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Caps 3, Panthers 1

There was an all-too-familiar feeling in Verizon Center when Shaone Morrisonn was whistled for a 5-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct for checking from behind with 5:01 remaining in regulation. The Capitals would have to kill a 5-on-3 for the fifth straight game, then face a regular power play the rest of the way, testing the penalty killing unit that had given up a goal in 13 straight games.

"It was embarrassing for us," said David Steckel, who was on the ice for three shifts and 3:01 after Morrisonn's penalty. "That's not the kind of records you want to set, letting one go in 13 games in a row. That was important for us tonight. It was just time for that to end. The three guys who were out there knew we needed to get it done, because we haven't in the last few games when we've been down two men before."

*The Panthers recorded just one shot in those final five minutes as the Capitals penalty killers blocked six shots -- Steckel and Tom Poti each had two while Nicklas Backstrom and Karl Alzner both had one -- to finally snap the streak as Washington held an opponent without a power play goal since Jan. 3 to close out a 3-1 win over Florida.

"It was a matter of time. Eventually that streak had to end," Bruce Boudreau said. "It wasn't a very smart play by Mo and it's one thing that we're excited, that we're killing it, we're doing a great job, but you've got to be able to control your emotions out there. It was definitely a five-minute penalty. I thought the penalty killers did a tremendous job."

On to the rest of tonight's notes...

*Mike Green extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, which in addition to being a franchise record is the longest streak by an NHL defenseman since at least the 2001-02. Along with a precision-point shot to the corner above Tomas Vokoun's shoulder for the game winner, Green was able to rifle a 168-foot shot into an empty net to take some pressure off the Caps' penalty kill.

"It certainly has been Mike's last two weeks," Boudreau said. "Everything he's touching is turning to gold. I hope it doesn't end. His shot is so accurate it must be a little bit like a baseball player in a groove. He's just hitting everything pitchers throw to him. He's picking the top corners pretty frequently."

*With his two goals against the Panthers, Green now has 19 goals and 46 points in 41 games, compared to 56 points and 18 goals in 82 games last season.

*Eric Fehr beat Vokoun blocker-side for his sixth goal of the season marked the second consecutive game that the Capitals scored goals within the first minute of play. All of Fehr's goals this season have come against teams he had not yet recorded a goal against in his career.

"I saw Greener going back door and I think (Vokoun) might have been playing him," Fehr said. "The defensemen looked to Green too so I just took the shot."

*Georgetown's game went to overtime against Cincinnati this afternoon and the ice wasn't completely ready until well after 5 p.m. While the rink was ready by game time, the ice was noticeably bad, often causing a slow-moving or bouncing puck.

"The ice was disgusting," Tom Poti said. "It's an embarrassment. it's why so many guys are hurt with groins....The puck is like a bouncy ball out there jumping around, banging around and it's tough to handle the puck when it's like that. I can't even imagine a guy like Alex Ovechkin on a decent sheet of ice how many goals he'd get and a guy like Mike Green as well. You look at the puck and it's just bouncing and rolling and flipping all over the place. The good thing that we have is it's the same for both teams."

*Los Angeles defeated New Jersey 3-1 tonight, giving the Caps a three-point lead over the Devils for second place in the Eastern Conference.

*The team's off tomorrow but Tarik's heading to Hershey and will blog if any news develops.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 7, 2009; 10:47 PM ET
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Next: Neuvirth, Giroux Returned to Hershey


It appears that ShaMo will be the next Dman to be scratch for the next game for obvious reasons.

Posted by: puckman | February 7, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Katie.

Wow strong statement by Poti about the ice.

Posted by: mauree | February 7, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm just curious as to how Mike Green scored 2 of Washington's 3 goals, yet didn't grab one of the game's three stars???!

Posted by: mcmags1128 | February 7, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

wow, what is up with these terrible songs on HNIC. they just get worse ever week.

Posted by: brooklyncapsfan | February 7, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

What an ending to an otherwise so-so game. We were seriously rockin' red, on our feet and goin' nuts at the end! I'm surprised that Mo got tossed and that Green did not get a star, but hey, all's well that ends well. Next stop? Kronwall. I'll be curious to see what this guy can do ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 7, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Poti was pretty frank on the ice condition. Don't know if anything can change it though :(

BB must have faith in Schultz...his ice time was 20+ min. Also, don't look know, but he is a team 3rd best of +16.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 7, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

brooklyncapsfan: Yeah seriously; it was bad enough to get me to go play Nintendo for a bit. The game's 4-0 now anyway, I can't imagine it'll be too great. Wake me up if it starts getting interesting. ;)

Looks like Carolina is leading 5-2 in the 3rd period; if it holds out, they will hop Florida for the #8 spot, but only one point up and Florida with two games in hand.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | February 7, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

A blind walrus was trying to pass for a zebra out on the ice tonight.

Great ending - the crowd went nuts. Overall, reasonably good game, I think we can do a little better, though.

The penalties need to frickin' stop, but I thought a lot of the ones called were weak and there were several that weren't called. Thank God the penalty kill came up aces tonight.

Ovi, do you have a hole in your stick? Of course, the puck really was hopping around like a Mexican jumping bean on crack - Poti's not kidding. Having gone ice skating today for the first time since I was about 8, I now appreciate what is meant by horrid ice and the effect it has on play. Yuck.

Alzner was a big force out there. The D looked a lot better. Waiting to see what Kronwall can do now.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse


Mo deserved it, his play was really dangerous. I could see from TV how loud VC was rocking :)

Huet pulled after letting 3 goals in. Can't say I'm disappointed :D

Posted by: mauree | February 7, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Morrison is really pulling some boneheaded plays late in games lately. I just can't see the Caps even offering him a serious offer as a RFA this summer. He should be riding the pine the next game or two.

I agree Boo, next stop Kronwall or Sami.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 7, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

For the Sarge haters, he had a good game and +/- is meaningful over the course of a season.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 7, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Mo should get suspended honestly. If he was any sort of injured, you bet he would've seen at least a 1 game suspension.

mike not winning a star is pretty trivial, and vokoun was outstanding tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Poti's comments about the ice are pretty blunt. It was warm in VC tonight. When are the Caps going to demand the end of the afternoon basketball games before hockey games. Why can't they limit afternoon basketball to before Wizards games? Which player is going to have to get hurt before Caps ownership insists that they actually fix the ice problem?

Posted by: NovaCath | February 7, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

i don't think mo's hit was malicious, but it was still dangerous. it looked from the replay like the panther turned his back at the last second, so it was a bit unavoidable?

tonight was the night green was mic'ed for the nhl network, right? they'll get a great show out of him!

katie - whatever happened to the hardhat? i feel like we don't hear who's wearing it much anymore.

Posted by: ckm21 | February 7, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

MCI center is known across the league as having bad ice, basketball game or not.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

oh man, i just called it the MCI center.

major oof, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Vokoun was under siege tonight - the Cats allowed way too many shots for their own health.

I didn't see the Mo hit - seats in the wrong place for that area of play. I didn't see Mo being kept another year as soon as it was clear that Alzner was going to work out. He wants too much and has been through arbitration twice, and wasn't putting up the numbers to justify what he was making, let alone a raise.

I think Fedorov is right about Ovi telegraphing his intentions too much - the goalie always seems to have time to square to him.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Was Mo's hit really that bad? It did not look like much in the VC - the fans in the house were not feelin' it. (mauree - thanks for putting icing on the cake with the Huet news! :-D)

Kronwall next - I've seen Sami but have not clue what Kronwall can do. I hope he throws his weight around!

Is it just me or do other folks think that Vokoun should have been a higher star than Jose? I would have done:

1. Green
2. Vokoun
3. Jose

BTW, glad to see the post-game celebrations trickling out further and further into Penn Quarter. It felt like people were honking and hollering all the way home! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 7, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

It was a hit from behind, that sent him flying head first into the boards. Like pawz said, it was pretty bad but I wouldn't say it was malicious. Like I said in the post before this one, that is how careers are ended. It would've been a lot worse, but luckily Stillman was not injured too bad. If he had to leave the game, I have no doubt the NHL would have suspended Mo.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

compare this hit to Ovechkin's on Heward. Ovechkin very clearly slows down, and turns away from full impact on Heward. This is what you are supposed to do if someone is going to have his back turned to you against the boards and you are coming in to finish a check. I know people are going to say he turned his back at the last second or something like that, but Mo should know better regardless. He should expect how the situation would have ended up. He needed to slow down and turn into the boards and not collide with someone directly from behind full force a foot from the boards.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

What Phil said. It wasn't malicious, but very dangerous.

Posted by: mauree | February 7, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the feedback on the hit. As others have indicated, from my viewpoint at VC I wasn't sold but having read yours and other's posts...Mo obviously took one dumb and dangerous PIM. Luckily and thankfully the player was ok and the boys came out on top.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 7, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

The ice has been better this season, and its certainly a sheet that gets worse when it gets warm. (Like today.) But is also been getting worse recently. It was in the 20s for the Kings game and it was still iffy. Today it was 60 and it was awful. Be worried during the playoffs.

As for Mo, I've seen worse, but I've also seen a lot of guys get suspended this year when the victim turns away and sets up the hit from behind, too. Frankly, whether Stillman was hurt shouldn't determine if there is a suspension, but rather the dangerousness (or not) of the play should be the key factor.

The Kings returned the favor against the Devils, so we'll thank the East's near leaders for the 4 points and be on our flight back to the palm trees, thank you very much...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 7, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The fans were not feeling a lot of the refing tonight - lot of weak calls and stuff that should have been called got missed. Hence my comment about a blind walrus trying to pass itself off as a zebra on the ice tonight.

Glad we're not playing again till Wednesday - I think a couple of practices will do us good for Wednesday's game. It's nice to have a couple of days off between games - we just need to make sure to take points away from just about everything, as we're too close to NJ for comfort given that we've played more games than they have.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 7, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

someone is mixing up nicks *giggles*

Posted by: mauree | February 7, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

yes, I can understand being at the game and not seeing it, but maybe one replay on the ol jumbotron.

but, let's just be glad stillman is okay and Mo only got dealt what he had. Plus, it gave us a chance to show off our awesome new PK, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse


I understand what you are saying, but unfortunately the league only has a hearing on cases in which a player is injured.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 7, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Tarik's heading to Hershey? That dude is, or should be, committed. And he has a young kid playing.

Tarik: thanks for being a seriously hard working reporter. Drive safe.

D.C. has always had lousy ice. Do not think that will ever change.

Posted by: crooks_c | February 7, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the awesome PK, even Craig noticed that OVI and Semin were not anymore on it. Many on this blog called for them not to be on it - and use one of Steckel/Brad/Gordon instead. I say, hats off to the knowledgeable bloggers - what do you know, sometimes people here get it right even before BB does.

Posted by: mauree | February 7, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I am going to pretend that you were directing that at me so, thank you!!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 8, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I think if Stillman had gotten seriously injured by that hit it would have been his own fault. He could clearly see Morrisonn coming and he chose to turn his back and put himself in a very bad position. I'm not condoning intentional or malicious hits from behind; I just think the player getting checked has some responsibility, if he can see the hit coming, to take it cleanly.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | February 8, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

i dont think he saw it coming at all. he was coming down, looking towards the boards trying to get the puck. Mo came from his left, and when Stillman turned all the way towards the boards, Mo made contact.

You are right, the person being checked does have some responsibility, but the fact of the matter is that Mo did nothing and in terms of penalties, it's all the checker's responsibility.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse


I wasn't sure if you did it on purpose or not :P

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse who wants to predict the six D pairings for Wed.?

Does BB keep Mo in? I think yes but I have shown what I know here many times before :)

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 8, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

We've been over this time and time again...McCreary is one of the worst refs in the NHL. It's worse because he seems to dislike the caps.

Haha he does look like a walrus.

Has anyone noticed a decline in Poti's play recently? He made some bonehead mistakes in today's game. The only Panthers goal was scored because he didn't hit his man square behind the net. He allowed the player to roll around in front and feed the goal scorer. He also gave the puck away right in front of Theo right before the major penalty. Is he still "coming back" from his injury? Or is this what we can expect from him in the playoffs?

As for Mo's major - it was a borderline call. I think I'd have made a boarding call - but not a 5min major. I know the refs are supposed to call the game in the same fashion the entire 60 min - but that never happens. They have to have some common sense. In a 1 goal game you don't give a minute long 5-3 followed by a 4 minute 5-4 to end the game. As a ref, you need to keep the peace without altering the outcome of the game - let them play the game.

On the VC's ice - it's pretty bad even without the ball games. I think Ted knows something needs to be done. However, you can't ask Baltimore or DC to help fund a new stadium in these economic conditions - especially not DC - there already getting talk back from the Nat's owners on leasing rates.

So what did we think of the Nyles, Ovie, Backs line? I think Nyles is playing the best hockey of the season right now - and not just because of the goals. He had one play today where he needed to shoot instead of pass - but I think he played a solid game today.

Juice has got a howitzer of a shot. I wish they'd set him up more often. I think he could be deadly.

Mike Green is a good looking guy. I think if I was in to guys - I'd be all about Mike Green.

I think that's it for the night. We can play better - but I'm glad we got the win.

Posted by: patrone | February 8, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Mo needs to sit at least one game. I doubt that he'll get suspended, but being a healthy scratch to a new guy should send a pretty good message. It seems like he takes stupid penalties way too often...

Posted by: isaacc7 | February 8, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

-Good call. If stillman was injured, Mo would be suspended.

-poti is not that very good. i have always said this. he is one of the stronger defenders we have, but he is just a mediocre defense man across the league. He isn't hated in New York for no reason.Granted, he has played better hockey here than in his past clubs, but with our tight cap space and him being one of our older defense man he has to play solid every night.

-those lines were all mixed up as the game went on. for a full minute, backstrom was out with brash and bradley. I saw backstrom with semin numerous times, etc.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse


where did you read feds' comments about ovi that you referenced above? linkY?

Posted by: dml1077 | February 8, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse


Dude...question about stating that "Poti is not that very good". BB seems to like him very much and welcomed him back to the PK when he was missing for so long. I personally think he is one of our better, steady Dmen who can constantly clear the puck when needed. No complaints here. Just curious for your thoughts?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 8, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I gave my thoughts after that statement. Like i said, he has been considerably better since he has been with us, which is a good thing. But the guy is hated in New York for his not so stellar performances as both a rag and an islander. Poti is historically a mediocre defense man, but as i said, he has played solid for us which should be the only real deciding factor here.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

and honestly, regarding tonight, I can't think of an instance when I noticed Poti, which is a good thing. I was just going off on patrone's observations on him tonight.

oh wait, now that i think about it i do remember one bad pass by Poti right up our slot to a Panther. Other than that, he seemed to do his job tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse


You are correct in your reference to tonight's fact they just highlighted in on HNIC!

Guess this proves what Koken and others say (as HNIC) that we need more D at the trade deadline. Lets see if GMGM agrees/hears. Lets hope so as I agree.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 8, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

found it: feds to ovi - learn to blend in. i think that's great advice. the best players make themselves unnoticeable, and then strike in an instant. that's not ovi's game, but could be as he gets older and wiser. now, ovi draws a lot of attention to himself all the time. will be fun to watch either way.;_ylt=AiaZ.9j97pzEPdDQCUoSa4Z7vLYF?slug=ap-capitals-ovechkins200th&prov=ap&type=lgns

Posted by: dml1077 | February 8, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't really think ShaMo should get more than one game, which I think is automatic with a game misconduct for that. The guy turned into the boards. He had to see Mo coming. I really hate this rule. These guys are willing to take that kind of hit if it gives the team an advantage. Getting Mo off the ice is worth it since he's playing pretty sound positional hockey.

What bothered me was Poti's "pass" across the slot near the end of the game that got picked off. He of all the Dmen should know better than that.

I thought that Semin played more disciplined. I saw him a few times stop himself when reaching to get the guy that stripped him of the puck.

We still commit too many stupid penalties. Feds was one. Ovies another.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 8, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Hate to break it to you patron, but you're into guys.

heh. Too easy.

That was a great game to be at. Florida is going to push the Caps, as are Carolina. The last two months are going to be exciting.

The lunch boxes were cool. Unlike the ice.

The people unhappy with Poti's play have me baffled.

Posted by: oo7 | February 8, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, with a guy like Legace on waivers (who is a really good goalie, just having a really crummy year and would have costed less than 1.25 mil) and not picking any goalie up and riding our young ones, I foresee our blue line growing. Kronwall was just a safety net and a small step....hopefully at least.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I am not unhappy with Poti's play, except for the highlighted play me, Greg S., and apparently HNIC have all noticed.

I said he is one of our stronger defense men, I simply am highlighting his background in New York.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I miss pothier. had such a solid year his last year in Ottawa. poor guy can't stay away from injuries.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the anti-Poti comments. He's a top 4 d-man on just about any team in the league

Posted by: GoUnited | February 8, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse


if you are still interested, Mike Green earned the hard hat tonight, according to the Washington Caps website's recap. Think that was deserved :)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 8, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Not that this should matter, because Caps are young enough and can turn it on when they put their minds to it but....

Out of the four remaining games they play against the Panthers, I find it odd that three of them come on the second day of back-to-back games...That really makes me glad the Caps beat them tonight to hopefully set a tone (especially beating them rather dramatically, I find that tone generally works well with this bunch of Caps players!!!).

As for Poti talk, I really think that the past should be the past, and that he really offers a lot more positives for this team than anything else. Except for the game vs. Kings (where everyone was off) and the fact that even after his return, the PP goals allowed streak still continued, I still could see the calming positive effect Poti brought to the blue line, it did seem like the D as a whole sort of played smarter, IMO.

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 8, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

As I've posted previously the refs seem to hate any team for which Fedorov is playing and McCreary is simply the worst of the bunch. He's extremely anti-Russian in his calls including the Russia versus USA semi-final game during the 2002 Winter Olympics where his bias was very obvious.

Posted by: dwollkind | February 8, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

As a postscript to my previous comment Sergei is well aware of McCreary's bias. Notice how he slammed his stick on the ice after the holding penalty was called on him. Fedorov almost never reacts that way but it speaks volumes for how he felt about the call.

Posted by: dwollkind | February 8, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Goldang it. If this team had any CHARACTER they might have protected a 1-goal lead, despite playing the last 5 minutes at least 1 man down.
PS We need a greeting for McCreary when next we see him. The call against Mo was by far his best of the night.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 8, 2009 3:50 AM | Report abuse

could the officiating be any worse? it's so obvious that calls aren't being made when they should be! what's worse is that phantom penalties are called when there's a short amount of time left and the refs are trying to make the game "interesting" or give the behind-team a chance to catch up. i'm not saying that the call against mo was a phantom penalty, but i've seen it happen in game after game recently that the refs are only calling penalties when they think it will tilt the field or make things woohoo dramatic. effing eeedeeuts. shades of last season's playoff games against the flyers, when the bias was so obvious it felt scripted for tv.

Posted by: spinner-33 | February 8, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

New York Ranger fans boo Poti because they are idiots. It has nothing to do with the quality of his play.

New York Islanders fans boo Poti because they are in a very bad place right now and might not have been if they were able to retain some players such as Poti and Kozlov. About a dozen other players too. I grew up an Islanders fan in the 70s-80s. I'd rather not think about them right now.

So, what I am saying is you can't judge Poti for what notoriously moronic NY fans too. Poti should get strong consideration for the next team USA. He is a solid D-man that can play in all situations.

Posted by: lornemyoung | February 8, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm baffled as to why some of you care what New Yorkers think? Poti's been solid for us on the PK and as a D in general. That's all that should matter to us. Besides, we play the Rags on Wednesday, if you hadn't noticed. Let 'em boo while we tear the Rags apart, sez I. When was the last time we swept a season series with the Rangers?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I think somebody already mentioned it but when is the Day in the life with Greenie?

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 8, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that we are short a shut down defenseman in order to go all the way. Tarik or anybody out there know if there are any shut down defensemen who are potentially tradeable by teams who will be out of the playoffs?

Posted by: thefingernator | February 8, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Iv'e seen the hit Mo had on the Panther at least ten times. It was a penalty, but the Cat did turn at the last second. I cannot blame Mo, your talking about a one on one play at FULL speed and him making a decision to take the body. If Mo eases up and the player goes around him, everyone is up -n- arms about him letting a guy go around him. It's just a play (unfortunate) that happened in a split second at full speed. Mo does not has a reputation for being a dirty player.

Green 4 Norris!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 8, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

ludeman95: Feb 26th? I think?

thefingernator: You're waaaaayyyyy behind on that one. That's been discussed multiple times on multiple blogs for the past several weeks. Everybody's got their own favorites. At the risk of restarting the debate, I'll give you a couple of the ideas that have ben bandied around, some with more success than others.

- Chris Pronger: The Ducks might sell if they can't work things out pretty quickly in Anaheim. He's good and is the type of hard-nosed guy we'd want, but can we afford him with one more year of a 6.25 cap hit?
- Mike Komisarek: The Habs are on the hook for a lot of contracts in the off-season and will probably look for offense in order to stay in the playoff hunt. They might talk.
- Greg DeVries: Nashville probably isn't going to the playoffs, and some have mentioned this guy's size as a possiblr factor. I know little about him, but his +/- doesn't look so good to me.
- Filip Kuba: Ottawa isn't going to make the playoffs this year. No way, no how. Poor guy got so badly abused by Ovechkin, though, that I'm leery of this one.

Keep in mind, though, we might have some other needs at the deadline. It depends on how long Johnson will be out, whether Neuvirth can hang at this level yet, and whether Varlamov is healthy. If those stars don't align, we're going to have to come up with a goalie. Clark being on LTIR gives us a little room to wiggle, but not that much, and Alzner is eating up a lot of that room (that's okay, he's worth it).

It'd sure be nice to have another Dman like Pronger or Komisarek, but whether we can is another story.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I think it is 2/26.

Did what on purpose?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 8, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Did you guys already know that Carolina picked up Jussi? I am really curious to see where Bouwmeester ends up ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 8, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Stat man back at it...

Fehr ranks 6th on our team for points per minute played.

Semin .0679
Ovi .0576
Backs .0523
Green .0438
Kozlov .0412
Fehr .0410
Fedorov .0399
Flash .0380
Nylander .0349
Laich .0326
Gordon .0212
Steckel .0210

Fehr plays ZERO PP, and plays most of his minutes with the 3rd line. Yet he scores despite playing on a grinding/energy/scoring line with an inferior pivot.

Put Fehr on the 1st line and he would be killing Kozlov's .0412.

Posted by: JSchon | February 8, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Update: (See what i mean Mr. Bean?)

Guess by now everyone that is not a newbie is starting to see this picture. Picasso couldn't have painted a more beaufiful scenario. Is anyone more excited than me about the beginning of the stretch run?

Looking Ahead: Really really Good News UPDATE!!!

The last 21 games of the season the Caps schedule includes:

13 games against division foe
4 against Atlanta
3 against Tampa
3 against Florida
3 against carolina (2 at home)

2 games against the Maple Leafs

1 against the Bruins (A)
1 against the Penguins (H)
1 against the Flyers (A)
1 against the Predators (A)
1 against the Sabers (H)
1 against the Islanders (A)

Looking good for the stretch run! All we need is a veteran puck moving defensman.


Posted by: windjammersouth | February 8, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Last years Fehr, Flash...

Flash 2007/08 was .0317

Fehr is ahead of schedule.

Posted by: JSchon | February 8, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon: I was really pleased to see Fehr finish that one. It was a pretty play, and I hope it holds good things to come.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I think it's cool that Tarik is coming up to Hershey to see the boys play!
Also, dude from On Frozen Blog was up last night for the Bears/SA game, and John Walton had him on the air for a bit.
I love this affilation!
Go Caps, Go Bears!

Posted by: gtaylor5 | February 8, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Fehr has shown that he is skilled but he is also willing to mix it up to get the tough point.

Remember he was part of 2 of the more memorable goals this year.

Fighting almost half way down the ice along the boards, finally taking control of the puck and feeding it to Bradley for the finish. Unbelievable individual effort.

Then the tic tac toe between him, Flash and Nylander. That was text book pretty.

I even remember his one-timer from Steckel from an very hard angle.

Posted by: JSchon | February 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Green was the Performer of the Night ... and he didn't get a star?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 8, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

JSchon, JSchon, JSchon. Why must you continually support your opinions with facts? I already liked Fehr, and you've ruined my pinata of Schu-u-ultz. (I now see his game as a kind of Zen/Clouseau deal) What next? Some toxic numeral stew suggesting that Theodore's better than Huet?
Stop it man. There's a reason nobody uses statistical analysis to evaluate athletic performance.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 8, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Anyone realize that Green has more points than Zetterberg? In less games. Zetterberg.

Posted by: JSchon | February 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the officiating was so bad last night that they had 4 power plays. That's so many more than the 4 power plays we had. The call on Mo was pretty legit. BB agreed with it. C'mon fans, we are better than this. Whining about the reffing is "loser talk." The boys just need to overcome the calls and maybe start taking less penalties. You take less, they will call less.

I think Green didn't get a star because he was directly responsible for the Fla goal with that trip. That's my only guess. You would think 2 goals would outweigh that for at least a spot.

Posted by: WVPhil | February 8, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Green deserved the hard hat and really should have gotten a star. His empty net goal was crucial last night.

Is it just me or have a lot of our empty net goals been really important goals?

Posted by: Kim-3 | February 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I would say by definition any ENG is going to be important. teams only pull the goalie when they are pressing to tie the game. You score that ENG, you seal the game.

Posted by: WVPhil | February 8, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me or have a lot of our empty net goals been really important goals?
I know some may think of them as fluff goals but I tend to think empty netters are always pretty critical...I mean, you see what a team like the Caps could do when down a goal or two in the weaning moments of a game (against the Kings for instance....or the New Jersey Devils game in which OV scored a buzzer beater comes to mind!!!). Empty netters are so important to help really deflate the opposing team's comeback effort, force the goalie back in the other side (more often than not) thus forcing five one five hockey. It just so happens Caps have been getitng a bunch of bonuses this year in the empty net goals, because quite a few have them come when battling a two man (goalie pulled) advantage!

I am just loving the fact that Caps are getting many of these empty netters from cross ice shots, thats always pretty neat to see! What aim Greenie had last night!!!!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse


yeah every ENG is important, but Green's one was a very difficult shot.

That's one thing I don't understand: if the losing team is on the PP in the final minute, why pulling the goalie? 6 on 4 is not that much better than 5 on 4, but it gives the winning team a huge advantage in that they can just take shots at the net w/o fear of icing. Am I missing something?

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh, if the question was on the difficulty of the empty netters, I apologize. Yes, they have had some serious full-length shots.
Interesting comment on the 6-4. I guess the coaches have the stats somewhere that show you score X more goals at 6-4 than 5-4. I guess they are willing to take the risk because a 2 goal loss isn't really different than a 1 goal loss... unless we are talking soccer. :)

Posted by: WVPhil | February 8, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the answers on the DITL everybody!

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the empty netter last night, I think the Florida coach made a big mistake pulling Vokoun so early. They already had a PP with a full two minutes left, why would they open themselves up to a possible game-ender so early? Bad decision.

Posted by: donknutts | February 8, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Green / Semin for Bouwmeester

Posted by: EsaTikkanen1 | February 8, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

On pulling or NOT pulling the goalie.
This a decision where the coach will always be second guessed not matter which way he chooses, unless they score a goal.

Posted by: opita1 | February 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Bad ice probably plays into our hands better than into their hands with their skills guys, so, if anything, it was an advantage for us."

- Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer

something has to change but sadly enough, i'm pretty sure that nothing will be done.

Posted by: jogabonito | February 8, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know ENGs are always important. Probably just a bad choice of words. I was referencing the fact that a lot of ours have come while also either dealing with the other team on a power play or pretty nifty shots when the other team was gaining momentum and pressing.

I was thinking about Gordon's length of the ice one, Semin's in your face wrist shot, Fehr's tough angle one, etc. Not many of them have been of the tap in close easy shot variety.

Maybe I should have used the term exciting variety vs. important.

Posted by: Kim-3 | February 8, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Unreliable sources told me, that GMGM did try to make a deal for Bouwmeester, but that it failed because Florida would not take OV and Backstrom along with Green and Semin. I think they are reworking the package to be OV/Semin/Green/Nyls which will be more aceptable to Florida.

Posted by: opita1 | February 8, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

When is Teddy gonna lobby getting games moved or G-town out of the Phone booth. You would think all the money G-town pulls in from their students and alumni that they could get their own stadium. Pathetic. I agree with Poti. It is an embarrassment.

Posted by: blanknerc | February 8, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"If i was into guys i would be into Mike Green" is the all time dumbest statement i have ever seen on this blog. Jesus there are some morons with internet access

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I might be wrong - nothing new there - but I think Ted is the majority holder on Linconl Holdings Partnership, a division of WSELP which manages among other things the Verizon Center and the Patriot Center.
As such he has an interest in the income of the facility. The facility is managed by a separate division, contrary to some people's belief ABE Pollin does not manage the facility any more than Ted manage the Caps.
WSELP does not do hockey, pro-fessional or college basketball, concerts, or any type of schedule. They provide a service, a facility and a schedule of when the arena is available.

Having said all of that, I find it ridiculous to:
1. Blame Pollin or WSELP for bad scheduling.
2. The condition of the ice when playing a hockey game whitin hours of some other non-ice event.
3. Ask Ted as if he was a Godfather to disrupt other event schedules so that he can fix the errors of whoever made the Caps schedule.

Things to keep in mind. Pollin built the arena without the help of taxpayer's money. He tried to obtain some help from the city a year or two ago to improve the facility. He was turned down, while the city was expending millions on a new baseball stadium that has been nothing more than a failure so far.

Posted by: opita1 | February 8, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I think Abe is the most disrespected sports owner. Abe made this city a sports town, it is about time he gets some recognition.

Posted by: hock1 | February 8, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game last night. It sounds like an exciting last 5 minutes of play. I wish I had seen it. I don't get it why some people are complaining about Poti, from what I read, I got the impression he was outstanding in the pk.

Posted by: hock1 | February 8, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It appears that ShaMo will be the next Dman to be scratch for the next game for obvious reasons.

Posted by: puckman | February 7, 2009 10:51 PM

Right cuz good players never take penalties. If Pronger played on this team he'd get benched too for a boarding call every now and then

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 8, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Is anybody watching the DET@PIT game? The Pens need the 2 points if they want to get back a playoff spot... the Wings seek to keep the winning streak going, after so many losses and a shaky defense. It's a good game, except I already don't like the refs, two bad decisions against DET. Why are the Pens always getting good calls?

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse


I knew that. But its kind of b.s standard. If Martin St. Louis hits Donald Brashear from behind, he's unlikely to get hurt, no matter how vicious the attempt. Even among two similarly sized guys, the difference between hurt and not can be how they fall, how they're leaning, etc. Kind of an arbitrary way to dish out punishments.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Since it is very unlikely ShaMo will be back next year with his salary demands and worsening play, I bet the Caps try to trade him. The Caps have Alzner playing much better than ShaMo already with a few minor leaguers ready to jump in ShaMo's place. Given salary cap concerns and weak play (esp. at the end of games), I have a hunch ShaMo is not around in a month.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 8, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

He was turned down, while the city was expending millions on a new baseball stadium that has been nothing more than a failure so far, and semi-seriously wondering if they can bring the Redskins back to DC with a new stadium.

/Sorry, had to add onto the Fenty FAIL mentality there.

Posted by: Section117 | February 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

opita, allow me to correct some of your statements. washington sports and entertainment owns the VC, the wiz and the local ticketmaster franchise. they run the arena. licoln holdings owns the caps and mystics and has a 40some % share of wse in addition to first right of refusal for the whole thing when abe decides to sell or the grim reaper decides for him. they run the place. the manage the schedule, the concessions and control the luxury suites and club level. lincoln holdings might get some of the board advertising from caps games, but all in all, he's got a crappy lease. he's willing to accept that cause he can own the whole thing when abe takes a dirt nap.

a few years back, ted and abe got into about caps scheduling. particularly the one playoff round where they had to give up home ice to the pens cause abe had the building booked. since then i think things have evened out, but make no mistake, wse manages everything.

this is one of the busiest facilities in north america. and dont think that will change when ted gets a hold of it. perhaps there will be fewer multi-event days but they need all the events possible cause the building has a huge debt service. there sure is more they could do the manage the ice, but it will never be like edmonton or calgary. on top of that, there is a subway underneath which does not help matters. that aint going away any time soon.

and the vc did get some funding from the city to make improvements ($50M i think). in return the city gets the whole building in like 40 years or so. as far as a failure of the baseball stadium. first, its been 1 year. second, don't confuse the team w/ the facility. i think tax revenues actually exceeded expectations last year. of course, it helps if the tenant would pay the rent and put a real team on the field.

other than that, i think your comments were spot on.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

That's so funny! Pens fans booing Marian Hossa and then he scores and then they boo the team! Penguins SUCK! :D

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

aahhh Hossa was booed all game, and he just scored. DET up 2-0. Loving it :D

what is your opinion on how the ice can be improved?

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

lol *high fives rachel*

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Enjoyed the groan of dismay from the Pens fans with Hossa scoring, good stuff.

Cstanton, I'm willing to bet that Mo isn't here past the trade dead line. Because:

a) he sucks
b) 1.9m

Posted by: Steve_R | February 8, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

3-0 ... this is where Fleury get pulled for Conklin... oh wait, but Conklin plays for Det on the other side of the rink... muahahhahaha :D

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Shutout by Conklin and goal by Hossa... doesn't get much better than this :D

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

But remember how many cups do the Caps have? And how many for the Pens?

Posted by: cocorules | February 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton ShaMo is no Pronger and never will be. Cap hit aside, I'll take #25 over #26 any day of the week. I say Morrisonn will not be offered a contract or arbitration at the end of the year. Caps will let him walk with #27 and some other HB's to fill his spot. He's not even worth his salary cap hit of $1.975 mil this year.

Bottom line, his stupid penalties (check from behind and delay of game) and BBs comments in the post game press conference is a precursor that he'll sit for the next game.

Posted by: puckman | February 8, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, mauree! *high five!* :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@coco: If only this were the National History League. Have fun with your Crybaby and your memories; the future is bright and RED.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 8, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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