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Caps 3, 'Canes 2

The primary storyline tonight, of course, was Alex Ovechkin. But right now there are more questions than answers. So let's talk about some of Ovechkin's teammates, specifically Jose Theodore, Nicklas Backstrom and Eric Fehr, each of whom played a huge role in the Caps' 3-2 win at RBC Center.

Theodore needed a big game to restore Coach Bruce Boudreau's confidence in him - and he delivered. In his first start in seven games, the veteran made 38 saves, including 15 in the first period and a handful of highlight reel stops.

"It was important," Theodore said. "The last week that was my biggest focus: I worked hard to show my teammates and the coaching staff that I was anxious to get back and do my job when I play."

He added: "It's a long season and you need two guys to get going at the same time. So far, it's been when one wasn't sharp, the other one picked it up. But we have to do it at the same time because it's going to be a tough schedule."

Backstrom was just as dominant.

With his left wing and best friend in the dressing room with an apparent right knee injury, he carried the Caps. After banging in a nifty Ovechkin pass in the first period, Backstrom set up Fehr and then scored a second goal late in the second period.

Backstrom's first period goal snapped a 13-game drought, and it was his first multi-point game in 11 contests.

"I felt pretty good tonight and last game, too," Backstrom said. "I feel like my legs are back. I hope that's a good thing."

Fehr, meantime, keeps on rolling. Finally getting a decent amount of ice time with some skilled linemates, the former first rounder notched his fourth goal in three games. He also got an assist on Backstrom's second goal.

Boudreau praised Fehr for his goal, but wasn't too happy about his late high sticking penalty.

"It was positive and negative [night]," Boudreau said of Fehr. "I don't want to say too much negative today because he got a goal and an assist, and they were important ones. But he's got to learn when to take those penalties. It's killing us."

It's going to be interesting what happens to Fehr when Alexander Semin returns from a wrist injury.

Ovechkin wasn't the only player to get hurt. Carolina's Joe Corvo suffered a serious injury when his lower right leg was sliced by Karl Alzner's skate. Corvo was taken to the hospital.

"He is stable, he is fine, he is going to be okay," Hurricanes Coach Paul Maurice said. "The extent of the injury won't be known until a doctor gets in there and looks at it and finds out exactly how deep it is, what It caught."

Check back tomorrow. We could have a lot to talk about.

Video of Ovechkin's hit last night:

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 11:50 PM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin skates briefly

Comments

No matter how much I try to prepare myself, if this turns out to be a long-term injury, I'll be devastated.

I'm sure many of you feel the same way.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 30, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

New lines:

Semin-Backstrom-Fehr
Laich-Morrison-Fleischmann
?-Perreault-Clark
Sloan-Steckel-Bradley

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 1, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Check back tomorrow. We could have a lot to talk about.

By Tarik El-Bashir

somehow i think we will have much more to speculate about.
tarik - if gmgm/bb won't talk about ovi's injury - maybe you could get them to commit giving some meaningful info on nlys

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Capt_kirk--I don't expect much info on either topic. But I will check back in hopefully for Ovi news. Could care less about the suspension. "What will be will be." But I do hope the injury is not severe. I hate knee injuries.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 1, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker

I always wanted to see what would happen if Fehr and Semin ever got on the same line. I guess I'll finally get my chance. BTW, Fehr has become our new Semin in more ways than one. Scoring goals and getting penalties. (But usually Fehr's a good boy.)

As for the third line, will they move Giroux down or will Beagle go there? Or will they move up Steckel to wing and put one of them on 4th? Or put Erskine at forward, if Poti comes back?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Join the club. I hate knee injuries also. (We had foreshadowing tonight, when Carolina's defenseman who opened up the scoring went down with a similar injury.)

Given that Gleeson missed almost no time, I would not expect more than a 1 game suspension except that the NHL is determined to throw the book at Ovi.

I hope Ovi's okay even though I'm P*** at him and I'm mad enough to take all my pictures of him at the office down.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

butcher baker- Flash is incapable of any position beyond left wing. Makes the second line situation a bit sticky at the moment.

I'm in the boat where I could care less if Ovi is out 2 months. Out for year and I would be depressed. Ovie being out is ultimately GOOD for this hockey team. Backstrom demonstrated why tonight. If players step up without him, it will only benefit the team as a whole over the season.

Nylander needs to play or be moved. A team that used to have a stockpile offensively is running out of forwards quickly.

Posted by: BACKS | December 1, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Chad8:

"If Gleason hadn't tried to avoid the hit, it would have been a clean (and crushing) hit. The last second move by Gleason looked like the reason it happened."

Comcast's Alan May made exactly the same point last night in the post game commentary. In fact he said that if players took the hits rather than try to avoid them, there would be far fewer injuries today.

Posted by: caraveli | December 1, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

@CapFan75, Yep, I'm mad at Ovi, too. I want him to hit people but I want him to be smart about it, too.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Ovi actually weights 235+ pounds (and has apparently gained weight).

He does need to tone down his style and hit guys less. (It's almost like he has become the team's enforcer.)

Yes, fans say that you can't tame the lion who is Ovechkin but he'll have to tame himself if he wants to perserve his career and not spend the rest of it either injured or suspended.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
for such a highly skilled player, ovi has always worried me with his physical play - even though that makes him that much better. i don't want his injury to be anything long term - but i hope it makes him reflect on the consequences of his actions.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Theo played amazing tonight. Lets hope its here to stick.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

@CapFan75, Yep, I'm mad at Ovi, too. I want him to hit people but I want him to be smart about it, too.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 12:22 AM

My thoughts exactly. I hope he does get suspended for a couple games, and I hope he's OK. I think he needs something like this to get it through to him that he needs to be smarter out there. Yeah, it's really cool to hit people really hard, but only when it's safe and legal.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 1, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

i'll take the suspension in a heart beat just as long as he's ok!! and i dont care what people are saying, we know ovie and i honestly dont believe he ever aimed to injure. everyone else can call him a dirty player or whatever else they want but i'll stand by him. he might be reckless but he's not dirty.

just be ok ovie!!! i dont even really care about regular season... but please dont be out for the playoffs...

Posted by: mrszilla | December 1, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

@BACKS: "Ovie being out is ultimately GOOD for this hockey team." Let me be the first to ask: What are you SMOKIN'?

Posted by: CAP-lanta | December 1, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Ovi's injured, so it's a moot point. But I would be in the mood to make Ovi a healthy scratch.

Look at the rap sheet. 2 5 minute majors AND game misconducts in 3 games. Plus, a costly minor penalty before the latest string.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like something potentially terrible happening to the Caps to bring out every Ovechkin hating troll out of their holes.

For them I have a question. If Ovechkin's aggressive play is reckless please define "careful aggression" to me.

My view the same as it was when he hit Gonchar like that. If Gleason took the hit and didn't try avoiding it none of this would've happened. Ovechkin was going for his normal clean shoulder check. They were going very fast. Gleason tried to avoid it, their knees collided. Purely accidental. And yes, I know that it looks like the knee is sticking out. Now do yourself a favor and notice what happens when any player makes a gliding turn. Yes, their leading knee sticks out. That's just a natural position of your legs as a hockey player during a gliding turn. If you don't position it like that you will lose your balance and fall. Anyone who's ever played hockey or even skated should know that.

I hope Ovie is OK.

Theo was tremendous tonight. Probably his best game as a Cap. Nothing like a real threat of being relegated to a backup for the rest of the season to get him re-focused. He was extremely sharp and knew where the pucks was at all times. Something that usually doesn't happen.

As for Flash I think his goal slump is my fault. I got so excited when everything he touched was going in that I dumped Malone to add him to my fantasy team and ever since then he can't put a beach ball in the ocean. Sorry about that.

Posted by: ranndino | December 1, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Like you, I'll be devastated if he's out for a long period. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the worse.

Yes, I feel less sympathy for him since it was something he should not have done. I love him like a son, but I am mad at him. As mad as I would be a my kid if they had gotten hurt in a car accident that they were at fault in only days after getting a traffic ticket.

I wish he would be smarter about his hits. But at this point forward, he should avoid hits since the officials will be watching him like a hawk. It's just the timing of things.

Alexander Mikhailovich, just ask yourself, do you want to be a star or do you want to be an enforcer? Ask yourself that question. If you want to be the enforcer, that will be the end of Hart Trophies and MVP's.


Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Cap-lanta - I meant that in the sense if its NOT a season ending injury. Obviously, im terrified that he wont be back this year. This team, either way, will be without him at least for the coming months. This will allow players like backstrom, Fehr, Flash, Semin, Laich find themselves in the scoring department. More room for them to step up. As much as most DC and most NHL fans would like to think, the caps are not a one man hockey team.

Posted by: BACKS | December 1, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

@ TheDoubleAlex

"Yeah, it's really cool to hit people really hard, but only when it's safe".

These are the kinds of statements that kill me. You have obviously never played any contact sport, ever. There is no such thing as a safe hit, tackle, etc in any sport. Thing happen so fast that accidents like that are always a possibility. This is not chess. These are two athletes moving at almost 30 mph towards each other for a combined speed of around 60 mph or, in other words, almost as fast as you drive your car on the highway. The only reason this resulted in a knee on knee collision is that, just as Gonchar did in last year's playoffs, Gleason tried to avoid the hit. There's absolutely nothing Ovie could've done about it. There was simply no time. Ovie is not an idiot. If he could avoid a knee on knee he would. Not only not to injure the opponent, but also for his own sake. Anyone who thinks this was an intentional hit is a retard.

Posted by: ranndino | December 1, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

@BACKS: "Ovie being out is ultimately GOOD for this hockey team." Let me be the first to ask: What are you SMOKIN'?

Posted by: CAP-lanta | December 1, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

While that might seem totally crazy and i dont want ovie out anymore this year but i have to say his being out with the shoulder issue really did make this team wake up! everyone started contributing and the players finally realized they cant depend on him to dig them out bad situations. again... i DONT want ovie out anymore... but it is good to know that the team has and will step up if they need to.

Posted by: mrszilla | December 1, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino

I hope Ovi's okay even though I'm upset with him at the moment. He probably needed to tone down his aggressiveness after the Buffalo game. I had assumed the 5 minute major and misconduct was a fluke and unlikely to happen soon but.....

The timing is unfortunate for Ovi in that he's likely to get suspended in addition to being hurt. How does it work? Would the suspension kick in after Ovi's been medically "cleared" or would they run concurrently?

Yes, nothing like every Ovi hating troll coming out of the woodwork -- like Cheef and Jumpy and LarryDavid. (I've noticed that the Semin hating trolls are usually the same persons as the Ovi hating trolls.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

I fear Ovi is following in the footsteps of Eric Lindros and his career will be over prematurely.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

@ Chad8 & Caravelli

Alan May is 100% correct. I ended up recording the game from the Carolina broadcast so didn't see him say that. The Carolina clowns were all over Ovie for deliberately dirty hit and said that he's quickly developing a reputation. Whatever. People see what they wanna see.

Posted by: ranndino | December 1, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

ranndino with some rare praise for theo - i hope the sun still comes up in the east tomorrow :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino

I hope Ovi's okay even though I'm upset with him at the moment. He probably needed to tone down his aggressiveness after the Buffalo game. I had assumed the 5 minute major and misconduct was a fluke and unlikely to happen soon but.....

The timing is unfortunate for Ovi in that he's likely to get suspended in addition to being hurt. How does it work? Would the suspension kick in after Ovi's been medically "cleared" or would they run concurrently?

Yes, nothing like every Ovi hating troll coming out of the woodwork -- like Cheef and Jumpy and LarryDavid. (I've noticed that the Semin hating trolls are usually the same persons as the Ovi hating trolls.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

dont worry, us sane folk are still around the board! they always disappear after the caps prove them wrong by continuing to play well anyway :)

Posted by: mrszilla | December 1, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino

I hope Flash gets going again. Had several good chances. But then Nicky B. started to wake up after he missed at least one good shot against Montreal this weekend. Maybe it will hold true for Flash.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

The Ovie hating trolls are the same as the Semin, Green, GMGM, etc hating trolls. They're just Pens or Flyers fans who pose as Caps fans to try and give some legitimacy to the bullcrap they write on here.

What is Ovechkin supposed to tone down? Should he stop hitting people? Like I said, everyone is basing their conclusions on the aftermath of an accident that wouldn't have happened if Gleason didn't try to avoid the hit. Saying that Ovie needs to tone down his aggressiveness is like saying that you need to drive more carefully after you hit a moose at night on a country road.

On that note I'm off to bed. Tomorrow should be a fun day of Ovie bashing all across the internet and I need my strength and wit at full power.

Posted by: ranndino | December 1, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

How many of you are having trouble getting this situation out of your head.

At this point, I couldn't care less about any suspensions.

I couldn't care less about his reputation in the eyes of non-Caps fans.

All I'm thinking about is the state of his right knee.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

The Ovie hating trolls are the same as the Semin, Green, GMGM, etc hating trolls. They're just Pens or Flyers fans who pose as Caps fans to try and give some legitimacy to the bullcrap they write on here.

What is Ovechkin supposed to tone down? Should he stop hitting people? Like I said, everyone is basing their conclusions on the aftermath of an accident that wouldn't have happened if Gleason didn't try to avoid the hit. Saying that Ovie needs to tone down his aggressiveness is like saying that you need to drive more carefully after you hit a moose at night on a country road.

On that note I'm off to bed. Tomorrow should be a fun day of Ovie bashing all across the internet and I need my strength and wit at full power.

Posted by: ranndino | December 1, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

for the record, im with you ranndino. no way to stop the russian machine from doing his thing, this is unfortunate but im certainly not going to bash him and call him a dirty player. he'll get past the firestorm and so will the team. just gotta bunker down for the next couple days.

Posted by: mrszilla | December 1, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Like I said many times before I don't play favorites and don't hate anyone. I'm objective. Theo played well tonight, hence the praise. If he plays well more often I'd praise him more often. I have nothing personal against Theo at all. He just happened to suck balls for pretty much the whole season last year.

Posted by: ranndino | December 1, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

Thanks for calling me one of the "sane" folks here. I'm feeling somewhat upset at the moment at the whole Ovi situation. The timing could not have been worse for him to have done a hit. (And now he'll be watched like a hawk.)

May the rest of our boys step up while he's gone. And may Semin have a really good December. Things can't get any worse for him than they have been.

On Ovi, I feel like the mother of the bad kid. My office mate always considered Ovi a dirty play and a selfish player. I was always trying to defend him. I now feel like the mother of the bad kid, once again.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

I actually enjoyed watching the team have to play a handful of games without Ovechkin. I figured we'd learn a lot about the team in his absence. The team performed beyond my expectations but the thought of him being out for the season is difficult to absorb.

You can cite our record without him this season all you want but it won't last over 40-50 games and into the playoffs (assuming we were to get there). You can find teams in all sports that group together and overachieve for small stretches when their star player (or players) go down. See the Houston Rockets last season in the NBA playoffs. Without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, they took the eventual champs to 7 games. As a Rockets fan, I can tell you it was a fluke. The Rockets are a much better team with Yao and Tracy just like the Caps are a much better team with Ovechkin.

All I'm doing now is praying and losing sleep.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

@tmac

I think the fact we are all up and talking about is a testament to how we are taking it, haha.

I REALLY want him to get 5 games. Will it shutup the whiners? No..but it would appease them for the time being.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino

We all need our wits, with all the bashing of Ovi to take place.

(This has been a rough month for me, the girl who's favorite players are Ovi and Semin, watching them get hurt and bashed on the internet, etc.)

I think Ovi is more a bull in a China shop than a dirty player. (If he played the same way and were a little gil, his style would probably be less of an issue.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I have full confidence we'd be fine without Ovechkin in the regular season.

We'd probably get swept in the playoffs without him though.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

On Ovi, I feel like the mother of the bad kid. My office mate always considered Ovi a dirty play and a selfish player. I was always trying to defend him. I now feel like the mother of the bad kid, once again.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

dont even get started in those conversations. people see what they want to see, anyone who called him a dirty player uses every hit as evidence of it. even gonchar can attest that ovie doesnt do stuff like this on purpose, especially valid since gonch was the one getting hit! but i dont even care about what people are/will say, or about the suspensions. as long as he's healthy and can play without much time off, then im happy.

let haters hate... dont get wrapped up in the noise.

time for sleep, take it easy yall

Posted by: mrszilla | December 1, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I think 5 games would be excessive, frankly. Given that Gleeson was NOT hurt badly enough to leave the game permanently.

I'd say, if it's an automatic suspension, it should be one game at most. And his time out with the injury. If I were the judge, I would feel that sitting out a month or 2 with an knee injury would be punishment enough. But I'm not the NHL bigwigs.

Okay, maybe we should make him write 100 times:

I must not make knee on knee hits on other players during hockey games.

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

I don't share your optimism, richmondphil.

If we were a defensive-minded team that could win low scoring games on a regular basis, maybe.

As is, despite all the goals we scored sans Ovechkin a couple weeks ago, I'd expect the well to dry up for considerable stretches. Our inability to lock down defensively like an upper echelon team would eventually cost us too much.

We'd be kind of like the Suns without Steve Nash. An offensive juggernaut without it's engine. As a PG, Nash is probably more similar to a center like Backstrom but you get my point.

Yea, maybe we'd squeak into the playoffs as a lower seed but I wouldn't assume us to be fine even based on the current standings. Things can change quickly with a losing stretch, esp. this early in the season.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Ovechkin will get more then a game or two. It is not like he stuck his leg out like Laraque did last week and he got five games. I also don't know why everyone is saying that the NHL is looking to make an example out of Ovechkin. When in the time he has gotten into the league have they made an example out of him? Did they give him a suspension after the Gonchar hit? No. Did he even get fined for the hit last week? No and that was after he was fined earlier in the season. Was he suspended on his first ejection against Buffalo? No. The league is not out to get him. I think he will get 2-3 games which is about right.

I also think that him being out could help the Caps. They will have to step up and will become better players and when he comes back it will be like trading for the two time MVP. Look at the Hawks with Hossa. They got good with him out and when he comes back he just makes him that much better.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 1, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

tmac2yao:
football, baseball and basketball teams have a much tougher time overcoming injuries to star players as their backups really don't get much playing time.
in hockey most players get ice time. i think the caps have some players that can step up and fill in with productive minutes they will get with ovi out. it is important that they gain confidence while ovi is out. 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months - i don't expect any significant drop in play without ovi. i'm hoping to see i little tighter d also - there probably will be some doubt about how much they'll be able to score

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

i think the caps have some players that can step up and fill in with productive minutes they will get with ovi out. it is important that they gain confidence while ovi is out. 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months - i don't expect any significant drop in play without ovi. i'm hoping to see i little tighter d also - there probably will be some doubt about how much they'll be able to score

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:31 AM |


I agree. This is a good Caps team in front of us. And with guys like Flash and Fehr starting to blossom after god knows how long, I think we'd be fine.

Now the playoffs...that's a different story.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't think other team's fans understand we used to have Hunter and Ciccarelli on this team. As Caps fans, we have no problem admitting that our player is dirty, nor should we have a problem loving that guy.

I just really feel that Ovi never plays with a malicious undertone. He just makes dumb decisions, usually involving not letting up when he should have.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Yea, that's a good point, Capt_Kirk.

At the same time, I would undoubtedly expect a dropoff over time despite what we did recently without him. We've never seen this team over the course of several months without Ovechkin. A 6 game sample size or whatever it was can only tell you so much. It's hard to extract fact from fiction in that case.

Unfortunately, I have a bad gut feeling that we're going to find out what this team can do for the rest of the 2009-10 season without him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't think other team's fans understand we used to have Hunter and Ciccarelli on this team. As Caps fans, we have no problem admitting that our player is dirty, nor should we have a problem loving that guy.

I just really feel that Ovi never plays with a malicious undertone. He just makes dumb decisions, usually involving not letting up when he should have.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:37 AM


I 100% agree with this post.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

the only thing that bothers me is how far in front his knee is from his shoulder when he is trying to hit. Can't really defend OV in any way in this situation. Wouldn't be suprised to see him get 3 games or so as the league needs to start putting it's foot down if they want to get things under control. I want to try to find a reason to back OV on this one, but not really finding it

Posted by: UMWHockey | December 1, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Now the playoffs...that's a different story.

Posted by: richmondphil

even assuming worse case - ovi out for the season - the two most likely scenarios are an almost total collapse or they pick up their play as a team and two or three guys pick up ovi's scoring. i don't see this team being mediocre under BB's system.
with or without ovi this team will most likely need *outstanding* goaltending in the playoffs - based on last year i think varly could be that goaltender

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

with or without ovi this team will most likely need *outstanding* goaltending in the playoffs - based on last year i think varly could be that goaltender

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:45 AM |

The main reason I say this is because Ovi really picks up his game in the playoffs.

I don't know how much offense the guys would get under the playoff situation. You really need your best players to be your best players in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

the only thing that bothers me is how far in front his knee is from his shoulder when he is trying to hit. Can't really defend OV in any way in this situation. Wouldn't be suprised to see him get 3 games or so as the league needs to start putting it's foot down if they want to get things under control. I want to try to find a reason to back OV on this one, but not really finding it

Posted by: UMWHockey | December 1, 2009 1:43 AM |

Are you implying intentionality?

It was a stupid play, and one that shouldn't have happened, sure, but I don't know about all that.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

As far as the question about whether any suspension would go into effect before or after his return to the ice, the only way that would probably even matter is if he is truly by some miracle not injured and ready to play in the next few games.

For example, let's say they dole out a 5 game suspension. If Ovechkin has a long-term injury, let's say he's out 2 months, all they would have to do is activate him a couple of weeks before he's actually ready to play. That way the suspension would end up overlapping his recovery time.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Cherry's gone have a ball next Saturday, huh?

haha.

Crosby scoring and Ovi injured himself..

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I want to try to find a reason to back OV on this one, but not really finding it

Posted by: UMWHockey

i don't think you'll be able to find it either.

it has been stated, accurately, that if gleason stood there and took a legal hit - this would be a non-issue. guess what everyone - no one in their right mind will just stand there and take that hit. ovi needs to understand this and adjust his play. players are responsible for stick infractions, they don't get any breaks for high sticking. i feel that players should also be held accountable for controlling their body as well

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:54 AM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil

I agree with your post also. Ovi isn't malicious but he makes dumb decisions.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Yes, Cherry will have a field day about Ovi's injury.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

This won't be fun. Caps without Ovi, once again.

The month of November starts and ends the same way -- with Ovi being injured. I was much more sympathetic the first time. Now I'm just mad.

Is it time for us to get a "real" enforcer since Ovi has become an enforcer as of late. People believe he was paying back Gleeson for a hit to Backstrom.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

As of late, the Caps have not had any high scoring games. We've won 3 close low scoring games in a row. Before that, we lost 3 in a row.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or was there an influx of *new* trolls poking their heads out of their caves on the last few threads? I mean, I've been following CI for the last couple years and I know the regular trolls who come out when something moderately bad happens, but there are a few tonight that I don't recognize.

Couldn't watch the game due to class, but I'll take the W. I'll also recognize that Ovi may need some discipline to reign him back on these dangerous hits; whether he intends to or not, there are ways to avoid having these events happen.

Given the injury problems we've had and the 3rd period collapses, we're fortunate to be at the top of the conference. This is where this team needs to find their mojo and show some heart. Play 3 periods of hungry hockey every night and when a hopefully humbled Ovi gets back, the Caps can get back to being what they truly are: a scary good hockey team.

Posted by: snakegriffin | December 1, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

First, I am a Pens fans and I hate AO...mostly because of who I cheer for. Anyway, I live in DC so if you want to label me a troll for checking out the boards on this injury knock yourself out.

First, some of you need to take off your AO/Caps blinders...yes, he is a passionate player who usually goes full bore, but that is no excuse for the way he plays some times. Some of his nastier hits I thought were dirty; some I think he was playing recklessly. The latter was probably the case here. But when you try to throw your shoulder into someone, there is absolutely zero excuse for having your knee that far out there. I have watched the video several times and there is no way to justify it by saying he is a passionate player who likes to play aggressively. He does appear to want to throw the shoulder but the knee looks like it is out there to slow the opponent also.

To go along with it, the NHL has a bias when it comes to fining/suspending stars as opposed to average joes. The Mike Richards hit for example...no suspension. Matt Cooke had a much less brutal head shot a few days ago and received 2 games, which he deserved. I think AO has escaped suspensions in the past because he is one of the faces of the league and that isn't right. So for some of you saying that the NHL and haters are out to get AO, it's just not true...the NHL needs to suspend all players the same, not just because who they are. If the league were out to get him he probably would have been suspended a few times in his career already...but AO has become the poster boy for stars getting suspended because lately he has been whistled for dirty/aggressive/reckless hits; call it what you will.

All that aside, I hope he isn't hurt too badly as it would be a big loss for the league. As for the hockey aspect of it, I think the Caps will be OK for making the playoffs but that would be about it as somebody mentioned above.

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 2:13 AM | Report abuse

So the NHL needed to suspend Malkin for his 12341234 slew-foots? And his knee on knee? and for getting an instigator with 5 mins left in a game last year? Crosby...nut punching?

Yeah, I thought so.

I agree with everything you say, except maybe implying Ovi's intent, but since you try to come here talking about homer glasses and conveniently leave off your own superstars, your points are invalid. Do you know what irony is?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

But when you try to throw your shoulder into someone, there is absolutely zero excuse for having your knee that far out there. I have watched the video several times and there is no way to justify it by saying he is a passionate player who likes to play aggressively. He does appear to want to throw the shoulder but the knee looks like it is out there to slow the opponent also.

_______________________

250+ hits a season.

It's happened twice in 5 seasons.

Does that imply malicious intent? You seem to think so.

Malkin..100 hits a season. Once in 5 seasons.

Which ratio is worse?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

No blinders here... reckless play is reckless play. And while no one here is going to come out and say that an example needs to be made of Ovi (I think most everyone regardless of team affiliation will agree that he's not headhunting or intending to injure), it's my opinion that *he* needs it more than the league does.

If I were the Commish, I'd suspend him because he's the face of the NHL, not hold back on him because of that fact. Being a diehard Caps fan, no one here wants to be without the star of the show but I think we can all recognize that this might be pretty good for him whether he's suspended or not.

Posted by: snakegriffin | December 1, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I'm starting to really appreciate your posting abilities.

Well said.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

I've never heard or seen anything about Malkin with any slew foots or knee or knee hits...what examples are you talking about? Not saying he hasn't but I don't know of any examples off the top of my head. I don't get to watch as many games as I would like but I haven't seen much on the Internets about that either, both Pens sites and general hockey sites. I haven't seen anything this season for sure that was questionable. If there was something specific they have done and I was aware (more major things; slew foots, knee to knee hits, boarding) of it I would have noted it; I didn't so that is why I used the Matt Cooke example. From last year playoff's AO has the knee to knee with Gonch and a slew foot, major boarding, and a last night's knee to knee that I am aware of. Again, that is why he is the poster boy for a star to get suspended because he seems to take these kinds of penalties way more often than any other star.

As for the instigator penalty that wasn't called...well, that goes back to the NHL changing the rules during the playoffs. Not saying it is right as it should have been called, but it is what it is. As much as the NHL lets stars off during the regular season, it is that much worse during the playoffs. Hell, that holds true for everyone during the playoffs!

As far as AO's intent...how many of these questionable hits does he get before people start to scratch their heads? And I am not just talking about rival fans; I'm talking league-wide. It's bound to happen especially with 2 majors in 3 games.

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Malkin slew-footed Mara in the playoffs a couple seasons ago.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN99_E0tLhg

There are tons of questionable hits throughout the league every week.

Ovechkin just gets scrutinized more because he's the two time MVP and one of the most popular players in the game.

Blinders off, Ovechkin is not dirty. He is reckless but he would never intentionally use his own knee to deliver a hit. In both the Gonchar knee-on-knee incident and the one last night, he was trying to lead with his shoulder.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Here's a Malkin headshot from last season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CROEuT_VGsM

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Cherry calling that headshot a cheap shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cn_EllxBb0

In this clip, Cherry points out another cheap shot Malkin delivered along the boards to a Stars player.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

I've never heard or seen anything about Malkin with any slew foots or knee or knee hits...what examples are you talking about? Not saying he hasn't but I don't know of any examples off the top of my head.

_____________________

Self-admittedly, you must not watch must Pens hockey. The knee on knee was a big deal, and Malkin has a nice resume of slew-foots.


As far as your comment about him seeming to have more incidences than other superstars, what other superstar has as many hits as him?

Seriously, count Ovie's total hits and compare it to his non-fighting majors. Count Malkin's total hits and compare it to his non-fighting majors. Malkin's ratio is a bit worse.

I do think Ovie should be suspended because the league should not play favoritism to superstars. However, conveniently, you seem to have forgotten or didn't see all of Malkin's or Crosby's suspension-worthy plays. I am admitting that Ovie's play was reckless. You are not admitting anything about your superstars, instead playing ignorant. Who is wearing blinders? Whether they be red and white or black and gold, it's not me.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin...I mostly agree with you but I think that now is the time for the NHL to make an example of him. There seems to be more head shots (not AO) and other potential infractions that could knock somebody out for an extended period of time this year that I recall in the past few years. If AO is going to be out, throw 2-3 games at him and set the precedent that no matter who you are the league will suspend you if you play out of control and/or dirty (not making a statement here, just pointing out the differences).

And I don't say that to bash AO because I don't like him, I say that because I think the league is losing control and needs to make him an example so that other stars can be suspended as well or make them think twice before they get a little reckless.

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 3:00 AM | Report abuse

To lighten the mood, NYR's depth is so thin right now, they have big bad Donald playing on their 2nd and 3rd lines.

Oooof.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 3:00 AM | Report abuse

@blzim50

Did those three videos I posted refresh your memory?

There's more where that came from, too.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 3:04 AM | Report abuse

I say that because I think the league is losing control and needs to make him an example so that other stars can be suspended as well or make them think twice before they get a little reckless.

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 3:00 AM |

And When it's Malkin, fan's of 29 other teams want the league to make him the example.

When it's Richards, fan's of 29 other teams want the league to make him the example.

That's the way it goes. I said in the last post I want him to get 5 games just to shut up the whiners and complainers.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 3:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree with blzim50 in principle. The league needs to stop playing favorites with the superstars. The league needs to change a lot of things...the instigator rule is the worst rule in professional sports history.


Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Suspend him for the season! Worst hit hockey has ever seen! Make an example of the dirtiest player ever to lace 'em up!

This trolling is starting to bore me :-P

What is not boring me is that I've torn cartilage in a knee before and it's a long period before it's back to normal (if it ever is). Ovie will have the best sports medicine doctors in the business looking at him and I have the utmost confidence he'll return to form.

I just hope it doesn't ever happen again. Not to be too selfish, but we've got a lot of money for a lot of years wrapped up in the best hockey player in the world. It'd be nice if he could still skate for us at the end of his contract.

Posted by: Raber | December 1, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

You're right, I don't watch hockey at all! I just came here to start trouble! I watch as much as I can but I don't get to see nearly as much as I would like. Anyway, I hadn't seen that slew foot before and that was bad. The other hits...eh, penalty worthy but not suspension worthy in my opinion. I didn't see anything where somebody was seriously hurt but the slew foot was dangerous. Yes, Malkin and Crosby have done some shady things but I don't have any problems admitting that...most players have. But what I haven't seen is them potentially seriously injuring other players...or themselves even. That seems to be much more prevalent with him.

You are comparing apples and oranges by comparing AO to Malkin and Crosby with hits. That isn't their game; they are more finesse players than him. The Pens have other players that do the hitting where AO leads the Caps in hits. If you compare AO to the league leaders in hits I'm sure their ratio of hits to penalties is much higher.

Anyway, the point you make about superstars getting suspended is the point I am trying to make...if Crosby or Malkin did some thing dirty or reckless, then yes, they should be equally accountable as AO. And yes, they aren't angels either. So you can drop the blinders argument. That comment was for the people saying the NHL was on a witch hunt for AO.

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely...the instigator rule needs to go ASAP!

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 3:27 AM | Report abuse

@blzim50

You have seen Malkin potentially seriously injuring other players.

What Malkin did in all 3 of those videos (which are just a subset of his dirty plays) all could have seriously injured the opposing players?

Plus, in at least two of those clips he was blatantly doing those things intentionally? (I'm not even counting the intentional trip in that first clip)

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Even the announcer in the first video comments openly about how incredibly dangerous his slew-foot was.

You, sir, are the one with blinders, apparently.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse

We're on the same page, richmondphil, we just see things differently of course! the league plays favorites with susperstars. AO should be suspended, at least in my mind, to set the standard for suspending superstars. Malkin has done at least one thing that was suspendable in the videos provided.

Of course the Caps hater in me would take enjoyment in him getting a few games, but again the standard needs to be set and who better than him? For the sake of the game, not the 29 other teams personal loathing.

And again, hope he isn't seriously hurt because there is nothing better than cheering against him!

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Here is a nice frame by frame of the hit:

http://fans.capitals.nhl.com/topic/54116

The guy who created this thread shows what both Gleason and Ovechkin were doing leading up to the contact.

It actually looks more like Gleason's attempt to cut to the middle at the last second created the knee-on-knee contact as opposed to anything Ovechkin did.

Initially, Ovechkin was expecting him to go up the boards. Gleason saw that and changed his path and ultimately cut hard inside right before impact to avoid upper bodies. His lower body stayed on the same path which is what created the knee-on-knee. This is strikingly similar to what happened with Gonchar during the playoffs.


Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao...let it go man. I've already said that the slew foot was dangerous and malkin should have been suspended/fined for that. Please read my posts more clearly. I would never condone something I think AO is doing wrong and then say it is OK for one of the Pens to do it. I haven't seen anything too badly that they have done this season except for the Cooke hit and I said he deserved the 2 games for that. My blinders comments were for people making comments such as "If Gleason hadn't tried to avoid the hit, it would have been a clean (and crushing) hit. The last second move by Gleason looked like the reason it happened." Or from another post where somebody was making the NHL look like they were out to get AO.

The fact of the matter is that he has been involved in some dangerous hits and the NHL should suspend him to set the standard for other stars. It just happens to be that it is AO, I don't like him, and I follow the Caps fairly closely because I live here in DC and like hockey...even though I haven't seen every questionable hit from Malkin and Crosby.

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 3:48 AM | Report abuse

"But what I haven't seen is them potentially seriously injuring other players..."

These were your own words AFTER watching those videos which clearly show Malkin potentially seriously injuring other players.

All of this came AFTER you came in here all high and mighty as a Penguins fan talking about how Ovechkin has "no excuse for the way he plays some times" without even realizing that Malkin has countless questionable to dirty plays of his own.

You could make a good argument that Malkin has been even more deliberate in many of his over-the-line plays while Ovechkin was more reckless and doing things unintentionally.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 3:58 AM | Report abuse

And don't bring it up next time if you expect others to let it go.

Maybe richmondphil is a better man than I so he can let it go. I can't. Deal with it or scoot back to your home turf.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

What I meant by that is that I didn't see guys on the ice for minutes or barely capable of skating off the ice.

I didn't come in here all high and mighty. Not once have I gone into a Caps suck rage or bragged about the Pens. Show me where I did that. And yes, I don't think there is an excuse for the way AO plays at times. In the last 20-25 games he has played going back to the playoffs last year, he has been involved in two knee-to-knee hits, a slew foot, and a major boarding. SO YOU CAN SEE...I AM SURE THERE HAVE BEEN SOME PENS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PERFECT LITTLE ANGELS DURING THAT TIME, BUT PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE ANY PLAYER ON ANY TEAM HAS HAD THAT MANY CONTROVERSIAL PLAYS IN THAT TIME. PENS, FLYERS, RAGS, KINGS, RED WINGS...ANY TEAM!

AO is the issue at hand and whether or not he gets suspended. (and how badly he is hurt). AGAIN, YES, SOMETIMES THE PENS HAVE DONE SOME THINGS THAT HAVE WARRANTED A FINE/SUSPENSION! YES, I HAD NOT SEEN EVERY QUESTIONABLE THING THEY HAVE DONE.

I'll leave you with this...my blinders comment was aimed at people like this guy: http://media.fans.nhl.com/_Were-headhunting-Ovechkin-now-What-a-crock/blog/1531524/111820.html

Posted by: blzim50 | December 1, 2009 4:11 AM | Report abuse

You didn't even know about several incidents players on the team you support have been involved in and now you are confidently insinuating that no other player around the league has been involved in as many questionable plays as Ovechkin over an arbitrary time period you are choosing which happens to be a period of about 25 games that front end and back end a couple of questionable plays by Ovechkin.

Why not use his entire career like richmondphil did? Why select that particular time frame?

If I go back to a period where Malkin committed a few dirty plays in a short span of time, there is a good chance than he did more of that kind of stuff during that period of time than Ovechkin. We are picking arbritray time frames after all, right?

As far as controversial plays by other players during that time frame, we can start with Sean Avery. He seems to be involved in one every week or two. He backhanded Jurcina in the nose during the playoffs last season then punched Varlamov in the head in the last game we played against the Rangers. And I barely even watch Avery. Didn't he take a run at one of your players recently? What did he do during all the games in between?

Do you keep track of every player in the league? You don't even seem to follow Malkin so I doubt you do.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 4:23 AM | Report abuse

As far as this statement from your last post:

"What I meant by that is that I didn't see guys on the ice for minutes or barely capable of skating off the ice."

Well if that's what you meant, that is very different from what you wrote which was:

"But what I haven't seen is them potentially seriously injuring other players..."

Note the word "potentially" and look it up if you don't know what it means. Apparently, you're now saying you meant "actually" caused an injury as opposed to potentially.

You told me to read more carefully. Why don't you start my posting your thoughts more carefully to avoid confusion in the first place? Mmmkay?


Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 4:26 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'm not the only one who can't sleep.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 4:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm done with that guy. He comes on to a Caps message board for the first time ever on the night that Ovechkin gets hurt, says some controversial stuff and expects smooth sailing.

Why didn't he come on here sooner?

My guess is he is relishing the fact that Ovechkin is hurt and wanted to rub it in. He tried to feign respect but all he really wanted to do was take his shots at us.

Well, mission accomplished. Congratulations, blzim50.

I'm just glad I didn't go on to his boards and trash talk Malkin when he got hurt and point out all the dirty plays he's been involved in over the years as well as the fact that he got his share of superstar treatment.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 1, 2009 4:43 AM | Report abuse

If Ovi receives a suspension it shouldn't be more than 5. Now, if he has suffered an injury that would put him on the LTIR I believe the Caps have to wait through the suspension before being able to move him to the LTIR thus putting his Cap hit on the shelf while on the LTIR. For example, if he gets diagnosed with a severe injury, but he also receives a 2 game suspension, the Caps would not be able to move him to the LTIR until after Saturday's game.

To compare Ovi to Lindross is rediculous too. Lindross always had his head down. Ovi is much more talented than was Lindross. All the hypocrites that dislike Ovi won't admit that players of opposing teams have been taking runs, often with intent to injure, at Ovi since midway through his rookie season.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, we quickly filled up an entire company, Able Company, of the Doofus Brigade, for Alex bashing.

My opinion is that Gleeson actually caused the knee-on-knee, but I'm surely not blaming him. He was just trying to duck the hit, which would have been a legal hit. No rational person would do what they are saying Ovi did, which would be to cause the knee on knee and hurt yourself.

I am hoping just a bruise only because it didn't look like there wasn't any twisting. I was actually surprised Ovi was more hurt than Gleeson, or seemed so.

All of you trolls and Ovi bashers - get your rifles and start marching. You are now members of the Doofus Brigade.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

@Raber

Like you, I would also like Ovi to be useful during the last years of his contract. I do not want his contract to be our albatross.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

This blog certainly attracts the trolls during bad times. And the Penguin fans.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Should Brandon Sugden be our next call up? A real enforcer.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Sad to say, people were taking runs at Ovi even before he "officially" joined the Caps. As in the folks on the Canadian World Junior team. They were deliberately "pronging" him in the shoulder. Mike Richards finally succeeded and knocked him out of that series and for a while after that.

BTW, I coined the word "prong" in honor of Chris Pronger and his infamous shoulder hit to Green. (Guess the Canadian WJT of 2004-2005 were taking lesons from Chris Pronger.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Yes, I see that Ovi got hurt a lot worse than Gleeson and he's the one who got penalized and likely suspended. While Gleeson came back when the major was still going on.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 1, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I just want to know if anyone else couldn't go to sleep last night. Ugh.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

dfe1: Not to belittle your anguish, but I couldn't sleep back in summer when my daughter was in the hospital for six weeks and we didn't know if she would recover.

I love the Caps as much as anyone, but I slept fine last night.

It is just a matter of perspective.

Hopefully Ovi is just a bruise and he can learn a lesson to dial back just a teentsy bit.

There is a huge difference in being in control of your situation, whatever that is, and being out of control and therefore potentially reckless. And sometimes it is just a tiny difference that can make this huge difference.

We certainly hope Ovi doesn't change his game, just that he make a very slight modification. For his own good.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Ovi squats a bit when he lines up a player - theoretically for a couple reasons - to sturdy himself to throw his upper body into the hit, and to cover for any turns the player may make. Gleason made a tremendous late-second cut to the inside and Ovi in fact missed him while leading with his upper body - watch the replays. I don't know anyone who could deliberately stick a leg out to trip someone while leading with the upper body. Clearly he's turned both his knees (the inner one moreso because of the right turn and his wide stance) so they hit.

Watch Ovi's knees on this video after the 35 second mark and you'll see him do the same thing when adjusting angles... there was no knee-on-knee only because of the spin move. While dangerous, this is not something that is done to prevent a player from passing by (deliberate sticking out of the knee). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg7jvwUhrNU

Posted by: rh71 | December 1, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Have people come to their senses this morning and are no longer "angry/mad" at Ovi?!? The guy plays every shift as if it were his last and that is why we love him so much, if you change that you don't have Ovi anymore....I hope he is not seriously injured but if so I hope his first game back he plays exactly as he did before the injury. And for that moron Pens fan that was on here.....go watch the replay of Cindy punching someone in their "goodies" last year and then come back and attempt to call Ovi a dirty player.

Posted by: PhilR | December 1, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

^ to add to that, I'd only hope he stops lining people up as they're breaking out of their O-zone already... that is double-the-speed and could end careers. Hit near the boards, hit behind the net, but lining people up at full speed on open ice is recipe for disaster.

Posted by: rh71 | December 1, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

^ ahem D-zone.

Posted by: rh71 | December 1, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1, good point, gotta take everything in perspective (hope your daughter is okay). I just hope it's nothing serious.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

dfe1: Thanks. She has been home since mid-Sept. We made it a family goal to have her in her chair and ready to watch at 7 pm on Oct 1st. Thankfully that goal was achieved. It is serious and something we must always watch, but at least under control.

Watching hockey has always been the main connection with my daughter and me, ever since I got season tickets years ago when she was about 7. So, when the Caps win, it is just icing on the cake.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Bruce is complaining about Fehr taking a key penalty??? That's hilarious.

Posted by: Chris57 | December 1, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

One thing to consider, it's not like the old days where if Ovechkin went down, the Caps sunk with him. The Caps are essentially 5-2 this year without him in the lineup, and scored a ton of goals while he was out. If he's hurt for a long time, the team isn't going to implode, or go away, or miss the playoffs, despite what the trolls are hoping.

That being said, I'll wait to hear what the diagnosis is. It's laughable how many experts there are in forums like these.

Posted by: southside721 | December 1, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

All we know now is what McPhee tells us...and that it's a lower to mid body injury and he is being evaluated and his status is day to day, week to week, month to month...

He could be probably and doubtful...he could play Thursday..and he could be on LTIR...

That should clear it up...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I really do hope that Ovi is not seriously injured but walking to the bus with a slight limp without crutches means nothing. My son got injured during a hockey game and left the ice because his knee felt unstable when he cut a certain way. He then walked around with some discomfort and a slight limp for a couple of days. We brought him in and he was diagnosed with a completely torn ACL and a torn meniscus.

I on the other hand blew out my knee back the 1988, even heard the ACL pop. I could put absolutely no weight on it from the get go. My point...until the MRI comes back we won't know.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

walking with a slight limp does mean nothing I agree.

Better a limp then crutches though...

The limp means nothing, crutches means something.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Why is the Ovechkin situation being discussed in this thread? It was pretty clear by Tarik's first couple of sentences that the intent was to discuss the other aspects of the game and players. Why can't you post on a previous thread when there's a new topic? Oh, you can do it, I just did.

Just as I was ready to declare Varlamov "the guy" Theodore had a great night. Of course you need solid goaltending and both have given that most of the time. But, from Varlamov I was seeing some spectacular saves, game changers, and big stops at key times. I hadn't seen as much of that from Theordore until last night. So, I think Theodore's performance puts who's number one into question. I like it though. :)

Is Eric Fehr finally turning into the player we thought we were getting?

I like Alzner's play. Flash is creating chances, he'll finish them.

It looks like Backstrom is on a hot streak.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 1, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

hmmm arguably the best player in the league could be out for the season... why should anyone care to talk about that?

Posted by: joek443 | December 1, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Who is this "Ovechkin" you all talk about? Never heard of him..

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

BetterOffWithFedorov: Because no matter what else the team did, the story, is the potential injury to Ovechkin. You do get an "A" for coloring within the lines and following Tarik's guidance.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

the one positive from ovie's injury has been the emergence of some of our long lost posters from under their rocks.

love to see folks who have been largely absent during the season so far finally chime after ovie's injury. it's always fun to read folks who jump off the bandwagon when the team hits a skid. it's even more pathetic when those folks pile on when the star gets hurt.

i particuarly enjoyed the comment about the caps being "paper thin". despite the fact that the team has or is playing without 7 opening day starters including their top two scores, top line wing, two top penalty killing forwards, top PK Dman, top minutes d-man, not to mention two other top 4 dmen yet continues to be at the top of the east...even with sometimes sub-par goalie play and weak defense.

here's hoping ovie's injury too serious. quite honestly, to me it wouldnt be all bad if his injury kept him out until after the olympics. my biggest fear, before last night, was that the he would get hurt in vancouver.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 1, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I hope Ovie gets a long suspension. He needs to tone it down, he is too important and good to have running aorund like a maniac. We all knew this was coming, the major injury, the big suspension. We can only hope the injury isn't a long lasting one.

But knees never are...

Oh no.

Posted by: hackeynut | December 1, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

hackeynut...

Laraque got 5 games...Ovie wont get more then 3, and he probably will be hurt for 2 weeks minimum.

The suspension is not worth talking...but if you want him to get 20 games, so the Penguins can win the east...then thats your opinion..

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Where is ChickenLittle when you need him....the sky isn't falling folks....most knee injuries that require surgery take 2-3 months to get back up to speed....that would bring him back sometime in February which is still before the playoffs, and yes...this team can and will make the playoffs without him if need be.

Posted by: PhilR | December 1, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: Honestly, the Caps should be just as good with Semin and Knuble coming back (and w/o Ovi, if that's the case) as they were with Ovi but w/o the other two.

Just so long as the gears are all turning come April, it's no biggie.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: Actually if his ACL is torn and his meniscus has to be repaired (which usually is the case when an ACL is torn) he will be out for at least 4 months. Even with the best doctors, and strictly adhereing to physical therapy he would be lucky to begin skating at the 3 month mark. A 4-6 month recovery is what usually comes with a ACL and meniscus tear diagnosis.

Hopefully none of this is a topic of discussion after the next couple of days.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

OK. Here's the thing:

50.1 Kneeing - Kneeing is the act of a player leading with his knee and in some cases extending his leg outwards to make contact with his opponent.

By that definition, it could appear that Ovechkin was leading with his knee. It could ALSO appear that he was leading with his shoulder, which is what I tend to believe, having watched him closely for over a year.

Ovechkin has a low skating style, with his knees bent. He did not change his skating style for this hit. He appeared to be going for a shoulder-on-shoulder hit, and because of directional change of his target, etc., ended up knee-on-knee. I don't believe this was a major kneeing penalty. Was it kneeing? By the strict definition, yes. But he got the worst of it.

I hope he's OK, though, and I could care less if the NHL suspends him for a game or two, as long as he's all right.

For the record, I, too, believe a short-term Ovechkin absence is good for the team. They step it up. They learn to play hard without him, and to WIN without him. They learn they don't need him like they thought they did. This is NOT to say I want Ovi out long-term; I don't. I'd like him to dial back just a touch, for his own good, but I don't want to see him out long term.

A side-of-the-knee hit from the inside could affect ligaments; I am fervently hoping that Ovechkin's held. But if he's out for a while, he'll come back healthy in time for the playoffs, and have a strong team right there with him. The Caps are not a one-man show, and they're proving their case very well.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

OH NOOOOOOOO!

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | December 1, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know what happened to Ovechkin last night? I didn't see him out there in the third period or on the power play. Did Bruce bench him?

Posted by: MrObliviousCapsFan | December 1, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

We Caps fans shouldn't be surprised when (not if) Ovi is handed a multi-game suspension in the next few days. We'd expect the same if one of our players was on the receiving end of a hit like that. I hope his knee is ok.

Posted by: jetaimelescaps | December 1, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

The decision on length of suspension will come today. Both of Ovi's majors and game misconducts were subjective calls. Yesterday's boarding call that plastered Matty to the glass directly from behind was only a 2 minute minor. Why? Ovi didn't hit the Sabre directly from behind, but Matty clearly was. I guess my point is that both of the calls could have just as easily been two minute minors.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 - Totally agreed on the Matty hit. That was a boarding major if ever I saw one. It was directly from behind, into the boards, and Matty's neck snapped back. That it only got a minor is not cool at all.

@jetaimelescaps - Did you watch the hit again? Ovechkin is leading with his shoulder and skating in his usual low style. He was hit in the side of the knee by Gleason - not the other way 'round. It was called "kneeing" because from the angle the referee saw it, it looked like Ovi was leading with his knee, but Gleason's turn of direction skated his left knee into the inside of Ovechkin's right knee.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

amazing how many trolls come out to whine and moan about OV being a dirty player. he hit a guy who side stepped his shoulder check. Ok it looked bad but this is hockey you whimps not golf. Gleason has thrown way more dirty hits than OV ever will and for all this complaining he came right back on the ice.

additionally all you sabre/penguin/ranger pukes please go back where you came from and let the people who actually follow this team through every game discuss the siutation without having to be interrupted by another "ov is dirty, he deserved it blah blah blah" sc*rew you! he helped saved hockey in this town...i hope all of you remember that.

Capsfan75: take down the pictures really? are we 12?

Posted by: skinzfan4 | December 1, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

jet, i think you are right. however, given the way the NHL works, i'd be surprised if we're not surprised, one way or the other.

p.s. anyone know if colin campbell weighs in on caps discipline? his kid plays for FLA and i know he's not allowed to rule on any of their issues.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 1, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The front page of the Washington Post Capitals Insider has a video "On the Mend"
OV almost back to normal.

Tarik you guys need to get that off it is real misleading after last night!!!!

Posted by: RongCapsFan | December 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

It is very unlikely it is an ACL injury. ACL injuries most often occur when the knee is extended, as you see often in the NFL. Ovie's knee was flexed when he collided and never extended. Since hockey players knees are mostly flexed while skating and during collisions their feet rarely stick on the ice NHL players rarely suffer ACL injuries. Based on how his knee was injured and the position he was inwhen it was injured, it is highly unlikely it is an ACL injury.

That type of collision is more likely to cause a PCL tear if it caused a tear in any ligaments.

A dislocated knee is possible but since Ovie was walking around without cruches that is very unlikely.

A broken patella is another possibility but is unlikely based on the collision and the lack of a strong force on the patella.

Luckily, it is most likely a contusion. Clearly, it could always be one of the less likely possibilities listed above which can not be determined without a medical exam but an ACL injury should almost be ruled out in our speculation.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 1, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

irock, ovie led with his knee by the very fact that his knee hit gleason first, not his shoulder. he needs to pull his leg back and not keep his wide base when he goes for this type of hit. i know it's a split second decision, but he needs to be aware of this. i thought his hit on gonch was worse since he actually stuck his leg out on that one.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 1, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I love Ovi's style of play but he is too valuable to be the team's enforcer. There is a fine line between aggressive and reckless and I think he has crossed it a couple of times this year. I want to watch him play for a long time so hope he modifies his play just a tad. Probably hard for him to do.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | December 1, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It's laughable all the trolls screaming that he's dirty. Knee on knee hits are so unpredictable. It's so easy for even the guy throwing the hit to get hurt badly, why would anyone do that intentionally? It's not like Ovie swung his stick at the guy's head or slashed him, etc.

If anything, he was a bit reckless and was trying to line up a big hit and it misfired.

Posted by: southside721 | December 1, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

TSN is a good site for news but they won't post anything that has negative things to say about Canadien opinions, or their beloved Canadien players. Simply tried to point out the fact that Crosby wasn't suspended for instigating a fight by jumping McLean last year and it didn't result in a suspension. The fact is, that is supposed to be automatic, not up for review. So, if he does it again, he should be suspended for 5 games, right, because he will be a repeat offender. That is the basis for a 5 game suspension that non-Caps and non-Ovi fans are using. Again, TSN is a good site, but freedom of speech is something they believe in, unless of course you choose to trash Ovi.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1 - No, he did not stick his knee out on the Gonchar hit. He was skating wide, like he always does. Unless you're accusing him of sticking his leg out 5' from the impact.

And Gleason hit the INSIDE of Ovechkin's knee with his knee. There's a very nice frame-by-frame here - if a bit small. Take a look.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have led at some point in every game this season...unreal.

The Penguins cant even come close to saying that...they have sucked it up on many occasions.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Also the Caps have no D and no goalies, yet they have a better GAA then the Pens...discuss...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Also, the might Atlantic division only has two teams in a playoff spot today. The lowly SE and NE have 3 each. Yeah, I know, their bottom 3 are in 9th, 10th, and 11th. Last time I checked, that wasn't a playoff spot.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ovie was on skates today...didnt skate long....

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town, how do you know, were you there at practice?

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

i rock, his leg was out on the gonch hit. he didn't pull it back and actually appeared to lean to avoid the hit but kept his right leg out. in my opinion, worse than last night's hit.

SA Town- seriously or just pulling our leg (no pun intended)

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 1, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

what's the word what's the word i'm DYING here

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 1, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

per corey, ovie skated for 4 minutes. bent his leg a few times. good sign....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 1, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

You can't defend OV on this one.

Reckless or Dirty, it was a dumb play by Ovechkin..and he definitely deserves a suspension.

If he's not suspended by league he should be suspended by the team for putting his team in such bad spots the last couple games.

Posted by: CapsandRavens | December 1, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Corey said he was out on the ice for just about 4 minutes, he did bend his knees a few times but not much.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 1, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town: Were you at Kettler when he took the ice? Did he take the ice with the team and then leave, or was he skating alone?

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

If he was on the ice, even for a little bit, then at bare minimum it's nothing devastating. If it was a serious knee issue he wouldn't be near the ice.

Posted by: southside721 | December 1, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Really CapsandRavens fan? So what's your take on Ray Lewis playing on the edge? Or as non-Ravens fans like me would say, playing dirty as hell.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

http://twitter.com/cmasisak22

Just follow the tweet

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

THis is a good sign!!!

cmasisak22

Ovechkin skates briefly (gotta love a detailed breakdown of a 4-minute skate, no?): http://bit.ly/7Ytczy

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 1, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Im guessing Ovie went out to see how it felt when he put a little pressure on it..

He only lasted 4 minutes, so Im guessing it was tight...We may have a one week issue here, but serious injury it is not.

The skate would not of gone on if it was serious...

But Im a Caps fan and know nothing about hockey, so we might want to check with a Pens fan that now lives in D.C

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I need to stop hitting F5 waiting for an update. I feel like were in a virtual hopsital waiting room waiting for the doctor to come out and tell us he's fine or that they did everything they could, but...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with the guy who said that it can't be an ACL because his knee was not extended. When you test someone's ACL integrity, you do it at an angle. The ACL and PCL are responsible for front to back stability and are under most stress when the knee is slightly flexed. Secondly, you can have a completely blown ACL and go about all your activities, including skating so, I wouldn't risk speculating or reading too much in his skating or walking. The fact that they said last night that he would get an MRI does warrant speculation about a ligamentous/capsular issue.
If it was a patella dislocation or any kind of fracture, they would just get an Xray (at least to start with).

Posted by: atybat | December 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Good defense against idiot trolls last night--especially tmac and richmondhil. Loved your clarity and logic, not that trolls are paying attention. Why do fans of other teams who unfortunately live here in DC feel that they need to take joy in Ovi's injury (rhetorical). Haters are just that haters. I am much more concerned with the injury than any potential suspension. Hopefully that will help Ovi learn how to control the edge with which he plays. And realize that other players are going out of their way to avoid hits which can lead to dangerous situations like last night.

I am going to think happy positive thoughts, that the injury is not too severe and he will be back early enough this season to get into playoff readiness. And I will keep the faith that the rest of the Caps can keep us winning without Ovi. As everyone loves to point out, hockey is a team sport. One brilliantly talented individual cannot win the games by himself. And thank goodness we have so much depth in Hershey as well as two great goalies. I have confidence in both Theo and Varly.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 1, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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