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Caps 2, Sabres 0 (updated)

The Caps managed to hang onto a slim third period lead and beat the Sabres 2-0 tonight. But more important, I'm told they do not expect Alex Ovechkin to receive a suspension for a third period hit that resulted a five-minute major for boarding and a second career ejection for the two time MVP.

Both Coach Bruce Boudreau and Ovechkin said afterward that they didn't think the hit warranted more than two minutes.

"He didn't hit the letters, he didn't hit the numbers, so I don't anticipate anything happening," Boudreau said. "But I can see where the refs got concerned because there is so much media talk about this lately."

Ovechkin said he was surprised by the ejection.

"I don't think it was five and 10," he said. "Max, it was two minutes. It was just a moment of the game. Sometimes you get a bad hit and nothing happens. Sometimes you get a good hit and the guy just fell on the board and has blood. The ref says, 'Jesus, it's blood. I have to give some big penalties.'"

Here's another look at the hit in question:

Check out my game story (and make sure to read Karl Alzner's quote), then come back for some notes and quotes that didn't make the cut:

*Several players had clutch performances in the third period. None, though, were as clutch as David Steckel. The big center won 93 percent of his faceoffs, including nine of 10 in the final frame.

*Eric Fehr, whose goal with 6:22 remaining clinched the win, now has four goals and three assists in his last 11 contests. He seems to have some good chemistry with Brendan Morrison, too.

*Brian Pothier had another strong game, too. He was credited with two shots on goal and four hits, including a monster hipcheck on Clarke MacArthur in the second period.

*Mike Green recorded his 22nd assist, which moved him into a tie for second in the league. It also puts him on pace to break the team record for assists by a defenseman (Scott Steven's 61).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'll check in again Friday from KCI.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 25, 2009; 11:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin won't be disciplined

Comments

GO CAPS

Posted by: Tondi | November 26, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow Tarik where is the game story?:)

Posted by: Tondi | November 26, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Carried over from the previous board:

Glad I stayed off the CI board till AFTER the game tonight. Got a good chuckle out of tominfl1's cross dressing antics.

Caps were so disciplined, and when they weren't, Varlamov was on top of everything. That guy is cool as a cucumber.

Caps seemed to control the neutral zone tonight. Short, tight passes, getting in closer before taking shots.

The ref made a big mistake on the Ovechkin call. Let's hope the mistake doesn't get compounded with a suspension. Highly unlikely, given the chance to review the check.

And it touched me to see Theo skate out to Varly to congratulate him on his first shut out. Varly earned it, but don't forget that there were only 25 shots on goal, mainly due to good defense.

And for all those people who still want to hate Mike Green, I will now do my rendition of Kermit the Frog singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" just to punish you.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 26, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

From ESPN

"A league official told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that Ovechkin would not receive an automatic one-game suspension as a result of the ejection; but if the Caps star receives another ejection within the next 41 games, then the one-game suspension will be automatic."

It would appear for now that Mr.Bettman beleives it should of been a 2min penalty too. But then again it took several days for Briere and Laraques suspensions...

Posted by: breaklance | November 26, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@breaklance

Thanks for the news -- from ESPN.

If by chance Ovi gets into a fight and forgets to connect his fighting straps on his jersey before 41 games is up, does that mean he's suspended?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

What a pleasure to see the guys have the energy/desire to skate for 60 tonight. What a difference that mkaes. Very entertainiong game. I think everyone played a solid game.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 26, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Hi all! Glad to hear the Caps had a good game tonight. I recorded it...hope to get a chance to watch it tomorrow in between all the holiday hoopla. Congrats to Eric Fehr on his goal. I've seen what he can do when he's healthy (in Hershey) and I think given time he'll be a huge asset to the Caps.

Speaking of Hershey, the Bears lost to the Provident Bruins tonight 4-1. Terrible game. The team looked absolutely lifeless. Mikey was in goal and not very sharp. The defense kept fumbling the puck. The forwards spent way too much time passing and not enough shooting. (Does that sound familiar?) Hope they get it together before the weekend...away game Friday night and home games Saturday AND Sunday. Brutal schedule.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 26, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

*Providence Bruins*
Apparently I can't type late at night.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 26, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

If elementary school rules were in effect for tonight's game, Ovi's major penalty and game misconduct would cost him his "Star of the Game". He was named 2nd star today.

My revised list, as a result:

1st Star: Varlamov

2nd Star: Fehr (the clincher and insurance)

3rd star: Pothier

(Unless you prefer to move Pothier to 2nd star and then make Fehr the third star.)

Sorry Ovi, you're in time out and you're grounded today. You lost your star for tonight. Or at least that's what they do in grade school.

Yes, it's official, my favorite players are the team's bad boys. Semin and Ovi.

3rd star: Fehr

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

well if there's such a thing as "street credit" in hockey, Ovie should get some for what he did :)

Posted by: joek443 | November 26, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

Is Ovi now our enforcer?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Just got home to fairfax after the game and an hour or so at Rocket. From 433 it looked clean to me. Anybody? good hit or bad? Regardless, the Polish girl at Rocket was amazing! LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | November 26, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Why does the NHL seem to want to turn Ovi into a vanilla player?

Posted by: dfe1 | November 26, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

The hit warranted 2 minutes, maybe 4 because he was bleeding (from hitting the boards). He saw Ovi and he also turned. Even with his turning, it was still a hit to the shoulder. I'm pretty sure the guy just wanted to draw a penalty.

Posted by: dfe1 | November 26, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

no, I wouldn't go as far as Ovie being an enforcer but he got 15 penalty minutes tonight... I'd say that is street credit, sort of :)

I said a couple weeks ago that there's no such thing as a "statement" game in the NHL in November but I take that back... the Hawks beating the Sharks in San Jose 7-2 which featured 3 shorthanded goals by Chicago does qualify as a statement game.

Posted by: joek443 | November 26, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

8 has more street cred than 0. What you gonna do Gil? What u gonna do?

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | November 26, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

I was being facetious about Ovi becoming our enforcer.

Agree with you on Chicago having a statement game against San Jose. Scoring 3 shorties. Or could we also say that this was a game where the wheels came off the bus for the Sharks?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

this is making players soft, ovie would never have turned away, so he wouldnt have drawn a penalty. the nhl is now rewarding cowardice and its pathetic

Posted by: formerlylove1 | November 26, 2009 2:39 AM | Report abuse

@formerly, I was thinking the same thing, thatOvi would have taken the hit.

Posted by: dfe1 | November 26, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Great game by everyone. Ovie's best since the injury. Alzner was very good.

Fehr is really starting to look good. I've noticed that he's been getting his shots off much quicker in recent games and man, the dude's got some wrister. I can see why he scored a lot in juniors now. Maybe he's finally starting to figure this NHL thing out.

Obviously Varly. I felt he could have gotten a shutout in the past few games, but then he'd get shots he had no chance on. All these damn deflections in front. Today he had a chance on every shot and stopped them all. He's been very sharp. What's crazy is that I got this hunch just before the game started and replaced Nabokov with Varly in my fantasy team line-up. Turned out to be the decision of the season, eh?

The call on Ovie's hit was terrible. There's no way that was a hit from behind. Kaleta saw Ovie coming and turned to draw the penalty. Even though Ovie hit his shoulder he sold it well. Kaleta is a total jackass who does does stuff like this all the time. The refs got conned. I'm sure that every player in the league applauded Ovie for the hit because Kaleta is a punk. Anyway, I'll be very surprised if there's any further punishment by the NHL. If anything they should reprimand the refs for making a terrible call that could've cost us the game.

Posted by: ranndino | November 26, 2009 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Hate to say this folks but Don Cherry will have a field day with Ovie's hit. I know, I know, Cherry is worthless to even burn any cellular synapsis over, but the walking polyester experiment explosion will have to say something about it I'm sure.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 26, 2009 3:55 AM | Report abuse

1. Don Cherry is a man of measured words, subtle taste, and profound wisdom with application in all aspects of life. His opinion is to be carefully regarded. I eagerly anticipate his humble remarks on the subject of that savage Ruskie, Ovechkin.

2. Jesus, when are we going to get rid of Eric Fehr. He's just never going to pan out. Flash either.

3. I heart Mike Green and Alex Semin so bad, forever. Without them, this team would be nothing. I take it personally when other "fans" badmouth these sacred personages.

Posted by: large23220 | November 26, 2009 4:52 AM | Report abuse

Great hustle by Green tonight!
Terrible call on Ovi by the refs.

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 26, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x3-dufZHg4

for those that did not see the hit

Posted by: CommanderX-2 | November 26, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving Tarik! Thanks for everything you do!

Posted by: CapsChick | November 26, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Longtime/firsttime here. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Anyone happen to know if the Caps will be practicing at KCI tomorrow morn (as Tarik's post suggests) and what time I ought get ought there with my kids if we hope to watch?

The schedule at the washcaps.com doesn't have anything listed.

Thx for your help.

Posted by: Sam6753091 | November 26, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

@Hatfield223: Thanks for the tip on where to buy jersey. Still have the basic question if anyone can help: If they have men's and women's both for sale, and women's are cheaper, is there a disadvantage to buying the women's?

on Fehr: What is really good about him is he is a different skill set. Flash and Semin are in the Bondra mold, but Fehr is a big rig I'd like to think like John LeClair. Well, we can hope.

BTW, Hatfield, not to worry, I'm not a McCoy.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 -- you want to buy a woman's jersey for you? Don't! (Not unless you have man boobs.) They are cut differently. A woman's jersey is more fitted, shorter -- basically designed for the smaller size and curves of a woman.

Posted by: Steakum | November 26, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino

Great post, especially about Varly, Ovi, and Fehr.

Why does Ovi get his worst penalties against jerks on Buffalo? Briere (when he was on Buffalo) and Kaleta (last night)
When I was at the game, I didn't think the hit was that abnormal and suddenly a major penalty.

On your screen name. I know you're Russian but how'd you end up with a screen name that sounds Italian (which was my guess until I know better).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@Sam6753091

Their "normal" practice time is 10:30, "normal" being defined as not the day after a game or day of a game. In reality, they always seem to be on the ice before the advertised time.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@Sam6753091

No practice for Thanksgiving (although some years, like 2 years ago, they'd had practice that day but not open to the public).

But I asume they'll have a normal practice on Friday.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 -- so sorry you had snafu with Metro. Very aggravating, but glad you made the game on time. We went to the box during 2nd, but I think I prefer our seats to a crowded box.

My guys may go see the practice tomorrow. However, the older 2 are in a tournament tomorrow night and sleep might be in order, especially for the suffering one.

I was looking at the schedule for the rest of the season -- it is brutal. I just hope we do not continue to have a rash of injuries.

Darn, those birds won, too.

Posted by: Steakum | November 26, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Fehr is benefiting from playing with talented centers. Morrison and Perreault have been his pivots this year and Fehr has played well with him. Last year, Fehr was 5th on the team on points scored per minute played (with zero PP time)and he had Steckel/Fedorov/Laich as his centers, no offense to any of those guys, Steckel has very little intuition as a set-up guy, Laich is a W and Fedorov was often a step slow.

I know Fehr is snakebitten when it comes to injury, and it is yet to be seen if he can stay healthy, but... If he stays healthy and Perreault remains his C, Fehr could be a 20/20/+ guy, playing 3rd line minutes.

Fehr is my boy, but that is an honest assessment of #16.

On Varlamov, some people here have stated that he isn't ready to be the #1. Well, he is, now. His stats would be so much better had the team in front of him didn't hang him out to dry on a few occasions (Toronto).

Alzner, is an NHL blueliner. It is the most unfortunate of circumstances that keeps him in the AHL, Nylander. C'mon Nylander, you're stunting the growth of some young players. You don't play in the AHL, get called up and play 20min in your first game this season unless you're good and the coaching staff thinks you're good.

I love #28, he is our most skilled player. I know what he is and what he isn't. My question is at what point do you decide whether to re-sign him or not to. If Flash and Fehr keep on developing into 20+ goal scorers, then where do they all fit.

Your W's next season are Ovi, Knuble, Semin, Laich, Clark, Fehr, Flash.

Ovi, Knuble, Laich and Clark are all signed at least thru 2010/11.

Semin, Fehr and Flash are RFA's.

You also have Hershey to take under consideration.

Maybe you can keep everybody.

Posted by: JSchon | November 26, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Thx very much.

Posted by: Sam6753091 | November 26, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Also, I have to admit that I was wrong about Q.Laing. I love that guy. My apologies to wendel. What guy does an interview with his mouth wired shut? That guy is insanely insane.

Posted by: JSchon | November 26, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

tominfl,

Like someone else said, women's jerseys tend to be cut differently: they're narrower but tend to be a little wider around the bust. They also can be a little shorter (I couldn't find the length measurements on the NHL store site though, so that's only a guess on my part).

Take a look at the men's and women's size charts. If you know your jersey size, go based off that, and add a size in the women's measures. If you want to measure yourself, I'd say your best bet is to compare sizes of the hips. Size women's clothes tend to narrow in around the waist, you don't want to get something that fits perfectly around the chest and then absurdly squeezes in around your stomach.

Men's Sizes: http://shop.nhl.com/product/getInfoSportData.jsp?categoryId=2826081

Women's Sizes: http://shop.nhl.com/product/getInfoSportData.jsp?categoryId=2826089

The only way to know for sure though is to try them on.

Posted by: InSEMINator | November 26, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@jschon apology accepted

Posted by: wendel2 | November 26, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@jschon do u have a link to the interview? Please post

Posted by: wendel2 | November 26, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

It was during the game with Lisa Hillary. You might find it on the Comcast site.

Posted by: JSchon | November 26, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@steakum re schedule,

Yow, Caps play 9 of the next 11 on the road.

Posted by: grackle5 | November 26, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Exciting game to watch last night. Both teams had their legs going and it was a fast give and take show all the way.

As for OV penalty. I have reviewed that penalty multiple times in slow motion and I believe that Kaleta didn't see OV until just before the hit - It was too late to evade. The hit was a bit late but a clean shoulder hit and OV didn't deserve the 5 minutes and expulsion. I think 4 minutes, because of the blood in kaleta's face, would have been appropriate.

I love the intensity that the Caps had last night, this team is awesome.

Posted by: hock1 | November 26, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@jschon oh by the way i think u owe me a can of spam

Posted by: wendel2 | November 26, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm still looking at the schedule. Not only are 9 of the next 11 on the road, but they span only 22 days, 11/28 - 12/19.

We really need some guys to return from injuries.

Posted by: grackle5 | November 26, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Why in the world did we give away scott stevens? We didnt get much in return and he was great for us. Can someone ezplain? If we kept him longer his number would easily be in the rafters

Posted by: samrosen8 | November 26, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I kept waiting for the break downs to happen in the 3rd. Thankfully they never came! The Caps played solid the entire 60. That is what this team is capable of, and it was great to see it! Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | November 26, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@ samrosen8

the Caps didn't give away Stevens - he wanted to leave and start fresh after the party/limo incident. The decision not to match the offer by the Blues wasn't really about the money - Abe Pollin decided that he wasn't the kind of a player he wanted on the team.

Posted by: joek443 | November 26, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Hatfield, not to worry, I'm not a McCoy.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 8:36 AM |

Tom

Does this mean you are not real????

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | November 26, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Nylander, you're stunting the growth of some young players.

Posted by: JSchon

So, Nylander is no different than a cigarette.

re: Scott Stevens - he was a RFA in July, 1990. St. Louis Blues offered him a then-record 5 yr/deal, $1M per season. Caps opted not to match and instead got 5 1st round picks from the Blues. Turned out to eba huge mistake. The 1991 guy was a LW and a bust (Corriveau?). In 1992 and 1993 we did OK with Gonchar and Witt. 94 was a giant bust as we traded the pick and Mike Ridley to pick Nolan Baumgartner and 95 was bust-o-rama - Miko Elomo.

I say with Stevens on the Caps from 90 onward we would have had 2 or 3 Cups.

Interesting to note though...we later traded Brendan Witt to Nashville for a 1st Round pick in 2006 - Semyon Varlamov.

re: Laing interview. I recorded the game but missed the interview (my family hates Lisa Hillary). I will re-play and watch. Guess he's drinking his beer with a straw these days. Mighty tough dude.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a clip of the hip check by Pots? In the replay shown on TV, it looked like the back of his head slammed into the board at the tail end of the check.

Great check, but a scary moment. Pothier has been playing his best hockey recently. Good to see.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 26, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

realoldcapsfan: You figured me out.

joek443: Had Caps matched, Stevens would have stayed. Yes, you were right, it was an AP decision and not based on hockey.

inSEMINator: I went to river city sports. They only have adult and child, no "women's." I'm getting a road Backstrom for $179.99. I did notice our Green jersey has iron on numbers, so that one must've come from the nhl site. Thanks to Hatfield for alerting me as I hadn't noticed.

JSchon: I've done the math and we can keep them all if we get Backstrom and Semin at $12.5M and Flash at like $2.5M. Fehr might come in at $1M unless he keeps improving then even more. Part of making it work is next year you have Neuvy and Varlamov making for two cheap goalies and you don't bring back Juice, Mo or Pothier. Pothier's making a case though. Boyd Gordon also goes away and, ideally, you'd find a trading partner for Clark. Finally, Nylander is waived and forced to retire or play for the East Peoria Plumbers.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The invisible man award for last night should go to the Sabres Tomas Vanek. 1 shot and a minus 1. He caught a case of disinterest last night?

Excellent game last night. Fun holiday crowd too.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 26, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah. Happy Thanksgiving to the virtual Capitals family. I'm thankful for goalposts and good luck.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 26, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, for next year, you have Nylander (4.875), Theo (4.5), Pothier (2.5), ShaMo (1.975), BMo (1.5), Jurcina (1.375) and Gordon (700) coming off for like $17.5M.

Add Neuvy (850), Alzner (1.675), Carlson (850), Collins (to use a spot, 650), Perrault (700 or so) and maybe Bouchard (850) and Osala (for now, mkaes 800 or so) for $6.4M worth of replacement players. (Actually Neuvy is RFA but I'm assuming he'll make the same.)

That leaves you $11.1M for raises. Backie and Semin go from $7M to $12.5. Wow. Right there you use half your raise money and have $5.6M left. Flash and Fehr go from $1.5M total to about 3.5-4 (say 4) and you have $3M left. UFAs like Steckel and Laing should come back at the same. Bradley is signed. I don't see any other raises till the following year (big bump for Laich and Varly then).

So, in conclusion, unless I've messed up, and if cap stays the same, you have three million to upgrade. That means you can drop Collins and Osala (1.5M) and you have then $4.5M to bring back Pothier and BMo, if you can do that. Both have earned it so far. Or you use the money for your snarling, crease-clearing D man.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

lornemyoung: The worst part about Vanek is he makes $7.1M and he makes for a PERFECT comparable for Semin to use in arbitration.

Caps can come back with Mike Cammalleri (6M), Daniel Sedin (6.1) and Mike Richards (6.2 for 10), but the arbitration judge doesn't look at the Vanek contract and say, "I can't give that to Semin because Vanek isn't worth his money." No, McPhee is stuck with Buffalo's mistake.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@jschon

#28 is great, but still may be his last year here. I look at it the way the football fans overseas must: the team in front of you is the team you root for and you assume it will not be the same collection you root for next year. This edition of the caps with 8,28,19,52 is a great vintage, they can play some hockey.

Kudos to GMGM for not making the huge mistake Chicago made, stuck with huge cap hit on Huet and needing to sign all those RFAs!

#19 will be signed, right? As for Semin, pretty sure GMGM will not get crushed with a long term huge cap hit. They still have Varly, Flash, Fehr, etc to sign. I'm thinking length of deal will be biggest thing for Semin. If I'm GMGM, I'd offer him decent bucks (5,5+?) to re-up until the time they need to re-sign Alzner and Carlson (2 or 3 years). Or long term for less (like Zetterberg). If long term, they have to insist the boy learns English so he can work out his role with the coach. We do need buy in both ways : player buying into the coach, and coach buying into what the particular player can do best.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

As for the Scott Stevens debate, I agree he was a beast and what a run we might have had if he retired as a Cap. If I'm not mistaken, though, wasn't he involved in the infamous Georgetown limo incident with Dino and Courtnall, and wasn't there talk back then that the "office" wanted to clean house and get rid of the scandal?
Could be wrong on this one... my memory is... what?

Posted by: gonchpup | November 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

about Buffalo's mistake - you're right! But I think trend is strongly down on dollar amounts in new contracts, teams are wising up. I think GMGM can get Semin for 5 if he adds years. Good analysis on the cap stuff, though, thanks for that...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 26, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

>>Don Cherry is a man of measured words, subtle taste, and profound wisdom with application in all aspects of life. His opinion is to be carefully regarded. I eagerly anticipate his humble remarks on the subject of that savage Ruskie, Ovechkin.

Should have been a spew warning with that one!

Sucktastic call by the on-ice officials on that "hit." I guess they had to make up for the fact that they'd gone so long in the game without any penalties.

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | November 26, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Stevens was implicated in the limo snafu. So was Neil Sheehy, Courtnall, and Dino. David Poile made the decision not to match, Maybe it was Abe telling him not too, only Poile is left to comment. But David Poile and Abe (rest his soul) both know they made a HUGE mistake and we the fans paid for it.

Posted by: fatboy08 | November 26, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@Tom - I think that Neuvy has been shakey of late, so I don't think we can count on him as back-up next year (it would be nice if he can get to that level though). As far as the d, I would rather try to find a way to move Poti - I have no problem with ShaMo and Jurcina. And how can you not like what BMo has done - kudos to GMGM. In fact, other than Nylander and the fact that Theo isn't playing up to a $4.5M level, I don't think there's any dead weight on the current team. I understand that tough decisions will have to be made to bring up the young guys though.

Posted by: zmega | November 26, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Vanek was Edmonton's mistake coumpounded by Buffalo's mediocrity.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 26, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

zmega: Yes, I would love to keep BMo as #2 center. It depends on how much he wants and how much it takes to keep Backstrom, Semin, Flash and Fehr. I have those four geting raises equal to $8M. If they come in at more or less, it affects what else you can do. I believe this is what they mean by "trickle down economics."

Backstrom looks to be worth very similar to Anze Kopitar at $6.8M. Maybe you can get him a little less as he isn't as much a scorer, so I figured $6.5M.

Semin could expect Vanek at $7.1M. A more club-favorable comparison is the other three above at like $6M. Semin has mucho leverage though because he can opt for one year in Russia and then he is a UFA. Even if you go to trade him, he is worth less because of that.

Flash has leverage too because he can go to arbitration for one year and then also UFA. Long term he could be worth Olesz bucks at $3M per year.

Fehr is harder to gauge until later in the season. For now, say 2 yrs at $1M per but the price can go up.

I'd love to keep BMo, but he's playing his way to a two-year, $6-7M contract. Moving Poti would pay for that, but then your blueline is inexperienced. It would be great maybe to keep Pothier at $2M if that scenario.

It's like a bunch of dominos. I keep waiting for the first announced signing.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 26, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Vanek was Edmonton's mistake coumpounded by Buffalo's mediocrity.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 26, 2009 1:28 PM

This. Though if Edmonton tried to do that with Semin, we'd let him walk for like 2 first rounders and 2 second rounders or something ridiculous like that. Buffalo couldn't afford to do that with Vanek because they'd already lost everyone that any of the fans cared about on their team.

Posted by: Raber | November 26, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Refs are human, and they call based on what they see. I think it was foolish to eject Ovie from that hit, but a ref saw a hit, and he saw a guy bent over and bleeding from his face. Cooler heads will prevail with the league, and he won't face further punishment

Posted by: j762 | November 26, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

Would Edmonton be willing to cough up the requisite draft picks for Semin? Depending on how much they sign him for, either 4 first rounders or 2 first rounders and 2 seconds.

I can't recall what the salary thresholds are for what draft picks would be coughed up.

I notice that Edmonton is not doing so well this year so a first rounder would be pretty valuable. Although they're not quite bad enough to be lottery pick level.

If I were a GM of a bad team, I'd think twice about giving up so many high round draft picks for any RFA. It's one thing to give up a player plus one pick but 4 good picks is an awfully high price.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@fatboy08, gonchpup, joek443

I remember the whole "limousine incident" all too well. And wonder if it were the "real" reason that Stevens is gone.

I hope our current boys are able to stay out of trouble. (I feel I've already dealt with enough scandals for that generation -- with the cast of characters from my elder daughter's middle school and high school.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 26, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

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