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Caps 4, Coyotes 2

Coach Bruce Boudreau was worried that there might be a emotional letdown tonight against an unfamiliar Coyotes' team. His worries, as it turned out, were unfounded.

The Caps took a two-goal lead late in the second period, and rookie goaltender Michal Neuvirth helped them hang on for a 4-2 victory, their sixth in a row overall, 10th in the past 11 games and sixth straight at Verizon Center.

Check out my gamer here, then come on back for some quick notes quotes and thoughts from tonight:

*Alexander Semin was awesome again, continuing his stretch of standout efforts. He finished with a goal and three assists, which included one sublime pass through a pair of Coyotes right to Brooks Laich, who tipped the puck up and over Ilya Bryzgalov. Semin now has eight assists in the last five games.

"Sometimes I shoot and score," he said through an interpreter. "Sometimes I give passes."

Tonight it was both. Because after setting up goals for Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr, Semin tallied his 21st, which moved him into a tie with Nicklas Backstrom for second on the Caps in goals. Semin's four points were a season high.

Boudreau on Semin's assist on Laich's goal:

*I think it's time to stop wondering Eric Fehr is going to break out. The big winger had a goal and an assist (both on the power play) giving him 26 points on the season, one more than he had in 61 games last year. That power play goal, by the way, was only his second. (More on him tomorrow from Gene).

*Sami Lepisto had a rough night in his first game against his former teammates. He took two minor penalties and Fehr got his goal after his initial shot hit Lepisto's shin pad and came right back out to the Caps' winger.

*Check out Gene Wang's post on Michal Neuvirth's bounce back night.

*The Coyotes took three shots on the power play. They took six shots shorthanded. Think about that for a second.

*Everyone knows about the Caps' power play and how dangerous it can be. Tonight, the penalty kill deserved the hard hat. The unit killed off all five shorthanded situations it faced and limited the Coyotes to three shots in 8:02 of power play time. The shorthanded ice time leaders were Tom Poti (5:11), David Steckel (4:29) and Jeff Schultz (4:02).

"In the end, it comes down to a special teams contest and we lost that contest tonight," Phoenix Coach Dave Tippett said.

No practice tomorrow. The team will return to the ice Monday at 10:30 at KCI.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 24, 2010; 12:09 AM ET
 | Tags: Phoenix Coyotes  
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Next: Morning roundup: Fehr finally breaks out

Comments

Great game Neuvy! Glad to see ya back on track.I thought the caps were awesome tonight and even better was semin.When that guy wants to play he's relentless.Problem is,we dont know if came to play day in day out.Sure he's hot now but he could mess up next game.And its not cause of skill and just had a bad game,its just cause he didnt come to play.Once he gets that mental aspect fixed he'll be unstoppable.And thats the alex semin we all want and luv.But atleast hes doin fine now and thats all we can ask for.I think semin is great and i hope he stays with the caps for a loong time.Great job tonight semin,GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | January 24, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Now that the caps are on a big roll,I think they should bring up holtby for a game just to check his NHL skill.One game wont hurt,plus when we put in a rookie goalie for his first time,they usually play great.Just a suggestion!GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | January 24, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I need to confess something to everyone here, and it's going to be tough.

Tonight I missed my second Caps game of the season. I feel like I should apologize to you all because it doesn't happen often. It seems that I missed a great game, and I promise not to miss any more of the next 15 game at the very least.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 24, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Semin was even better tonight than the 4 points would indicate. Time after time, he was manuveuring and passing to set up scoring chances for the Caps. This might have been the best game I've seen him play.

Posted by: timmyv38 | January 24, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Amazing how GMGM keeps hitting the target on these talent eval.

Fehr is the latest. After so many years of injuries & not producing. The guy is on pace for 20 goals.

That 3rd line is just fun to watch with Chimera now hammering the corners & Fehr going to the net.

The depth @ all position is welcomed.

Posted by: Rocc00 | January 24, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

No problem Aldred, life happens :)

Just want to point out, that it ended up being a 4-2 victory, unless Tarik does not like to count empty netters that come in the last 10 or so seconds of a game. I think though that it was a beauty of a EN, mostly due to the pass from Semin that seemed to resemble the pass he made to Flash in the Pittsburgh game for the game winning breakaway goal.

I think that this was a very important win. This game would easily have been a letdown game in the past, but the fact that they played hard and patiently shows maturity.

Not the prettiest of games, but its a long season, and you got to get the points in varieties of ways!

And please Nuevy, sure you have had some shaky starts/periods in net, but you have shown wayyy more upside than downside, and frankly, those previous two games were not the greatest games for the team as a whole (though I loved that they stood up for each other in Tampa, and that they did come back to win in Sunrise!)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 24, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

*Neuvy

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 24, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Semin was pressed up against the penalty box glass like that toward the end? It was so funny!

Posted by: kinokonoko | January 24, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Semin was pressed up against the penalty box glass like that toward the end? It was so funny!

Posted by: kinokonoko | January 24, 2010 7:47 AM |


Funny you mention that. I was watching with one of my roommates last night, and we noticed the same thing. My roommate was convinced that he was doing us a favor, since we always like when they show the red-head who works the penalty box. She had been blocked by a player in the previous penalty, so we joked that Semin was moving out of the way so we could see her.

We decided to give him the hard-hat last night for that alone.

Ladies- you get to gush over all the players. We men, get the girl in the sin bin. I'm good with it since she probably has more hockey knowledge than any of the ice girls.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 24, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I laughed when I heard Neuvy's quote "I felt like my career was over."

Just a little bit dramatic, Neuvy? ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | January 24, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Poti got the hard hat last night.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216

It's like young kids to be over dramatic. Neuvy thinking his career is over. And Varly once saying he'd kill himself if he couldn't go to the Olynpics. These kids!

(BTW, Varly should not be left alone for the next 3 weeks and all breakables should be placed out of reach from him.)


Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it's that unusual for some of these guys to be unsecure and doubting themselves till they establish themselves in the league.

I remember Luc Robitaille saying in an interview after he was inducted to the Hall of Fame last year that he felt that he would be sent home after playing his first few games in his rookie season.

Posted by: joek443 | January 24, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216

miseaujeu on the previous thread pointed out the veteran's perspective from Theodore who tries not to get too high or too low after any game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: Good point with that Theo quote. Neuvy just needed to understand he hit a bump in the road, which happens to all young goalies. He then had a week with no playing time but he obviously practiced very hard with Irbe and it payed off last night. He was huge in the last few minute helping us kill off those penalties.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 24, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I can't spell. payed = paid.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 24, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

and Michael Jordan was cut from his jr. high or high school team.

if you saw his basketball hall of fame induction speech last year, he still has not gotten over it.

Posted by: joek443 | January 24, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone have the feeling that these four line combos that Bruce is running could be the best in the league top to bottom? The top 3 lines are all putting points on the board and the fourth line could possibly be the best fourth line in the NHL.

It's a thing of beauty when Stecks, Brads, and Lang/Gordo start forechecking and hammering guys in the corner.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 24, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, I think you're great, but you have a tendency to avoid giving Semin his due. You mention it above, but your print article fails to say much of anything about Semin or the fact that he had a hand in EVERY caps goal.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@jsnnyd1: fourth line is excellent. Matts (as in Sundin) Bradley's speed, hands, and energy are often discounted by the other teams. Sadly, his paperface is not. Moreover, his work ethic and attitude are very important in the lockerroom. He's a keeper.

Posted by: phknlwyr | January 24, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I am happy to hear that people are starting to see and appreciate the great play of Semin, his technical knowledge of the game allows him to be calm and in control during the power play which provides great scoring opportunities for his line-mates, his quick and accurate return passes are a thing of beauty and someday when he has had a steady line-mate for a while they will be fully exploited. His puck control and vision of the play in the ice is second to none.

But, hey! Lest trade him.

Posted by: hock1 | January 24, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Lest? LOL
No. I don't work at the Post, I am just a bad typist, speller and grammarian.

Posted by: hock1 | January 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Someone should mention to Neuvy that Marty Brodeur was pulled in two games recently, both against the Islanders. Does Marty think his NHL career is over? I hope Neuvy will keep this all in perspective!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | January 24, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

# 38 for phoenix was the reason they had more shorthanded shots than on the pp. that guy was everywhere for them on the pk

Posted by: hockeypunk | January 24, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"I am happy to hear that people are starting to see and appreciate the great play of Semin..."

I don't think anyone ever questioned that, in fact I am worried they are going to lose him a in a couple years because someone is going to want to pay that guy huge $$$.

I think his "toughness" was questioned a little last year, but I think even after playing Pitt in the playoffs that has improved this year.

You can see it, people have been bodying him all year and he's held up better then well.

Last year I think we were all hoping the Caps would win a Cup, but they are clearly the best team in hockey right now. All of thier lines produce and they have 3 goalies right now who can win for you on any given night.

I think thier biggest improvement this year has been defense. They were still lacking there at the start of the season but I think they have been wonderful for the last month or so. Those guys have really stepped it up.

Still lots of season left and lots can happen, but this team is just scary good. Much nicer then those Dino Ciccirelli years. ;);)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 24, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Semin also had four points in the Dec. 3 game against FL -- 2 goals & 2 assists -- so last night he matched his season high.

Posted by: Steakum | January 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@rmcazz

I get the feeling that if Semin were to leave the Caps, it'd be for the KHL and not to another NHL team. He seems like a player who needs to be comfortable in his surroundings and who he's playing with. I think a hometown/Ovie discount will play heavily in his contract talks next season.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 24, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Off the subject a bit, but does anyone know if there's been any progress on the talks between DirecTV and Comcast as to the return of Versus on DirecTV? Playoffs are getting dangerously close and I'd rather watch the Caps at home than a sports bar.

Posted by: JG21 | January 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Bears score 8 against the Moose on Friday, 8 more on Saturday. It's almost scary how good this team is. Maybe better than last year, and that's saying a lot. Really hoping they don't pull a "san jose" and tank in the first round of playoffs.

http://www.pennlive.com/hersheybears/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/126430890943570.xml&coll=1

Posted by: tess2201 | January 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

if the caps beat chicago, I think they'll be the favourites all around to win the cup.

Posted by: j762 | January 24, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Amazing how GMGM keeps hitting the target on these talent eval.

Fehr is the latest. After so many years of injuries & not producing. The guy is on pace for 20 goals."

So you think Fehr will end up being better than Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, etc?

Posted by: alanb1 | January 24, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice article, Tess. The Bears are averaging 7.4 goals in their current 5 game win streak and have won 17 of 18. Is there something in the water up there? I guess their goalies go into games thinking "If I can just hold the other team to 5 or fewer, we have a good chance."

Posted by: zmega | January 24, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

flyers and pens going at each other. how good would it be that they beat each other up in round one of the playoffs.

Posted by: samb99 | January 24, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

philly gets a goal taken away because of a penalty and the pens tie the game on the PP...serves philly just right

Posted by: joek443 | January 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

That game had been chock full of penalties. Me, I'm rooting for the Flyers since I consider them the lesser of two evils. I root for ANY other team against the Pens. Even New Jersey, Buffalo, the Flyers, and those two teams from NY.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@samb99

I would also like that. A first round playoff series between the Flyers and the Pens that lasts 7 games and takes a lot out of both teams and where the winner has nothing left for Round 2.

(Too bad the Pens had something left for Round 2 last year.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Five Capitals are now in the top 14 this year so far in points per minute (minimum 30 games played), as of now.

ESPN calls it PROD, and expresses it as minutes per point, so lower is better. Here are your top 20:

1. OVECHKIN 13:12
2. H. Sedin 13:16
3. D. Sedin 13:20
4. J. Thornton 15:53
5. SEMIN 16:22
6. B. Richards 17:05
7. P. Kane 17:16
8. S. Crosby 17:28
9. I. Kovalchuk 17:51
10. M. Gaborik 17:55
11. BACKSTROM 18:32
12. FEHR 18:46
13. D. Heatley 18:58
14. FLEISCHMANN 19:08
15. E. Malkin 19:15
16. Z. Parise 19:28
17. S. Stamkos 19:29
18. P. Marleau 19:33
19. T. Connolly 19:43
20. M. St. Louis 20:13

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

youaresquishy: Semin, Backstrom, Fehr, Flash.

Just so happens to be four of the five guys currently who need to be locked up long-term (the other being Schultz, and I realize they can't extend Semin now until This coming July).

Anyway, you just know these guys' agents have this list too. The numbers I have in my spreadsheet for next year are 6.5 for Backie (better than Kane and Toews), 3.3 for Flash (an average of about ten guys, all of whom he's outplaying at present), 2.0 for Fehr and 1.75 for Schultz. I also have Semin long-term at 6.2.

I am thinking now with Schultz near top of +/-, and him being RFA, and this the compensation from last year:

$994,433 or below ..................... None
Over $994,433 to $1,506,716...... Third-round choice
Over $1,506,716 to $3,013,434.... Second-round choice
Over $3,013,434 to $4,520,150.... First-round and third-round choice
Over $4,520,150 to $6,026,867.... First-round, second-round and third-round choice
Over $6,026,867 to $7,533,584.... 2 first-round choices, 1 second- and 1 third-round choice
Over $7,533,584 - Four first-round choices

that Schultz could easily get a $3M yearly offer, over 4 years, that would cost the offering team only a #2 pick.

McPhee's job, tough today, will get harder.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 24, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

At least the Caps don't have the cap problems that the Blackhawks have. I heard that they have something like 60 mill committed to their top 8 or 10 guys for next year. Something will have to give. They really need to win it this year or else.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

That's for sure, tominfl1, about GMGM's job getting more difficult. This season would probably be a really good time to go ahead and win the Cup.

On the other hand, I'm not particularly worried about what the future holds, whether you're talking short-term or long-term. There will be a point at which the Caps can't sign a player or two or three that they really want to sign, and that point might well be right after this year. But there's some real talent in Hershey.

Hershey is 9 points ahead of the rest of the AHL.

Hershey is leading the AHL in goals scored by a mile (they have 189 and the second-best team has only 153).

Hershey is leading the AHL in goals allowed per game (one team is tied in goals allowed but has played one fewer game so far).

Clearly, there is a load of talent in the Capitals' future.

http://theahl.com/stats/statdisplay.php?type=standings#

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 24, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

alanb1: "So you think Fehr will end up being better than Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, etc?"

Maybe not. But right now he's looking a lot better than Zherdev, Jessiman,and Nilsson, all guys taken ahead of him in 2003. When you're drafting 18 you can't expect to get an Ovie, you just hope you have a guy who will be a top 9 forward or top 4 defenseman. If Fehr can finally stay healthy, he should be a top 9 for years to come.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

And there is no way Caps are losing Backstrom. I worry more about Semin, so I'm glad he's going to be staying at least through next year.

I could handle losing Fleischmann and Fehr, but, y'know, forget about the stats--they are both looking very, very good this year just about every time I see them on the ice. I wonder if this is a contract year thing or if they will continue this kind of play indefinitely. It sure is fun to watch though.

I love this team.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Hartnell called for goalie interference, when he was cearly cross checked into the goalie. Flyers goal called back and poper play given to the pens, which they score on.

pens on NBC this week, next week, and the following.

Give me a break.

Posted by: griz0615 | January 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Kimmo Timonen with an awful delay of game penalty with 3 minutes to go gives the game to Pittsburgh. Imagine what would be said on this board if one of the Caps d-men did something so stupid.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@griz0615: Yes, that was an awful call, but they did a quick make up a few seconds later when Pronger fell down in front of the net and thehy called a cross check.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

NBC's incompetence isn't limited to late night programming. How about sports programming? We sure see the Flyers a lot, for a 9th place team. Notre Dame football is the worst - they have forced that down the public's throats for years. I take great pleasure in seeing Notre Dame lose year after year (and the Flyers too, of course). NBC claims the ratings justify their programming decisions, but I'm not buying it.

Posted by: zmega | January 24, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to hear Joe B and Laughlin lightly discuss Niedermayer last night. Usually they stay clear of any subjects that aren't directly in front of them. I'm not saying it means anything, just interesting. They barely mentioned Nylander when he was being Nylandered.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yeah.....NBC is full of crap especially how they treated coco

Posted by: jleftwing97 | January 24, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I would forgive all of NBC if they would just get rid of Pierre McGuire.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond:

What did they say about Niedermayer? I was at the game so I didn't hear it.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | January 24, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Niedermayer is -16 so far this season after a -8 last year. Please don't give anything up for him.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

youare squishy: As much as I like Semin, given the choice of losing Semin or Flash AND Fehr, I'd lose Semin. I think.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 24, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Niedermayer is -16 so far this season after a -8 last year. Please don't give anything up for him.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

he would still be the second best d-man on the Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | January 24, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy & tominfl1

I would have to lose either Semin, Fehr, or Fleischmann. I know it's asking for a lot and I don't expect to see them here for their entire careers. But I'd like to see them around for the next 3-5 years. Time for the "I want to play with Ovi" and "I like playing with this group of guys" and "This group of guys have a great chance of winning the Stanley Cup" discounts.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@joek443: Not from what I've seen this year. I'm a huge Niedermayer fan, but he looks done to me.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan

Especially if the delay of game penalty happened to Schultz. (He was really savaged here big time last year -- and on any other Capitals related board.)

I personally think people were too hard on Schultz.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 24, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@ ccCapsfan

well he still was good enough to make the Canadian Olympic team, wasn't he?

Posted by: joek443 | January 24, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@joek443: Not the only mistake Yzerman made with that team.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Niedermayer is playing on a team out of the playoff hunt with a negative goal differential. It would make sense that he's a minus player. Sarge is plus 23 or so. Who would you rather have for a playoff run? And that's not meant as a slight to cincocinco.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 24, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

When you play for a team with the #1 goal differential in the league, which the Caps now have at +52, your chances of having a good +/- are far better.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 24, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1: He hasn't looked good the last two seasons. If we could get him for next to nothing I would take a chance that he would discover the fountain of youth playing with our boys, but I'm just not convinced there is much left.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the current +/- situation, the price for Niedermeyer will be sky high. Assuming the Ducks have capitualted by the deadline, there will be at least 10-15 teams willing to "upgrade" their D at a "reasonable" cost.

Niedermeyer, at worst, will be like that former Wall St darling that everyone loved to buy and swap and, despite current conditions, there will be plenty of traders out there who judge him based on an old valuation.

At best, some team will consider him a "Cup changer."

The best team to acquire Niedermeyer?

Ha! That's easy to predict, when you've been given the GIFT.

He goes to the Islanders for a top prospect, a second tier prospect and the Isles 1st rounder in the '10 draft.

Sounds goofy, eh? Well, the Isles are a top blueliner and a top center from going deep into the playoffs.

You heard it here first.

Signed, Nostrathomasinfl1

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@devilscapsgal
Sorry, JoeB asked Craig if getting Neidermayer would be a good thing for the Caps and he answered with a big yes. Normally they don't discuss anything except game action or joke around with each other. Probably just talk, but seemed a little surprising. If the Caps do make a deal for a defenseman I hope they only give us picks. I hate to see Fleischmann, etc. given up in a trade.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 24, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Albertson's has recently had on sale 12 oz bags of peanuts for $1/bag. I went today and bought steak and cod from Albertson's and I noticed that those bags of peanuts are now back to regular price of $1.99/bag.

It occurred to me that had I bought one million bags of peanuts, I would have saved one million dollars - and that, therefore, I'd be a millionaire.

I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody. Instead I'm just a bum.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 24, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@Nostrathomasinfl1: You may be right. That is how lousy franchises (Islanders) stay lousy.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 24, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't give up the ranch for neidermayer, but I would be willing to part with a pick or two and/or a prospect not named alzner, carlson, gustafson, johanson

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 24, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of baby Gus, do we know if he is having a good year or not in Sweden?

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 24, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

We have had some people who follow hockey in Sweden on CI from time to time, so maybe they could update us. Baby Gus didn't make the national team for the World Juniors, which I take as a bad sign.

Posted by: zmega | January 24, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Tried to find stats on the Borås HC website but didn't see anything that looked like stats. As for Neidermayer +/- is a stat that can be very misleading. Don't forget Shultz is one of the best in the league and I don't think many would put him in the top 5-10 in the league on D. Don't forget Federov in the year before he came to the Caps was a -7 and was a -3 in the first part of the year we got him but he was VERY valuable to the team. I am not saying trade a lot to get Neidermayer but if we could trade say Fehr, who I like, so that we can get Neidermayer and the Ducks can get Fehr to resign and probably a pick or two as well. I say Fehr because he is someone who it seems we will not be able to resign and will not get more then probably a second round pick for him with restriced FA. Now if they want Alzner or Carlson or one of our young goalies then I would say look elsewhere or stay put but I don't think the +/- of Neidermayer should keep the Caps away from him.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 24, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Tried to find stats on the Borås HC website but didn't see anything that looked like stats. As for Neidermayer +/- is a stat that can be very misleading. Don't forget Shultz is one of the best in the league and I don't think many would put him in the top 5-10 in the league on D. Don't forget Federov in the year before he came to the Caps was a -7 and was a -3 in the first part of the year we got him but he was VERY valuable to the team. I am not saying trade a lot to get Neidermayer but if we could trade say Fehr, who I like, so that we can get Neidermayer and the Ducks can get Fehr to resign and probably a pick or two as well. I say Fehr because he is someone who it seems we will not be able to resign and will not get more then probably a second round pick for him with restriced FA. Now if they want Alzner or Carlson or one of our young goalies then I would say look elsewhere or stay put but I don't think the +/- of Neidermayer should keep the Caps away from him.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 24, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Always love to see fehr score what a bright player

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 25, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Digest this one:

A source told sportsnet.ca Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin is so upset about having to pay 18 per cent of his salary to escrow he is prepared to consider leaving the Capitals after this season. Sources say Ovechkin expressed his displeasure with having to pay escrow during an NHLPA conference call meant to talk about the direction of the organization.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | January 25, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Digest this one:

A source told sportsnet.ca Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin is so upset about having to pay 18 per cent of his salary to escrow he is prepared to consider leaving the Capitals after this season. Sources say Ovechkin expressed his displeasure with having to pay escrow during an NHLPA conference call meant to talk about the direction of the organization.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | January 25, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

This is old news, Ovi addressed it and said it's BS -- nothing to digest.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 25, 2010 4:51 AM | Report abuse

To get a better view on Ovi and how he views taxes, etc. than from "a source," check out this translation by the Alex Ovetjkin blog of a fantastic interview by Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport. Really a terrific window into Ovi with a completely different tenor than American interviews --

http://alexovetjkin.blogspot.com/2010/01/epic-lysenkovs-interview-with-ovechkin.html

Posted by: Sonyask | January 25, 2010 4:58 AM | Report abuse

Sonyask links to an absolutely great in depth interview with Ovi that touches upon a variety of subjects including this topic, money, the NHL, and how he feels about the Capitals. He is committed to this team and to the NHL. Moreover if you listen to the reporter's interview after practice (I believe during the Southeastern sweep perhaps before the Thrashers, the reporters ask him about this topic. Ovi was very dry in his wit about it as well as showed how little he thought of the claim: said something to the effect of "yeah I have a plane waiting for me after this game..

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 25, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

"Don't forget Shultz is one of the best in the league and I don't think many would put him in the top 5-10 in the league on D."

Not yet, but he is getting air time on the NHL Network a lot as of late. It appears he is considered a solid stay at home defenseman by a lot of people outside the CI world. If the general consensus is we need a punishing stay at home defenseman, why would anyone want to rent a high priced puck moving defenseman? I don't support making roster changes or giving up prospects for a player we don't need. I'd much rather see the Caps get ahold of a the type of defenseman we need that might even consider staying around for a couple of years after this season so we can bag a few Cups.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 25, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey, what do you all think of trying to get Jovanoski from the Coyotes? I'm sure in their finacial situation they would be willing to unload his salary. I know their playoff hopes would take a hit, but would you rather have Jovo-Cop or Sheldon Souray?

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 25, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 25, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

How about neither? Jovo-Cop is considered a bum who can't stay out of the box in PHX, and I don't think the Caps want to get into the Souray bidding war. The big "D" problem the Caps have solved this season is team defense. Our forwards are actually back-checking now and the games show it. We have our big shutdown d-men, they just never got support from the other three guys on the ice until now. You could be Rod Langway, and stopping a sustained 4 on 2 would still be a 50-50 shot.

Posted by: rovingbandit | January 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I love Brooks Laich going old-school after getting his helmet knocked off against the Coyotes!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2717/4302234684_9164636d6d.jpg

Posted by: Pete_OWP | January 25, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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