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Russia Hoping to Reunite Its 'Washington Line'

Here's the latest installment from our good friend Slava Malamud at Sport-Express:

As if Washington needed any more Russian presence (actually, this particular reporter wouldn't mind it at all), two top members of Russia's hockey brass were in town last night. That would be Slava Bykov, the head coach of the world-champion national team, and his assistant and tactical guru, Igor Zakharkin. Bykov, formerly a diminutive spark plug of a forward on the Soviet team's second line (behind the legendary KLM trio), is on a five-day tour of the NHL, scouting Russian players ahead of this year's world championship.

Not that Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Sergei Fedorov need that much scouting, especially after their brilliant performance at the worlds last year. But it always pays to let the guys know they are remembered and appreciated, and a visit in person is something that does the trick.

Bykov and Zakharkin, who arrived in D.C. on Friday morning, fought severe jet leg and attended the Tampa Bay game, which gave them an opportunity to take a look at the Lighning's Evgeni Artyukhin. All five members of the Caps Russian contingent spent time talking to the coaches, especially Semin, who had a long conversation with them in the press box.

It is no secret that Bykov wants to reunite the national team's "Washington Line" of Ovie, Semin and Fedorov, and all three have given their OK. At least, that is what Semin is saying.

"There weren't even any questions on whether we would come to the national team," said Semin. "It's just a matter of us being available. And Sergei said he is not letting us go by ourselves".

Viktor Kozlov, who gave his polite refusal last year in order to spend more time with his family in Florida, has not made up his mind yet. And Simeon Varlamov (I wonder if I can get the Post to call him Semyon, as he hates the Americanized version) is also in the plans as a possible backup. Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov will likely get the nod as the No. 1 netminder.

Of course, the Caps' participation in this year's worlds (they will be held in Switzerland) will hinge on the team's exit from the playoffs. And since an early one is not a strong possibility, it is quite doubtful that Bykov would hold this many open spots on his team for a long time. But as Zakharkin told me, it is the Olympics that they really have in their sights right now. So watch out for the 'Washington Line' in Vancouver. You won't miss them: they will be wearing the same exact colors.

P.S.: As for Simeon "Semyon" Varlamov, he is off to Hershey today, but will be back in Washington tomorrow. He is expected to start in at least a couple more games before the end of the regular season.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 28, 2009; 9:54 AM ET
 
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Comments

let's hope none of them are available until June 4th or 5th

Posted by: billd2 | March 28, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

hmm, if bryzgalov is going to be their starting goaltender, what happened to nabokov? he was one of the main reasons they beat canada last year

Posted by: capsfan8 | March 28, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

TEB,

You just sealed an early exit for the Caps from the post season, nice work.

Russian guys can't wait to party at the World's, rather than the grind of winning a Stanley Cup.
Who could blame them ?

Posted by: LarryDavid | March 28, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

billd2: exactly. But by then they may be dead tired if we make it that far. *fingers crossed.* :)

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, I guess the Washington Post "style" book needs updating. If it's SEMYON, then it's SEMYON! Heck it's not Mao Tse-Tung anymore.

Signed,
Mao ZeDong

Posted by: dezlboy1 | March 28, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

we just might take the #2 seed. NJ still has those 2 games in hand, but they wre in front of us with 3 in hand a short time ago.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 28, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Those Russians got to see a good game last night. I'm still flyin high from it. Little bit of playoff season atmosphere and some lively action.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

NJ's been on a stumble, and they have some tough games ahead with a tight schedule, including the second part of back to back tonight- against the Canes.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Semyon it is from now on. I hope Tarik and the rest of the WaPo hockey folks give him his name back.

Great game last night.

Posted by: saintex | March 28, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night. Verizon was nice and loud and it was nice to be back in my seats. OV is now only 6 points behind Malkin and 4 points ahead of Crosby.

The only area of concern seems to be Theo. I think the lull in the schedule will definitely benefit him.

I didn't take the time to read all of the posts since the game but the biggest things I noticed is that we scored "dirty" goals tonight which is what BB has been begging for. Every goal, except for the empty netter of course, was because there was major traffic in front of the net. Those are the kind of goals that win playoff games. IMO Fehr played outstanding! I know the horse is dead but Nyls didn't touch McKenna and the goal should have counted. That waived off goal was a like a broken video of goals we've seen scored against the Caps this season. You all know, someone screening the goaltender without someone trying to push them out of the slot.

Anyhow, I know it was Tampa, but that was the closest to playoff hockey the Caps have played in some time. I will miss the Caps but they need to rest. Went ahead and bought NHL Center Ice for the rest of the season so I can watch the games that matter to us. The rain has rolled into town right on schedule because it makes it easier to justify watching so much TV.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 28, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I've seen names re-spelled according to the preference of the person many times. Semyon, it is, at least in my book, if that's a better transliteration.

@Tarik - In the example of Qadafi and Mao, please get the style book changed to reflect Mr. Varlamov's preferences?

Posted by: irockthered | March 28, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

LOL More Russian's !!!! Geez you guys will never learn...Funny Semin would get to know the Russian's in the press box because getting to know them on the ice would be a real short visit..I agree with larry these guys cant wait to cash there check (only made in America) and return home
Stanley Cup???? whats daht!?
Good Luck Sitout Semin and the No CUP CAPS!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 28, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Captain will lead them.
Nevermind.

Posted by: LarryDavid | March 28, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Fanhock - Agreed Fehr was on fire last night. I was certain he would pick one up last night, and he almost did. And you're right about the dirty goals too -- I was surprised that wasn't one of the press story lines today, but it was absolutely true that we generated impressive traffic in front of the net and it paid off on all 4 defended goals.

I liked seeing Aucoin last night too. He had some brilliant passes and feeds, and was working hard every shift. Glad to see he got one point. I was thinking he probably got a kick out of playing with St. Louis, another little guy who brings a hell of a game, including last night.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Why did you have to say an early exit from the playoffs is not a strong possibility. You know the Caps history of dissapointing in the playoffs. And they may end up playing a team like the Pens in the first round. And despite going 3-1 vs them this year, they have owned us in the past and are a lot hotter than us right now. Besides, you know the NHL would rather have thier golden boy, crybaby, and while he may be good, the overrated Sidney go deep in the playoffs.

Posted by: hailtotheskinsalways | March 28, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Rat Portage,
Go back into the frozen hole you crawled out of.

Posted by: OldFan | March 28, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I say bring on the Pens, or whomever...

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to go with Semyon for Varly then why not correct the pronunciation of "Semin" to Sem(e)n?

Posted by: luvdcaps | March 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Is Sit Out Semin on the I.R. expected to be out 2 months ? Or until his runs low on cash!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 28, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Fehr had a great game. If he ever figures out how to bury his chances in the NHL....look out.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 28, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Great Game last night. Get all the guys some good rest, gear up for the play-offs. It is there for the taking.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 28, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Pronunciation of Semin is just the way it sounds! S.I.T. O.U.T

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 28, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

you must mean the "rest" is there for the taking...

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 28, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It was so nice to be in the seats again last night. The first period was awesome and the game finished well. Ovi, Backstrom, Fedorov, Green, Fehr Laich and Aucoin all had great games. Jose let some by, but had some increible, quick reaction saves as well.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

That was a lot of fun at the game last night. Had a great time.

As some 18,000 people last night stated I thought rather clearly, there was a lot to be desired by the officiating, especially on the Laich goal.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps a testament to the Caps' play, the nhl.com highlights of last night's game show five saves -- all Theo's, none by McKenna. They've got no hit highlights, though -- what's with that?

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask: That's unfortunately - McKenna had a couple of dynamite stops too. He was pretty good given what he got peppered with.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 28, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand it, did someone at the Post changed:
"As for Semyon Varlamov" to
"As for Simeon 'Semyon' Varlamov"?

Or is Tarik not understanding his request?

Posted by: opita1 | March 28, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

McKenna was dealing with a lot last night -- tons of power plays, lot's of Caps traffic in front of the net. You're right. From my vantage point just behind goal for the Caps two best periods, he did a creditable job.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

People in Pittsburgh must be peeved now. AO is in sole posession of 3rd on points in the first 4 years of play. Ahead of Mario.

We all smilin'? I am! :D

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The Russian national team will need to get in touch with Slava Kozlov and Ilya Kovalchuk as Ovie, Feds, and Semin won't be available for the Worlds this year...they'll be busy with other busines...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps911 | March 28, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

There's a modern day stat for you.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Make that goals, not points.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Anything to tweek a Pens fan's nose!

Good hard working effort in the first and 3rd, with a usual poor effort in the 2nd. I wonder what is up with that.

Posted by: Leeguru | March 28, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Tru re the 2nd. My thought at the end of the period was we made it through that, let's put it away now. When the Caps come out with a lot of energy, like last night, they seem tired in the second until the get woken up. Last night it took a tieing goal to awake.

It's a pattern, though.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I wonder when Slava will sit in with Tarik on a chat....

Posted by: Leeguru | March 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Course the other thing is the Bolts just played a pretty good game starting with the second. They've got some skill guys, and they're quick. St. Louis was awesome (and Theor had a nice stop on a trademark St. Louis breakaway). In the third in particular, they were making the Caps work very hard to bring the puck in the zone.

Great game, though.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

18 more shots and he'll be the 2nd player in history to shoot 500 times in one season. He could do that this year. 6 games remaining means only 3 shots per game average.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Greg,
How many for him to actually catch Espo?

Posted by: Leeguru | March 28, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

FYI: At the Post, we go by the official NHL spelling. If they change "Simeon" to "Semyon," we will too.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | March 28, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Espo has like 551 or something crazy like that...not sure though

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru: I know I'm not Greg S., but I looked it up. It's 550 - I don't think Ovi's going to beat that, but he won't end up that far from it. If he was more accurate sometimes, he just might challenge it next season. It'd be cool to see him take his 500th shot on goal.

Alex Ovechkin - terrorizing NHL goalies since 2005.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think it's 550, but I can't find an official site for it. Ovie's on pace for 521 according to THN.

Understand, too, that the 2 line pass rule was made to mitigate Espo's effectiveness. Makes you wonder if they'll re-institute it because of Ovie, Malkin, etc... Hopefully not!

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The game has SO changed now, though, that the 2 line pass really shouldn't be a deterrent to these guys. Most of Ovie's chances are from him going through center with the puck. Same for Malkin. Cindy has to take the stretch pass. :D

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

1. SC07, shouldn't you be getting ready for the Leafs golf classic, the second week in April?

2. With any luck, Geno and Gonchar will be leading Russia in the Worlds starting in late April or early May.

3. Lindsay, I think its great that Tarik now has a team helping him and that you take the time to respond to the various comments as warranted.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Theo was dynamite on any shot he could face up to without his own D screening him or deflecting it in. Stoned St. Louis twice which any other year no matter who was in net that little pest would bury it every time. Truth be told we got robbed a few times last night but still pulled out 2 points.

NJ/Carolina tonight as long as it end in reg win/win for us. I'd almost rather Carolina win as I really don't think we need any help with 3 points. Go for the #2 seed.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 28, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greg S. | March 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Lindsay,
Thanks for the clarification, and ofcourse you are absolved since you have to follow the Post's policy, but I sure would like to know who makes that type of policy and what is the rationale behind it - Is the NHL dictating how players should be called? Why should the post have to adhere to such a policy? It seems to me that we should respect personal wishes as to how one should be called.
I am just curious, and I am asking just in case you readily have the answers, not a big deal to me.

Posted by: opita1 | March 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Opita:

I agree with you there. I'm guessing that the intent was to simply spell it phonetically. I'm sure if enough fuss was made, the NHL would change it to the way Varlamov prefers.

You've got me curious now, though, so I'll look into it at some point.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | March 28, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Lindsay, live on the edge. be a cutting edge reporter and make the change yourself. Do you think Woodward asked what the editors thought?

Posted by: Leeguru | March 28, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"Or you could just give us the car Kyle...I mean that would make him a risk taker right?"

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 28, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

An early playoff exit isn't a strong possibility? Exactly which Caps team have you been watching over the past month?

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | March 28, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

6-2-2 last 10 games...certainly zero reason for confidence.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 28, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru: I'm not a reporter, I'm an editor :)

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | March 28, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about how we're playing going into the playoffs...how we're not "getting up" for the weaker teams...it's all moot. We're in 2nd atm, our record isn't that bad at all over the last month or so (especially considering how all the top teams have been struggling a little).

Fact is if we go into the playoffs and play poorly people will point to this stretch of .500 hockey or slightly better and claim the signs of our inconsistencies were there to see. On the other hand, if we go in as the 2 seed and roll over the Rangers in 5 games people will point out how we played all the top teams in the East so well and it was obvious we weren't going to "play down to" a team come playoff time.

See how we finish, will the pieces come together...who will we have in the 1st round, how will it go? Until we know the answers to all those questions we can spin the story however we want and make it sound like it makes sense no matter which way you go with it.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

So you are in charge! come, do it! You know you want to!

Posted by: Leeguru | March 28, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

since center line is no more counted in the two line pass, it's like that rule doesn't exist anymore, isn't it?

Posted by: mauree | March 28, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

For those that don't have NHL Center Ice, I am watching the Pens/Rangers game and the 2nd period just started. The Pens blew an early 2-0, and the 1st ended 2-2. Malkin has one assist, but Crosby hasn't registered a point yet.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Crosby hasn't registered a point yet."

Good. It better stay that way and hopefully Malkin will only have one assist.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Pit just scored... but no points for Malkin or Crysby.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget UND & UNH are on ESPN2 this afternoon. Currently we've got Joe B calling lacrosse, but it should be over soon and they're going to hockey as soon as this ends.
Phil DeSimone is forward #39 on the UNH Wildcats. Joe Finley is D #2 on UND Fighting Sioux. Game is currently tied at 1-1 in the first.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@ StanleyCup1907

This is my last response to you but there are many guys who like to talk with ZERO knowledge about things.
In KHL (Russia) they have 0% (ZERO%) tax rates, that makes their PAYCHECKS as thick or even thicker than NHL. Money ($$$) is NOT THE REASON they come to NHL from Europe. How much is the tax in NHL? Yea about 40%! So go and learn hockey culture to make Urself better.

Posted by: Hazz | March 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

3-3 in pitt rangers game

Posted by: Leeguru | March 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hazz: Don't bother to teach StanleyCup1907, a lot of people here have tried, but it just isn't possible. He doesn't understand.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

UND was just on the PK. Finley & his d-partner were out for the whole thing. He looks pretty solid so far.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 28, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's go with Semyon as the spelling of Varlamov's name, especially if that's what he prefers.

And for @Hazz, I agree with Rachel with your latest comment on Stanley Cup 1097. He's just a sour puss.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Russians will not win you a Stanley Cup! They only play a supporting role. It is the Canadian dark horses that will carry the team to the cup. Russians can put alot of pucks in the net, but they do not have the motivation it takes to carry a cup!

Posted by: Freez | March 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

ForDavethecapsfan, you also noticed the Caps recent record was 6-2-2. Actually, not too shabby, slightly better than the Devils who had been hot but have cooled off.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

This lacrosse game is killing me. They're working on their 6th OT and they won't flip over to the hockey game.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 28, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I am sad to see all the ethnic prejudice against the Russians posted on these comments (and other boards). All the ethnic stereotypes sound similar to the ones voiced against Hispanic and/or black baseball players.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Dang it, the loser scored for Pit...

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Cindy raised his arms AND did a fist pump when he scored. Someone call the celebration police.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 28, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Torts' team continues to have issues in 3rd. I think that call on Orr was legit after watching it again, he didn't even look to see if Eaton was going to play the puck.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 28, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

For oldtimehockey, I loved your comment telling a certain poster to get ready for the Leafs' classic in April.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else think Slava Malamud was referring to "Semyon" as the correct pronunciation of Simeon?

Posted by: OldFan | March 28, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

OldFan, Yeah. His name is definitely pronounced with a 'y' in it.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 28, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

freez-

Russians will not win you a Stanley Cup! They only play a supporting role. It is the Canadian dark horses that will carry the team to the cup. Russians can put alot of pucks in the net, but they do not have the motivation it takes to carry a cup!

Posted by: Freez | March 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse


I can only assume that you were kidding/being sarcastic with your overtly Canadian xenophobic comment. Given the opportunity to have any of these guys skating for you, would you say, "Naaah. Those aren't good old Canadian boys!?" People like you and Don Cherry need to wake up and embrace the 21st century and stop promulgating your jingoistic/racist crap. If thats how you feel, feel free to post your ignorant observations elsewhere please. If you were infact, being sarcastic, then I appologize. Please look at the following list for your education:

Player Year Team

Karpovtsev, Alexander 1994
Kovalev, Alexei 1994
Nemchinov, Sergei 1994
Zubov, Sergei 1994
Brylin, Sergei 1995
Zelepukin, Valery 1995
Gusarov, Alexei 1996
Kamensky, Valery 1996
Ozolinsh, Sandis 1996
Fedorov, Sergei 1997
Fetisov, Viacheslav 1997
Konstantinov, Vladimir 1997
Kozlov, Vyacheslav 1997
Larionov, Igor 1997
Fedorov, Sergei (2) 1998
Fetisov, Viacheslav (2) 1998
Konstantinov, Vladimir (2) 1998
Kozlov, Vyacheslav (2) 1998
Larionov, Igor (2) 1998
Mironov, Dmitri 1998
Zubov, Sergei (2) 1999
Brylin, Sergei (2) 2000
Fetisov, Viacheslav (3) (Assistant Coach) 2000
Malakhov, Vladimir 2000
Mogilny, Alexander 2000
Nemchinov, Sergei (2) 2000
Datsyuk, Pavel 2002
Fedorov, Sergei (3) 2002
Larionov, Igor (3) 2002
Kuznetsov, Maxim 2002
Sergei Brylin (3) 2003
Oleg Tverdovsky 2003
Nikolai Khabibulin 2004
Dimitry Afanasenkov 2004
Ruslan Fedotenko 2004
Oleg Tverdovsky (2) 2006

Huh!?! That Fedorov name seems familliar. Who is he skating for again?




Posted by: lamplighter1 | March 28, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Russians will not win you a Stanley Cup! They only play a supporting role. It is the Canadian dark horses that will carry the team to the cup. Russians can put alot of pucks in the net, but they do not have the motivation it takes to carry a cup!

Posted by: Freez | March 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I know this loser is talking about the Stanley Cup, but if what he is saying is true (it's not), then why didn't Canada win the Ice Hockey World Championship last year?? If the Russians won it, and they have the motivation to win the Cup.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

New Hampshire beat North Dakota.
Finley...needs work. Cleared the puck over the glass to keep the face-off in his own zone with 6 seconds left. UNH tied the game on the resulting play. Then he didn't cover the guy that scored the GWG 45 seconds into OT. He's hardly Lidstrom, but I guess he's got potential, if not size.
DeSimone...not bad. Pretty good third line guy. Seems to work hard. Nothing glaringly bad against him. Fun fact: van Riemsdyk claims he reads a lot and pretty much lives at the library.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 28, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

If Carolina wins they would be 8 points within us, that kinda scares me.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Beyond home ice, the seedings don't matter now. Flu this, tweaked that, surging-the-other: Caps gotta play somebody in the first round. And whoever they are, Caps are gonna beat 'em.

Posted by: redlineblue | March 28, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

interesting post on tsn.ca from scott cullen. he shows winning % with and without key players in lineup. shultz (.647%) either way. surprising - fedorov (.717%) without (.600%) with. HUH?

Posted by: hockeypope | March 28, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

hockeypope: I wouldn't read too much into that stat..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to decide who to root for in the Carolina-NJ contest. A win by Carolina would keep NJ behind us but put them within 8 of us. A loss would pretty much be curtains for Carolina's hope of overtaking us in the standings. Yes, I would rather see us face either the 7th or 8th seed (and do without Pitt, Philthy, or Carolina for Round 1.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

For lamplighter1, nice post, pointing out the Russians who've done well (in reply to Freez' xenophobic comments). Good comeback, Rachel.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The time off for the Caps (no game until Wed and no practice either today or Sunday) should help the guys rest up and recover from the flu.

BTW, maybe Semin had tried to come back too soon (Toronto game). While he did contribute an important assist, he was making mistakes. Caps Chick (on "View from the Cheap Seats" remarked that she wasn't sure who looked paler on the bench, Semin, Bradley, or Laich). I wonder if he had gotten a little better and then relapsed by Wed or Thursday. He's been sick since Sunday. (Maybe sooner for all I know.) Anyway, get well soon, Sasha (or Alex or whatever you answer to these days.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: 100% agreed. You share the same sentiment as me. I really don't know who to root for, but my feelings now are to just let the chips fall where they may. Whatever happens, happens. We can't control it. I also agree with redlineblue. Whoever we play, I'm sure the Caps will get out of the first no matter what. Caps always play their hardest in huge games, I know they will get out of the first round. Their intensity will be there and they will beat whoever they play in the first round.. if it's Pittsburgh, Carolina, NY Rangers, or Flyers.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Yeah, Freez doesn't make any sense (he probably is a Pens fan.) He says the Russians don’t have what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. Then what explains the Russians winning the Ice Hockey World Championship? That’s equivalent to winning the Stanley Cup in the NHL, it’s the ultimate prize.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

Here's the flip-side: If Carolina wins, the Caps would retain possession of 2nd place in the East.

If we disregard recent history, the resting Caps have a favorable slate during the "home stretch." They'll play only two of their remaining six games against +.500 teams. Four of those games will be against teams that have already been eliminated; e.g., NYI, ATL and TBL.

On the other hand, the Canes play five of their remaining six games against +.500 teams. All except for the Islanders are trying to secure a spot--or jockey for position in the playoffs.

The only concern there is that the Canes are playing very well at home. Four of their remaining six are at home.

Nevertheless, I don't see any likelihood that the Caps will lose the division. Even if the Canes win out, the Caps will need only three points to clinch the SE.

C'mon Caps, let's go get three or more!

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I say bring on the Pens, or whomever...

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

watch the pens-rangers game today? that was two highflying hardnosed teams giving everything they had on every shift. The intensity level was incredible, both teams were going for the jugular on every shift. I'm very impressed with the energy level and nastiness on both teams, I don't see the caps matching that level of energy, and they certainly don't have that level of grit on this team, not even close. We'll have to hope that our skill guys can somehow be brilliant and overcome the grit disadvantage teams like that have over us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 28, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Devils 1 - Hurricanes 0 (1st - END)

Now, if the Devils win tonight, our job winning the SE will only be easier.

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The Caps can match that level of energy in the playoffs. You don't think the Caps showed a lot of grit last year against the Flyers? Yeah it is hard to get up for teams like Tampa and maybe NY on Wednesday when there is only 6 games left and the playoffs start soon. The Caps intensity level will be incredible during the playoffs.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

if we cant get 3 points in the rest of the season then qwe might as well give carolina the division! i am sure we will do better than that.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 28, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Dang it, Toronto just gave up a 3-2 lead late in the 1st period. 3-3 Tie now.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

If we don't have the energy to beat the Pens, fine, be done with it. I'm not looking to just get past the first round. @cstanton1

We've got a team that can bring it, and I think they will.

Of course the Pens Rangers was high energy -- they're fighting for the playoffs and position. I think the first period last night was pretty much that way for the Caps too, and that was a no stakes game for the Bolts. I also think it would be an awesome series with the Pens, and that we'd emerge victorious. It's not like we can afford to be afraid of anyone at this point.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why my post came out like that, but the intro was meant to be the conclusion...

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

what the heck is going on with the isles? now they are ahead of philthy!

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 28, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Toronto up 4-3 over Boston.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Question for American Caps fans: so you're watching USA vs Russia game in Vancouver next year. You see the Caps line get on the ice, who are you rooting for? You see OV break in, do you want to see him score?

Posted by: PavelSTL | March 28, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Boston up 5-4 now. Who is Pogge? He sucks. They should play CuJo instead.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Question for American Caps fans: so you're watching USA vs Russia game in Vancouver next year. You see the Caps line get on the ice, who are you rooting for? You see OV break in, do you want to see him score?

Posted by: PavelSTL | March 28, 2009 8:28 PM
*******************************************

Where allegiance is concerned, country trumps sports team. I would pull for the Red, White and Blue--and clap for good performances by our local Russian contingent. (The KGB line?)

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

To PavelSTL and Terptwin,

Who will I root for? It depends on what my confidence level in the American team is. If the Americans are goners, I'll root for Russia. Pavel, I assume you're Russian with that first name. My favorite character on Star Trek was named Pavel; hence, I had some sentiment for the Russians even before Ovi and Semin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The gates have opened--and I'm not talking about the Red River!

Boston 6 - Toronto 4 with 4:28 to go in the second.

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit that last year's World Championship hockey team is the only time in my life I've ever rooted for the Russian team in anything. Certainly not swimming or basketball or gymnastics.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Toronto has fallen apart. Now 7-4 Boston.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

terptwin, you weren't kidding about the gates opening in the Toronto - Boston game. It's now 7-4. I'll say one good thing about the Bruins. I like them better than Pittsburgh, Philthy, NJ, Carolina, and the Rangers. I'm not a fan of any of the NY teams in any sport. If the Islanders ever got good again, I'd hate them again. NJ is too close to NY. Philthy is filthy and today's game is chock full of fights. And the Pens, well they're the Pens. Their current cast of characters reminds me of my younger daughter's middle school rivals. (Okay, she's in HS now but they still remind me of them.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

To terptwin, The floodgates have opened even more, Boston 7 Toronto 4.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll say this much, if and when the US team is eliminated, I'll focus much more of my attention toward the Russian team at the Olympics. That team will be loaded with Ovechkin, Federov, Semin, Kovalchuk--and I haven't even left the Southeast division yet!

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: "I'll admit that last year's World Championship hockey team is the only time in my life I've ever rooted for the Russian team in anything. Certainly not swimming or basketball or gymnastics."
---------------------------------------

LOL that's why I asked who you'll be rooting for. You get emotionally attached to your favorite players so much that it becomes difficult to root against them when they play against your country. And yes, I'm Russian; and I want to move to DC. You guys seem to have way too much fun over there.

Posted by: PavelSTL | March 28, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

To PavelSTL, are you still living in Russia? Yes, it's too hard to root against guys you get attached to. In my case, Ovi and Semin are about the same age as my first child. Semin is actually a year older and reminds me of her (my first born) in many ways.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

From your handle, I see you're another lifer. Following the Caps never gets old does it?

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Terptwin: "I'll say this much, if and when the US team is eliminated, I'll focus much more of my attention toward the Russian team at the Olympics. That team will be loaded with Ovechkin, Federov, Semin, Kovalchuk--and I haven't even left the Southeast division yet!"

--------------------------------

Yeah, but without a team heart, all that talent doesn't mean much. I yet to see the Russian team to have as much heart as the Soviet team had or the American national team. I hope that will change in Vancouver. Last year's WC final was promising and I hope OV will be the catalyst for the change.

Posted by: PavelSTL | March 28, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

To Terptwin, yes, I'm just about a lifer. Followed the Caps since 1975, as soon as I graduated from college. First game I saw was a 2-0 loss, with Bernie Wolfe in goal. I can't even recall who the opponent was.

Sat through some bad years. Went to a fair amount of games.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd probably root for Russia like you guys. Talk about nationalism/patriotism.. I feel so bad!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:"To PavelSTL, are you still living in Russia?"

Nope, in St. Louis, watching the Blues fighting for the playoffs. They remind me of the Caps' playoff race last year. Everybody all of a sudden starts winning every friken game. Unbelievable. It must be nice for the Caps to have that cushion this year. I just hope they'll be able to crank it up again when the playoffs start.

Posted by: PavelSTL | March 28, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I see that Carolina has tied up the score with the Devils. Guess Carolina will not get shut out 1-0 after all.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

To PavelSTL, I did wonder if the STL stood for St. Louis. I used to live near there. Until the Caps came into existence, the St Louis Blues were my favorite team. And I would probably rather see them win than any other Western Conference team. But I was NOT happy with David Backes' (sp ?) hit on Semin that knocked him out of the game and for two weeks, with NO penalty called. Backus who tend to get lots of major penalties.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@PavelSTL

Thanks for joining us! Bring along your friends. We'll need your support during the playoffs.

*******************************************

Ovie will be the heart of your national team. As you know, he plays with great exurberance. He makes players around him better. As long as he's healthy, I'm sure he won't disappoint you and your countrymen.

Posted by: Terptwin | March 28, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Canes ahead of the Devils with 30 secs left

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Canes win, Caps still in 2nd place by a point. Devils still have a game in hand.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | March 28, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I like it.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

While I don't particularly like the 'Canes these days, I loved how they beat NJ! Caps still in second for the conference. Now all they have to do is keep winning and then NJ will be stuck with dealing with either Philthy, Pittsburgh, or Carolina in the first round. And the other two teams will be stuck with each other.

NJ blew a golder opportunity. So much for them being hot!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Caps have a game in hand and 8 points over the Canes. 2nd spot would be great for the Caps. New Jersey's dropped 4 straight.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 28, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I meant to say that NJ blew a golden opportunity. Nothing like a typo.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

tor just scored. bos 7-5 over tor - 5 min left

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Carolina pulled it off. WHile that may help the Caps on the numbers side, I hope the majority are realistic about what kind of threat Carolina is right now. THey're playing they're best hockey of the season. THat's a veteran club who will ride hard and help keep a hot goalie on fire.

Man, these playoffs are shaping up to be pretty wild. I still dont like the 3pt game, though. The salary cap should have fixed what the extra point is plugging up.

Posted by: oo7 | March 28, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, totally didn't expect to see that... 2-1 Carolina? I love it!!!!! Sorta... that's 4 straight losses for NJ.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, I fear Jersey and Brodeur. When he gets hot, the team is really tough to beat. So, if we have to face the Devils in the 2nd round (not taking 1st round for granted), I would rather do it at home.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | March 28, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Philthy and the NY Islanders are tied after 3 periods.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if the NJ blogs have the same doom and gloomers that we have here. bet they are thinking they'll get sweep in 4 - no matter who they draw

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Carolina is really good now.. with a goalie as hot as Ward is right now.. that's scary

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

At wemiss21, I agree. I'd rather face NJ at home.

Unless the Devils get upset in the first round themselves. Gee, wonder what their fans and bloggers are saying now. I wonder if their fans are in the doom and gloom mode.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

at Capt_Kirk_in_AZ,

I noticed you posted almost the same thing as me. Great minds think alike. How pessimistic are NJ fans. Note: that team started at the same time as the Caps. They were originally the KC Scouts, who moved to Colorado and became the Rockies, and are now NJ.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Best case scenario: NJ plays NY. NY can do it.
Pretty solid case scenario: NJ plays Carolina.

Posted by: oo7 | March 28, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

bos win 7-5
CapsFan75:
sometimes it gets a little depressing to read how the caps aren't going to beat anyone in the playoffs because the other teams will be bringing their A game. why won't/can't the caps do the same. bos, nj, sj, det and the caps have all had a bit of a struggle lately. i think that it is mostly these other teams are playing their 'first round playoffs' right now. just as the caps had to last season. i do hope they can 'pick it up' these last 6 games - as i prefer to watch them win. i also think they'll be ready for the first round no matter who they draw. beyond that i'm not sure how long they might be able to sustain the level of play required to get to the cup.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

buf-mon 3-3 going to OT

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps can get first, have home ice all playoff long, and face Florida in the first round, I'll be very happy.

Posted by: oo7 | March 28, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Bears won 7-2 Aucoin had 2g and 2a and Alex Giroux scored twice to set the single season goal record for the Bears with 54.
Kronwall obliterated a guy in open ice that rivaled the Sloan hit in Calgary.
Bears up 5 pts in division with game in hand and the Baby Pens in the Chocolate Barn tomorrow night

Posted by: BBDwrestling | March 28, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

buf-mon going to SO

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Go Habs Go!

Posted by: MReilly9 | March 28, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

buf wins SO 1-0 in 6 rounds
they get the extra point - they're still in it

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Carolina's win makes Wednesday's game extremely important. Now that NJ only has one game in hand on us and one less point, we need to hope NJ loses one more and we need to win all 6 games. I say we have a great chance of winning all six, NJ has a harder road... Rangers, Penguins, Sabres, and Hurricanes. They'll lose at least one of those. We MUST hold onto #2 now. No more of these inconsistencies. They better take Wednesday game very seriously and come out with a win.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I think Montreal will fall out of the 8 spot very soon..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 28, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

at Capt_Kirk_in_AZ,

You're not the only one who's noticed. Every time the Caps lose, especially to a bad team, everyone here is convinced that there's no way in h*** that the Caps will get past the first round. Yes, it's pretty depressing to read.

About the other teams. NJ got really hot right after Brodeur returned. Now they've cooled down. Some of these other teams (Pitt, Rangers, Montreal..) got hot right after firing the coach. Okay, Pitt is still hot but even they can't go on forever. Okay, the Caps used to lose to Pitt regularly back when Kolzig was goalie. We have a different guy there. And Pittsburg does have defensive weaknesses which we've exploited. Okay, we had that last loss (Shootout) but we did come back from a deficit. Pitt had hit us after our slump.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

@ rachel, I would not be surprised to see Montreal fall out of the 8th spot either. They seemed to have self destructed during the 2nd half of the season.

@ Captain Kirk, I think the Caps can probably get out of the first round. Would prefer not playing Pitt, Philthy or Carolina then. They'll likely step it up for the playoffs.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Came here to cheer with the rest of the board about the Canes beating the Devils. Maybe we have a shot at this 2nd place thing after all!

Posted by: Raber | March 28, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Side Note: We win the head to head tiebreaker if we tie for points and games won.

Posted by: Raber | March 28, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
i'd love to see a run like they did in 98 - and play det again - sweet dreams of revenge

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

So would I. I remember in 1968, when my favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals lost the World Series to Detroit. 38 years later (in 2006), the Cardinals met that same team and got revenge. May it happen in hockey as well. Revenge for 1998.

I don't generally hate the Red Wings but would like to see the Caps beat them in the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
i root for the wings every year to win the west conf and play in the cup. the worst part about 98 was my son (then 11) was a wings fan - he announced that det would sweep. he did that so matter of factly that when it happened he wasn't even surprised. i'd be happy with a cap/wings final every year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

To Capt Kirk,

Sounds like your son is a couple of years younger than my first daughter. Was he born in 1987?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 28, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Wednesday's game is critically important for us to win, and win well. This is the team that shut Detroit out in their own barn last night, so don't think this'll be a pushover game.

Carolina can lose any games where they're not playing NJ, thanks. For those of you who say we need to win all six - maybe not. Remember that the magic number to clinch the division is just 3 for us right now. To keep the #2 seed, we need to win a couple more than that, and certainly winning all six would get us a new season record for the franchise, but I'm not sure it's a must for us to win all six games.

Though that'd be my preference.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 28, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
he'll be 22 in may - so yes it was 87. i have two girls also - 25 and 27. trying to get my son to commit to some major in college, get him to finish - then i won't feel so bad when i kick him out. he has talked about going to japan to study. he's into languages - german, russian and japanese. i offered to get him a one way ticket to japan - he didn't think it was as funny as i did though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 28, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I know EVERYONE here will be very surprised to hear that Don Cherry is claiming that he made Ovie see how classless his post-scoring antics are.

Sheesh.

He's wearing one of his pink florals...

Posted by: Greg S. | March 29, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

He's wearing one of his pink florals...

Posted by: Greg S. | March 29, 2009 12:02 AM

That was GOLD, Jerry! Gold!

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

For Capt Kirk,

I think you started your family at a younger age than me. Your second child sounds to be the same age as Semin and Fleischmann.

At least my first born's out of college. Okay, she hasn't settled on a career yet but she taught English in Korea for a year and has traveled to various places. My #2 is finishing up HS and will head off to college next year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 29, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Don Cherry is rediculous!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 29, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Bears won 7-2 Aucoin had 2g and 2a and Alex Giroux scored twice to set the single season goal record for the Bears with 54.
Kronwall obliterated a guy in open ice that rivaled the Sloan hit in Calgary.
Bears up 5 pts in division with game in hand and the Baby Pens in the Chocolate Barn tomorrow night
~~

Just got back from that Bears game. That was a really fun hockey game! Congrats to Giroux! Aucoin was a beast out there. "Semyon" V looked great, and Mink as well! Oh my god, I fell in love with that guy after his second period (I think it was) fight! He totally won that fight, but he pulled the other player down, and I swear, mid-air and on their way down, Mink was still throwing punches at the Tiger player (cannot remember who it was). That was just too kool to see.

Oh, and as OV might say, that hit by Kronwall was sic!

Last note, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read "You got Borqued"), that about was the cherry on top of what was an excellent bears game experience.

Glad Devils lost, Caps keep 2nd, and I think they can get the magic 3 points on their own, thank you very much!

Go Caps

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 29, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

at The_Stanley_Caps

I'm glad you enjoyed the Hershey game. And the good performances from all the once and future Caps on the team.

NJ has not been looking too good lately. Hope the Caps can hold them off for 2nd in the Conference. I'm sure the Caps can win three more this year and get the division.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 29, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"FYI: At the Post, we go by the official NHL spelling. If they change "Simeon" to "Semyon," we will too."

I've seen the NHL's "pronunciation" guide. It's an atrocity.

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | March 29, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Just got back from a night out with some friends, one of whom is a die-hard Pens fan. The highlight of my night was hearing him say, "Okay, you're right, Ovechkin *is* better than Crosby" without any prompting from me. Okay, that was my one anti-Crosby statement for the week. Back to my Lent promise & your regularly scheduled blogging.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

@JMU

I don't know....that really wasn't so much an Anti-crosby statement as much as it was pointing out the facts, and in doing so stating the obvious :) If you are allowed one anti-Crosby statement per week during Lent, I would make it a good one!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 29, 2009 2:28 AM | Report abuse

check out the devastating hit by Kronwall in tonight's Hershey game. He got his clock cleaned in the ensuing fight (bloody nose) but what a hit! Can't figure out why this guy can't crack our powderpuff defensive lineup. No one anywhere in this organization hits like this guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si6QGLigi0Y&eurl=http%3A%2F%2F

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 29, 2009 2:54 AM | Report abuse

@jmu

have same kind of colleague. Having him to agree that OVI is better than Crosby was easy. However he always follows up with "but Malkin is better than OVI" lol

Posted by: mauree | March 29, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I love Kronwall. I'd like to see him get a longer look up here than he's gotten. But the claim that nobody on the Caps hits like that is crap. I've seen Ovi, Jurcina, and Morrisonn all hit like that - Mo put Arnott out of commission not long ago. Not to mention Sloan upending Langkow in Calgary in October.

cstanton1, what exactly is your problem? do you ever have anything positive to say about anyone? These are not the lunchpail Caps of the 90's that won through sheer grit and hard work. This is a different style of team, one with sizzling young talent that plays a high-flying offensive style completely opposite to the Caps of old. It's true that their effort is frustratingly inconsistent, but that'll come with time and experience. They're young. They'll get it. In the meantime, give them a little credit, eh? We're still second in the Eastern Conference and need just three points in six games to lock up the division, assuming that Carolina wins everything for the rest of the year.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

@jmu: It's all good. You posted it technically on Sunday, so you didn't break any rules. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

We're doomed: Kittipawz no more dooming.

hehe just jk :p

Posted by: mauree | March 29, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

@mauree: Ha. What I was doing wasn't dooming, it was attempting to be balanced and realistic and not take anything for granted. I'm still doing that.

It was an amusing exercise, but some people got their panties in a knot over it, so I dropped it. *shrug* Not everyone can take a running gag, which was mostly what it was intended to be. Some things aren't worth the strife.

I should pull JSchon's list back out, but it's not on this computer.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Morning reading: Bears game story

http://www.pennlive.com/hersheybears/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/123829981666350.xml&coll=1

Side note to the person who commented above about the Mink fight: Coach Woods said postgame that Mink was being xrayed for a hand injury due to the fight. Hoping he's ok; we need Minker for the playoff run.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 29, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

@kittipawz

come on, you know what I meant, and you know I agree 100% with your sentiment.

I never saw JSchon list. He doesn't post here anymore, sadly. Even though I didn't agree with him about many issues he does know a lot and I miss the dude.

re: popularity. Well, I know exactly what you're talking about. Sometimes I see myself mitigate (or not post at all) a "doom" post for fear of being associated with trolls. But then I think hey, if we don't post our true opinions here, what's the point of even posting?

Posted by: mauree | March 29, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@mauree: I do, and I know that. :) Its all good, really it is. You made me smile this morning.

I've seen JSchon post every once in a great long while. I still have the list, but it's on a work machine and I'd have to go in to get it. Not something I'm overly inclined to do.

I don't know, I've had some "doom" thoughts lately watching the standings boards and our record over the month of March. Granted that a lot of that is probably the bug running through the locker room, but that can't be all of it. I think the statement that the guys are killing time waiting for the postseason is pretty accurate. Of course, there's a franchise record and a second seed within our grasp in the meantime, not to mention the little affair of locking down the division, so it's too early to get comfortable as we've said so often.

But you're right. Very often, I don't post what I'm thinking, or post only parts of what I'm thinking, in an effort to not be seen as a troll. Which of course isn't exactly a fair assessment, but then when were blog posters ever a fair and reasonable bunch? :) We all have opinions, and nobody likes to hear unremitting negativity about their favorite team. There are two sides to every coin, and to focus on just one side or the other (in either direction) is both shortsighted and foolish.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Okay, so that last paragraph was a little disjointed - how did I not write that sentence. The key seems to be to sweeten the pill a little - mention both positives and negatives.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

at kittypawz,

No, you don't always post gloom posts. You try to be realistic, as to I. The "real" trolls here never seem to post anything positive.

I agree with you on cstanton, he's usually negative.

@mauree
I think you should be able to post your true opinion here. I figure if you post both positive and negative things, you'll have more credibility and not be perceived as a troll. Our board here does have it's share of trolls. I think your one post "we're doomed. kittypaws no more dooming" sounds like it was meant with a spirit of sarcasm.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 29, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan75: It so totally was. It made me laugh, because earlier in the year I made a habit of a "let's hope they can get it up tonight, this one isn't as easy as it looks" post before every game. It was intended as a running gag of sorts, a halfway amused and halfway serious little superstition, but a couple of people got upset and blasted me for it and called me a troll and generally had me feeling that if all this group wanted was sunshine and rainbows, I was better off getting my news somewhere else. That was the source of mauree's remark, and it made me laugh.

Thank you for the vote of confidence - I do try to be realistic and see not just the wonderful things that have happened, but how much farther this team can go, the things that want fixing and tuning up, and the things that could kill us without warning. Yes, they've got the best single-season record in close to 20 years, and a shot at the best single-season record in franchise history, but ... let's finish the job, eh?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz, mauree, etc.

You guys are silly if you're worried about looking like trolls! Although I don't really post here, I lurk often enough to be able to honestly and truthfully tell you guys that your opinions are constructive and relevant and very eloquently written.

The fact of the matter is, some people are pessimists and some are optimists. If everyone on here was saying, "Oh yay! Third! No worries! Good game!" it wouldn't be a very fun place. This is a place for discussion, and discussions aren't very lively when they're one-sided, no?

So for all of our sakes, don't worry about being perceived as trolls. I enjoy reading all of your posts and generally learn something from them. Unless you all of a sudden develop an inexplicable loathing for GMGM, please don't hold yourself back from saying whatever is on your mind!


...oh geez this turned into an essay didn't it?

Posted by: InSEMINator | March 29, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
very early indeed - was 22 when the first came along. been married for 28 1/2 yrs now.

there is nothing wrong with expressing negative opions - it gets to be a drag when it's about how completely terrible specific players are. to some - it wouldn't matter if nlys had three or four assists - 'he circles too much', if schultz blocked some shots and cleared the crease - 'he's a pylon', if thoe had a shutout - 'he's always out of position and can't win the the PO's'. it goes on and on and these players are just not that bad. every team has these types of players that 'don't have a complete' game. it has to be that way because of the salary cap. the real trick is chemistry and motivation. in those things i have faith that the team will do well. i'm looking forward to some natural progression this post season where they get to at least the second round and make a series of it - anything more, to me, is being 'ahead' of schedule.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 29, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

gooden morgan every buddy!
I see theres an ongoing discussion on opinions. Opinions on opinions. There's a comedy sketch in there somewhere.
Lots of teens and new fans around these parts. Opinions will suffer for it. I read your posts, so rest assured! Your voice doesn't go unheard, just unheralded.

As for everyone having to be 'positive' and 'behind the team 100%', well, thats unreasonable. Life just doesn't work like that. I see what I see and I call it like I see it. Offended be damned.

I saw the Kronwall hit that Cstanton posted last night (get some sleep man!). Beautiful, looked like Stevens, catching someone unawares. It was clean and legal and all that was good with checking. The ensuing fight was exactly what GMGM was talking about eliminating from the pro game. Nice job, Kronwall. Keep it up.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

oo7:
everyone doesn't have to be positive, and theres been plenty (lately) of negative to observe - but wouldn't you agree that there are some who never seem to see any of the positive? 95% here post there opions either way, positive or negative, 4% will only post they negative they see, and 1% - he's our troll

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 29, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

YEs, Captain, I think some only post the negatives. But those are the kiddies/head cases I'm talking about. THey're focused on what goes wrong and not what goes right. THey dont really know yet, as newbies, what to actually look for or what they're looking at. That said, they also point out things that the overwhelmingly positive try to ignore.

Some of the negatives are relentless, like when posters fix their hate on one player. It happens every year. It was Eminger, he left, it became schultz, etc.

As for the trolls, I wish people would stop talking to them. But thats what teens do. THey talk when they should keep quiet.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Kirk:
Amen. I'm all for balanced commentary, the problem is that some people are not very balanced. Being critical of a bad game - no problem (as long as that critique does not equate to the end of the season or a player's career). Being critical before the puck even drops? Well that's just no way to go through the season (there's a life analogy in there somewhere). The blog has tilted that direction this season. It's ironic considering where we have been the past few years - the blog was actually a much more positive (read "rah-rah, go team!") place to be a year or two ago! I attribute that to the fact that the blog used to be filled with primarily die hard loyal fans, but since the Caps have been playing well there are a lot more fair weather fans at the party. I am not singling anyone out as being or not being a real fan, it's just what it is - there are A LOT more people here than there used to be, and that can be directly attributed to the Caps' success. With that comes fickle fans ... sobeit. I'll take the extra energy that it brings to the VC, but sometimes I get tired of the cynicism here. It's a long season ... micro-analyzing and hypercriticisim is both a waste of energy and simply futile. But that's just my humble opinion. *Steps off soapbox and waits for beatings to commence.*

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

well said, Boo.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

regarding the Kornwall hit, if the league wants to look into something, they should look into players being jumped after they dish out a clean hit. It doesn't make any sense. Kornwall delivers a great hit and now he has to sit in the box with a bloody nose for 5 minutes because some goon on the other team didn't appreciate it.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 29, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, oo7, as were you (can I get another Amen?!?). :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 29, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Well we haven't seen Windjammer in a while. And, as for a certain troll, who will remaing nameless for now, I try to say as little as possible to him. (Ignore bad behavior and it will go away, they say.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 29, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Kittypawz: I love Kronwall. I'd like to see him get a longer look up here than he's gotten. But the claim that nobody on the Caps hits like that is crap. I've seen Ovi, Jurcina, and Morrisonn all hit like that - Mo put Arnott out of commission not long ago. Not to mention Sloan upending Langkow in Calgary in October.


I meant DEFENSIVELY no one in our organization hits like that. And specifically in open ice the way Kronwall does. Sloan's hit on Langkow was a classic as well but CONSISTENTLY speaking Kronwall is the only guy who brings that game. And I'm sorry but I've never seen Mo or Jurcina lay someone out at the blueline like that. Never.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 29, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Haley's not a goon, he just did what a lot of players now are implicity encouraged to do to foster team toughness and chemistry - they immediately go after a player who has laid one of their teammates out. And frankly, wouldn't we want to see someone on our team do that more often? If Ovechkin or Semin had been laid out with a vicious but clean hit where they're motionless on the ice, then you'd want some immediate response.

What would have been a better outcome in last night's Bear game would be if Beagle or Arsene had intercepted Haley and fought him instead of Kronwall who isn't a good fighter. Haley's a Matt Bradley type of player, he'll go hard all the time and finish his checks. But he's not a goon per se. He is expected by his coach and teammates at that point to respond to that hit. Later in the game he went hard at Mink in the corner and luckily Mink can handle himself better than Kronwall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaxaU4WMH8E

Even though the incidence of fights after clean hits has increased dramatically in this league now, its very hard to police that with penalties because players will find a way around that rule. They'll just wait a little longer before getting their guy. Teams have to protect themselves and police each other. If you have a player like Kronwall on the ice on your side, then pair him with a guy who can hopefully fight pretty well and can jump in when needed so Kronwall isnt' discouraged from playing his regular physical style. When Ulf Samuelson got traded to the Pens he didn't have to fight as much to answer for his hitting because the Penguins would protect him on the ice better than Hartford did. It made him more of an effective hitter.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

at kittypawz,

No, you don't always post gloom posts. You try to be realistic, as to I. The "real" trolls here never seem to post anything positive.

I agree with you on cstanton, he's usually negative.

@mauree
I think you should be able to post your true opinion here. I figure if you post both positive and negative things, you'll have more credibility and not be perceived as a troll. Our board here does have it's share of trolls. I think your one post "we're doomed. kittypaws no more dooming" sounds like it was meant with a spirit of sarcasm.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 29, 2009 9:54 AM

One fan's view of what "negative" is is another fan's "realism". Some of you need to figure that out. Or just skip over what you perceive as overly negative for the sake of negativity. I don't do that. But i don't gloss over mistakes just because the team pulled out a win which I notice is what some of you like to do as well. If I notice a repeated tendency to play a certain way that doesn't foster long-term success then yes I'll mention it, repeatedly if necessary. Skip over if you don't like it. But I certainly don't come on here for the sole purpose of being negative.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 29, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

regarding the Kornwall hit, if the league wants to look into something, they should look into players being jumped after they dish out a clean hit. It doesn't make any sense. Kornwall delivers a great hit and now he has to sit in the box with a bloody nose for 5 minutes because some goon on the other team didn't appreciate it.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 29, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

And its not just "goons" who did that. If you have close-knit team with enough grit then you'll always have at least one or two gritty players on the ice who will respond to hits on their teammates, clean or dirty. In last night's Flyers-Isles game, Doug Weight of all people responded to a hit by Flyers tough guy Darroll Powe on Islander's tough guy Tim Jackman. Now Jackman could have defended himself in that situation but to see your team captain jump in to answer the bell for your own tough guy is pretty inspiring, no ?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 29, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1: No? You missed the hit on Jason Arnott in Nashville, then.

Hits like that aren't common from anyone on any team, truthfully. They're nice to see, but remember that big hits don't necessarily mean good defense. Would I like to see a little more physicality? Sure. Am I convinced that they suck and will never amount to anything if they don't? Not in the least, and I think that that sort of thinking is really narrow-minded. I say go with what works. There's more than one way to accomplish the task at hand, and looking at the standings, I'd say that our boys in red aren't doing a half-bad job. I love Kronwall and think he has something to offer this team, but are we going to die without it? No.

Also, the fight following the hit Kronwall laid out got dealt with in the only way I think will really work - after bloodying Kronwall's nose, Haley got absolutely creamed by Graham Mink later in the game. You don't want guys fighting after clean hits? If someone jumps your guy after a clean hit, that's perfect license to take them to the woodshed as far as I'm concerned. (Minker had a Gordie Howe last night, by the way.)

@Boo: Honestly, I prefer the realistic assessments and intellectual discussions that come with looking at both sides of the coin. It means that there's hope, and that there's a very real sense that things could improve still more, which is a good thing. I'm sure not everyone feels that way, and there are forums for all sorts of attitudes.

But one thing you said really torques me off. Being one of those new people you're talking about, I really resent the blind and high-handed assumption that all new fans are automatically fair-weather fans and will leave at the first blip. Some will, no doubt - people are drawn to a winner, that's the nature of fans of every sport anywhere - but more will be drawn to the sport as a whole as I've been. Maybe the newbies have something to offer -- just keep that in mind.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1: I understand what you're trying to do, and trying to say, but remember that realism always has both a positive and a negative. Very often I've noticed a tendency in your posts to gloss over the positives in an effort to point out the negatives, and when you do point our negatives, you do so in a very destructive and hateful tone that sends the message that you really don't like the team and don't want to see them do well. It's that destructive and nasty tone that makes many people, myself sometimes included, think that you're doing little more than trolling. Try being constructive in your criticism for a change and give shouts out for what you see that went right as well as what went wrong, and you'll find yourself with both more interesting discussion and more credibility.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Success breeds optimism. We haven't had a lot of it come playoff time so it's natural to have some skeptics preaching "realism" and there isn't a good point either way yet. Playoffs are coming ;) we'll find out how good we really are there. I'm hoping for #2 seed and a 1st round series against the Rangers.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 29, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So, is today's Bruins-Flyers game the kind we pray for neither team to win? Or is this one of the few cases a season where we actually, gulp, cheer for Philly to win? Or at least cheer for the Bs to lose?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I think we should make a time capsule and fill it with our playoff projections regarding wins and losses and the Caps will fare. Then, we can open it up after the Caps hoist the cup or bet bounced out of the postseason. We'll see who was closest, who was wrong, and who can boast bragging rights. Who's in?

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

jmu, i like to watch these games and not cheer. The way a scout doesn't cheer. The chips will fall where they may, and as long as its only a 2pt game, all good. I prefer Philly to hold Boston back for us, but i won't route for them. Wankers.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

oo7, Well put. I'll go along with that.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

You know, FLorida could really pull this off and get the 8 spot. I'd love Florida in the first round. It owuld get osme of our guys going, and give them the confidence they need. THe draw back is that they might get a little complacent heading into the 2nd round, but I'll take that draw back.

Camel Crepes only has 4 goals this season. How many were against the Caps?

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Of course, we need the #1 spot to see Florida. I think they can do it. If they win the rest of there games, they've done all they could do. Imagine if they hadn't dropped those games at home recently. They would be tied with Boston right now, if not ahead!

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

my typing and spelling are awful today.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:
You are assuming that I was talking about you. I have no idea how long you have been a fan of the Caps even just hockey for that matter; I only know how long you have been on the board. I spoke in generalities for a reason - I would never make assumptions about an individual's background as a fan. In terms of whether or not newbies have something to offer, again I never spoke to the value of contributions from newbies (furthermore, I never even used the word newbie). In fact, a good friend of mine (who goes to a lot of games with me) is a relatively new fan, and she has all sorts of interesting things to say about the game and our fine team (good, bad and indifferent). No, rather I was speaking about the tone or attitude that tends to come with fair weather fans who pop up only when things are going well ... and I stand by those comments.

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 29, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

oo7, Startlingly enough, none of his goals were against the Caps. You're thinking of last season when 4 of his 8 were against us.
However, I am a little concerned over the "charity" of the Caps. I think they've given about 40 guys their first NHL goal this season. I guess we'll have to go through the rosters of any potential playoff match-ups to see if anyone hasn't scored yet and go ahead and just give them a goal. :-D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Then again, maybe Florida's road is too tough. We'll see.

Boston's 8 remaining games:
PHI, TB, OTT (x2), MONT, NY, BUF, NYI

New Jerseys 7 remaining games:
NY, PITT, TB, BUF, TO, OTT, CAR

Carolina's 5 remaining games (next 4 at home):
NY, PITT, NYI, BUF, NJ

Panther's 6 remaining games:
OTT, ATL, PITT, PHI, ATL, WSH

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

hah, you're right, jmu, it was last year! Good. And you are correct, the Caps have been more than generous enough. "Need a record? Come play us! Just starting your career? no problem..."

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Fillet-o-fish.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

oooh, are filetOfish a dollar or something?

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Boo, newbie's seem to be quicker to take offense also. Just sayin.

Posted by: Steve_R | March 29, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

no caps hockey til Wednesday = boring.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@007: I'm in. Sounds like a fun exercise. :) It's like filling out NCAA brackets, except for a good sport. :)

So, how do we do this? Are we going to go just for the Eastern Conference, or do we fill out both conferences and the SC Final? Do we wait until the end of the regular season, and start with known seedings, or is predicting the seeds part of the game?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: Yes, I'm very bored as well. At least tomorrow is Monday. Next week there's a game every other day..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@Boo: Just remember that the long-time cadre of fans have a tone and attitude to them, too. Everyone does - it's human nature.

I'd like to see Florida get in, but I'd also like to see the Habs climb to seventh seed. Who knows if they will, but I have a feeling that if they miss the playoffs they're going to be in a lot of trouble.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Happy Centennial , habs.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:
You keep telling me to remember things and keep them in mind, but you are referring to things that I either don't debate or am not clear on what you are saying. Regarding the long-time cadre of fans having a tone and attitude, exactly what kind of tone and attitude is that? And getting back to your newbie concerns, I personally don't think newcomers to the team/sport and fair weather fans are one in the same, so please don't read things into my comments that are not there.

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 29, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

007 et al.

I run brakets every year. Anybody interested is more than welcome to join. We do it just like the NCAA. We also pick how many games the series will be and you get extra points if you pick an underdog to win and they do. I validate every bracket when I get it as there is always a bracket that is wrong due to seedings. Anybody intersted let me know. It's a lot of fun. We typically do $20 per bracket winner take all. There are approximately 15-20 people in it per year so far.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 29, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

If I made my bracket I would have the Caps against the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals.. but what do I know? Haha.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@Boo: So much for trying to be gentle. Bluntly, the attitude common to longtime Caps fans can be phrased thusly: "We were here before you, we know all, we have endured more than you. You're not part of the crew, go away." Like you, I speak in generalities, but this is exactly the superior and elitist attitude that Ted is trying to eradicate when he asks the longtime fans to welcome the new ones.

As long as you're not confusing fair weather fans and new people to the sport, then fair enough. It sounded to me like you were and you were getting up on your high horse as a number of people throughout Capsland do. It's that attitude that I'm extremely tired of and have quite frankly seen a lot of on this blog. Ultimately, all fans want the same thing - to see the team succeed. We approach it in different ways, though, and there's room for all takes here. The problem is one of effective communication.

Come to think of it, Boo, your comment about this blog being a much more positive place before this season brings me to an interesting thought. Most of the people this blog accuses of trolling actually have fair points and probably really are Caps fans who want to see the team succeed. They're just saying things that the group as a whole doesn't want to hear, in a way that ranges from "could use improvement" to "holy smokes your presentation sucks". Again, the product of Internet anonymity. The "optimism" bit seems to be a backlash response to it, and the "troll" label a backhanded attempt to silence these people. This is not to say there aren't people who truly are trolls, but they're a lot fewer than one might initially think.

I am sorry that the character of the blog is changing in a way you don't like. It does suck when something you love changes with popularity, and I'm not sure what to tell you. It happens - change is inevitable unless it's from a vending machine. But ... some people are responding by lashing out, and that's not fair either.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208: I'd be interested in getting in on that. Where do I sign up? If it's email, my username at gmail dot com is my email.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 29, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Cannot wait till Wednesday, this blog seems to be in serious Caps withdrawal!

Funny to point out, that with all this talk about opinions, positive and negative, as well as trolling....there has really been no true trolls lurking this board today....maybe partially due to the latest game being a Caps win?

I think when you blog, or communicate in any sort of text based alley, there tends to be a lot left lost in translation (tone, sarcasm...) Lets keep it in mind and stay kool.

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 29, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Kittypawz: You're right. And oo7 is evidence. He say "newbies" only talk about the negative and because we are newbies we don't actually know what we're looking at. Get over yourself people! Stop feeling like because you are older and a much longer Caps fan that you know more and therefore are a better fan. I can't believe you would question whether someone is a real fan are not, that is so wrong.

"THey dont really know yet, as newbies, what to actually look for or what they're looking at." -oo7

So you're saying new fans are dumb and don't know anything? I think I've picked up the game of Hockey very well. What do long time Caps fans look for/look at during games that is different than what "newbies" look for/look at during games? oo7, since I am a newbie/teen who talks to the troll, and therefore I am a troll, can you please tell me what I am supposed to look for or what I am looking at during a game? Thanks.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I'll be staying out of the brackets. Any time I gamble, things have a way of turning out badly... and it doesn't matter which way I bet; the team I *want* to win loses when I gamble. Therefore, no brackets for me!

As for Philadelphia-Boston... Boston's in front of us; Philly is behind. Let's keep it that way, hmm?

Right now, we have:

* DET 2, NSH 1 (end of the 2nd)
* STL 2, CBJ 1 (13:01 left in the 3rd)
* OTT 2, TBL 0 (18:09 left in the end)

Posted by: irockthered | March 29, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I mean to say that we can catch Boston on our own without help from Philadelphia - but Philadelphia, New Jersey, Carolina, etc. are trying to catch US, and we don't want to be overtaken by either team, now that we're sitting in 2nd seed position again. It's safer for us keeping that position if Boston wins tonight.

Posted by: irockthered | March 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

wow - i didn't mean to spark such spirited debate when i complained (only my perception) about some of the negativity i read here. i will say everybody has an opinion and THAT opinion is valid to at least them.

@cstanton1 (or as i think of it in my own mind - 'cranton1' - *smiling*).
i sometimes think that you rip into a player just to rip them. i WILL not skip over any of your posts - because they contain a perspective that i don't usually have and i get a better overall view of the caps and the game of hockey from them.

sometimes even the unnamed troll comes up with some twisted logic that has a little bit of truth

wednesday just can come soon enough

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 29, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

If Philly could stay out of the box...

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

@ Irockthered
Can we just get you to bet the Caps opponent every round in the playoffs??

@jmu_capsgirl
I don't think it is possible for Philty to stay out of the box.

One observation, I think "old time" caps fans have thicker skin than some of the newer fans, but we are all fans, and welcome all fans!!!

The fight is for second in the east, not for first in my opinion.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 29, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss: Well you aren't a new Caps fan being told "you don't know anything cause you're new," so you wouldn't have anything to be mad about. I don't think old time Caps fans have thicker skin than "newer" fans..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss, They're actually not doing too bad. They're just taking them at inopportune times and the Bruins just capitalizing.

Bears lost tonight. 1-0 to the Baby Pens on a PP goal. Varly with 36 saves. Couple of fights.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

It's really easy being a fan of a winning team or a team that has a bright future. Being a fan when your an expansion team and going thru the growing pains, does make your skin a little bit thicker. Makes the good time so much more exciting.

I,ve been a Caps fan from the very first year. I am sure I have also been told I do not know anything about hockey, it's o.k.
I still welcome all comments and opinions.

We need a new post.... ;)

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 29, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl: That sucks. What happened with the offense?! (or lack thereof) Varly deserves some "goal support!"

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

rachel216, I'm probably not going to say this very tactfully, so I apologize in advance for my delivery. But saying "I don't think old time Caps fans have thicker skin than "newer" fans.." after wigging out because some older fan made a sweeping and somewhat ignorant statement about the knowledge of new fans sort of disproves your argument.

I'm a "new fan" as well, and Canadian heritage aside, I still find holes in my knowledge base. Especially when it comes to Caps hockey, since they had existed for 12 years before I was even born. I know its hard when folks cop an attitude, but that doesn't mean we get to cop one back. It makes us look like the "immature whippersnappers" they try to paint us as. Take the opportunity to learn from the "old fans". Ignore the "doubters", then prove them wrong at a later date. It'll help your "rink cred". :-P

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what happened to the Bears. They got 31 shots on goal, but Curry stopped them all.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

emotional letdown? Happens to the best of them. Lots of bears milestones were reached yesterday, and the intensity level was off the roof...so, you know...I'd still say that had a pretty successful weekend!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 29, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

that *they* had a pretty successful weekend!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 29, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

cbsports.com has a large group of caps supporters. nhl then message boards. great league wide input.

Posted by: daddy_axe | March 29, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfannmiss:

I have to politely disagree with your comment. I've only been a Caps fan since October of last year and I've been reading and posting on this blog since then. Sadly, I've noticed a number of "old time Caps fans" behave more neurotic and aggressive and angry over losses than the newbies, I myself included. We're accused of monitoring the Caps through rose colored glasses and it's rather unfair. Still though, with all due respect, it would appear that maybe the neuroses over losses may be of a particular gender so I dunno. =P I echo your sentiment and that we're all Capitals fans and are on this roller coaster ride until the end with them.

On another note, pardon my ignorance, but I don't seem to know enough American players to actually generate any interest in the U.S. hockey team. *ducks from all the shoes and glass bottles being thrown at me* I'm excited about a hockey team that would have our Russian Caps represent their home country. Rooting for the U.S. hockey team, God Bless America and all, might not hold my attention as much since I couldn't name one...though I know we have a few of them (Steckel? Laich?). I'll root for the U.S. team but I'll also be rooting for Team Russia to go far...a nice stomping on Team Canada would be nice too, if Crosby makes it on the team.

On to next Wednesday's game!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 29, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfannmiss - I wish it worked that way, but it doesn't... "They" seem to know which team I *really* want to win. I'm just not allowed to bet on sports.

And it's Boston over Philadelphia, with .2 seconds left in the game. Whew! That was a good game.

Posted by: irockthered | March 29, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoast, Steckel, Clark, Pothier and Poti are the only American Caps, I think. I'll be cheering for the Russians and the Canadians until the final, then I'll be cheering for the Russians.

Flyers just scored to cut the Bruins' lead down to 4-3. Little over a minute left to play.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Boston wins, they were probably out of reach anyways. Assuming Jersey wins their game in hand we'll just need to be 2 points better down the stretch. 5-1 probably gets the job done, 4-2 might as well.

Not worried about 3 points for the division if we're competing for #2 we'll lock that up on the way.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 29, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - The Bears are SO like the Caps it isn't even funny. Some days, the other goalie's just "on". I heard, too, that Mink is out for the season with a hand injury, but I can't confirm it anywhere, since the AHL is really secretive about injuries. Good that Grant McNeill is in now, and I'm going to have to get up to Hershey one more time before the season ends for them, just because I <3 G. McNeill, but I'm hoping Mink's hand injury won't keep him out of the playoffs.

Does anybody know???

Posted by: irockthered | March 29, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

@Davethecapsfan - I'm with you; I'd rather keep Philthadelphia down than worry about Boston increasing their lead... it's not *impossible* that we could catch them, though... :-)

Posted by: irockthered | March 29, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think we can settle the "long time Caps fan" vs. the "newbies" thing now. We all have one thing in common, which is love for the Caps and hopes for them to succeed so... onto another subject.. I think Capsfannmiss said it, that we are fighting for the second spot, not the first, so it's good Boston won tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

NJ plays the NYR on monday - GO RAGS!!
if NYR win that game - guess who we get to root for on wednesday against NJ - crysby and the pens :(

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I've missed a lot since this afternoon.

A couple of clarifications:

The initial discussion was about the large number of negative opinions about the team after a loss, even if the team or specific players had good nights, and that the blog had a lot of dissenting or frustrating opinions posted in recent months. My assertion is that as you draw a younger fan base, you get a lot of opinions that are based on incorrect assumptions or information. Someone else noted that fair weather (thus, marginal) fans made statements that unveiled a limited knowledge or unreasonable attitude toward a player or players, or situations, to paraphrase. I agree with that. I used the term newbies. I don't feel bad about that, its an expression. If someone read it and thought that the comment was made about them disparagingly, well, if the shoe fits...

Rachel, you're still harping on the troll comment I made? Numerous people asked you to please stop instigating/baiting/carrying on with the troll. You kept saying you would stop, and then you didn't. Over and over.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@JMU, I liked your idea regarding the time capsul. Give me a day to come up with a plan that we can bat around.

@pokerface1208: Yeah, thanks, I'm interested!

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

le bouef.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

oo7, That wasn't me. I didn't say anything about the capsule. kittypawz did though.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Response from NHL Officials' Association on why no power play after the "Abuse of Officials" call.

The reason for this is that the official, not the other team, is the victim. Put that way, it does make sense. If the only person the offending player smacks around is the official, getting the offending player off the ice is the goal of the game misconduct.

I've asked a followup, and that is to determine whether a minor or major penalty for abuse of officials (also part of the rules) *would* result in a power play, since those are "time penalties"... I'll post the reply when I get it.

Posted by: irockthered | March 29, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

ah, my bad, then I'll get back to YOU, kittypawz. Sorry, jmu.

Posted by: oo7 | March 29, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

oo7, Not a problem. I'd be in, too, if you get something going.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Frozen our is set (and my bracket is an ugly mess!)

Boston University vs. Vermont

Miami (Ohio) vs. Bemidji State

Miami O and Bemidji are both #4s! The regional play was INSANE this year. So many amazing comebacks in the last minute--even though some of those amazing comebacks meant my teams went home early. This has been waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more exciting than the so-called March Madness. Even #1 overall BU needed one of those last-minute (14.4 seconds left!) miracle goals to make it to DC.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 29, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

@IRTR, jmu, rachel, etc

The Bears just looked really tired tonight. Varly played great, and the defense gave him good support, but the offense just never kicked in. This was their fourth game in five days and it showed. A win would have been nice since it would have put a little more space between us and Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre, but oh well. We've got a playoff spot locked up, just not sure where we'll be seeded. Four more games on the road and then two homers to close out the regular season, and then on to the playoffs...

As for Graham Mink: "Graham Mink broke his hand Saturday in his second period fight. The news from the training room is out for the rest of the regular season, and touch and go into the Calder Cup playoffs. It’s the second proven postseason performer the Bears have lost in the last two weeks, following the season ending spleen injury Quintin Laing suffered with the Capitals."

http://johnwaltonhockey.blogspot.com/2009/03/mink-out-till-playoffs-bears-host-pens.html

Posted by: tess2201 | March 29, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

One other thing:
I saw Quintin Laing walking around on the concourse with his son during 1st intermission. Glad to see he's doing better.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 29, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

tess2201, Thanks for the update on the Bears & Mink & Laing. Hate for them to lose Mink so close to the post-season without a lot of time for him to heal. Glad to hear Lainger looks like he's doing better. Definitely bummed to see him out for the duration. The rest of the boys have time to rest up after this long week, right?
Looking forward to watching how they do as much as the big club!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 29, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201 - Thanks for the update on the Bears, especially Mink and Laing... Basically, what jmu_capsgirl said x2. :( I really hate losing Mink for the season, and I hope he can come back and play in the post-season, because he's been a very valuable member of the team.

As an interesting side note, I got to watch some women's college hockey tonight. It was a rebroadcast of the March 8th game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Gophers. It was a good game, and very educational for me, since I'd never managed to watch a college-level women's hockey game before now.

The Badgers put it away, 5-3, and their goalie (Jessie Vetter) was named the MVP of the tournament. She finished the season 33-2-5, and has a VERY impressive record overall. 14 shutouts this season.

I do believe I'll be following women's hockey more closely next year. Vetter graduates this year, but there's no real professional options for women in hockey - yet.

I'd like to see that change.

Posted by: irockthered | March 30, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Let me rephrase: there are no real professional options for women in hockey that play THIS side of the Canadian border. :-p There's the "Canadian Women's Hockey League," which has six teams; and the "Western Women's Hockey League," which has five, and all eleven teams are in Canada.

Posted by: irockthered | March 30, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Wisconsin won the women's title this year. I believe that's their third in four years (admittedly, I don't follow college hockey as closely as I did when I lived in Duluth!). They beat Mercyhurst in the title game, and UM-Duluth in the semis (UMD won last year).

In Duluth, it was crazy, and amazing, to see how much they loved the women's team there. UMD men aren't half bad themselves, but the women are all but worshipped! One year they flew in from winning the title at some ungodly hour and there were TONS on people waiting for them at the airport. Waiting outside, in absolutely freezing temperatures! They just love hockey there, love that the women win all the time, and its so great to see the entire city embrace them. When Duluth hosted women's frozen four, it was INSANE! Or, as Ovie might say, completely sick. In a good way :)

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 30, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

@RedBirdie - I believe it! They're way crazier about hockey up north where it gets cold enough to freeze the ponds over in the winter. :-)

I was quite impressed by Vetter's performance in the game that I did see.

Do you know if there are any women's hockey teams down this far south?

Posted by: irockthered | March 30, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz
Gotcha in for the brackets. If anybody else wants in let me know. It's a lot of fun. I run a fantasy league based on points etc but we've done the playoffs many different ways and the best way we've found to do it is through brackets. When you have to guess each series and how many games it'll go that gets interesting as well with bonus points for picking an underdog. It'll be a lot of fun so if anybody else wants in let me know.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 30, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

irockthered, PA has a couple of teams. Neumann College (Stretch's school), Lebanon Valley College (east of Harrisburg), Robert Morris & Chatham in Pittsburgh, and Mercyhurst in Erie are all either D-I or D-III. I'm sure there are intramural teams at some of the local universities.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 30, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else here planning on going to the frozen four? I think I might since my sister went to Miami and will probably be getting tickets. The games so far in the tourney have been amazing.

Posted by: doncosmic | March 30, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

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