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Caps 3, Devils 1

With a wake up call coming in a few hours, I've got to be quick tonight.

If you missed the game, here's what you need to know:

*Jose Theodore had his best performance as a Capital, making 32 saves. He also came up with the best stop of the season for a Washington goalie late in the second period when he dived backward to swatted away Zach Parise's shot just before it cross the goal line.

"He's played some pretty good games, but he had to make more 10-bell type saves tonight than any other game," Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

*Boudreau also hinted that Theodore would start again tomorrow night at Prudential Center. Devils' Coach Brent Sutter said he planned to go back to Scott Clemmensen, who was good, too, stopping 24 shots.

*Alexander Semin missed the third period with an undisclosed injury. I'm told it's an upper body issue, perhaps a shoulder, and that he probably will play in Jersey. The NHL's leading scorer also took a high stick to the mouth in the final minutes of the second period.

*Boudreau said Tomas Fleischmann was the best player for either team. And I would be hard pressed to argue, with the possible exception of Theodore. Fleischmann was robbed by Clemmensen early in the game, then scored his fifth late in the second, drilling a one-timer from Viktor Kozlov into the upper corner. It was a very pretty shot.

*Kozlov's assist gave him 500 career points. He's the 14th-Russian born player to reach the plateau.

*Brooks Laich, with his deflection of an Alex Ovechkin shot in the first period, was the recipient of the hardhat tonight.

*Ovechkin's empty netter gives him goal in three straight games. The Caps have won 14 straight games when he scores.

*The Caps have not allowed more than one goal in a period in the past 20 games. They also have not yielded more than two goals in any of the past six games.

*Boudreau on the five-game winning streak: "We're starting to come into our own. It takes a while to get the chemistry, to get your legs underneath you. November is usually when teams make charges. We want to keep it up."

That's it for now. I'll check in from Prudential Center in the morning. Hopefully.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2008; 11:29 PM ET
 
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Next: Semin Questionable; Nylander In

Comments

If I said both First and Cheef sucks would Jschon fine me?

Posted by: Steve_R | November 14, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
That's at least three fines ...

So you don't think there is anything remotely amusing about the video?!? Come on ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | November 14, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Boo, the cheese factor smacks of Philly.

Posted by: Steve_R | November 14, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

LOL!! But he IS the Russian machine ... the YouTube game show videos prove it!

Posted by: Boo- | November 14, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Yup, but I still don't like the cartoon. It's the NHL, I expect that cheesiness in the NFL, not here where team is supreme.

Posted by: Steve_R | November 15, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, couldn't catch the game, so thanks for the quick synopsis. Here's hoping for a home-and-away sweep of the Diablos de Nuevo Jersey!!! :-)

Hope Semin's injury is nothing. With the tear he's been on, it'd be too bad to lose him for a while. Good to see Ovie's finding some consistency, though even if goal tonight was an empty netter.

Posted by: BigRed8 | November 15, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Steve:
So do you object to them singling Ovie out? If so, they did that last season too, silly rabbit.

Posted by: Boo- | November 15, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I found this victory tonight over the Devils especially enjoyable. I hate to try to even remember how amny times I have sat down to watch a Caps versus Devils game and watched the exact same type of game unfold. One huge exception tonight was we played like the Devils and they played like the Capitals of old. We seemingly always lose to the Devils and Marty the exact same way the Caps put the slow death loss to the Devils tonight. Man, was that sweet. We played the trap to perfection, stayed patient, limited our mistakes to one whopper in the third period and got Brodeur-like goaltending from Jose. I'm pumped right now!

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 15, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Great to get two points against the Devils.. especially with the road trip against tough teams coming up.

Did anybody watch the post-game show on Comcast? That was definitely Mark Warner (former VA governor, newly elected senator) walking around in the locker room while Lisa Hillary was interviewing Laich. Is he a friend of Ted's? It would have been a great opportunity for Lisa Hillary to grab him for a quick interview to ask him if he'll bring Obama to a Caps game. But of course she probably didn't know who he was..

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | November 15, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Let me amend that statement.

Lisa Hillary probably should have known who Mark Warner is, and tried to interview him. However, I bet she's pretty busy during that post-game show.

What actually SHOULD have happened, was that someone like a producer in "the booth" at Comcast should have told Lisa Hillary to grab Mark Warner. It's VERY likely that the producers either a) did not see him (although somehow I did and I'm just a viewer) or b) did not know who he was. That's called bad producing.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | November 15, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

"The Caps have not allowed more than one goal in a period in the past 20 minutes."

REALLY?!

Posted by: hsk8er6 | November 15, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

TARIK, YOU NEED A RAISE!!!!!!!!

Posted by: vik191 | November 15, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Thrashers/Canes game tonight. Atlanta is also on a 5 game winning streak - and tonight was the debut of their new red third jerseys. Very cool (but you should check out the new socks that go with the jersey - very unusual). Tarik has already said this but the Philips Arena is freezing cold - that's why their ice is so much better than the VC.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | November 15, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, the best stop of the season for a Washington goalie? Of course, I realize that is your opinion, and although I can't disagree that it was a great stop and that JT played well, I would not compare it to the stops Johnson did on those breakaways, to me that was outstanding play by Johnson. How quick we forget. Oh, well, it is what it is and lets hope who ever is in goal keeps on playing well.

I hope Semin is ok. Nylander gets back without any ill effects, Fletch continues his good play.

Don't laugh when I ask: Is it my imagination or does Laich seem to sound, look and act like a future captain?

No disrespect to anyone, but I really could careless about interviews with politicians or other public personalities, I prefer to hear the coaches and players of both teams talk about the game.

Posted by: x1232 | November 15, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Lets take this party to Jersey. Caps Nation needs to get in the car and drive up.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 15, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse


Ok, So I'll back off my criticism of Mike Green and the defense now. But if you look at the Ovechkin move at the end of the game, if the defender takes the body and pinches Ovey against the boards then the other defenseman can take the puck, and no emptynet goal. Those are the mistakes that we were making early on that we have corrected for the time being. As for Theordore, since only 1 goal was scored of course it was his best game, however, he has work to do, he still looks small in net and gets out of position easily,compared to Johnson who has been stronger in that regard. It's a shame that the Washington Post coverage is so lame. We have one of top 5 teams in the league with some of the most exciting players in the league and the locap paper refuses to cover this league, instead we get the Wizards and the Redskins who have'nt won squat in case noone at the post has noticed. And don't talk about past championships that the franchises has won because I don't live in the past. As for Mark Warner being in the locker room, what a carpetbagger. I guess because they practice in Va. that he considers them HIS team. I bet he never even went to the old Capital Centre or even knows about Save the Caps. He needs to stay in Va. and patrol the locker room of the local high school and not show that gosh awful political face around our beloved hockey team. I vote for Coach Bruce!

Posted by: ergoroc | November 15, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't want Obama at a Caps game, for three reasons.

(1) If he shows up for a Caps game, I guarantee you that the game will be an appearance by Obama, oh and by the way some hockey team is playing too. This means a disruptive and obnoxious media circus.

(2) Ever dealt with the Secret Service? I have. The Secret Service will be a big fat pain in everyone's butt. That's their job. They can and will do anything they deem necessary to ensure that their charge has enough space, and it absolutely does not matter who they inconvenience, how destructive they are to the normal flow of traffic, or how long it takes anyone else to get in or out. My class was left to sit after our university graduation because everyone was so tied up getting Madeline Albright out of their that they forgot to do the recessional for the graduates.

(3) Get the politics out of my hockey. Some jerkoff will turn it into a protest of something or another, and make the entire circus even worse.

Spare me the grief. No Obama at a Caps game please.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 15, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

oneal:
Warner was in Ted's box last night.

Posted by: Boo- | November 15, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

posted by x1232:
Don't laugh when I ask: Is it my imagination or does Laich seem to sound, look and act like a future captain?

In my opinion, he not only sounds like a future CAPTAIN, he also sounds like a future COACH (although I hope he plays for another 10 years or so before he begins the coaching career).

Posted by: tess2201 | November 15, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Lets look back at the first 16 games, this is what I see.

- We are atop the SE, and have no real competition.

- We have yet to play at our best consistently.

- Ovechkin went through a huge goal scoring slump and we've managed to win without his goals.

- Our power play stinks, it will get better.

- We have had alomst zero production from Kozlov, Clark and Backstrom. This will change as well.

- Thank goodness for B.Johnson. Theodore will improve, but thank goodness for Johnson.

- Schultz has 6 assist and is a +5.

- Where would we be without Semin? GMGM, sign him to another extension immediately. 5 yrs @ 8M. Oh you need room? Trade Nylander and Kozlov. In 2010 Semins price tag will be 10M.

- Where would be with M.Green? Signing him to $5.5M will look like a steal after he wins the Norris this year, move Lidstrom and Phanuef. BTW, I have all of you Green haters on notice.

- Welcome to the big team T.Sloan.

- Why did we give Erskine 3 more years?

- Fedorov, can you play 1 more year? Pretty please.

- Tomas Fleischmann, I knew you had it in you when I draft you in the WAPO Circus Fantasy Hockey League.

- We are sitting pretty right now in 3rd with 22 points in the conference. BOS is ahead of us with 23 points and have had amazing goaltending in T.Thomas, this will end. NYR are atop the standings with 26 points but have played 3 more games. We arent at our best right now, but we are as good as any team in the east.

Posted by: JSchon | November 15, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

darn, i want kevin weekes to start for NJ

Posted by: rachel216 | November 15, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Another really satisfying win for the Caps.
Will you all help me call attention to a marketing travesty? Last night on the concourse I bought an official Caps pseudo-enamel pin. It shows a red jersey with a white 91 on it. Above the 91 it says, and I quote, FEDEROV.
Does anyone know who in the Caps org should be most embarrassed by this hilamious mistake? Anyone else think it's Really Dumb to Capital-ize on fan affection for, you know, FEDOROV without bothering to spell his name right?

Posted by: redlineblue | November 15, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

JSchon:
Agree with all of that, with one addition...while you're trading Nylander and Kozy, can we get rid of Jurcina too?

Posted by: tess2201 | November 15, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be too concerned about an Obamafest or any other politicos taking center stage at a Caps game. I can't recall when a politician did something of that nature during the regular season of any of the major sports anyway and besides, something like Dubya throwing out the first ball after 9-11 at the Yankees opener was different.

Warner is probably just a fan, and used his pull to meet the boys up close. Hell, I'd do the same if I had the opportunity.

I also believe the media understands we pay to see the game and team first.

Go Caps!!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 15, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

@ ergoroc
You quote
"But if you look at the Ovechkin move at the end of the game, if the defender takes the body and pinches Ovey against the boards then the other defenseman can take the puck, and no emptynet goal."

The entire league has been trying to do this since he came into the NHL. Easier said then done.

Tonight is a big game, need to keep a struggling team down, get on them early, get the crowd going against them. The west coast swing is gonna be a tough stretch of games.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 15, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

JSchon - Agree with most of it. Couple of thoughts:

The Backstrom production thing is already starting to change, as of about four games ago. He's making things happen out there. He's shooting, he's taking the puck away from defenders, he's breaking up passes. He's about where he was this time last year, maybe a little better.

Power play is showing signs of a pulse too. We've had a PPG in each of the last two games. Let's hope we keep that up.

Ovi came out and admitted that his grandfather's condition was messing with him mentally. That seems to be over. Was glad to see him get the empty net goal - and I breathed a hell of a lot easier when it happened.

Expect that they'll deal with Semin at the end of the year this year. I know Mo, Johnson, and Kozlov all come up at the end of this year as UFA - who else?

Posted by: kittypawz | November 15, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

BernieWolfeFan: Don't kid yourself. The media understands ratings and a story. That is ALL they understand. They don't give a rat's behind about you or me or anyone else, unless they're trying to get us to vote for their candidate.

But you're right, Obama probably wouldn't ever show up to such a game, for the simple fact that it's too difficult to adequately secure. Just as well for my lights. You don't ever want to see the security measures that would be in place to get into the building if it ever happened.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 15, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I think Morrison will still be a RFA due to taking arbitration. Not sure, but I think that's how the current CBA works. Ask Sombero Guy, he'll know.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 15, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Kitty,
If the media understands ratings, then they would understand we do not want to see politicos during a game and we will find other more team specific sources if the coverage diverges from what is advertised. Yeah, loose ratings.

During the 10 years I held an AP and UPI Press Card, if an element was introduced into a broadcast that even hinted of viewer dis-interest, programming knew about it asap.

From what I saw, there did not appear to be any stumpin' from anyone last night. Let's stick to what we came to this blog for in the first place Caps Fans.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 15, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Mo is RFA still.

Posted by: JSchon | November 15, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and saw something that hasn't been addressed anywhere yet. After scoring the empty net goal, I saw Ovie skate to the Caps bench, throw his helmet and appear to be angry/upset about something. Did anyone else see that? Any idea what it was about - I haven't seen it mentioned in the papers or blogs.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 15, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Kozlov, Fedorov, Johnson, Brashear, Laing and Sloan are UFA's.

Thats 9M off of the books with those salaries.

I's ask Fedorov to come back but at no more than $3M.

Schultz, Jurcina, Mo, Fehr, Gordon, Lepisto, Bourque and McChesney are RFA's.

I keep Schultz, Fehr, Bourque and Lepisto.

Posted by: JSchon | November 15, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Great game, it looks like the team is starting to round into form. Glad to see Jose play well; hopefully the good play from Johnny will push them both to a higher level.

Also thought it was awesome at the end with Ovie. He was clearly pissed off about the icing call, so he basically said, to h*ll with you, ref, and took the puck and nailed the empty-netter. He was still made when we went to the bench and slammed his helmet.

Moral of the story: Don't make Ovie mad.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | November 15, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@ Jschon -- I think the jury is still out on Morrison; let's see how he plays for the remainder of the year and see how much he wants. Sign McChesney on the cheap as a servicable AHL level goalie because Varmalov will be with the Caps soon. Sign Gordon on the cheap too. He is a good 4th line pivot and penalty killer; he gives all that he has which is great on an energy line. I'd also keep Federov, Brashear, and Johnson. They are all quality veterans who cost too much.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 15, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The man who should have been a UFA and was redigned for too much was Erksine. I'm still stracthing my head over that one

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 15, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

BernieWolfeFan: Still one game ruined. Sorry, I don't have much faith in the media.

I don't know, JSchon. I wouldn't be against keeping Sloan, and pending how Johnson plays oer the rest of the year, maybe Johnson as well. Schultz, Fehr, and Bourque definitely.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 15, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Please - just say no to Obamalamadingdong at a Caps game. I am sure that the punk does not know the first thing about hockey. Besides which, he would probably think the game is too violent and would try to institute rule changes.

Posted by: Snowdog | November 15, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@ ergoroc

I am one of the biggest fans of the Caps and have been for over 30 years, but what exactly have they won in the past or the present that would give them more coverage than the Redskins in this town. Coverage is not based on what could be, but what has been. If you base it on what is happening in the present, then you have to say that both teams are having good years.

Unfortunately, the Redskins will always have more coverage in DC. Even if the Caps win 10 Stanleys in a row.

On a side note, I could care less about the Wizards. They should be getting no coverage.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 15, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

That last point about the Wizards is not based on my lack of caring, but on their poor performance this year.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 15, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Katie

Since Tarik is getting his beauty rest, could you please correct his blog for him?

He wrote:

"*The Caps have not allowed more than one goal in a period in the past 20 minutes."

That should read:

"... past 20 periods."

Posted by: Greg S. | November 15, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Kitty,
Ruined? A-bit harsh on yer self don't ya think? C'mon, we won. Be glad for that and ignore the other "elements" that I mentioned before.

As for the game tonight, I don't think Jersey will be nearly as passive on many levels. I see leads changing, and Brash, Erskine, or Brads getting in some fist.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 15, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Erskine should be a ref: he gets in the way sometimes, and the best you can hope for is to not notice his performance. Meantime, Schultz keeps getting the soft-hat after every game.
Backstrom and Ovechkin are thisclose to going on a tear.
Shouldn't Fehr get a few consecutive games? Who would you sit in his stead?

Posted by: redlineblue | November 15, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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