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Capitals on the Verge

Here's the latest from KCI:

Because the Rangers failed the Caps last night in Carolina, Alex Ovechkin and Co. will have to take matters into their own hands tonight. They can clinch their second straight Southeast Division title with a win or overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres, a team that's clinging to the edge of the race for the eighth and final spot in the East. The Sabres enter tonight's game in 10th place, six points behind the eighth-place Rangers.

"It's going to be like a playoff game," Boudreau said. "This is a team that's every bit as good as all the playoff teams that are in there. They just had a bump in the road early on in the year [because] of injuries."

Varlamov Expected to Start
Coach Bruce Boudreau said there's "a good chance" rookie Simeon Varlamov will start in goal. Varlamov, who is 3-0 this season with a 1.74 goals against average and .939 save percentage, is expected to get one more start before the end of the regular season. I'm thinking it will be Tuesday in Atlanta.

More Line Tinkering
As I mentioned earlier, Boudreau's search for balance ahead of the playoffs will continue tonight. Ovechkin is expected to skate on a line with Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov, while Nicklas Backstrom is expected to center a line with Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin.

Asked what he likes about Ovechkin and Fedorov being on the same line, Boudreau said: "It just seems like a good fit. It worked in the playoffs last year. There's good communication, [Fedorov] is a good defensive presence there. It [also] allows Nicklas [Backstrom to center] another line that's really strong offensively."

'They Understand'
Boudreau said he met with his defensemen last month to explain his plan to rotate them over the final two weeks in an effort to ensure that Brian Pothier receives ample playing time leading up to the playoffs. Tonight, it's Erskine's turn to sit out.

"I told all of them what we're doing two weeks ago," Boudreau said. "We're just sticking with the plan. They know it's not performance-based."

Four Score
With one more point by Nicklas Backstrom, each of the Caps' top four scorers (Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom and Mike Green) will be assured of averaging at least one point per game this season. No other NHL team can claim that.

Another Record
I wrote in today's paper that the Caps are chasing three franchise records -- most points, most wins and most wins on home ice. There's one more: The team is expected to set a new record for total attendance, breaking the mark of 710,990 set in 2001-02.

That's it for now. I'll check in with a lineup before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 3, 2009; 12:06 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Sabres at Caps

Comments

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Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

R

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

S

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Super curious to see how Varl does against a desperate team that comes out full blast. I love the kid.

Also love the first line. I feel like Feds and Kozlov have had loads of chances over the past month but just haven't been able to quite finish it.

Let's go Caps! Show everyone what you're made of!!!

Posted by: InSEMINator | April 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

^^^^ Thats just wrong

Posted by: ludeman95 | April 3, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

BB has been planning this playoff push for over two weeks. Shame on us for second guessing his line tinkering and D-man sit-outs. When a player like Erskine is a healthy scratch for no reason other than because it's his turn, is probably a welcome day of rest for him.

With Brashear out it has become obvious that we need another imposing type enforcer. We don't have one in Hershey either. Erskine is doing a good job stepping into that role but he cannot sustain another concussion so I'd rather not see him drop the mits. If he gets his bell rung playing a hard hitting brand of hockey, it's unfortunate, but a little more acceptable, especially by Mrs. Erskine I'm sure. However, if he get another concussion because he has to be the tough guy...not sure if worth him putting his career and future on the line. Believe it or not I believe the Caps should be in the market for a couple of enforces, one NHL ready, one already making statements at the AHL to play in Hershey, and then come up if we need help making statements. I wonder if I will get change back from my cents I just gave?

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Alright we get that you're first, Wemiss21! :)

SOOOO excited that Varly will start tonight! Go Varly and go CAPS! Let's win the Southeast Division!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, love the job you do, but I think the press in general needs to stop talking about records so much, it hasn't worked too well for us this season.

Posted by: superpaqman | April 3, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I got bored waiting for others to post. I usually do more reading of others' posts than posting myself.

But I couldn't resist....

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

What is the status on Danald Brash? Is he just playing it safe and will get a few games in before the playoffs?

Posted by: SA-Town | April 3, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Four Score
With one more point by Nicklas Backstrom, each of the Caps' top four scorers (Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom and Mike Green) will be assured of averaging at least one point per game this season. No other NHL team can claim that."


Doesn't make sense...am I reading Tarik wrong?

Ovy 101pts
Nicky 82
Sasha 72
Green 70

Posted by: TheOriginalEgon | April 3, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

green and semin out for several games I think thus 1 per game played

Posted by: billd2 | April 3, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers failed the Caps? Are you kidding? Carolina did us a favor. Are you really worried about the Caps not getting 1 point in the next 5 games? I'm more concerned about 2nd place in the East and with our 1st round match-up. I'd much rather face an easier test in the first round with the Rangers (or Montreal) than having a knock-down drag-out against Pittsburgh, Carolina or Philly. Thanks Carolina for keeping the Rangers in 7th place.


Posted by: skibrent | April 3, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Point average in games they PLAYED IN. Greed had missed 14 games, Sasha missed a few too.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of dropping the mits did anyone see the fight between Chara and Artyukin on Tuesday night. I swear that Artyukin snuck in two short left hooks and put Chara down with the second one. At first it looked like Chara just got wrestled down but I watched it on super-slo-mo on my DVR a couple of times and I whole-heartedly believe that Artyukin rocked him.

They put the tale of the tape up and Artyukin was like 6'5" 255 and Chara was 6'9' 250. Definitely a heavyweight bout.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Ahh thanks guys.

Posted by: TheOriginalEgon | April 3, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

i saw the donald at the safeway by my house yesterday and he still looked like he was walking with a limp

Posted by: _stevo | April 3, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Wemiss21, you're a colossal dou-che, not only for posting "First!" but for claiming boredom as your reason for doing so.

Posted by: TCJR2000 | April 3, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

What's the Donald doing at a Safeway?

Posted by: saintex | April 3, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It'll be great if New Jersey loses tonight and continues their skid! :] Go Tampa Bay!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 3, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

What's the Donald doing at a Safeway?

Probably getting food, the dude's huge.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@skibrent: EXACTLY. Carolina did us a favor last night. It's not like we can't still win the division, and if we can't get one point in the next five games, we don't deserve the freakin' division.

Plus, anyone notice what else happened last night? The Habs trashed the Isles 5-1 and jump into 7th seed thanks to the Rangers loss. While I think that matchup has fewer media stories, it's certainly not one I'd turn down.

The only boo is that I'd want to see Philly/Pitt in the first round.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 3, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Buying tampons for his wife.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Also, awesomesauce on Varly starting. Guessing that Bruce is throwing him into the pool and seeing if he can swim in his best opportunity to do so before the playoffs.

Also, rookie goaltending has historically been a motivator for the team this season.

makes me a little nervous, though. Okay, a lot nervous. Good luck, kid.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 3, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Buying tampons for his wife.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 12:45 PM

I'd pay 20 bucks to see you say that to him if you see him in Safeway.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The OV and Backstrom meeting LeBron story made it to NHL.com.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Buying tampons for his wife.

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 12:45 PM

I'd pay 20 bucks to see you say that to him if you see him in Safeway.

Posted by: fanohock1
--------------------------------------

"Clean up on aisle 4"

Posted by: Redwolf1 | April 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

TCJR:

Why such a vehement reaction to some annocuous posting? Just having a little fun. Is that not allowed on this blog?

Sorry if my posts upset your delicate sensibilities. Although I suppose I should thank you, 'cause at least I am not bored now, ahole.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Clean up on aisle 4 and 5. Aisle 4 because poor old bhound69 would be getting his beat down, and aisle 5 because I'd be pi$$ing myself because I was laughing so hard.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@Redwolf1

haha....he actually was buying wine and he is pretty freakin big. i am 6'2" and he has to be like 6'5

Posted by: _stevo | April 3, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, typo, I meant innocuous

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Previous posts seem to indicate that, in their opinion, Finley has the mental makeup for an enforcer. He will be in Hershey.

Posted by: adhardwick | April 3, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo: I know from past posting days that you are a big Erskine fan. Do you like the idea of him having to step up and drop the mits? He's capable, all we have to do is ask Belak about that, but I'd rather he just punish people in the slot and along the boards. I'll guarantee Belak thought Erskine was going to be a pushover after rocking Brashear but Erskine was genuinely ticked off that he was forced into the fight.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 3, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

you are correct, i am a huge sexy lumberjack fan. i am kind of mixed with him fighting. he can throw them with anybody and i love hockey fights, but on the other hand he has concussion problems. i think if he figths every once in awhile thats fine, but he shouldn't take on brashear's role as designated fighter

Posted by: _stevo | April 3, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of size, considering that LeBron is a beast, at about 6'9" and 270-ish, AO looks pretty solid next to him. Sure, he's giving up some inches, but AO8 is one big dude.

Posted by: saintex | April 3, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Bill McCreary in the house tonight. This could be ugly.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 3, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Wemiss21:
i'm impressed that you got that all in without any other posts between them
39th ish

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 3, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh goody. The blind walrus. This could be messy.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 3, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Capt Kirk - it was going to the moon, just to see if it could be done...

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

McCreary????!!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Man, I hate that guy!!

Posted by: PhilR | April 3, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The walrus ain't blind, he's biased against the Caps after being called a fat donut eating blankity-blank by coach Schofield (still my fav coach for staring down the Pissburgh fans).

BTW -- Laich, Backs, Semin -- me likey

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 3, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Schoenfeld call Don Koharski a fat donut eating %#@$$$!??? Not McCreary. AND he did it when he was in NJ not wash.....so that theory blows...huh?

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

but he was pushed! (not)

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It was Koharski. Ask Wayne & Garth

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Officer Koharski, Stan Makita's donughnut store

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

a classic

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Lumberjack is the man of late. i find it humorous that Shultz is now the target of complaints on this blog.

Posted by: doughless | April 3, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The donut incident was in New Jersey, it was Koharski (who thankfully is retiring this season!) and he was not pushed by Schoenfeld. The best part of the story was the lawsuit Lou Lamoriello brought to stay the NHL's suspension of Schoenfeld, the resulting victory and the ref's refusal to officiate the next game, forcing them to use "low level" replacement refs.

What a great story! Can't watch that video enough times!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 3, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

OK, got some of my facts bassawkwards. I still love Schoenfeld. So the theory blows, so does McCreary's reffing (and so does Koharski's imho), so what -- it's a blog

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 3, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone - go to TSN

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=273526

and vote for Ovie for Play of the Year. He's leading but we should make sure he wins it.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | April 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree - I see McCreary and Koharski as two of the worse refs in the NHL and am worried about tonight as well.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 3, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

doughless

Schultz has been on the S list since last season.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

To answer a question asked yesterday (several threads ago), whether Green would be the youngest to win the Norris Trophy if hew won this year.

Green is 23.

Bobby Orr was born in 1948. He won the Norris in 1968 (and 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 and 75).

Posted by: rw-c | April 3, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

i should have said incessant target. yeah, he on the S list, but Lumberjack was splittin time with him. no longer the case.

Posted by: doughless | April 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

koo koo ka choo.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

To answer a question asked yesterday (several threads ago), whether Green would be the youngest to win the Norris Trophy if hew won this year.

Green is 23.

Bobby Orr was born in 1948. He won the Norris in 1968 (and 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 and 75).

Posted by: rw-c | April 3, 2009 2:32 PM


This was my question, thank you.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 3, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@ skibrent:

The Rangers are in 8th place. The Habs are now in 7th.

Posted by: C-A-P-Scapscapscaps | April 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

4 hours 29 minutes. . . . .

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I think erskines hands keep getting busted up when he fights. he won't stop though. he has to stay marketable.

Posted by: oo7 | April 3, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Wemiss21 - Are you really that much of a Jeff Toms fan??

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wemiss21, I don't know what troubles me more, the retarded behavior involved in posting "First!", or the fact that like a six-year-old, you are incapable of adding any value to the comments so you just start making noise because you are bored. Imagine how much more pleasant these comments would be to read if people didn't have to surf through the idiocy brought forth by you and those of your ilk, along with the occasional person chiding you for acting like a moron.

Posted by: TCJR2000 | April 3, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I apologize JIMallCAPS.

Jeff Toms....thats rich!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Todd Krygier and Michael Pivonka

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: WhyGo | April 3, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Idiocy, chiding, and ilk.......NOW THATS RICH.

LETS TALK HOCKEY SHALL WE!!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't DC have a lot a statues that need to be sporting Caps jerseys for the playoffs?

Posted by: KlayKey | April 3, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

doughless

True. He still gets flack from certain quarters here. He is a bit slow (understatement), and he doesn't have the best hands for shooting. But that knock on the kabong he took earlier this season seems to have made him a better player. He's smarter with the puck, picks his spots better, and hasn't been taking as many stupid penalties. He's starting to look like a $1.25 M man.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

TCJR

I've got plenty to say, I could talk about how much I would like to see Brooks Laich on the top line or why I think Schultz does not get enough credit for being a plus player on this team. But I was just having a little fun. I did not know that this blog was so serious, I thought we were allowed to be goofy.

Since you have appointed yourself police officer for non-serious posts, please call out everyone who makes silly posts.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

it's not really a big deal guys.

go caps.

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

Hey everyone, it's Friday and the Caps are clinching tonight!

Green for Norris

Ovie for "Play of the Year"

SC1907 for "Good Will Embassador of the Year" lol nothing personal SC1907

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 3, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

TCJR2000

Just leave it alone. It's not worth the effort.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the sarcasm... but I am sick of all this snow here in Winnipeg.

It's April - MELT ALREADY

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 3, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

65 degrees in DC today.....move Bigschu8...F ST. RULES!

I'm gettin fired up!

WOOOOHOOOOOOO!

(horn) WAAAA...WAAAA...WAAAA.....LETS GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

GO JETS!

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Having a few friends over tonight to watch the game, hope to turn them on to Caps hockey(they're hoops fans). Would be nice to wrap up the Southeast tonight. GO CAPS! BTW, props to my other sports passion as the Nittany Lions win the NIT. I know its only the NIT, but you have to cut us some slack on this one. Maybe I can celebrate TWO titles this spring!

Posted by: pacapsfan | April 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. That was cruel. I actually went to quite a few Manitoba Moose games when I visited Winnipeg. I rather like it there. Pretty nice place. Great people to work with.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

LeBron is 6'8"...Ovie is 6'2" and Brash is 6'3" although I feel like Brash doesn't look the same height as BJ (who is also 6'3"). Maybe it's the frame? BJ almost looks taller, lanky but taller!

Sidenote: Backs brought a date to the Wiz game last night...that's a first! She looked very mature or maybe it's his baby face? Didn't see if Ovie had a new lady love for the night!

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

I miss the Jets, especially the Sea of White during the playoffs. [when we were in the playoffs]. I still get goosebumps when i think about the "Go Jets Go" chant.

But that was then and this is now

Now I cheer for the Sea of Red. I'm gonna make it down for a game one of these days.

Go Caps

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't DC have a lot a statues that need to be sporting Caps jerseys for the playoffs?

Now that's a neat idea, although I'd say wait for the later rounds. If we go to the Cup Finals, then absolutely yes, statues everywhere need to sport red T-shirts, red bandanna's, red baseball caps, red ribbons ... etc.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Thomas C., Jr.

You must not be so rough with the patrons.

That is my job.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 3, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think the National Park Service is going to be ROYALLY PO'ed when we dress Tom and Abe in caps gear.

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

Is it just me or does anyone else get very excited when they announce Varlamov is going to start? I think Jose done a great job as of late and no disrespect to him but everytime Varlamov starts I get excited to see what this kid can do. I think he is going to be a phenomenal player in a couple years.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 3, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

bigschu8

Come on down! It's 71 according to Weatherbug and the cherry blossoms are out. So are red buds and dogwoods. I'd buy you a Rickard's, but they don't have that here. At least not as far as I can tell. I'm sure someone here knows where you can get it. Probably the Canadian Embassy (which is a cool building, btw).

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

ah, lessee, quick math...

(71-32)/2 = about 19 celcius

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

DCSports

I am very pysched for Varly. He could make things interesting next year too. Could he and Theo split time next year? If he played really well, could he supplant Theo as the starter by the end of next year? Not to get ahead of myself...

Go Caps!! Get win #48
Go Laich! Get goal #20

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone was wondering...

I love the Caps because they remind of the Jets just prior to their departure to Phx.

Teemu Selanne - Rookie goal scoring phenom
Alexie Zhamnov - puck handle in a phonebooth
Keith Tkachuk - 50 goal scorer and mean [The Caps use a player like that]
Phil Housley - Unbelievable playmaker [I give him alot of credit for Selanne's success]
Nik Habibulan [The Bulin Wall]

Not comparing as the Jets really never had a chance to win the cup but at that time, we had a good team.

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 3, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Mike Green! My Fantasy league could use some help. Any chance you could pot one or two tonight?

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

If we go to the Cup finals all of the statues need Caps jerseys. Great idea!!

Posted by: capsfan01 | April 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I have Kozlov on my team too. I need a couple of points tonight Viktor

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

19 celcius. ahhh, i can only dream

0 celcius here. And did I mention?

SNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Go Caps

Posted by: bigschu8 | April 3, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Einstein would love it if his statute wore one. He really would. I remember seeing a pic of him sitting on the front porch of his house in Princeton wearing a sport coat and dress shirt, and pink fuzzy slippers. Guy had a sense of humor. The kids crawling all over the statute wouldn't be a good idea, though.

But TJ and Lincoln would definately rock the red.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@ bhound69 -- never offended, just bored at work. I'd much rather be at the game than a dumb dry wedding tonight, so maybe I'm a little verclept

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 3, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

talk amongst yourselfs, i'll give you a topic....

Posted by: _stevo | April 3, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

interesting things to ponder as the season winds down:

Greenie, the seemingly odds-on favorite for the Norris, wasn't even named to the All-Star team this year.

Guy Carbaneau was the assistant coach for the East All-Stars, as his team had the second best winning perecntage when the coaches were selected in January. He's now out of a job and the Habs are clinging to a playoff spot for dear life.

Funny how things work out, no?

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

When Gordon and Brash get back, who sits?

Brashear
Nylander
Gordon
Steckel
Fehr

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

All answer my own question and see if that will spark some debate....

Gordon and Steckel kill penalties, which is HUGE for the playoffs, so they play.

Nylander is an important set-up guy to make the 3rd line a legitimate threat.

So, I say Brash and Fehr split time on the bench. Brash plays when we need a more physical presence and Fehr plays when we need to add offense.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

How about Flash? Bradley? Kozlov? None of them have done anything lately either.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@Wemiss21 - I'd say probably a rotation among all of the above...

@kittypawz - From an earlier thread...

./~ Ohhhhhhh, I'm a lumberjack, and I'm OK!
I get the puck and I make the play!
I cut down teams, and wear high heels,
Suspend.... er... never MIND, LOL!

Posted by: irockthered | April 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman - From last thread...

"I'm gonna need a really BIG... cupholder!"

Posted by: irockthered | April 3, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I think the National Park Service is going to be ROYALLY PO'ed when we dress Tom and Abe in caps gear.

Posted by: RedBirdie
--

I suppose Abe will need the goalie cut...

Posted by: jen-s | April 3, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@bigshu8 that sucks losing your team, but glad you're with the red now.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 3, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I would sit Nylander personally, I haven't been impressed (along with every other CAPS fan) all season. My biggest complaint with Nylander is even when he gets the puck off a pass and is in perfect position to shoot he passes it. He looks scared and unsure of himself and you can't play that way as an athlete regardless of the sport.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 3, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

That's what Nylander does is pass the puck. He's mostly assists, not goal scoring. That's been his whole career passing to Jagr or Ovie last year.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"ah, lessee, quick math...

(71-32)/2 = about 19 celcius

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 3:45 PM"

You talk about weather, I'll talk about beer, a la Bob & Doug McKenzie -

A metric six pack -
double it, 6 + 6 = 12 -
add 30 = 42 beers

Posted by: rw-c | April 3, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

OUCH.... dry wedding = why bother

Sorry Jim, I feel your pain!

BTW I have been trying like H.E. double hockey stix to use verclept in a sentence, TY

You will be watching game at dry wedding???

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

That's what Nylander does is pass the puck. He's mostly assists, not goal scoring. That's been his whole career passing to Jagr or Ovie last year.

Posted by: Greg S.

Greg S. I think everyone knows that about Nylander, but let's face it the great passers know when to look for their shot. If you're ahead of the Defense and have a great position to shoot you don't try to force a pass that isn't there or pull back and reset the offense, you take the shot. I've seen at least 10 occasions this season where Nylander is in perfect position to shoot and ahead of the defense and he passes it that leads to a turnover or he tries to pull back and reset the offense which squanders a great opportunity. Look at Backstrom. Backstrom is a great passer, a passer first, but if he's open he will take the shot. Nylander may be a great passer but if he's afraid to shoot than guess what? The defense never views him as a threat and always plays the winger because they know Nylander won't shoot. As a result, that prevents his wingers from getting open looks because the defense will just focus on them instead of ever worrying about the man with the puck (in this case Nylander).

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 3, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I think Sloan has earned a spot for next year. 26 games and a +4 compared to
Poti at 50 games and +6, Erskine's 48 and +1, Juice with 74 +2, Mo with 67 and +1, and Alzner at 30 and -1.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

DCSportsFan28

Mostly I agree.

He is beginning to change his game a bit. We've seen him more in front of the net lately, he's pretty good with take aways. There's the issue of his give aways, but Green, Ovie and 2/3rds of the team have that issue, too.

I also can't get down on his points. He's got 30 to Kozy's 37. I CAN get down on his value to the team relative to salary. At his salary, he should be 2x where he's at now.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

What about Brashear, I love the guy, but do we need a fighter in the playoffs?

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.,

I agree with you, everyone has had give away problems but most guys have far exceeded their positives vs. negatives. Ovie, Green may make bad plays from time to time but what they bring to the table far exceeds the mistakes they make. Kozy's another one that I haven't been impressed with. I believe he is a FA next year and I'm on the fence about bringing him back. One guy who I think I'd rather see on the roster more than some other guys is Aucoin. I think Aucoin is a sparkplug and he's an energy guy that could put up points for us if he got the chance. I like Gordon and Steckel because of what they bring us on the PK and Brash is our enforcer. However, I think Aucoin would get the nod over Nylander or Bradley in my personal opinion. If Nylander got his confidence back I think he can still play. He's not worth what he's paid but he could still help us. But as I said in my previous post if you don't play with confidence it's very hard almost impossible to be successful. I think Nylanders biggest problem is he plays like he's scared or timid.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 3, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Not after the first round, watch Brashears minutes drop.....giving him plenty o' Safeway time!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 3, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing the thought of not having Brashear in the playoffs.

Did you guys even watch the series vs Philly last year? That line was a spark plug.

YES Brash will play in the playoffs.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 3, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Um, we lost to Philly last year...

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Re: T-shirts on statues - I can just see the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt in a ROCK THE RED! T-shirt! :)

Posted by: irockthered | April 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Aucoin's +5 as a Cap this year

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Sonya

Maybe Aucoin should center the 3rd line once Brash or Gordon get healthy. How is he on Faceoffs?

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, I think he is not playing to his pay. He's underproducing by a lot. You won't get an argument from me there. He can certainly bring points to a team, but not this one anymore.

I do think if you objectively watch him you will see him in front of the net and in the corners. I think that you can also clearly see he's not happy with his production. He knows he's got troubles right now.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Sonyask

I was commenting on Sloan for next season. Not now.

But that first hit in Edmonton? That was Epic!

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Aucoin's faceoff's... somebody?

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

DCSportsFan28:
Nylander may be a great passer but if he's afraid to shoot than guess what? The defense never views him as a threat and always plays the winger because they know Nylander won't shoot. As a result, that prevents his wingers from getting open looks because the defense will just focus on them instead of ever worrying about the man with the puck (in this case Nylander)

this is nlys sneaky way of *exploding* in the playoffs - no one, i repeat no one, will ever expect him to shoot the puck. he should have three hat tricks in the first round before anyone notices.
he (and maybe BB too) has been working on this all year. i don't think anyone can argue that he has perfected this perception. this shows his ability to 'stick to the plan' - much like GMGM has.
i'm looking for BIG things from the circler come april 15th or so

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 3, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg S.

You can't be serious about Sloan. He filled in admirably and even had a couple of highlights, but I would take any of our current seven D-men plus Alzner over Sloan. There is a reason he is playing in Hershey right now, and even though he may be able to skate at the NHL level, he is easily knocked off the puck and very unsure of himself when it comes to puck possession and passing.

Posted by: boomer44 | April 3, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Now THAT's faith!

Posted by: Greg S. | April 3, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I did see Aucoin did well in faceoffs against the Islanders.... but that was the Islanders.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I would not say that Steks and Boyd Gordon should be a lock because they are penalty killers.....our PK is not all that stellar.

I actully thing Semin is one of our better P- killers, as long as he doent get one called on him while doing it.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 3, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I would make Stecks and Gordo a lock to play BECAUSE our PK has not been stellar.

These 2 are the best we've got. But I do like Semin on the 2nd PK unit. It is always smart to have a scoring threat to force the other team to play honest at the blue line.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 3, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the answer on Aucoin's faceoffs, his feeds against the Lightning and the Isles were great. The guy's got moves, and, as said somewhere above, he's an energy guy.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 3, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm usually big on analysis, but right now I'm too pumped for this game to do any thinking...

Go Caps!

Posted by: Raber | April 3, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

aucoins faceoff % is 40.7

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?navid=NAV|STS|Indiv
you can filter from there

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 3, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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