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Caps 4, Panthers 1

The Caps picked up their ninth straight win tonight. But all of the chatter after the game was about the team's star defenseman.

Mike Green received a penalty for elbowing Michael Frolik in the the head in the first period, then sustained a right knee injury late in the second period and did not return.

Both could prove costly.

TSN's panel of analysts certainly seemed to think that Green will receive a suspension for the elbow, which earned him a two minute minor. He was apparently still angry about getting hit by Cory Stillman earlier on that same shift.

Green has never been suspended, but the league has been talking about getting tough on head shots.

Check out the elbow here:

"There is nothing defensible about this play in my opinion," Ray Ferraro said. "This, in my opinion, is a suspendable play."

Green said after the game that he was not trying to throw an elbow.

"I didn't mean to elbow him," he said. "I might have got it up. I thought it was my shoulder."

As Darren Dreger pointed out, NHL VP Colin Campbell likely won't handle the decision because his son, Gregory Campbell, plays for the Panthers. If that's the case, Mike Murphy will make the ruling.

Check out my gamer here, then come on back for a few additional notes:

*The Caps can match the franchise's longest winning streak - 10 games - on Sunday against the Lightning.

*They've scored four or more goals in five straight games and 12 of 13. They've also outscored their opponents 19-3 in the third period during the winning streak.

*Since being blanked in his first game as Caps captain, Alex Ovechkin has eight goals, 16 assists and a plus/minus rating of +16 in the past 12 games.

*Nicklas Backstrom equaled his career high for goals (22) from a year ago; Jeff Schultz, with his second goal of the season, moved three points from matching his career high point total (18) set in 2007-08.

*Michal Neuvirth has now won his last three starts and has stopped 104 of the last 108 shots he's faced.

That's it from me. Check back tomorrow for an update on Green.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 30, 2010; 12:14 AM ET
 
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Next: Green not skating (updated)

Comments

I have a feeling that Green will get a 1 or 2 game suspension but Caps will be just fine with Carlson getting more experience. Greenie may want to control his attitude before a bum like Orr or Carcillo will seriously injure him. Go Caps

Posted by: sdima | January 30, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why, but Green is such a target for negativity. Whether it's people bashing him for poor defensive play, bad turnovers, or even this hit. He's never had a suspension, and shouldn't get one now.

Mike Richards didn't get suspended for his vicious hit, and Kulikov won't get suspended for his knee-to-knee on Green (which was no worse than Ovi's suspended knee-on-knee hit).

but hey, if they suspend him, then they suspend him. we'll have someone else step in for a couple games as usual. it won't stop us from dominating the East!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 30, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

The refs let the game get out of hand. They had been hammering on a few Caps and tempers were getting short. It was a poorly officiated game. I think Mike deserved the penalty but alot was missed before that.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | January 30, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Green's never been suspended for a hit before. No chance he should be suspended for this one. I wouldn't be surprised if he's given the afternoon off on Sunday... but then again... the Lightning put a beating on the Caps last time out. 10 straight plus revenge is hard to watch from the luxury suites.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 30, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

if anyone should be suspended, it should be the guy who hurt greenie. that was a dirty play. in my opinion, dirtier than alex ovechkin's hit on gleason that got him the 2 game suspension. true,though, this elbow looks pretty bad...

Posted by: RussianMachineNeverBreaks | January 30, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

a suspension for green would be good i think to not only punish him but to keep his ego in check and show the caps they can easily win without him.

Posted by: SovietSnipes | January 30, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

I was just browsing through the ESPN mailbag when I came across what I can only assume was an unbiased question about the Caps coming from Unionville, the heartland of PA.

In response, I don't think I will ever understand how someone can try to differentiate a Cup contender from a weaker team because of the division in which they play. A team plays 18 games against their division and 16 games against the other divisions in their conference.

How can someone really consider a team's season to be drastically affected by a total of 4 potential points? And, I don't think I'm the first Caps/hockey fan to say that I'd love for us to play Philly, the Pens' and the Rangers 6 times every season...

Posted by: Ridley17 | January 30, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Greenie led with his elbow. It was wrong but it wasn't too high. Might get him the suspension, might not, but I don't think anyone has it in for Mikey or wants to punish us unjustly. If he gets a game or two, I can see why, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets off.

I disagree that the Kulikov knee was dirty -- that was very subtle; nowhere near what got Ovi suspended. You have to look hard for that knee even in slo-mo. Given the speed with which these guys play, I'm not going to fault the guy for any more than trying to land a good check.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Can you believe Schultzie scored last night? After Erskine got one 2 games ago and then ShaMo the last, the Caps have so much scoring prowess that they just ticked through the 3 regulars, in order, who had gone the most games without scoring. I think Sarge had gone about 41 games. Who do you think is next on the list? Look out Bolts.

Sarge, like all our D, has been doing a great job keeping it in the zone and throwing it on net whenever he gets the chance. Glad to see him get another.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I see Tarik covered it in the print ed -- 42 games between goals for Sarge, and on an honest shot, as opposed to that 100 foot seeing eye bouncer in Atlanta that was his first goal.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

"The Capitals killed five penalties and are 25 for 26 over the last six games." -- ESPN Not too shabby...

Posted by: terlin1 | January 30, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

@ Ridley

Yeah that's what we hear all the time about playing in the "southleast" division. But if memory serves me correct, the Penguins won more points last year from the Southeast then the Caps did.

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 30, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind I was way off, thats what I get for hearing things and repeating them, haha.

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 30, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Frolik got up and was uninjured. If Green gets suspended, it will be the first time the NHL handles a call properly. And by properly, I mean punishing based on the act and not on the outcome of said act.
It was an elbow to the head. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 30, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Frolik got up and was uninjured. If Green gets suspended, it will be the first time the NHL handles a call properly. And by properly, I mean punishing based on the act and not on the outcome of said act.
It was an elbow to the head. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 30, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

That's what makes me think there maybe no suspension.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

So does Neuvy start on Sunday? We have such a delimma. Theo was hot but got hurt, now Neuvy is hot. Who do we start?!

Posted by: rachel216 | January 30, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

a suspension for green would be good i think to not only punish him but to keep his ego in check and show the caps they can easily win without him.

Posted by: SovietSnipes | January 30, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

this is quite a hilarious comment coming from the guy who dreams of seeing Green get serously injured

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216:

The question is, how to keep both of them happy ... alternate ?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 30, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I think Theo starts tomorrow. both tenders have been solid.

To answer my own question above about the Caps player with the longest span between goals, this is from Dave Nichols at bleacherreport: "With Schultz's goal, the longest scoring drought on the team now belongs to Boyd Gordon at a lengthy nine games."

Incredible!

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

they have dodged two bullets this season assuming Green isn't seriously hurt as reported so far and hopefully Varly will be back soon as well.

the rest of the regular season is pretty much meaningless as far as I'm concerned... you just hope they will all be healthy going into the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I am just 2 biased, but I watched the elbow hit like 5X and I think it was unintentional...it looked as if he was actuly trying to lower the elbow befoe the hit, but a little was still up.

I don't understand why the knee hit isn't being considered at least reckless...I am not saying he did it on purpose, but I saw the knee come out at full speed on the play...aren't players responsible for their hits no matter what the intention was? I truly believe hisknee was clearly sticking out... you can't go hard on OV and then let it go against one of our guys.

If Green gets suspended, then he does...but the league needs to be more consistent...If a player did that to one of our guys, we would be calling for action.

Posted by: capscoach | January 30, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

@SovietSnipes and joek216

"... show the caps they can easily win without him."

12 goals, 40 assists, 140 shots on goal - quite easily to compensate for ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 30, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Dude, where did all these trolls come from this morning? I thought the Green/Frolik hit was just one of those things. Canadian press is discussing whether Frolik should be suspended. Personally, I don't think so. But all this talk about Green being the dirty one is pretty silly. Here's a tip for those of you new to hockey and this blog: usually the one with the puck (Green) is trying to avoid hits.

I'm not sure I buy that it's just a charley horse. Yeah, the make you sore to move, but would they have lying motionless on the ice? Not so sure about that.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 30, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

SovietSnipes not only hates Green as a player, but he hates him as a person as well.

SovietSnipes: This is getting old and really annoying. We get it, you hate the guy, you don't need to keep reiterating it and talking about how much you wish he could get seriously injured or suspended. I'm starting to think that YOU are the one with an ego and just want attention.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 30, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Ferraro and Drager, the TSN hacks, were calling for Greenie to be suspended. Interestly, the NHL Network "NHL on the Fly" panel--Denny Potvin, Gary Green, and the moderator--didn't even mention the elbow or the potential for discipline...I think they got it right...for whatever reason, Ferraro and Drager don't like the Caps...I think Ferraro was playing for the Isles when Hunter gooned Turgeon...

Posted by: NorthFork1 | January 30, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Well I read the article and aparently even BB thinks the hit on Green was clean...so guess my caps biased eyes were a bit too foggy! Hope Green is ok and doensn't have to miss any games.

Posted by: capscoach | January 30, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey

I agree with your comments and I'm also concerned about the so-called "charley horse" ... I have had enough of them by myself ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 30, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

..."interestingly..." duh...

Posted by: NorthFork1 | January 30, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I think they might suspend Green for a game. It's hard to say what the intent is but the hit looks bad on replay and it was a shot to the head. Would be surprised if they gave him more than one because Frolik wasn't injured. But if they want to get high hits out of the game they need to give out some punishment even if the guy isn't hurt.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 30, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought both of those hits were clean... it would be kinda laughable to suspend Green with that hit after the NHL did nothing on Richards for the hit on Booth who has missed 3 months so far...

I think the Panthers could have used him last night

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree that it may be suspension worthy. It was a shot with the elbow toward the head. 3 things mitigate against: Frolik not hurt (I don't think it should be a factor, but it is); Green's not a repeat offender; the elbow was not high.

Nonetheless, it was an elbow toward the head and suspension-worthy.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I believe teams play 24 games against teams in their division (6 games against 4 teams), and 20 games against teams outside their division but in their conference (4 games against 5 teams).

But yeah, the Capitals' four extra games against the weaker teams in the Southeast isn't worth crying over. Especially when some teams outside our division can't beat us head-to-head.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 30, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

To all the people who refer to the South East Division as the South Least, here are some statistics.

I added up the total points earned for all South East teams and the total points earned by the North East teams. The South East teams collectively have 287 points while the North East have 289. A difference of one win. Only one win. Examine the standings closely. Washington, in first place, is several points ahead of Buffalo. Ottawa, 2nd in NE, is several points ahead of Atlanta, the SE runner up. The third and fourth place teams are about even (1 point separation at most). And the last place teams are about even (Toronto 2 points ahead of Carolina). So, if anyone wants to make fun of the South East division for being a bad team, they can make fun of the North East as well. (North Least division.) Okay, that's mean but I'm just saying.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 30, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

... so if we take the 3 things into consideration in judging the hit of Kulikov:
1) Green is hurt
2) is Kulikov a repeat offender? I think, no
3) the knee was clearly sticking out

conclusion? ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 30, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I can't stand those TSN people. They're all about having something to talk about and controversy. I don't care what they say. I don't think Greenie will get suspended.

I know it's completely different but remember when Koci hit Greenie and didn't get suspended? That was way worse than this.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 30, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln1--There was nothing about the Kulikov hit that seemed dirty to me. The knee was barely there. I didn't see a bad hit.

Take a look at the Green hit again, and consider the league declarations on head shots of late.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I know all good things, like winning streaks, must come to an end, but I still want them to beat Tampa on Sunday. Given the fact that Tampa was acting so goony AFTER they basically had the game won, I would like the Caps to clean their clocks.

It would be fitting if Bradley scored a couple of goals. Bradley was really looking good yesterday and had several chances, but like a lot of the Caps, could not put the puck in the net.

Bradley, Ovi's body guard. In a bit of foreshadowing, one can view the video of the time where Bradley and Ovi were going to the Washington Car Show back in Ovi's rookie year and was basically the spokesman.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 30, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I have a hard time believing that Green only has a charlie horse. It looked like a direct knee-on-knee and his leg hyperextended a bit. Having a charlie horse hurts for sure but it usually doesn't prevent a the person from putting weight on the leg, just from bending it easily. Clearly Green didn't want to put weight on it when he was taken off the ice.

How many games have we heard the Caps says that a player "could return" after leaving a game and the player never did. It happened with Ovi in Carolina, Backstrom in LA and now Green yesterday. The Caps methods for obfuscating the nature of injuries has become almost laughable. I would be surprised if Green plays on Sunday.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 30, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

I just used your "3 things" ...

... and I agree that the hit wasn't dirty at all (in my view) ... however, those athletes have supreme body control and therefore, even if the speed of the game is very high, they know, what they are doing ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 30, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

one guy from the Panthers that I'd like to see playing for the Caps in the playoffs is McCabe... he could help them

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

NINE!!!!!!!!

Wow.

Thoughts:


--Good win to extend the streak against a talented goaltender--remember, Vokoun is better than his record, and we have always had to work extra-hard to beat him.

--Latter part of the third period was a bit sloppy. IMO.

--Neuvirth's rebound control was mostly very good but he also gave up some big rebounds in that same time frame.

--IMO, the correct action in the matter of Green/Frolik/Kulikov et al. on the part of the NHL brass would be one of two things:

a)Suspend both Green and Kulikov for an equal number of games,

or

b)No suspensions for anyone.

Of course, given my feelings on the League's integrity level, I somehow doubt they will actually do either of these. Enough with the Caps-hate, I say!.

--Way to go Knubs: yet another "sun visor trick" for a Caps player!:D


Predictions for Sunday:

--Caps will win their 10th straight game, 6 to 4.

--Matt Bradley (#10) will get his 9th and 10th goals of the season; he will also get an assist and get in a fight, thus accomplishing a Gordy Howe hat trick.

--Ovechkin will score enough goals to tie Marleau, earning the first actual Caps hat trick of the season.

--Downie will try to fight Ovechkin (again), but instead Bradley will kick his @$$ (again)

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 30, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

the last thing they need to be doing is get mixed up in these side shows. tampa is trying to make the playoffs and they won't be looking to start anything and neither should the Caps.

this is just a prelude to the real season starting in April.

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Sovietsnipes---go to the G Company of the Doofus Brigade.

I hope Green's injury isn't serious and that he rests it enough before playing again. Caps have a lot of talent to temporarily do without any of their players, but it's not a preferred situation.

Loved the fact that Sarge scored!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the majority of people who watch hockey now, to include ex-players who think they are media ready, have strayed from what hockey actually is - a contact sport.

Neither of the incidents last night are suspension worthy, or should even fall in the category of being reviewed for such. When Green got hit, he was doing his loosey-goosey dash up ice and got nailed when he was zigging when he should have been zagging. End of that story.

When Green hit Frolik, Green caught him with the backside of his upper forearm and shoulder under his chin (not on it) and on his chest. And this was due mainly to Frolik bailing out and thus lowering his body position to avoid the hit.
Good hit - good hockey.

Drop the puck.

Cordially,
RBlatch

Posted by: rblatch45 | January 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

BTW the KHL allstar game is on ESPN360 with Steve Levy and Barry Melrose doing the play by play

Team Yashin vs. Team Jagr

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

actually it's a replay.. the live game was earlier this morning at 8

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Ray Ferraro is a hack. He doesn't belong on television.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Fun fact from last nights' pre-game STH chalk talk: Lisa Hillary is usually Tarik's camera holder.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 30, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Some intersting stats from recent games: Caps 25 of 26 on the PK; Nuevirth 2 GA on 106 shots; Caps score 19 goals for 3 against in the 3rd period. The goaltending is getting better, the PK is better and they are puting teams down in the third. Not sure how they would do against SJ or Chicago but do we need to trade for anybody?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 30, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@rblatch45, you are, of course, correct that it's a contact sport. Regardless of experience watching or playing the game, everyone recognizes now that shots toward the head have got to be held to a minimum and that there's increased league focus on it and rightly so. You are correct that Frolik was hunched, but Green led with his elbow. Nothing about it being a contact sport makes that elbow proper, nor would boarding or any other illegal contact be proper either.

I love Greenie and I'm thrilled with the skill he's shown behind the blueline in particular these days, but I don't fault anyone for criticizing his hit or for consideration of it as a possible suspension.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 30, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan

Well, I hope there will be no injuries and the Caps will play their best hockey in the playoffs ...

... the comparison to the 1989 win streak makes me a bit nervous - this team lost in the first round ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 30, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

just about half the players in the KHL allstar game are ex-Rangers... they could use Jagr right now

Posted by: joek443 | January 30, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If Fla. Tampa, and Atlanta didnt have to play the CAPS so often they might be in better play-off position.

I am tired of hearing about the "Southleast"....we are of the edge of having 4 teams in the play-offs, with Tampa and Fla. on the edge right now.It is going to be a wild and crazy finish for positioning.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 30, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Agree totally with Capscoach on the Green "elbow." If Green truly was trying a hit to the heat, which would defintely be worthy of a suspension, he wouldn't have turned his back so much. Given Green's record (clean), and the fact (yes, fact) that Green was trying to use more his shoulder than his elbow, there is no way anyone can reasonably conclude that Green was reckless or had intent to go for his head. He deserves nothing more than he got -- a 2 minute minor penalty. Ray Ferraro is a frustred a** who has a long standing bias against the Washington Capitals, and is a pathetic commentator on TSN.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | January 30, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting weary of all the talk from people who think we don't need to make a trade at the deadline. Yes, the Caps have just had an amazing January. But, and please pay attention: THE PLAYOFFS ARE DIFFERENT. Only the teams that can play a strong defensive game will advance. With the loss of Jurcina, our defense is weaker, not stronger, than it was a few months ago. If GMGM is able to bring in a top 4 defenseman without mortgaging the future, he would be nuts not to do it. The guy knows what he's doing. If the deal is there, he will take it. If not, he will pass like he did on Pronger. (Prediction: Jackman for Morrisonn, Bouchard, and a second-round pick in 2010)

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 30, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

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