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Caps 3, Islanders 2

The Caps picked up two points at Nassau Coliseum with a 3-2 overtime win over the low-budget Islanders. But for the second straight game they had too much trouble beating an opponent they probably should have crushed.

Did I mention the Islanders have exactly one win? Yet, somehow, they were up 2-0 in the third period. Check out my game story here, then come on back for some notes and quotes that didn't make the Sunday paper:

*Despite a balky back that he described as "stiff" throughout the game, Jose Theodore continued his strong play with a 28-save effort, including the save Coach Bruce Boudreau said turned the game around.

With the Isles clinging to a 2-1 lead and the Caps showing signs of life, Theodore stuffed Kyle Okposo with a pad and then a glove save from point blank range midway through the third.

"He was great," Boudreau said.

*Mike Green earned the third star of the night after rebounding from a rough start. Like many of his teammates, the defenseman struggled in the first 20 minutes. But after Nate Thompson woke him up with a dangerous looking knee-to-knee hit, Green was one of the best players on the ice.

"He got mad and said, 'The heck with this," Boudreau said. "He played the way he can, which is joining rushes, shooting the puck, making plays."

Greens said: "I felt like I was by him, but I'm sure he wasn't trying to hurt me."

*The power play surrendered a shorthanded goal and went without a goal for the second straight game. It finished the road trip 0 for 11 and clearly needs some work and cohension, although I thought it got a little better as the night went on.

*How about Keith Aucoin? He's not very big, but he's playing that way. He had two points on the trip, including the equalizer late in the third period tonight.

"To me, he was as dangerous as we had all night long," Boudreau said of the Hershey call up.

*For the second straight game, Eric Fehr played with Ovechkin's stick. He credited the stick for helping him score his first goal of the season in Atlanta.

*The Caps are off Sunday. I'll check in from KCI Monday morning.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 24, 2009; 11:52 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: back to work

Comments

An ugly win. But I'll take it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino

Amen to your comment on Aucoin. The first line clicked with him there. (Yes, he's done better than several of our regulars.)

I think his size is what's kept in from making it in the NHL full time.

I was almost about to lobby putting Semin on the third line with Aucoin since they click for some reason. (Ease Sasha in the lineup BUT, and that's an important but, use him on Power Play and PK.)

Normally, of course, Semin belongs on either the first or second line.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan

Guess everyone went drinking (or to bed.)

Yes, these shorties are hearkening back to the bad old days (or a typical game against Philthy).

I've been lobbying for reorganizing the cast of characters on the PP for the last several games (and especially the last two).

Come back, Sasha. Please.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The Flyers are going to eat us alive with short-handed goals if we don't get our PP act together.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@dfe1

Their main short handed goal specialist is Mike Richards. The question of the day is.... will Richards be suspended. And, if so, will it be against the Caps?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

The presence of Alexander Valerievich in our lineup will enhance our prospects against Philthy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Eh in this league any team can come to play any day of the week. The Islanders came out swinging and played a really good match. The Capitals started off weak but gradually picked up the tempo with strong finish.

Was really happy that they pulled out the win for Theo. He really has played better than his record tells.

Personally I prefer the weak start great finish to dropping the ball in the third period. I would like a 3 period team, but eh this is a start.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 25, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75, I don't think he'll be suspended because Richards is not a "repeat offender", although if Booth is seriously hurt, then there might be one.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

@trunkenmath

Last year, the Caps seem to have these games where they'd suck the first two periods. I'd be ready to give up on them. And they'd come close to evening it up in the third.

But one time they came back from a 4-0 deficit against the Rags and won in OT. (Rags fans declared it as getting coal in their stocking.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

@dfe1

Would Ovi now be considered a "repeat offender"?

Yet, Malkin also does his share of slew footing.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

@Capsfan75: Yeah I remember that game. Wasn't the tying goal scored with like .1 seconds left?

I think they did something similar against ATL too. down 3 goals then rolled the top line until they had tied it up.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 25, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

@Capsfan75: Yeah I remember that game. Wasn't the tying goal scored with like .1 seconds left?

I think they did something similar against ATL too. down 3 goals then rolled the top line until they had tied it up.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 25, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

@trunkenmath

Think so. By Ovi

I remember a game vs NJ where the game was seesaw and Ovi tied it up at the VERY last second. Except they lost in OT.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Richards is a punk. Suspend his a**. He didn't leave his feet? So what? He head hunted and put so much into that he himself wiped out after the hit - or maybe he's just a lousy skater. F*** the Flyers.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | October 25, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75, I don't think he'll be suspended because Richards is not a "repeat offender", although if Booth is seriously hurt, then there might be one.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I forget who it was against but CBC showed another hit by Richards that was just like the one he delivered to Booth tonight.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

@trunkenmath, the game you're talking is the NJ game, Ovi with the goal on an incredible pass by Backie. The Rangers game was great, too, but Ovi tied it up with like 7 minutes remaining.

@CapsFan75, yep, once he was assessed that fine, he's on "record" is my understanding. So if he does it again, he'll probably get a suspension. Malkin never got a fine (surprise, surprise).

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

joek443, but didn't the CBC guys say that Richard's hit was fine? "Just mean and nasty but fine"

(I got this from someone on another board.)

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

dfe1, I forget what those guys said but in this day and age whether it's football or hockey, any blow delivered to another guy's head isn't fine IMO.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with you there.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

I finally saw the Richards hit. To be honest it looked clean, booth had his head down and the hit came within 1/2 a second of giving up puck. Shouldn't have even been a penalty.

However, if the league is going to call this I want consistency. Same exact situation as Brashear was in during the playoffs, so a multi game suspension should be in order.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 25, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Terrible defensive effort. A lot of mite-like chasing of the puck in their own end. But, a win is a win.

I looked at both the Richards hit and the Ruutu hit. The Richards ht was late and high. Booth looked like he lost consciousness instantly. Ugly. Sure, Booth did appear t be slightly hunched over and Richards unloaded on him. I love a good open ice hit as much as anyone, but guys have to learn not unload into a head. Richards clearly should be suspended, and possibly deported to Canada.

The Ruutu hit was bad too. There isn't the close-ups that there were for the Richards hit, but he nailed Tucker from behind right between the numbers. Classic check from behind for which a suspension used to be mandatory.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 25, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I see Ruutu has already been suspended for three games. That was quick.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 25, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced Richards' hit was "clean". Looks like he's popping up at the end of the hit (even though his skates are still on the ice) to hit Booth high. No one can know if that was intentional or not, but it sure looked bad to me.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

"It's hard to play in this building. The boards are hard and the glass is hard."

If he had added that the ice is hard, I would have kicked the dog!

Posted by: Bartolo1 | October 25, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75: glad to know someone else also thought the Islanders' ice looked terrible!

Islanders played well -- maybe they are used to their soft ice. Oh wait, Caps had bad ice last year too, so it should have felt like home!

Seriously, a win is a win, and I'm glad the Caps came back at the end. Another step on the road to more confident playing. Best wishes for Tuesday against the Flyers! Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I disagree that the Richards hit is suspension worthy. He put on the best hit he could in a fast-moving play. It did land a bit high but Woods had just given up possession. It did not look as if Richards had bad intent.

Nonetheless, since the league looks to the effect on the victim, he may get a suspension.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 25, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

The Caps need to be alot better than this to have ANY chance against the Flyers. They have looked down right terrible and if they play like this on Tuesday it will be a blow out for the Flyers. They are known for their shorties, so the Caps need to watch it. But, at least they could be without Richards on Tuesday...we will see! Let's get it together Caps!

Posted by: NatyBG | October 25, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

anyone else think ovie has got the same flu that is beating up on semin right now? alex sure looked pale green and woozy for much of the game.

Posted by: spinner-33 | October 25, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

As some of you know I split my passion between the Caps and the Islanders. The Islanders are my home and my youth. I'll always love them right up until they move to Quebec. Even though we lost our season tickets, my family got a 3 pack and will be there for both Isles@Caps game. I'll be decked out in my Caps Jersey with Islanders hat and tee shirt.

Well responding to comments of others, first of all, there is nothing wrong with the ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. I've skated it several times. That is one of the lone benefits of it being such a small and old barn. It is easier to maintain the ice surface.

Second, re: Tarik's statement:

"Did I mention the Islanders have exactly one win? Yet, somehow, they were up 2-0 in the third period."

The Islanders have had several third period leads and lack the depth and killer instinct to hold the leads. Unlike our Caps who only lack the killer instinct.

The Islanders are a weak and rebuilding team, but they play with heart and play tight games. With the exception of vs Buffalo and vs Montreal they have been in all of them. They have 4 OTLs as well as a 1 goal win in regulation (take that Canes!) and a 1 goal loss in regulation. The majority of their games have also been against playoff quality teams. So, while the Islanders are a bad team, they are by no means pushovers.

On a positive note, Jose Theodore was spectacular last night. I have to take back every bad thing I said about him last year.

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 25, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Well, good for you lornemyoung, it was a 3 point night last night.

I wish the Caps had worked as hard as the Iles. To give up a breakaway shortie is one thing but the three man rush was weak. Backstrom could have been there, and he could have had a better night overall.

I thought Schultz played another good game. Glad to see Aucoin put one in -- he's a little reckless but he was working harder than most all his teammates.

I do not want to see another season of the Caps playing down to opponents, but it looks to me that's what it is, again.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 25, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

to those who think richards hit was clean, look again. he hit him square IN THE HEAD. i dont care if he hit him with his shoulder or elbow, it was a direct head shot. booth's head was not down. head shots have to stop. players need to take responsibility for each other's health and well being. booth was obviously unconscious when he hit the ice. the NFL has been aggressive in addressing head shots and the NHL has to as well.

if OVIE had hit briere like that, the macho philly fans who are now defending richards would scream for blood. its time to stop defending such hits.

can anyone remember head shots like this back in the day? no, because players policed themselves and had some respect for each other. that's why a guy like langway could get away without wearing a helmet for so many years. too many guys want the big blow up hit instead of a good solid body check. richards was going for the knockout hit. he should be suspended for at least five just like brash.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Am happy that Caps won and go along with the thought that "a win is a win." However, if wins were based on effort, then the Isles deserved it. Caps should not be rewarded for playing 1/3 of a game. Against a team like the Isles, it was obviously possible for them to ratchet it up, after they finally woke up, and go on to get the 2 points. Against teams like Philly, Sh*itsburgh and NYR, it won't cut it. It's hard for me to understand why a team with so much talent and offense can't put out a consistent 60-minute effort and are so sloppy with the puck. The turnovers are dangerously high and will come back to bite the team in the end. Unless they resolve issues like that, they'll never get to play for the Cup. On a positive note, though, Theo won the game for them.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | October 25, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@spinner-33

Would not surprise me if Ovi has the same stuff as Semin. I've been saying that all day yesterday. (Probably a milder dose.)

Not to mention Backstrom. He has not had a good game in a while. And then in one of the pictures I saw of him lately in "Caps in Pictues", his nose looks a little red.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I looked up the Richards hit this morning after seeing some of the comments on this blog. . . I don't think he really meant to hurt the guy, but still that seemed a little on the reckless side to me. I think he should get at least a game or two for that.

As for our boys, I didn't get to see the game, but after I got home I was watching the news with the girlfriend, and saw the ticker at the bottom flash the score. I began to bellyache that the caps either gave up a lead again, or weren't awake and had to make a comeback (sometimes it's scary to be right). But the girlfriend said, "but they won." You know, she's right. The caps can certainly play better, but in spite of that, we are already second in the conference. Considering our inconsistency, we are still doing something right, so I think we should give them some more time to figure it out. A thought also came to me about this, does anyone else think that maybe the caps are still a little shellshocked from that game seven against the pens? Don't want to use that as an excuse, but I wonder if that might play a little part into our inconsistent start.

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | October 25, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter what Richards' intent was - nobody knows what was on his mind. All you can do is deal with the end result. If Booth is seriously hurt then Richards should be suspended accordingly. That's a risk you take when you hit someone above his shoulders.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion Theodore's game last night was nothing short of highlight reels. He saved the Caps from the Skins flu.

Posted by: hock1 | October 25, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"I'm never out there to hurt anyone," Richards said. "I have respect for the game and respect for the players. My concern is with him. Hopefully, he's fine and gets better. I just wanted to separate him from the puck."

1- booth had already passed the puck
2- you can separate someone from the puck without hitting him inthe head

my fear is that they don't sufficiently address such hits and some lunkhead who wants to please don cherry does this to ov or semin (or Crosby, etc).

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I agree dangerous head hits should not be allowed. Nobody wants to see somebody paralyzed or worse, however watch the replay frame by frame. Richards is committed to the hit, goes in clean with shoulder, booth puts his head down. Richards rails him less than a second after the pass. Nobody says a word that Booth dropped his head instead of keeping it on a swivel, in which case he probably would have been fine.

We all went crazy in the playoffs over Brash's treatment, but when the exact same thing happens to a flyer suddenly it is a different situation? As I said before, I just hope the league is consistent and suspends Richards. Otherwise all this talk about "protecting" players is wasted.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

they make split second decisions all the time on the ice.. he went for the head, that's all there's to it.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

It does appear that Richards was going for the head with the shoulder/elbow. He has done this before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd3gmPkVtk8

Understand that if a players head is down, that is not the fault of the opposing player; however, both instances show that he is leading 'high' with his elbow and shoulder. If the NHL is serious about reducing headblows...

@dcsportsfan - really good comment..no I cannot remember the headshots and most likely due to what you suggested...players policed themselves.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | October 25, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Booths head was not down. And if I recall correctly, brash's hit was not to the head but it considered late and on a defenseless player. As Joek said, guys make split decisions all the time.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan

My head down comment was directed at the Petrovicky video not Booth

Posted by: ralCapsFan | October 25, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Colin Campbell Suspension flow chart:
1. Was Sidney Crosby hit? If yes, automatic suspension.
2. Was the person hit French Canadian or Eastern European? If yes, no suspension.
3. Was the hitter from English-speaking Canada? If yes, then no suspension unless plays for team that will be playing the Leafs or Canucks in the next week.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Richards is a giant D-bag.

I just watched the hit and it was not clean at all. It accomplished nothing. Congrats Mike Richards stay classy.

Screw the Flyers I hope we mash them on Tuesday!

Posted by: digster1013 | October 25, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Frankly, I think the Isles' ice is even worse than the ice at Verizon (either last year or this.)

I guess some day, if the Isles ever get their act together, will their "bad" ice be a home field advantage for them.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey

Loved your suspension flow chart. Should we add any more steps?

There should be steps on whether player is a superstar or not. And whether or not they are "first" offenders or repeat offenders and whether they are on the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.

And how do the Swedes and Finns figure in this flow chart?

BTW, Blair Betts is from Canada. And Brash was of mixed American/Canadian background. How did that figure in things?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung

As an Islanders/Caps fan, who did you root for yesterday? And who will you root for on Friday?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Bag skate cancelled for today. (LOL)

(I think that if the Caps had lost yesterday, Boudreau might have had a special practice today.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

1) Schultz had another good game, esp for a $715K player.
2) Same with Aucoin at $500K. I maintain what I said before season - he'd get 40 pts if they play him all 82 games, which would equal/exceed Peds, Nules and Kozzie from last year.
3) Isles announcers said Green was the "Paul Coffey of this generation." The compliments don't get any higher than that, except maybe when an unnamed hockey GM said Ovie was "as Candian as Gordie Howe."
3A) Coffey was criticized his whole career due to defense. I'd take 4 Cups and HoF if Green can do it with the Caps.
3B) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Coffey
4) We sure miss Semin. BB had Clark up on the 1st line. To use a line from a famous VP candidate, "I know Semin, and Clarkie and no Semin."
5) Theo was, as pointed out, magnificent. He's playing as well this year as he was crappy last year. Speculate "why" all you want, but it's the results that count. MAybe they should extend him year-by-year. No way at this point is Varly ready for #1 status and we really don't know yet on Neuvy.
6) I'm very happy with the game. Yes, the PP still stinks. Yes, they gave up ANOTHER shorty. BUT...I'm much happier to get a solid 3rd period rather than another solid 1 and 2 but crappy 3rd. I will see this as "glass half full."
6B) Let's hope the momentum carries through to the Flyers game on HD Versus.

Conclusion - white wine for a away game worked. I'll be "drinking the red" for the Flyers. Guess that means I better defrost a big, juicy steak in anticipation of the game.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

BTW, that was "Feds" and "Nyles."

And, although I'm a huge Green supporter, he really misplayed the 2 on 1 that led to the SH goal. He played neither the shot nor the pass but was in no-man's land in between. I believe NHL defensemen are trained to cut off the pass first so the goalie can concentrate on the puck carrier.

Re: Verizon ice. I think so far it's been OK. If we recall, it isn't until basketball season is in full swing and we get college games at noon and then hockey at 7 that we get "truly sucky" conditions.

Someone should stop Georgetown from playing during the afternoon when the Caps play at night. I'm sure there's plenty of reasons ($$$$) they allow it. Players should argue in the next CBA - no hockey game within 16 hrs of the conclusion of an event when the ice was covered with flooring. That would help.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

for the sake of the Caps, I sure don't want Green to be the Paul Coffey of this generation. Coffey was very much of a complimentary player, not the type who could lead on defense.

He needs to be more like the player whose number we saw hanging down the rafters at nassau coliseum. As much as I hated Denis Potvin, he's the type of d-man the Caps need more than a Coffey type.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I recall a fair number of posters (contingent of Green bashers) who took exception to the comparison of Green to Coffey--a comparison that a number of sports writers and commentators still like to make. I find it interesting that Coffey in his day was also criticized for the defensive side of his game. I agree: let's hope that Green, Ovie, et al can work out the kinks in their game now and bring home the Cup. Have to say I missed Semin in that last game but took heart from their surge at the end. They really picked up the speed. That's a huge part of their style and effectiveness.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | October 25, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Green is much better on defense than Coffey ever was... I can never forget what the longtime Caps beatwriter of this newspaper, the late Bob Fachet said about Coffey... "he has problem defending Dave Brown." Coffey was a closet winger, not a defenseman.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'll say one more thing about Coffey.. he was a beautiful skater tho.. the best I've ever seen

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Just reported by TSN: No suspension to Richards. Just what I thought.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Just reported by TSN: No suspension to Richards. Just what I thought.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

of course not. It's only at least his second viscious head shot in his career. Sorry, but this us why the NHL will always be a joke to some. I love the sport, but bettman and the nhlpa need to get their s together and put a stop to this. When someone beaks there neck it will be too late.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

joek443: I think you're being a little hard on Coffey.

The year he was selected, 1980 on memory, the Kings picked Larry Murphy 4th overall. The Caps picked fifth and selected Darren Veitch. Would you have that pick back?

Excuse me, but the Oilers took Coffey sixth.

Coffey is a HoF'mer. Say what you will about any player, but I'll take a HoF'mer on my team over an average player.

Coffey won 4 Cups and went to an add'l 3 Finals. I'll take that from Green.

Coffey offered a unique skill that was a game changer. I recall the story how he had size 9 feet but wore 6 3/4 skates. Don't know if the numbers are up to snuff, but the story was that he squeezed into much smaller skates that hurt like hell so he could increase his speed.

How many times did you see Gretzky skate down the center then curl and make a circle and hold the puck near the boards at the blueline (right side of goalie) and then slide the puck gently toward the center of the ice where a flying Coffey with a full head o' steam had wound up and let go a 100 mph slapper for yet another goal.

Yes, I'd love to have Denis Potvin on the Caps. Coffey wasn't a Potvin; then again, Potvin wasn't a Coffey.

We already have Mike Green, a great player. What we need isn't for Green to morph into Potvin (won't happen) as much as we need to go out and acquire a Mark Tinordi to give us balance.

If you recall when I supported your discussion the other day we had Stevens, Langway, Hatcher, Rouse, Calle Jo and Neil Sheehy at the same time and still didn't win!

It's all about balance. A team with a "Coffey" or "Green" has a significant upgrade chance at Cup due to possessing a "significant, unique talent." Just like with Semin, Ovie and Backie all are unique and special talents.

We need two more "specail talents": one in goal, and one on the blue line - a shutdown D kinda guy. That guy isn't Green changing - it's in addition to Green.

Signed, tominfl1 (stepping down from soapbox)

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - very good points. People have to accept Greenie for who he is. Yes, he needs to improve his defense, and hopefully he will, but he brings a talent that very few have. I forgot where I read it, but Melrose said pretty much the same thing recently. There are some on this board who love to slam Green and Semin - even to the point of wanting to trade them (which is, by the way, complete insanity). They are two incredibly talented players - each with a downside - but I think the good far outweighs the bad. They also happen to be a he-- of a lot of fun to watch.

It's a testament to how far this team has come that people are complaining when the caps are on a 4 game winning streak.

Posted by: hook99 | October 25, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

hook99: I think people on the blog need to think of the players on the Caps the same as they think of people at work. Let's say you have a company of 100 employees. Let's say you are in competition with three other companies, each of which has 100 employees. It would be really, really nice if each of your employees has CEO kinda skill or at least department VP kinda skill.

But...ain't gonna happen. The best you can hope for, honestly, is exactly what the Caps have! The Caps (except for Nylander and Clark) have mostly younger employees who, for the most part (excluding Ovechkin) are part on the low side of the scale. And they are very talented! (Think Varly at $850K, Backie at $2.4M, even Schultz at $715K). Do any of us at our jobs expect every employee to "do it all?" Well, only if it's an Ovie kinda guy making Ovie kinda money.

Mike Green is just like a New Business VP who is absolutely bonkers at opening up new markets and getting sales. Only, as we know about these guys, they aren't always so swift at estimating the true cost to do the work - which is why the company has...ME!!!

And just like any successful corporation must have a new business guru who can sell refrigerators to Eskimos, plus a cost control guy who can tell you how much to manufacture and ship those refrigerators to Alaska, a Cup-winning NHL team needs both a Paul Coffey AND a Kevin Lowe.

Ladies and gentlemen...we have the Paul Coffey. We don't have the Kevin Lowe.

Having concluded its summation, the prosecution rests its case and submits it to the jury.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon just got sacked from his Belarus team, so he's available. Maybe we can bring him back - Greenie did great in Hanlon's defensive system.

Posted by: hook99 | October 25, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter what Richards' intent was - nobody knows what was on his mind. All you can do is deal with the end result. If Booth is seriously hurt then Richards should be suspended accordingly. That's a risk you take when you hit someone above his shoulders.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 9:56 AM |


That is the absolute worst outlook on the opinion, making it completely arbitrary.

You should never base suspensions on the severity of the hit. If it was clean, then it's clean and that is that. Now, whether or not Richards hit was indeed clean is another argument, but the view that suspenions should be based on injury ir the end result makes the call completely arbitrary.

Brashear got 5 days for the severity of Betts injury. Walker did the exact same thing to Aaron Ward (sucker punch) and got nothing.

You punish the act, not the result.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

When someone beaks there neck it will be too late.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 2:55 PM |


Already happened and he plays for Detroit.

Granted, he was suspended for a year and some change I believe.

I haven't seen Richards hit, so I have no idea if it was dirty or not but we all have to remember we had a guy named Dale Hunter on this team. Ovie takes questionable hits all the time..just a side effect when you put up 250+ a season (see; his slew foot the other night in ATL).

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Richmond, I think that's a good point. The act should be viewed on it's own and not bAsed upon how bad someone is hurt. However, from a deterrent factor, I think it makes sense to assess the extent of the injury in determining punishment. Maybe someone like Richards will think twice about a head shot if the result could be a bad injury and long suspension. In my mind it's more about deterring the act than leveling punishment.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

If Ovie hurt whoever he slew footed against ATL, would you be calling for a suspension joek443? I think he received a tripping penalty..might've been interference. Of course, Ovie's superstar status might save him either way.
Didn't Artuhykin get 3 days recently for a slew foot? The guy was probably injured.

Either way, if you want any sense of objectivity in the calls, you punish the act (slew foot) equally, and not a bias judgment based on injury.

@dcsportsfan
I do agree that it should instill a deterrent factor instead of just a punishment for punishment sake. But the way I look at it is, a dangerous play is a dangerous play whether or not someone was injured or not. Pronger stomping on Kesler's leg was dangerous, even though Kesler was not injured at all during the ordeal. On the flip side, one can be injured on seemingly simple plays or on perfectly clean hits. This is why I feel that using injuries to measure the "cleanness" of a hit is an invalid way to measure it. It only makes the NHL tic-for-tac reputation right now even more arbitrary.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Great analysis on the Caps' situation and the fact that complementary talents are needed to wim the cup.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

I'll be representing both teams and enjoy a good game. I'd rather see the Capitals win and the Islanders lose as many as they can because Taylor Hall added to John Tavares, Josh Bailey, and Kyle Okposo will make a heck of a core for the Isles. Though I try not to think to far into the future with the Isles until it is settled that they aren't being relocated. If they are moved to anyplace other than somewhere else on Long Island or (not going to happen, but I'd love it) Baltimore they are dead to me. Hopefully they stay put.

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 25, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Richmondphil that giving strong consideration to the severity of the injury or ignoring intent is what adds the arbitrariness that everyone seems to get frustrated with. Richards' hit was Richards' hit regardless of what happened to the other guy. It should be judged on whether he did something dangerous, intended to do so, and whether he failed to take evasive measures. I don't believe that how it affects the other player should have much to do with the sanction.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@hook99

Yes, it certainly is a testament to how far the team has come.

I was certainly yelling at the TV enough last night and was downright PO'd at the Caps for most of the night -- when they were down 1-0 on a shortie! And then let in another. I was mad enough to walk upstairs. When I learned Green had scored the first goal, I figured we'd have a chance now.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You punish the act, not the result.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

you shoot someone and miss then you should get the same penalty as if you shot and killed him??? LMAO

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I also agree with RichmondPhil. In addition I would say that a hit to the head should be a penalty whether intended or not. Like with a high-sticking penalty, intent is not an issue as the league has stated multiple times that a hockey player is responsible for the location of his stick no matter what. A hockey player should also be responsible for where he hits another player no matter what the intent. A head shot should be a penalty period.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 25, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

joek are you just trying to be antagonistic or is it a natural stupidity that you have? By your logic, if a person shots to miss you but instead, because he/she is a bad aim, hits/kills you they should not be guilty of killing you, just shooting at you?

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 25, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyways, I just watched the hit. He should not have been suspended for that, I don't think. It was high, but hits like that happen all the time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrZlIxwEntM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b59LxkvpW8Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R8maaJPeFE

I guess I should clarify though. I only think Richards should not have been suspended because the league has not really looked at those types of hits as headshots in the past. Whether or not hits like that should be looked at with more consideration holds true, at least the league was somewhat consistent in the call.

I thought the hit was a boarding or something.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, Coffey played with Gretzky and later Mario, the two DOMINANT players in hockey of the last 30 years... if he was with the Caps, there is NO way he would have put up that kinda numbers. Conversely if Larry Murphy was with that Oilers' machine of the 80's I believe he would have put up similar numbers as Coffey.

Coffey was not bad in his own end.. he was TERRIBLE in his own end. He was the best closet winger in hockey history, the best there ever was. He was never asked to play serious defense because he just couldnt' do it. he could skate like the wind, was a great puck-handler and also could shoot. he wasn't big or physical enough to be an everyday winger in the NHL so they found a perfect position for him.

I'd much rather have great two-way d-men on my team like Denis Potvin, Ray Bourque or Nick Lidstrom than Paul Coffey unless I had 2 or 3 great defensive d-men and could afford a closet winger.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe Green can be a better all-around d-man than Coffey if he isn't already... don't think comparing him to Coffey does him any good.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, I'd like to get your take on this comment from the main boards regarding the Cherry comment:

As for Cherry, his intentions may be wrong but his point is right. When you play as physical as Alex and you're not willing to fight guys are going to start headhunting. Problem is Ovie is too fast and too big hence he's had 4+ years of free reign.

So what I want to know is, you can't hit and play physical unless you're willing to fight?

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Richards doesn't get suspended because of flow chart rule 3 I noted above.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 25, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

No, he didn't get suspended because I just posted 3 videos of the same exact hit in which none resulted in suspensions.

Say what you want, the league has been somewhat consistent on this call.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

As for Cherry, his intentions may be wrong but his point is right. When you play as physical as Alex and you're not willing to fight guys are going to start headhunting. Problem is Ovie is too fast and too big hence he's had 4+ years of free reign.

So what I want to know is, you can't hit and play physical unless you're willing to fight?

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 6:48 PM |


This doesn't even make any sense. Brown or Clutterbuck don't fight that much. Tons of players who play with a physical edge don't fight.

Ovie isn't dumb enough to skate through the center ice with his head down. (see; Booth, Okposo) Knock on wood.....


Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone should name their fantasy hockey team "What's Eating Don Cherry?" especially given the fact that many Caps bloggers/posters refer to Don Cherry as Grape; (sour grapes)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Cherry..where is sc1907? His Leafs haven't won a game yet! When the Caps lose in the playoffs (while his team does not make it again), he'll return to let us know how much the Caps suck.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I have a question in to the NHLOA BBoards about what happens with the referee when he mis-calls something (i.e. calls a physical foul - slew-footing - as a restraining foul - tripping), because there IS no minor for slew-footing, and had they called that foul correctly, Ovechkin would have been out of the game. That could have made a HUGE difference, had we gone to overtime.

That said...

The major difference between the Ovechkin slew-foot and the Artyukhin slew-foot is that Ovechkin was going for the puck and inadvertently did the foul; Artyukhin went for the player in the middle of open ice. It's up on YouTube somewhere with an explanation, but the two plays were completely different.

Matt Niskanen was injured (head injury) as a result of the Artyukhin hit, and was listed as day-by-day last I checked.

As for Mike Richards... I watched the hit. Richards comes off his feet to make the hit. He should bloody well have been suspended. He raised his shoulder. That was a dirty hit, and it was a hit to the head. He was given a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct. His feet stopped moving a few feet away, so I couldn't call it charging, not really... but it was a bad hit, and worthy of a suspension of at least three games. This is not the first time he's done something like this.

Posted by: irockthered | October 25, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil, I was thinking the same thing as soon as I heard about Cherry's comments: where the heck is sc1907. Although I didn't realize that he was a leafs fan, so I guess that explains it.

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@dfe1

Just as happy not to see SC1907. What on earth would a Leafs fan be doing on our board to rub it in about our misfortunes? The Leafs are not even a rival of ours. No divisional or geographical or anything.

If I were a Leafs fan and wanted to troll any board, I would do the one of Montreal or even Ottawa.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

So what I want to know is, you can't hit and play physical unless you're willing to fight?

Posted by: dfe1 | October 25, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

well that was probably the case in the ole NHL but don't believe that type of thinking still holds in the new NHL.

also in the old NHL that game last night between the flyers and the panthers would have taken 4 hours to finish because there would have been numerous fights.

Guys like Cherry is still stuck somewhre in the 1950's...

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

there's a difference between hitting and trying to knock someone out. Richards was going for a KO punch.. it's extremely disingenuous for him to say he was just trying to separate Booth from the puck...

LOL yeah right... they all wanna make top 10 plays on sportscenter every night, that's the problem, not just in hockey but in all sports.. a solid hit isn't good enough, you gotta KO someone.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen a vid yet or a shot that I can definitely come away from saying Richards left his feet. It looks like his skates are still on the ice when contact is initiated. I do think he was aiming for Booth's head though, so while it might be a technically legal hit, the intent was poor.

It's a borderline hit that unfortunately resulting in an injury to Booth, but it's not something I can clear cut say he should get the hook for multiple games for. All you can say is keep your eyes peeled for Mike Richards and his brand of leadership out on the ice.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 25, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

If I were a Leafs fan and wanted to troll any board, I would do the one of Montreal or even Ottawa.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 7:35 PM |

He might be a fan of either of these three teams for all I know...He's just an ol Northern boy, like Cherry. Anti-European and fanatically pro-Canadian.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I can't believe folks would say that the richards hit was legal. I guess it's just me. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to seeing head shots. Just cause the league hasn't penalized plays like this in the past doesn't mean they aren't bad hits. In my opinion that hit was 10 times worse than the artyukhin slew foot. He gets no penalty but a 3 game suspension. Richards get 15 and a gamer but no suspension. A 10 second YouTube search shows this isn't the first head hunting expedition he's been on. Crazy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

joek443: I'll never say Coffey was even an adequate defensive player. He's still though in the HoF.

As I've said repeatedly, I'll gladly accept Green and a 2010 version of Mark Tinordi as the Caps version of the Coffey/Lowe combo.

The bottom line is we are two players short of being ready to dominate a Playoff run. One is an experience and top-flight goalie; the other is Mark Tinordi circa 1995.

It is possible that Theo/Varly combo COULD be the goalie - don't know until they do it. Carlson might also be that d-man given about three years' seasoning. Otherwise, we seriously lack the killer D element.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

legal, illegal.. I don't really care, I believe that was a dirty hit, just the type of a hit you would expect from the captain of the dirtiest team in the NHL from the mid-1970.

I've heard some people compare that hit to the one that Stevens delivered to Lindros but don't think they were similar. Stevens didn't sneak up from behind and blind-sided Lindros like Richards did to Booth.

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Nylander has 5 assists already with Grand Rapids? Is this correct?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 25, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I can't believe folks would say that the richards hit was legal. I guess it's just me. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to seeing head shots. Just cause the league hasn't penalized plays like this in the past doesn't mean they aren't bad hits. In my opinion that hit was 10 times worse than the artyukhin slew foot. He gets no penalty but a 3 game suspension. Richards get 15 and a gamer but no suspension. A 10 second YouTube search shows this isn't the first head hunting expedition he's been on. Crazy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 25, 2009 8:14 PM |

All I meant to point out was that this kind of hit has happened in the past, and the league did not act. Check the links I posted.

Whether the hit is illegal, legal, dirty, etc... I'm not going to say. I will say that this kind of hit happens and the league has not suspended in the past.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Nyls had 3 assists in first game and none in 2nd....not sure if griffins had a game sunday

Posted by: RichC3 | October 25, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

kcbrichmond:
correct. nyls had 3 assists in his first game (all on the PP) and 2 more PP assists today

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 25, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

It just seems to me that trolling a Caps board would not be worth the trouble for a Leafs fan.

It seems like there's no love lost between Toronto and Montreal.

Or if I were pro any Canadian team, a team like New York or Boston would be a more "logical" target, especially one in Toronto's division.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if you guys have discussed this or not, but an interesting quote about Nylander:

An interesting observation from Pierre LeBrun, ESPN, on Michael Nylander:

I was a big fan of this guy; he was a very talented center for many years, and perhaps still is. But I'm told when an apparent deal with the Chicago Blackhawks fell through last season, he was never the same. He had his heart set on joining the Hawks and was shattered when the deal didn't happen.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Good point about the VC ice not getting soft until the basketball games start, Tominfl1. Someone on the board said there was nothing wrong with the Islanders' ice. Maybe it's just my inexperienced eyes, but it looked like it was soggy to me, but I can't explain why.

Anyway, any predictions on Tuesday's game?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Well we do have Ovie, who is Cherry's #1 target, so it makes a little bit of sense that way.

I see what you're saying though. I asked him last year why he was rooting for the Habs in the playoffs when he was a Leafs fan. No self-respecting fan of either team would root for the other, so it seems he is on a pro-Cherry/Canada shtick.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, any predictions on Tuesday's game?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 25, 2009 8:46 PM |

They are down 3-1 to the Sharks tonight after 2.

Should be another good game like last time. Hopefully we can pull 2 points away this time.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 25, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I hear Hershey won 3-2 today, a come from behinder. Miskovic and Gordon were two of the heroes. This was Zack Miskovic's first point in the AHL. (My nickname for him is "Mouse" since his name sounds like a Slavic word for mouse.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

No predictions, yet.

But it would help the Caps if Semin is back. He's usually done well against Philthy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"Carlson might also be that d-man given about three years' seasoning. Otherwise, we seriously lack the killer D element."

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

What's going on with Alzner's progress? I know he's a victim of the cap, but BB didn't seem to be raving about him at/after camp. To those who are attending the Hershey games, how's he doing?

Posted by: hook99 | October 25, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@hook99

According to the AHL stats, Alzner has no goals or assists yet but he is a +3. (In other words, a stay at home defenseman who hasn't caused much damage.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 25, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

you shoot someone and miss then you should get the same penalty as if you shot and killed him??? LMAO

Posted by: joek443 | October 25, 2009 6:16 PM

====================================

Yes but you would divide it up into two crimes. In both cases you should be charged with shooting at somebody. The one who hits would get murder added to their rap sheet in addition to the first crime. (The poor shot would just get attempted murder added).

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 25, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Curious to know how Flash looked this weekend to anyone in attendance of one or more of the Bears game.

Thinking he probably would need more than a weekend's play down in the "A" to get his legs back...

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | October 25, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Conclusion - white wine for a away game worked. I'll be "drinking the red" for the Flyers. Guess that means I better defrost a big, juicy steak in anticipation of the game.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I like your thinking. Rock the Red!

Posted by: croftonpost | October 26, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The Islanders are a weak and rebuilding team, but they play with heart and play tight games. With the exception of vs Buffalo and vs Montreal they have been in all of them. They have 4 OTLs as well as a 1 goal win in regulation (take that Canes!) and a 1 goal loss in regulation. The majority of their games have also been against playoff quality teams. So, while the Islanders are a bad team, they are by no means pushovers.

On a positive note, Jose Theodore was spectacular last night. I have to take back every bad thing I said about him last year.

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 25, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Well said. Most teams in the NHL aren't pushovers and most teams in the league can beat any other team in the league on any given night. Points are a valuable commodity and getting them at this time of the year is the priority. Are there are obvious early problems? Sure, but there is also plenty of time to rectify them so relax everybody and enjoy each victory as they come.

Posted by: croftonpost | October 26, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I think Nylander showed he can still play. While I still don't think he is a good fit for the Caps as he won't get on the top two lines and need skill players to play with to do well. This can be seen in the fact that all five of his assists were on the Power Play. I think playing as well as he did in back to back to back games (0G 5A and a shot out goal) will show the KHL teams and possible NHL teams that are interested that he is still in good condition. I think the best fit for him would be Toronto. I don't think it will happen but that team needs someone to set up Kessel when he comes back and Nylander could do that better then the guys Toronto already has and unlike when they traded for Kessel they won't have to give up much if anything to get him. I would even take Toskla and send him to the minors to get rid of the cap hit to make the cap number work for Toronto.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 26, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

an add on to the Nylander thing. Grand Rapids was 1-4 before Nylander and were 3-0 with him. I am not saying that he is the only reason as the first 5 games were all on the road and the three this weekend were at home but in just three games Nylander is already tied for 4th on the team in points. Anyone who wants to see the highlights of the third game it is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvxX71etFZA&feature=player_embedded on the second assist Nylander made a beautiful pass for the goal.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 26, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Nyls is a great playmaker, why is anyone surprised that he is doing well in the AHL is beyond me. Nyls could play for the caps if not for BB phobia of European play. Oh, well, it is what it is. I hope he gets picked up by a NHL team and that he does well.

Posted by: hock1 | October 26, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Nyls is a great playmaker, why is anyone surprised that he is doing well in the AHL is beyond me. Nyls could play for the caps if not for BB phobia of European play. Oh, well, it is what it is. I hope he gets picked up by a NHL team and that he does well.

Posted by: hock1 | October 26, 2009 1:31 AM

Honestly, he'd be doing well in the NHL if management could get past these issues/a team was willing to take on his salary hit. As poorly as he fits with our system, he's worked his butt off in the offseason and could have one of his better years this year if a team would just TAKE HIM.

Anyways, we should all be delighted that Nylander is lighting it up there, because no matter the outcome, it only improves our chances of the situation ending well. If he were playing like trash, we couldn't get rid of him and he'd be on our bench all season. Hopefully in a short time we'll see a post about Nylander going to X.

Posted by: Raber | October 26, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Is there a video of Thompson's knee-on-knee hit on Mike Green? Was it called by the referees?
Are there any more information about the "accident" or "incident" than "dangerous looking"?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 26, 2009 3:36 AM | Report abuse

hook99: I haven't heard much this year on Alzner. Maybe some of those who follow the Bears can comment. However, I don't think he was ever expected to be a Tinordi type. Alzner I felt would be more a Calle Johansson positional defensemen (also something you must have). As for Carlson, my impression was that he had potentially Tinordi toughness on D but more upside on offense. Again, maybe Hershey followers can help.

Maybe I'm just hung up on that aspect of the game, but I went back and checked and almost every NHL Cup winner going back 50 yrs had a HoF'mer on the blueline. Some had two or three. Even Carolina had Glen Wesley, so that is the "minimum requirement." Maybe Tampa was weakest ever D to win Cup.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 26, 2009 6:18 AM | Report abuse

@The_Stanley_Caps - I was at the Saturday night game. Flash looked rough for the first couple of frames, but then seemed to find his legs, and was starting to look more his usual self. He did not contribute on Saturday night, but was on the first PP unit most of the time. He skated quite a bit.

I did not see the Sunday night game, but Flash did have an assist, so it's looking like he's starting to come back, but I would not be surprised, based on Saturday night, to see them extend his conditioning stint for another three games, if the NHL lets them.

Public Service Announcement

If you are driving up to Hershey, and you take PA 322 across from Harrisburg, be on the lookout for an invisible traffic light at Mushroom Hill Road. You cannot see this light until you crest the hill, and, as such, when the pavement is wet, as it was on Saturday night, the light being red can - and does - cause accidents.

Saturday night's involved a Ford Windstar flipping onto its roof.

Thankfully, the sole occupant - the driver - was OK, but it could have been a WHOLE lot worse. No other vehicle was involved, but it was a terrifying moment for all concerned!

This traffic light is at the entrance to the Rite Aid/Wal Mart shopping centers, a bit over three miles west of Indian Echo Caverns. You'll know you're coming up on it because it's the first really good sized hill you come to outside of Harrisburg.

BE CAREFUL on PA 322! This light is dangerously placed.

Posted by: irockthered | October 26, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

According to NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, who was in charge of making the final ruling, there were a number of reasons that led to the decision not to suspend Richards: he did not target Booth's head; he did not leave his feet to deliver the blow; he did not hit an unsuspecting player; he is not a repeat offender; and he did not hit Booth late, as it was determined the blow was delivered less than a half-second after Booth passed the puck.

++

sorry to dwell on this, but here's the official reason from the nhl on richards hit. the one that strikes me is the he didnt' "target Booth's head". first of all, how does murphy know that other than from what richards says. besides even if he didn't "target" booths head, he did hit booths head. and not as a result of booth moving his had unsuspectingly. if they want to really eliminate this from the league, the policy should be that hits to the head are suspendable offenses, intent or not.

it does not even appear that richards got fined, yet ovie does for his slew foot. and not a repeat offender? i can pull up at least 3 youtube videos of richards head hunting, including an elbow to dubinsky's nose last year. a joke.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 26, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Why aren't there more recent Capital Insider blogs or just more Capital articles in the WaPo sports section? I am sick and tired of reading about the Redskins! Why not take more advantage by letting other fans root for the ONLY winning team in town? This insider blog has already span over 2 days, btw!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 26, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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