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Capitals' competition for ice time even more intense

Maybe the most overlooked repercussion of the Capitals' three deadline trades this week is how to work the new acquisitions into practice. With 15 forwards and eight defensemen now on the active roster, competition is fierce among the team's role players.

Coach Bruce Boudreau did not take part in today's optional skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, leaving his assistants to run practice, but plenty of Capitals were in attendance, including every potential third- and fourth-line forward. Boudreau, meantime, spent a good 20 minutes along the glass talking with General Manager George McPhee. My guess is, at some point, the conversation turned to who's playing.

"I think it's good to have numbers; there's always injuries," said forward Boyd Gordon. "Obviously the competition is a little bit greater just to get in and play ... but I think everyone is on the same page here and we're all in it together."

During last night in Washington's 5-4 win over Tampa, the healthy scratches were forwards Matt Bradley, David Steckel, and Quintin Laing and defensemen John Erskine and Tyler Sloan. Not coincidentally, all five were among the last to leave the ice Friday.


Boudreau would not comment specifically on what his lineup will look like in future games, only saying, "My mind definitely has some ideas on who's playing what, where, and how long."

Missing from practice were forwards Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, and Brooks Laich and defensemen Tom Poti. All four were given the day off to rest. Newly re-acquired defenseman Milan Jurcina also continues to be out because of a sports hernia. As a result, the lines were fairly funky:

Jason Chimera-Tomas Fleischmann-Eric Fehr
Tyler Sloan-Brendan Morrison-Mike Knuble
Laing-Eric Belanger-Scott Walker
Bradley-Steckel-Boyd Gordon

Given the notoriously fickle nature of Boudreau when it comes to his lines, it would be an understatement to say the next 18 games will be a fluid situation.

"He's got a lot of decisions to make on who he wants to put in," Gordon said. "It wouldn't be an easy job telling guys you have to sit, but sometimes you're gonna be in, sometimes you're gonna be out. I imagine the first few games here, it's gonna be testing the waters and seeing who's with who, so I think it might be a little bit all over the place."

More Notes:
* Defenseman Joe Corvo had a relatively calm debut last night paired with Poti last night. After overcoming some first-period jitters, the Caps' newest defenseman finished with 20:19 of ice time and didn't make any glaring errors, though he was on the ice for both of Vincent Lecavalier's goals (one of which came on the power play).

"It was a little bit shocking, I guess, because it's just more run and gun," Corvo said of his first game with the Capitals. "You kind of gotta sit back a little more and let the puck handlers do their job."

Although Corvo isn't the hulking, crease-clearing defenseman a lot of pundits and fans have been clamoring for, his unique skill set once again drew glowing praise from Boudreau today.

"People don't realize, Carolina went to the finals last year, and he played 26 to 30 minutes every night," the coach said. "He's the top defenseman on that team and when he missed 30 games this year it was in the middle of them not playing very well, so we've got a good player, a good puck-moving defenseman. And you can't beat those good puck-moving defensemen with the forwards we can throw out at you."

* Another defenseman who has been able to slide under the radar a bit because of all the recent moves has been John Carlson. He was called up from Hershey on Wednesday, presumably for depth until the Capitals' newly acquired players joined the team, but now it appears as if he's going to get an extended look by management down the stretch.

Averaging 15:30 of ice time in the two games since the Olympic break ended, the 2008 first-round draft pick has a plus-1 rating and has again shown the coaching staff he can compete in the NHL right now. Boudreau confirmed that the 20-year-old would once again be in the lineup against the Rangers on Saturday.

"We'll see how long he lasts," Boudreau said. "We're giving him a good opportunity to be a regular on this team and hopefully he can handle the pressure and the game as they start to get a little more important."

* The goalie situation for tomorrow is less certain. Boudreau would not commit to either Semyon Varlamov or Jose Theodore despite the fact that Varlamov looked less than sharp for a second straight appearance Thursday night and Theodore was on top of his game against Buffalo. Boudreau noted Varlamov's strong performance against the Rangers last year in the playoffs, and when asked if his young goalie was still rusty after coming back from injury, defended him.

"I wouldn't say he looked rusty; he sure would like to have some more games and he's gonna get them," Boudreau said. "I think we're looking for some negative stuff and that's not right."

* As for last night's hero, gritty wing Scott Walker, I'll have more on him in tomorrow's paper. While his two-goal performance was certainly helpful and showed his effectiveness around the net, check out these statistics that are more in line with the style of play in which he excels. During his 14-year career, Walker has been in 71 fights according to hockeyfights.com, and since 2001, has suffered 15 injuries that have forced him to miss time at one point or another. The 36-year-old has played in just 29 playoff games, and just 11 if his run to the Eastern Conference finals with Carolina last year isn't taken into account.

By Mark Giannotto  |  March 5, 2010; 2:29 PM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau on Ovie: 'This is his little funk'

Comments

First

Posted by: redskins2448 | March 5, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Good to see the 3rd and 4th line competition. "Energy line" guy will have to bring it 100% every game or they sit.

All the talk in the last thread about Crosbys dive doesn't matter. The most important part is they gave a lousy Rangers team 4 goals.

Posted by: BACKS | March 5, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@ BACKS

And I guess the Caps giving up 4 goals to a lousy Tampa Bay team isn't any different? And, on top of that, blowing TWO two-goal leads?

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | March 5, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Tampa bay DOES NOT have a lousy offense
i mean, look at the names of the guys who scored:
-lecavalier x 2
-Downie
-Stamkos

They may even be a playoff team if they can get some better efforts out of their 3rd and 4th liners

Posted by: cotelloer | March 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the amount of goals conceded by the Pens last night is not so dissimilar to the number the Caps gave up but Fleury stopped only 8 of 12 shots and was yanked in the second period. The Rangers were also missing Gaborik who is responsible for 21% of their goals.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 5, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Not trying to call out a player but can someone tell me what Brendan Morrison does for this team?

Also, I'm not sure how good of an idea it is to be continually shuffling lines for the last 18 games going into the playoffs. I would think you would want some continuity with the lines.

My final thought about the trade deadline is that maybe GMGM added 1 too many pieces to this team. Did we really need Belanger AND Walker?

Posted by: Moose33 | March 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Its a hell of alpot different. Two number 1 overall picks scored on us, Tampa can score. NYR most definitely cant.

Posted by: BACKS | March 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

find it interesting that its carlson and not alzner. plenty of cap room--which was everyone's excuse earlier. wonder if alzner not all he's cracked up to be. how many more years to wait for this "greatness?"

Posted by: fnkyniedls | March 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

While I will agree that TB does not have as lousy an offense as the Rags, they are currently on the outside looking in AND Pittsburgh was on the road. Just saying is all.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | March 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Carlson really didnt look great last night

i have to assume alzner is called up soon for him...

what i wouldnt give to be a fly on the wall listening to boudreau and mcphee's conversation...

Also, Corvo and Poti looked like our best defensive pair last night, no one was getting by them and they cleared the zone really well...Keep those two together and see if they can develop some sweet chemistry

Posted by: cotelloer | March 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@ Moose33

Belanger and Walker are completely different players. Belanger is a C with who is one of the best in the NHL on face-offs (58%) and 18 goals on the season and Walker is a 4th line energy guy who's very tough for his size.

OVERALL ON OUR TRADES

I think McPhee did brilliantly. Much more then I expected, in fact. He has addressed every need we had for the most part and added depth. Not sure what some people's expectations were, but he got us Carolina's best D in Corvo which is a coup in itself, one of the league's top face-off guys in Belanger who's is also a more than serviceable C overall, added toughness and grit with Walker and brought back Jurcina who I was sad to see go because I think he's a solid D with great size (and looked very good in the Olympics for Slovakia). As long as all of this doesn't screw up team chemistry (since some possibly unhappy players will be hanging around the team) we're a real power now. We didn't need any star players as we're already loaded with those. Having said that, I'd actually argue that Corvo is a star player. It's not everyday you can add another team's top D guy to your roster. Excellent work Mr. McPhee.

Posted by: ranndino | March 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Teleforum starting

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

A little off topic...

Does anyone know who the NHL official is, sitting in the Capitals penalty box? She's certainly an upgrade over all the old guys that have worked the position before her.

Posted by: Nephandi | March 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

If you put Lundqvist on Tampa, just think what you'd have.

NY is a medicre team with a great goalie, kind of like the Sabres. Tampa is a pretty good team without the necessary goaltending to excel.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought that Carlson looked great last night. He skated well and didn't make any dumb pinches like Green.

I think Green needs to take about 2 to 3 chances jumping up on a play instead of 6 or 7. We don't need him to score once the Olympians get back to form.

Posted by: Iceman27 | March 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

have to agree with moose about the lines. When we won 15 in a row or whatever the streak went to, the lines were the same every game. Players even said how much it obviously helped. Other than the top line of OV, Knuble and Backstrom, I can see BB juggling them all up 50 million different ways until the playoffs. So much for continuity.

That being said - i like the trades ok, but i hope he figures these lines out soon.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Yup fully convinced now Bmo should see scratch time. Think about it ....hes the only guy in the league playing in top 6 who is not on either pp unit. Maybe i could comprehend it if he killed penalties but he doesnt even do that. Please BB give Flash 2nd line centre duties back for this homestand..if his faceoff % still sux ,get Belanger in there and fire Laich on 3rd line cent duties. Its gotta happen to get Sasha goin again b4 he gets pouty and goes down with a phantom injury. Also I hope Ov comes back to life and gets all of his sulking out of the way..first time in a while ive seen him genuinely lacking confidence. That breakaway said it all last night.

Posted by: Todgak | March 5, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I think it's fair to say that Carlson has gone ahead of Alzner in BB's depth chart...

Posted by: joek443 | March 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow Todgak. That's quite a laundry list. Queue the stampede of refutations.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 5, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Ranndino. I would add that we have depth now so that come playoff time injuries and exhaustion won't deplete the team. And we won't have to rely on Hershey call ups.

As I recall we were particularly hurt during last season's playoffs with d-men injuries. So we added two defense guys, Corvo with playoff experience and a style that appears to fit with BB's system and Juice a physical guy who is just happy to be home. And maybe Greenie won't have to play 30 minutes now--BB can save his legs some.

The two forwards appear to fit holes as well. The 2nd and 3rd line center has been a weakness, tho' I thought BMo played well during the streak on the line with Chimera and Fehr. And Belanger on paper is seventh in face offs stats--Flash's weakness when playing center. But if one of the centers gets hurt Flash can shift back. Finally we have another gritty, but skilled 4th liner who can switch with Brads should either of them get hurt. And both (I say this after Walker's game last night) are great with the big games.

I don't envy BB his line juggling and need for motivational creativity but IMO I think the depth and flexibility for the playoff run is great.

And we didn't lose any of our Fab Five. (I really would love to know who was on McPhee's untouchable list).

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 5, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Nephandi,
Ask ShaMo, he's been there a lot.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 5, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

BONGOS VS. SLAPPY

FIGHT TO THE DEATH

(or just until one of them starts to cry)

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Ovi looked liked he came out strong--he had some great shots. Just snakebitten. But his line was good. Ovi doesn't stay down long. And he still got a point out of the game.

Loved Backs sans stick on the PK with his body blocks. The place went wild.

I thought the new guys did pretty well, Walker especially of course. But considering that they were just thrown out there to learn "on the fly" so to speak, not bad IMO.

Also I think once BB figures out the right match ups I think he'll stick with his lines. But hey that's just my two cents.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

belanger, fehr and flash looked good last night...i know they got one goal with fehr (it went unassisted but belanger did a good job streaking to the front of the net which took some d-men with him) and they tied up the neutral zone well which is what led to the turnover in the first place, just keep those guys together for a while...

boudreau seems to have decided that semin and laich play well together, so, here's to hoping morrison can be an adequate pivot...

Posted by: cotelloer | March 5, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Re: Avery vs. Talbot:

I hate the Penguins. Period.

But Avery is one of the top 3 DB's in the entire NHL.

Tough choice as to which one is more silly.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 5, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about second line center, they could always bring Nylander back for the playoffs. I mean, the cap hit is under the limit so long as they just bring him back for the last few weeks.

OK, just kidding.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize Nylander left Grand Rapids to go play in Finland. What made me almost fall off my chair is that he has 52 PIM in just 7 games with Jokerit! Did they sign him as an enforcer or what?

Posted by: ranndino | March 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

just showed my wife the picture of walker from the last blog. She thought it was photo-shopped.

Posted by: NFeKPo | March 5, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Back to last night's game - About the unsportsman-like on Green. Was it for diving when he got hooked? From my seats and the replay it was hard to tell. At first I thought he might have had hold of the guys stick or something.

Posted by: gonchpup | March 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Green got unsportsmanlike for diving/embellishment/whatever. Locker explained it that it was a clear hook but that the ref must've decided Green embellished. Thing is, he was kind of spinning around anyway on the play. This is one play in hockey that the ref has (or should have) a way better indication than those of us at home. I mean, the ref has seen guys get hooked a million times and there's things like expression on face, audible sounds, whatever, that would lead him to conclude diving.

If Nylander is averaging 7 PIMs game at Jokerit, and if that makes him one of the tough guys, I guess it should tell you something about the other players in that league.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was for diving but I think everyone here, as well as Locker, felt it was not a dive. They guys stick went b/w Green's feet.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 5, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Green needs to take some diving lessons from Sid so it looks more convincing.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 5, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

first off, all you are great - very entertaining reading these posts, even from the wierd pens fans...

@jblake - in a previous thread you wondered why Caps AHL team has so much better record than Wings team, yet the Wings seem to get so many more prospects ready.

What I get is a difference in philosophies, and Osala is a case in point. For the Caps, it would've been better for Osala to get a lot of minutes on the top two lines. He was a legit prospect, but he would've been worse as an AHL player than the guys on Hershey who were NOT NHL prospects, but were pretty good career minor leaguers. The Caps think it more worthwhile to have a winning minor league team than to use Hershey purely for their own purposes. The Wings, otoh, would simply tell their affiliate to play the prospects even though at their current stage of development, they wouldn't be the best AHL players on the farm.

I believe GMGM and BB want to make a point to their prospects - you have to earn your ice time. They'd have to do it in the national league, they might as well learn to do it in the minors. Most teams just make sure to get their prospects ice time.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 5, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

More on the prospects - quite a few of the guys on Hershey are great hockey players but might (alas) not be top flight prospects. Aucoin, Bourque, some of the others know how to play the game, skate well, etc. But they probably are not slotted in for many NHL chances. Sometimes it works out for a guy (think Sami Lepisto) but most of the guys down there are not really prospects. I do think Alzner is, Perrault still is, and of course the goalies. But obviously I have big gaps in what I know...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 5, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

RedLitYogi: You are absolutely 100% correct. The Caps are augmenting the record at Hershey by using veteran, non-prospects.

Meow.

(Sorry about that but Greta the cat who sits on the computer demanded some input.)

That said, Osala was a disappointment. Based on last year and this year, I don't expect he'll ever have an inpact at the NHL level. But I'm just a cost estimator.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm just a cost estimator.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2010 7:12 PM

and all this time i thought your calling was to hoard wine

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 5, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

A majority of NHL.com online voters think the Caps will win the Stanley Cup this year. The question on NHL.com is "Will the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this year?"

The voting results: 44.15% voted yes, 43.58% voted no and 12.27% of online fan voters are not sure.

Posted by: MReilly9 | March 5, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Yup fully convinced now Bmo should see scratch time. Think about it ....hes the only guy in the league playing in top 6 who is not on either pp unit. Maybe i could comprehend it if he killed penalties but he doesnt even do that. Please BB give Flash 2nd line centre duties back for this homestand..if his faceoff % still sux ,get Belanger in there and fire Laich on 3rd line cent duties. Its gotta happen to get Sasha goin again b4 he gets pouty and goes down with a phantom injury. Also I hope Ov comes back to life and gets all of his sulking out of the way..first time in a while ive seen him genuinely lacking confidence. That breakaway said it all last night.

Posted by: Todgak | March 5, 2010 4:28 PM


Todgak, you have a number of facts wrong. First, BMo is the 2nd PP center. He has been on the PP nearly every game this season. I'm not saying don't scratch him, but the reasons you gave there were totally off. If you were to scratch him, look at his FO% and offensive production - both well below what a 2nd line center should be. But why put Flash in place of him? He has not been playing well recently, either in the NHL or Olympics.

Second, with what you said about both Semin and Ovie, what a load of crap. Neither is sulking, they are just trying too hard recently, and neither produces well when that happens. They each have gone through dry spells, and each have always broken them.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 5, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The unsportsmanlike on Green was for two reasons: first, he's a Cap. Second, the ref saw him spin - which was caused by Hedman grabbing his arm and pulling. I doubt that the ref saw it, because Green and Hedman both would have been between him and the grab. Regardless, it was a horrible call.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 5, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm really interested in seeing how the Caps fare against the Blackhawks.

I've watched parts of about 10 Hawks games this season and they look like the best of the best, even with the goaltending question mark.

If our defense (including the forwards) isn't sharp, it could get ugly. The Hawks regular put together forechecking clinics on their opponents. It sometimes looks like a power play when their at even strength.

If our whole team isn't ready to play, it'll be a puck possession clinic in the Hawks favor. It could look as bad or worse than our game in San Jose. The Hawks have loads of speed, skill, grit and play smart team hockey.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

It's no accident that the Hawks have a +10 margin in shots for/against. They get the most shots on goal and allow the fewest. They are the definition of a puck possession team.

I think it'll take a monumental level of fail by their goaltender(s) in the playoffs for them not to come out of the West. San Jose and Vancouver (despite getting killed tonight) are also great teams and you can never count Detroit out, esp. when they get healthy, but as far as I'm concerned, the Hawks are the team to beat this season in the NHL. Yes, I think they are better than our Caps. That doesn't mean we can't beat them.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey timmyv38...get your head outta your ass. Bmo has played minimal pp in the last while..espeicially during the streak. Ov/Green on back and Fehr/laich/Semin on one unit and Flash/Bcks/Knuble on other. No Bmo on either.Sorry bro. What are you a member of Bmos fan club? I thinks its called Freedom 55. Oh and yes Im aware Semin and Ovy will bust out but there Olympic performance..but worries me for playoffs. Feast on Lundquist 2mmrw!

Posted by: Todgak | March 5, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

@todgak: What, people can't disagree in a civil fashion?

Keep that up and you get a draft card in the mail.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 6, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

I love it. Walker's son wants to know if he can get an Ovi jersey instead of one with his dad's name. I'd love to know just how many Ovi jerseys go to kids--bet it's a lot.

Wonder what the lineup will be? Have a great game tonight guys. Go Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 6, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns, yes the lineup tonight is much on my mind as well. Steckel will be back in. Gordo probably sits. On D we're probably back to one different guy each game, except there's a possibility that Schultz always stays in like Greenie does. Beyond that I don't know.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 6, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

From Thurs:

Hey Tarik and Lindsay, how about telling the print staff that it's past time to change the standings from division to conference format? That we have 92 points and our next division mate has 64 is pretty meaningless, but when we're playing so many teams in contention the Conference standings are what matters. Take tonight, with TB on the outside looking in they are hungry to win every game they can.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 4, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Ask and ye shall receive -- Division standings this a.m. in the print ed. Thanks CI!

Posted by: Sonyask | March 6, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

edit: Conference standings this e.m. in the print ed.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 6, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

This Caps team is easy to love. I've been a fan since going to my first game in 77 as little kid. My dad wanted to go to Bullets games as they were in their Unseld heyday then, but I loved hockey. The skating skill of ice-ballet with hits remescient of the glory days of the Monsters of the Midway! OV, Flash, Semin, and Backis are all in scoring slumps, but the Caps are scoring and winning! What an awesome team! No primadonas, just guys who want to win. I'm as giddy as a little school girl.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 6, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I love Carlson's physical play, and he will be a legend in USA Junior hockey. As for his play in his last two games? IMO not very good at all. He seems VERY nervous out there. In the first period of the last game he WAS the reason the puck was caught in the zone. Two very bad give-aways by blindly throwing it across the zone. Blame the wings all you want but he threw the puck to no one in particular.

I hope he picks his game up because a couple more outings like that and he will probably have to wait for camp next year to get his next shot.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 6, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I watched the replay of the Tampa game this morning and I thought Carlson played very well , except one terrible shift very early. He bounced back and had a very good game. He was very good pokechecking Vinny a couple of times and also Stamkos. He was physical when he needed to be and had a few excellent tape to tape break-out passes. He will get even better the more games he plays against NHLers.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 6, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask -

Too bad they can't actually get the conference standings in the right order in the paper. Hey WaPo, take a look at http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=con to figure it out, OK? And actually your own online page http://stats.washingtonpost.com/nhl/standings_conference.asp has it right as well.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | March 6, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

the two biggest mistakes made by a Caps d-man in the last two games were both by Green... his failure to clear the puck resulted in the only goal by the Sabres and his wandering and vacating his position in the offensive zone when the game was 4-2 in the middle of the third period sent Vinny on the breakway.

the kinda of mistake he made in the tampa game is the reason why most coaches lose hair.

Posted by: joek443 | March 6, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey JIMALLCAPS1: Terrific attitude! This team is just an embarrassment of riches, and it's a great time to be a Caps fan. Here's hoping the ride goes all the way to and through the Cup!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | March 6, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the conference standings are "wrong" because of the fact that NJ had a late game... so they left NJ at spot #3 without knowing the outcome of the game. The standings are correct, the edition just ended too late for that NJ/Calgary Fames game.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 6, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

yosemite_sam: It'd be nice if you used some logic before you went and bashed the WaPo people btw.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 6, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

According to tarik on twitter. i am guess lang is out also

Sloan, Gordon, B. Morrison and Erskine.

Posted by: samb99 | March 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

darn Marian Gaborik IS playing tonight. He's always the only one to score when we play the Rangers. Theo's playing tonight, so that's good.

yosemite_sam: Sorry about that.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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