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Posted at 7:39 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau on John Carlson for Calder Trophy, HBO and the Winter Classic

By Lindsay Applebaum

John Carlson and Karl Alzner have been successful shutting down some of the Capitals' toughest opponents, most recently Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-1 Winter Classic victory. In an interview on NHL Live Monday, Coach Bruce Boudreau raved about the young defensive pair.

"We had them playing against Crosby's line all night, and [Montreal's Mike] Cammalleri's line the game before, and they've done such a great job of shutting teams down," Boudreau said. "Their gaps, defensively, are really, really good, and they can both skate, and they've both got great sticks -- they're not overly physical, but they take direction really well, and it allows the Mike Greens on our team to not have to do that, where they can become a little bit more offensive, but Alzner and Carlson... they've been great."

The Capitals coach had even more praise for 20-year-old Carlson, who played a team-high 26:28 against Pittsburgh.

"John Carlson, I don't know what's gonna happen," Boudreau said, "but he should be mentioned, at least in the conversation, when they start talking about best rookies of this year."

After the jump, check out some of Boudreau's more entertaining remarks from a quality interview.

(Via @wyshynski)

I had eczema, I didn't have any stuff on my face. It was my skin, was all red and dry. I went to the HBO people after that and I said, 'How could you guys do that?' and they said, 'No, no, it was dry skin...' so they convinced me it [looked like] dry skin.

I had no idea, quite frankly. You know HBO is big, but... And Barry Melrose once told me that being on ESPN... how much he gets recognized, and that's what I keep thinking of. I never thought of this at all, but I guess a lot of people are watching the show, which is a great testament to the program that's being shown.

I never watched the first episode, but I'm looking forward to watching the last one.

Getting on the bench, sometimes you're sitting there and you're pinching yourself and you can't believe you're the one there. [Assistant coach] Dean Evason turned to me at one point and said, "I've got goosebumps all down my neck," and I agreed with him, because it was pretty exciting seeing both sides, as far as the fans go, cheering and booing and chanting, and it was really, really cool. I hope at some point that every player gets to experience something like that.

I think we know the potential that we have to play a really good, tight playoff game. I thought we were playing pretty good coming into that. My biggest fear is, there was such a buildup and it's a month-long ordeal there, that we're gonna have a let down. And we play Tampa [Tuesday] and we can't afford to have a letdown.

By Lindsay Applebaum  | January 4, 2011; 7:39 AM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, HBO 24/7, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Winter Classic  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: As Winter Classic rush wears off, Capitals turn focus to reclaiming Southeast Division
Next: HBO shoots -- and scores -- with '24/7' series


If Carlzner continue their strong play the remainder of the season, then there can be valid discussion about Carlson's merit for the Calder. People shouldn't forget that the two's play was relatively sporadic and inconsistent the first two months of the season. That said, KEEP IT UP CARLZNER and best of luck, Johnny C., with the personal accolades.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 4, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I want to see Alzner and Carlson frustrate the heck out of Stamkos and St. Louis. The Caps new system, especially if the first line actually plays it (besides Knubs who has bought in) and Semin, should make the Bolts defense look less than electric. I also want to see OV look for smart passes and not the big rush so much. The only way OV will loosen up defenses is to find his open linemates for passes. And please put OV on the halfboard for the PP.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 4, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Watching the video in the prior post makes me like Knuble even more. He knows how to stay focused and likes the fact we are in a race. Would love to see him stick around, but i know it's not likely.

BTW.....where has Katie been? I noticed the posts were from Lindsey and Gene lately. Just curious...

Posted by: OviFan08 | January 4, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the condiments.....anyone else at the classic see the sign of BB that the Pens fans put ketchup all over the face? Wrong......but Hilarious!

Posted by: OviFan08 | January 4, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: capscoach | January 4, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Ha, that's a great commercial. Too bad the KGB wouldn't let Semin appear in it.

Posted by: guer_j | January 4, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

People shouldn't forget that the two's play was relatively sporadic and inconsistent the first two months of the season.

I agree somewhat about Alzner, who has been greatly improved of late - but Carlson? Which Caps d-man has consistently been better than Carlson this season? Since the playoffs last spring actually - I'm very hard-pressed to think of one [ok maybe Poti against MTL, but other than that].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 4, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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