waiting for a passing lane to open. Also his short distance saucer passes that somehow give guys quality chances in traffic areas are under-appreciated.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard this before. Maybe because it's crazy. Barry Melrose said Zdeno Chara should win the Hart. He says usually a defenseman or a goalie should win the Hart. Is he crazy? Who does the scoring then? The Vezina is for the goalie and the Norris is for the defensemen. He also said Chara should win Norris. That's crazy..

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Let me rephrase that. The stuff he said about Chara being MVP is crazy, not Chara winning the Norris, that's not crazy, although it should be Greener...

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I can see his point about Chara...more so for the Norris than the Hart. Playing over 26 min a night against the other teams top scorers every game, along with manning the point on the PP, and playing on the PK while leading your team to 1st in the East with a chance at the President's Trophy is hard to argue against. Also noting Boston has allowed the fewest goals in the league, you have to know he has been a huge contributor towards that stat. Obviously the rest of the team and Tim Thomas have played as much or more of a part, but Chara has been a force all year.

As for the Hart specifically, I can see his point about a goalie winning it, but with injuries to Luongo and Broduer this year, it's hard to rank any goalie up there with Ovechkin or Malkin even considering how sick Mason's year has been.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 8, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Mike Green wins the Norris, obviously. He deserves it. He isn't the stay at home defenseman, but you just can't overlook what he did, setting a new record for scoring in 8 consecutive games by a defenseman and being the highest scoring defenseman, and he'll only have played 68 games by regular season's end, that is really remarkable. I can't wait to have him for every game next season, he could have 90 points. Greenie has to win it, but of course I say that cause I'm a Caps fan... after all, he doesn't have much help.. and Chara has Thomas, well maybe that's why Thomas is so good, I don't know.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

For me, one of the reasons Greenie should get the Norris is the historic nature of his year. Breaking the consecutive scoring record and being the first defenseman to score 30 in fewer than 70 games merits some consideration that offensive qualities (in this case, to historic proportions) should trump the S@H bias for the Norris.

Posted by: justbrewit | April 8, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how Green and Semin have such similar statistics this year. Similar in goals, assists, and plus/minus.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 8, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 8, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 8, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: gtydings | April 8, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

It sucks that the frozen four games are on tomorrow when the Caps are on, so I guess I will be flipping back and forth. :/

Posted by: rachel216 | April 8, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

just a tad stereotypical - but it made me chuckle anyway

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 8, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

rachel, I'm just hoping they put the Caps score up somewhere in the phone booth tomorrow night! I don't know how I'm going to handle being at Frozen Four and not know how the Caps are doing.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 8, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the rest of the team and Tim Thomas have played as much or more of a part, but Chara has been a force all year.

I think this goes the other way. Thomas and Fernandez led the NHL with the one-two punch for so long. Is it a coincidence that they both play in the same system? I give a lot more credit to the system and their defensive men, concerning their low GA.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 8, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

there's always at least 1 in every crowd isn't there.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 8, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse


No I agree with you I was mainly trying to make sure I didn't overlook the season Thomas has had, I mean his GAA is low but he also has or had the #1 save % in the league as well. Obviously the system helps but considering they're #3 in goals scored behind only Detroit and us I can't really accuse them of playing a system like say Minnesota's.

I guess it would've been better to say I think Chara deserves as much credit as the rest of the team combined, he's been that good in all aspects of the game.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 9, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Let's get the W and wrap up the #2 seed tonight. GO CAPS!

Posted by: gebster | April 9, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Re: Green "being the first defenseman to score 30 in fewer than 70 games"

in the 1974-75 season, Bobby Orr scored 46 goals (and 89 assists) in 80 games.

If Green is the first D to score 30 in fewer than 70 games, Orr must have had no more than 29 in 69 games, so he would have had to have scored at least 17 goals in the last 11 games.

Did Orr really do that?

Posted by: rw-c | April 9, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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