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Caps 5, 'Bolts 1

Shaving cream was everywhere in the visitors' dressing room at St. Pete Times Forum after tonight's 5-1 win over the Lightning. It was on Mike Green's face. It was on Michal Neuvirth's face. It was on the floor, the wall. It was on my new sportcoat, too.

Alex Ovechkin spared no one in celebrating a special night for his Capitals. Ovechkin netted No. 38. But he was more happy for Green and Neuvirth - each of whom had nights they will not soon forget.

By scoring a goal in his eighth straight game, Green set the record for consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman. Neuvirth, meantime, made 31 saves to pick a win in his NHL debut.

"It was a pretty cool night with the Dads being here," Coach Bruce Boudreau said, referring to group of Caps fathers on the trip for the annual mentors' trip. "Those are memories these guys are going to take forever. I just hope they come down enough to play tomorrow."

Some other notes and quotes from tonight:

*Boudreau said he sought permission from GM George McPhee, team attorney Don Fishman and referee Tom Kowal before the game to make sure it would be okay of all of Green's teammates spilled onto the ice to congratulate him if he scored a goal. Boudreau was assured that no penalty would be called, so when Green hit the net, he leaned over the bench and barked out some instructions.

"I told them, 'Go on the ice,'" Boudreau said. "They said, 'Are we allowed?' It was a pretty cool thing."

Asked if he deserved some of the credit for helping Green reach the milestone, Boudreau cracked, "Nah, he could have had Mickey Mouse as his coach and he was eventually he was going to be a great hockey player."

*Green said he was doubly-pumped to set the record in front of his Dad, Dave Green.

"To do it in front of Big Dave, that was great," he said. "I can't wait to give him a hug. I think he would have been here no matter what, whether it was the fathers' trip or not. But that one was for him."

Green now has 22 goals and 50 points to lead all defensemen. If I can borrow an expression from Ovechkin, that's sick.

*Green can make more history tomorrow night in Sunrise, Fla., where he can pull even with Mike Gartner (1986-87) and Alan Haworth (1985-86) for the franchise record for consecutive games with a goal (by any position).

*Neuvirth, meantime, was shaky in the opening minutes. But the 20-year-old settled down nicely after his big glove save on Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier midway through the first.

"I made the save, it was like, 'I can play at this level,'" said Neuvirth, the eighth player to make his big league debut this season for the Capitals, and the second goalie to win his first career start, joining Simeon Varlamov. "It was a big save."

*Though the Tomas Fleischmann-Sergei Fedorov-Eric Fehr line only accounted for one goal (by Fehr), I thought it was outstanding tonight. And how about Fleischmann's no look backhanded pass to Fehr?

"You just can't call them the F-Line," Boudreau joked. "That doesn't sound right. They've played two real good games together, and they'll be together again tomorrow night."

*Fehr's goal was his fifth in six games.

"I know Flash saw me; I saw him see me, so I just went to the middle," Fehr said. "I'm excited that things are finally are going in. I don't know how to explain it, other than pucks are finally going in. I haven't changed anything in my game. It's just good luck."

And experience.

*The Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Semin line was also really good. But we expect that, right? Semin had a goal and two assists.

*Staffan Kronwall accidentally deflected a shot into his own net. But otherwise, Boudreau was pleased with his new defenseman's debut for the Caps. Kronwall finished with two shots on netand 12:46 of ice time, including a couple of shifts on the power play

"He fit in pretty well," Boudreau said.

*One of the funnier moments of the night came late in the second period when Ovechkin and Green broke in on Karri Ramo on a 2 on 0. They passed the puck back and fourth FOUR times and then Ovechkin whiffed on the shot.

"I don't know what they were doing," Boudreau said. "I don't think either one of them wanted to be the selfish one. I guarantee if Mike hadn't a scored before that, I know who would have gotten the puck."

There won't be a morning skate tomorrow, so I'll check in before the game, which starts at 5 p.m.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 14, 2009; 11:48 PM ET
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Give us the Panthers! Let's go Caps!!!

Posted by: fnralch | February 15, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: dml1077 | February 15, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

It was nice to see this team not play down to their opponent's ability level for once. Hopefully they can keep it up in Sunrise tomorrow. Getting over .500 on the road against a team that desperately needs the points would be a huge confidence boost.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | February 15, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

What a great fun game! Too bad there was no shutout. Go CAPS!

Posted by: Bagher | February 15, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Is that the first time Neuvirth's baby face has ever seen shaving cream?

Posted by: dml1077 | February 15, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed Greener didn't snipe top corner to break the record.

I'm also just kidding. Way to go mohawk.

Posted by: rh71 | February 15, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty cool that the Caps celebrate the way that they do. They seem to really have fun together. Good for them - they deserve it!

I don't remember how much playoff tickets were last season - they didn't go up much, huh? Well that's good I suppose ... but they're still gonna break the bank. :-/

More changes to the ticket plans - STHs cannot buy extra playoff tickets upfront and the ticket exchange program is going away (not the online tickets sales system, the program that allows STHs to swap tickets from one game for another). Guess that's the price of success.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Awesome win - glad we didn't play down a level, but man does Michael Nylander know how to stink up a joint. I do not think the team needs him at all (or his $4mm nut going forward) to be a legit contender. He played, in my opinion, his worst game of the season. GMGM really needs to let this guy go. We have great leadership, etc, and can do without his oft uninspired play. He was a liability every time he touched the puck.

Posted by: mattykanish | February 15, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Please, no let down tomorrow night, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 555Mass | February 15, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Some cool stats:

Only 19 NHL players are averaging more than a point per game.

4 of those players are Capitals.

No other teams has more than 2 players on that list.

The top 4 players in points per game are the following:


* Kariya is actually 2nd but has only played a handful of games.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 15, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Boo, I remember that I paid $65 for upper level center seats for playoffs last year, and that was gate price. so, $15 more than what those same seats went for during the regular season. Gotta say, with the prices this year, I'm glad I have season tickets! But I bet my friends and family are going to be PISSED that they can't get playoff tickets from me--everyone is already feeling me out on that. Including my Boston-fanatic brother, not that I would let him anywhere near the V Center if I had my way!

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 15, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Neuvirthwas awesome. He was seeing some quality shots from the bolts, especially Vinny and Marty. SOme really nice flashing glove saves. I was very impressed, as he looks like he should be bagging my groceries and popping pimples. Million dollar pimples.

Way to go Green, thats the stuff.

Posted by: oo7 | February 15, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Those points per game stats are pretty impressive. All 4 of our guys in the top 20 had at least a point tonight. Remember the "Young Guns" posters from last year? That's your 4. If Semin would've been healthy he'd probably be in the top 5 in scoring right now.

When you look at those numbers it's amusing to consider his comments about Crosby that caused such a fit. Maybe he was just understating the fact he felt he would be that much more of an offensive force this year.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, these sorts of letdowns are where we get into trouble. Bet that Florida's got this one circled on their calendar as a big game and bet that they've saved their hottest goaltender and their energy for this one. They need this one if they're to have a prayer of catching us in the standings, and it matters to them. It had better matter to us if we want two points.

Good on the guys for partying like they did, though. This was a big night for them and for us, and the account makes me smile. Thanks for sharing that, Tarik.

I'm hoping to see that breakaway save on Vinny on Saves of the Week.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for Tampa's players. Not that they are not good or anything, it's just those horrid uniforms!

Posted by: coastallp74 | February 15, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Is there any video of Neuvy getting the shaving cream pie in his face?

Posted by: rachel216 | February 15, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Green missed 13 games this season. He is averaging 1.18ppg, here is what his stats would be if he had played all 56 games.

29G 37A +35

Based on those numbers he would be on pace for this season...

42G 54A +51

Now Paul Coffey in his 3rd season scored 29G and 67A in 1982. In 1982 an average of 8.03 goals were scored every game, last season that number was 5.24. Thats a difference of 53%. These numbers are beyond gaudy what Green could of put up in 1982 based on the ration X x 1.53.

Green in 82'
64G 82A +78

This is one of the most impressive statistical seasons by any player in hockey history.

Posted by: JSchon | February 15, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse


That much math on a Sunday morning - really? Nice work, but you can bet I am going to trust your math and not even attempt to figure it for myself. My head hurts from it already... or maybe its the wine...

Posted by: Roose | February 15, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, still can't stand the negative doom and gloom postings. And no, the Caps didn't win because you were playing Debbie Downer tonight and every night the Caps play. Don't even kid yourself. I can't stand how you could be a fan but talk crap about their chances of winning and how they need to fix this and that. Honestly, I highly doubt any of the Caps much less Broudreau would take kindly to your "suggestions". Keep that in mind when you're talking doom and gloom. You'd be an idiot to think it'll make you look like more of a fan. Again, you're just as bad as windjammersouth.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 15, 2009 5:23 AM

...Who took a leak in your Cheerios, dude? Come in here after an ugly loss and see how people talk. Trust me, I'm sunshine and roses compared to this crowd after one of those. In none of my posts yesterday did I say anything that hasn't been said by many people, and quite a few of them have been said by you yourself.

Most people in here have figured out that I'm halfway kidding anyway. You apparently haven't, even after I made it pretty obvious earlier in the day. I have a slightly dark and twisted sense of humor, mostly self-deprecating and more than a little wry. It is what it is, and if I'm asked to stop by a lot of people, then I will. So far, it's just you, and I've been lambasted by rats I cared more about.

It takes all kinds of people to make a world, Lefty. I suggest relaxing and being willing to laugh just a little. My posts are nothing more than hope and a little backwards good-luck wishing, and if you don't like them, nobody made you read them.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Math is supposed to be exact, however I'm myself a 1 point give or take per stat.

Good wine?

Posted by: JSchon | February 15, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Please do not ask Kittypaws to change her style please, its working.

Posted by: JSchon | February 15, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I am beginning to think that you are not a Kitty at all, but rather a BooBird ... :-/ Have a little faith, my friend!

Tell me about it! It's been interesting to see over the years (even just over this season) how many more friends / family members want tickets. I will be curious to see how long the line out my door is for playoff tickets. You are right - they won't be happy. And while we may have pre-order access, I am guessing that that won't be at the STH price. I'm glad that I've got my seats!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Caps will still offer STH's a brief window to purchase playoff tickets to each home game several hours before they go on sale to the public by logging on to a secret website. You just can't by a bunch now before we make the playoffs.

It will no doubt be a frustrating click and wait over and over till you get thru, but you can still get to the head of the line so to speak.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

1st round center preferred are:

$96 STH price (gate $144)

2nd round center preferred are:

$112 STH price (gate $168)

3rd round center preferred are:

$128 STH price (gate $192)

FINALS center preferred are:

$144 STH price (gate $216)

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

prices are readiscounted substantially for STH's but more expensive this year, especially for gate price.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

for the 400 section it will be more than 50% off gate price. Payback to loyal fans, well deserved.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Typical trap game tonight... lots of celebration last night, great game by Neuvy and Greenie and the rest of the team, for some bad reason I feel like we will have no energy tonight, back to back game and Panthers did not play yesterday... but we need to win this game, and not just win it, but win it decisively, this is the game where we send a message to the Panthers, that, no, they cannot catch us in the SE division, if the Panthers win, they're right back in it... so nevertheless, very, very important game tonight, especially with Vokoun in net.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 15, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Right - that's what I meant by pre-order access. They did that last season, too, but we also had the option to buy extras when we bought our own (although we had to pay for the entire series upfront if we wanted any extras). Thanks for the reminder about prices ... ugh. I hope we sweep each series - I can't afford for the Caps to go to a bunch of game 7s. ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

And for all of the Fehr bashers...

Give Fehr Laich's minutes and he would have...

Fehr @ .0439 points per minute
Laich 980 minutes played...

Fehr would have 20G 23A +13

Posted by: JSchon | February 15, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if the STH pre-sale tickets are at this discount or at the gate price. I'll call and check, or you can as well.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I am thinking the same thing, might have to sell them in order to afford to pay for them!

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse


Amen on wishing for some bank account is hurting! :)

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 15, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Florida has the advantage, the Cats are ready to win, beat the leaders and the fans at home forgive a lot. They want to win and we just don't want to get beat. More on the line for them than us and the back-to-back complicates things.

BB and his boys are no doubt thinking the same thing. Just gotta come out fierce and erase that mental advantage with our skill and teamwork.

Posted by: WhyGo | February 15, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

No need to call on my account - the folks I know who want to go will pay whatever they have to to get in the door. They may have a mild coronary, but they'll pay. It is tempting to sell your own seats when you realize how much you can get for them, isn't it? Last season my DH thought I was nuts to keep going to games with the going rate kept going up (guess who the real hockey fan is in this family? ;-)).

Well that's the least that the Caps can do for us hard-working dedicated fans, isn't it?!? ;-) Although, I must confess, any game seven at home would be awe-some!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Funny how i preach maintaining a positive attitude and low and behold the stalwarts of the Zoo board start turning on one another. (You're not actively listening to me) Tis tis...remember keep that glass full or at a minimum near full. Things could be worse you could be an Engineer or live in Lancaster.

Hey check this out (to add a little spice to the dessert):

I'm sure you are aware by now (not!)that Thursday, Feb 26 fires off the 21-game salute. But did you know that 4 straight games are at home "before" kicking off the 21-game salute. While those teams present a good challenge they are at home and our crowd is the 7th man. It will be a good tune up for us.

The other thing I'm sure you missed but the Wind is here to make sure you don't is that the Penguins (who we love to hate) play 9 out of the next 12 games on the road. Man if there ever is a time for them to melt away on the thin ice of new day let's consider this the beginning of the end of their season. And to boot they have to play our CAPS twice in the Phone Booth with the ZOO present.

Remember if you woke up this morning with an empty or partially-filled glass go do yourself a favor and fill it up. Besides tomorrow is a holiday and it's President's Day! Time is a ticking.


Posted by: windjammersouth | February 15, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Last nights game was awesome Greenie has to now be considered for the Norris it blows my mind he wasnt an all star. On to tonights game we have to come out flying and bury them early and not let them get into this game. If we do that and Theo is on his game which I think he will be we will be fine.

Posted by: rjrtsi | February 15, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Ticket prices -- don't worry the Government is going to subsidize you. Didn't you see that in the new legislation on Page 1030?

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 15, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse


Totally agree. Although, would prefer any game before a game seven as seeing I have seen some of the worst...NYI Easter game comes to mind...argh...still haunts me. Hope this year we execise these ghosts. I have a feeling about this team...sounds silly but...

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 15, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Does not sound silly at all. After seeing what they could do at the end of last season as a young, inexperienced team (beating the odds over and over again), nothing sounds silly to me anymore. They are only that much more experienced, that much more seasoned, and that much better this season (as individual players and a team unit). As awesome as they are, if GMGM can work some magic before the trade deadline, they could be unstoppable. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring. And while I know what you mean about the ghosts of game sevens, they've exorcised other demons this season, so I'm not worried at all. Bring on the exorcists!!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I went full season tickets this year after having various plans over the years. I knew it was time to do it. It's just going to be well...sick,if they go a couple of rounds or more. Which they should. Ever since Bruce got here,it's been moving forward. With a high ceiling ahead.
Go you Caps. GO!

Posted by: ridgely1 | February 15, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse


Here Here!!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm an engineer, the glass is neither half full or half empty, the glass is twice as big as it ought to be.

Posted by: billd2 | February 15, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Whoever engineered that glass should be fired.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

go green machine!!!!!!

Posted by: 23right | February 15, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Fun facts:

Name PG G A Pt +/-
Crosby 56 21 51 72 2
Green 43 22 28 50 27

Posted by: Greg S. | February 15, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

I think the wine was good... ok, I don't remember... But I still came home and watched the game at midnight thanks to the DVR & I actually remember that.

Posted by: Roose | February 15, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Is that the first time Neuvirth's baby face has ever seen shaving cream?

Posted by: dml1077 | February 15, 2009 12:11 AM


Posted by: irockthered | February 15, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Well I watched only part of the game yesterday and will miss most of tonight's game :( but I loved the game, the goals yesterday, and Neuvirth performance.

I don't know why certain people misunderstand non 100% pure rainbow thoughts about the Caps as trolling... don't worry about it. The dads in the trip contributed to the boys good game.

I see signs that the "leveling down to opponents" is at least slowing down.

Tonight's game is a totally different beast though.

By the way, how did Kronwall did?

Posted by: mauree | February 15, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@-Boo- - Naah, if you want a boo-bird, don't look at Kitty. Look at folks like mattykanish, whose comment is all over trading Nyls. Now THAT is boo-bird behavior, after a commanding win like that one was.

Nothing on how our very own Mike Green kicks butt and takes names, nothing on how Michael Neuvirth's NHL debut was damn near a shut-out. Nothing about the solid play by Staffan Kronwall... Just "Nylander sucks; we have to trade him."

As if that's gonna happen.

@mattykanish - For the last time: Nylander. Has. A. No. Movement. Clause. He's. NOT. That. Easy. To. Trade! Nobody's approached him about a trade, at least not as of the last interview he gave on the matter, and they HAVE TO, by the terms of his contract. So stop whining about him; we've got him for the duration. Period.

Posted by: irockthered | February 15, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@mauree - I thought Kronwall played very well, personally. Nobody called him out for anything horrible in the announcing - in fact, I only heard his name a couple of times all evening. He did, according to Boudreau, deflect the Bolts' one goal into his own net by accident, but that's one ooops, and I'll forgive him that, considering he was very solid the rest of the game. That has happened to other Caps as well, after all.

Now, if he starts making a habit of it... that'll be another matter. But I thought he played very well. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | February 15, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S. - Green has more goals than CROBSY?! ROFL! He should be the new face of the NHL! He's Canadian, he's better-looking than Crosby, and he plays hockey like a BEAST! Yeah!!! And he doesn't cheap-shot folks in the 'nads from behind, or whine when he makes a mistake, either.

Greenie for Face of the NHL!

Posted by: irockthered | February 15, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Man you guys get up early on a Sunday. 11:30 is early for me normally I roll out of bed after 12 in time for football.


do your thing it'll work :)

No trap game tonight...our guys want to win this as much as they do, both to have a stranglehold on the division yet again and to get ahead of NJ. Whether or not we could catch Boston fighting for the #2 seed is still important with how great we've been on home ice this year. Division games are always tough I look for a 4-3 win tonight/today.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Stating the obvious, but what a fun fun time to be a Caps fan. Both quality of play *and* coverage. Tarek, keep it coming ... thank the stars you don't have Bob Fachet's beat!

Posted by: reddog278 | February 15, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Hi, I'm a Casual Caps fan. Trying to get into the game more as a whole. I have a possibly stupid question...

Why are the Montreal Canadiens nicknamed the "Habs?" This doesn't make any sense to me.


Posted by: VTDuffman | February 15, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Habs = "Habitants" ... early French settlers along the St. Lawrence.

PS - "Tarik"(sp) ... I'll go crawl back under my rock...

Posted by: reddog278 | February 15, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If the Caps want to trade Nyls, they'll find a way to do it. It already sounds like there is some adversarial stuff going on, and he has been on and off the pine. If they bench him long enough and the right team is interested, he'll waive his NTC.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Habs is short for "Les Habitants" because the French Canadians always seem to need to complain about not having their own country

Posted by: MFab12 | February 15, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Habs is short for les habitants

Posted by: eggseronius | February 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I see that your question has already been answered. Just remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question - there are lots of friendly people here who are always happy to help. Welcome to the zoo!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

can't wait for tonight's game, Let's go CAPS! hope Green makes history again tonight!!

anyone know which dads made the trip? (besides green & neuvy?)

Posted by: seryogaSone | February 15, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the responses guys! That's interesting, I never knew that. Like I said, I've been casually familiar with the game for decades, and am trying to learn more. The "Habs" thing seems like it's really picked up steam very recently. They didn't used to call them that (regularly) until a few years ago it seems. I could be wrong though.

I'm going to my second caps game ever (the first one was a Panthers game probably 6 or 7 years ago) this Sunday and I'm very excited!

One more random question: I got NHL 09 last week and have been playing "Be A Pro" mode as a center. It's pretty hard, But I'm getting better at it. My biggest challenge is that I feel I don't know how to play the position well.

Do any of you know any websites where I can learn more about hockey strategy (especially offensive): positioning, passing, how to create plays, etc.?

I play for Hershey right now, It's my goal in this game to work up to the League and pass to Ovechkin, lol how silly is that?

Thanks again!

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse


Not only that, but Green far surpasses Crosby in +/- (forgot to bold that one) by 27 for Green vs 2 for Crosby. And Crosby has 13 more games than Green.

Pittsburgh has a good coach and a good team on paper. IMHO, their problem is who has the "C" on their chest. This is the primary reason I believe that Ovie doesn't have or want the "C". He has enough on his plate carrying 1). the Caps, 2). scoring title drive, 3). MVP drive, 4). NHL true face because Crosby can't and never really was.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 15, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I replied to your last post but my reply is being held for approval (must be because I listed links to other sites?). Anyway, please stand by! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Now that Green has this record, I hope he and the entire team will focus a little more on playing sound defense. Once the playoffs arrive, it is defense that will matter most.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 15, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

for people who play nhl 09 on the xbox 360, post your gamer tags if you play online.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Can we trade Mike Green for a stay at home defenseman already or at least sent him down to Hershey? He sucks.

- cstanton1

P.S. I have an IQ of a tree stump.

Posted by: ranndino | February 15, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

crosby is an amazing hockey player. deal with it.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse


Yeah I do get up early when I have to work in the morning. :P Life is like that.

@Boo: Naw, I'm not a boo bird. Not usually, anyway. I do actually acknowledge both positives and negatives - sometimes even when other people miss them. I'll try to show you both sides more often.

@mauree: I agree - signs are that the playing down to opponents is tapering off or maybe even ending. Playoff mentality taking over? Maybe? We can only hope.

What we saw last night was top-notch stuff. I guess what frustrates me more than anything else is knowing what this team is capable of and what they can do - and not doing it consistently. Some days the bounces don't go your way, which is why the Rangers game didn't bother me as much as the Kings game did. If they start giving 100% every night, then a loss now and then won't faze me.

@windjammersouth: I think what you're not really getting is that the same post, even updated, every single thread is incredibly irritating and not even entirely true. We all know about the games coming up, you don't need to tell us again. It's not the message, it's how it's being delivered that has people's backs up. Please do not post that 21-game salute again, in any form.

@Dave, JSchon - Thanks. :)

All right, let's talk us some Cats. There's ups and downs to this one. I think they want this one more than we do, but we need to win this one, and decisively. We need to send a message, and that message is "Not accepting challengers this season. Good luck with second place." We're on the second night of a back to back, but they're playing three games in four days.

Vokoun is good. So is Anderson. So is their defense. So is our offense. And we have a fresh Alzner/Jurcina and a fresh Theodore, thanks to some mighty Czech goaltending last night. (Now I see why Alzner got the scratch last night. Clever, BB.)

This will be the tougher of the two games, and we've had less than 24 hours between games, so this will be a stiffer test. Let's hope our boys want the final two points badly enough to put the Panthers where they belong and leapfrog New Jersey.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

claude giroux is so good.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I love how few comments there are on here after a great game in which Green sets an NHL record, Ovechkin scores his 38th, Semin comes back from an injury to have a 3 point night, Fehr scores 5th in the last 6 and Neuvirth makes a great NHL debut.

Guess no one has anything to whine about, especially the cockroaches (you know who you are). The Caps gave them no material last night.

I have to give a special mention to Neuvirth. He was absolutely awesome and should have gotten a shutout. Had no chance on that own goal by Kronwall. And it's not like he had nothing to do. Tampa actually played well and created a lot of great scoring chances. The kid is as quick as a cat, was seeing everything, good rebound control, sees shots well and has great recovery time. And what a glove on him! I was very impressed in the 2 games I've seen him play so far. As I've posted before he's displayed the same qualities in the ECHL All Star game where he had next to no defensive help and was peppered with almost 20 shots in 1 period. Only let in 1.

I have to say, that once again, just as with Varlamov I've seen things that I haven't seen from Theo all year. I caught myself thinking a few times after Michal made saves that those would have been goals had Theo been in net. There was especially one moment when a shot was taken from the point, got deflected so ended up on the opposite side of the net. Theo loses these completely all the time and just stand there while the guy shoots at the empty half of the net. Neuvirth followed the puck, moved across extremely quickly and saved the shot. The rebound popped to the side of the net, but again he recovered to make another save. Once again, Theo would have just sat there and gotten beat.

It's a bold pronouncement, but I think we'd be a better team with either Varlamov of Neuvirth in goal instead of Theo, just like we're a better team with Fehr playing in place of Clark.

Posted by: ranndino | February 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

rags are so bad. that was the worst looking 5on3 ive ever seen.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Rangers just gave up a breakaway to Richards while on a 5 on 3. Epic fail 2-0 Philly.

Ranndino there were plenty of comments in the thread last night it was a great performance and a big night for both Green and Neuvirth. I was texting a friend that Semin "quietly" had a 3 point night only because there was so much emphasis on the record (it is ridiculous when you think about how sick Green is right now) and Neuvy's first NHL start.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

i remember theo making 2 great deflection saves recently. but you are right, his lateral movement is a bit slow.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

hey dave, I have the vent info, just trying to get admin and stuff so no one will bother us.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

True, but he's no Ovi. That's always been my only beef with Crosby (well, other than the couple of dirty moves that he has pulled this season) - I don't appreciate all of the hype that he gets while Ovi is disregarded. Not his fault - it's a league/press thing. Fortunately that seems to be leveling out and Ovi has finally been getting the respect that he deserves. (Will the real king of the NHL please stand up?)

That's more like it! :-) I don't think the Caps take FLA lightly so I am guessing that they will bring their game tonight. While FLA 'should' be harder to beat than Tampa, last night was actually the tougher game - they could have not taken it seriously and been pounced on early (especially with a rookie keeper). But they did it, and I have faith that they will "play up" to the #2 team in the SE.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@ JSchon,

Special thanks for your analysis of Green's season.

Posted by: ranndino | February 15, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

at 21, crosby is probably one of the top 5 centers in the league. but thats only because he is so young. age aside, he falls off...

ovechkin IS one of the top 5 forwards in the league, even with his age.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse


flyers just scored 4 times on the rags in like 5 minutes. 3 through lundy, 1 through valli.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow 5-0 Philly. Rangers can pack it up and forget the playoffs if they're going to play like this. Philly is playing well but a lot of this is on the Rangers.

Phil that's cool, need to grab lunch etc before the game, I'll post on here when I'm back.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

poor naslund.

GMGM should work on reuniting the line of Bertuzzi and Naslund.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@Boo: I think the rookie keeper was the reason why they didn't blow it off, actually. They do that -- they'll tighten up defensively and be mindful and smart for a fellow player's sake. They did the same for Varlamov. Now, that's cool, but there is the potential for a huge letdown here - or they could carry that energy into the game tonight. If they do that the Kitties won't know what hit them until their net's full of rubber.

Now, let's hope we have better ice down there! Last time we played them in our barn the ice was pretty nasty and it was closer than it should have been.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

and the 4th line does it for the rags....

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

orr's an idiot.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

RE: Crosby and Ovi, AMEN!!!

RE: the guys not blowing it off because of Neuvy, good point. But I'm still optimistic about tonight! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 15, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I thought Lundqvist was supposed to be one of the best goalies in the NHL...

Posted by: rachel216 | February 15, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I wish Neuvy was playing again tonight :( Jose better play well!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 15, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

lundy is.
hes having a bad season, but then again, the whole rags team are.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

they are doing a ovechkin special during the 2nd intermission.


Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that Crosby is a bad player or whatever. I'm saying that he's got too much on him now. He's not mature enough to be a captain AND be all the things that his team AND the NHL are putting on him.

I think that if you put that "C" on Ovie's chest, we'd see similar results. He might not be the same playful scorer that he is now. He playes on emotion. Captains can't do that. They have to crack the whip sometimes and call players out.

Ovie can do that far more effectively without the "C" than with it. I think Crosby's in the same boat. Take the "C" away, and he'd rebound again.


Posted by: Greg S. | February 15, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you: Schultz is Good. He's playing the highest-risk minutes (paired to Green, PK, etc) in a high-risk system. (Key on any Caps D for three shifts and you'll see him die of exposure once.)
He's gettin' paid in Happy Meals. He's twelve years old. He stays out of the box and keeps the bad guys off the score sheet. Sure, it's be nice if he sent someone to the infirmary once in a while. But I like Winning better, and Schultz he'ps Caps to do it.
Having mocked him regularly till Christmas or so, I'm reluctantly conceding what StatSchon and BB have known all along: Schultz is good.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 15, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

what will the rags do next year? rebuild?

these are the guys they decided to lock up:

gomez, drury, and redden. hahahahahah

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Agree and Sargent Shultz

Posted by: billd2 | February 15, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey...Down here in Myrtle Beach, I didn't get to see "my" Caps but every great once in a while. I found "" and got some live feeds; not good quality. Last week I found ATDHE.NET and what a difference! They offer dozens of live feeds, all sports, - free - and great quality. Haven't missed a Caps game since.
Just thought I'd pass it along.
Anyway, even after last night's events (Green/Neuvirth/Kronwall) I'm still concerned with our defense. During the Lightning's PP, some of our D-men were actually being pushed out of the crease, by Malone in particular, so that they could screen our goalie. They felt so comfortable standing in our crease that at times they had two forwards screening Neuvirth with not much resistance from our D. I'm not saying break-up our D, but, man, we aren't very physical, are we?
Just saying...

Posted by: al852 | February 15, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@Boo: We'll see what happens. Other people have already said what I'm thinking about it, so I'll just stick to "I hope you're right and they don't lay an egg tonight".

Oh, the Miami Herald apparently thinks we're a one-man show. Check this quote: "With Pitt off tonight, the Panthers could make that a seven point cushion with a win today over the Ovechkins."

The Ovechkins? Pathetic.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The Rags' salvation will be Avery.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 15, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Fehr had 13 mins and the most shots on net...hmmm....i wonder if he got more playing time...

Posted by: Freez | February 15, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

lol kitty..its not like we have one of the most affluent offensive base in the league...

isnt it something like 7 players with 10+ goals? not including fehr who has 9 i think.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

not like we dont*

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking "I sincerely hope the Cats think that, because if they do we'll bury them. Unfortunately for us, the Panthers actually know something about hockey and aren't that stupid."

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

redden just shot a slapper that zherdev deflected in, and redden and prucha (the assistees) both got boo'd by the MSG crowd.


Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

poor little rags fan.

got hit with the puck in the face and his team is losing. :(

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Any Richmonders know a good place to watch the game tonight? I called a couple of places with big screens, but they are featuring the Daytona 500 (ugh!)

Posted by: JayHoo89 | February 15, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse


i think we might be the only ones down here in richmond, haha.

if not, you can go to like buffalo wild wings and theyll always put the game you ask for on. i dont drink, so i dont watch the games at bars, but I have gone to buffalo wild wings a few times for the game because i love wings, haha.

and there is always

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

We probably are the only ones...every time I am in a sports bar and ask them to tune a TV to a Caps game they look at me like I am stupid. Home may be the best option tonight with all the Nascar crazies out.

Posted by: JayHoo89 | February 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

seriously try buffalo wild wings. there is one at the bottom and also one down broad on the way to short pump.

they have millions of big screens everywhere and they have never looked at me weird for wanting to watch a hockey game. in fact, when i come in now and certain servers are working, they put hockey on cf for me without asking, haha.

but you are is nascar weekend and we are in richmond...haha

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I am probably being too harsh on the Richmond sports bars. The Home Team Grill near where I live in the west end is always cool, but they have a limited number of tvs. Maybe I will give BW3's a shot...haven't been to one in a while.

Posted by: JayHoo89 | February 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

home team grill off of main?

or is there 2?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

There are 2 HTGs, the one near me is off of Nuckols Rd in the far west end.

Posted by: JayHoo89 | February 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@Ranndino "It's a bold pronouncement, but I think we'd be a better team with either Varlamov of Neuvirth in goal instead of Theo, just like we're a better team with Fehr playing in place of Clark."

Certainly is tempting - riding a 20 year old rookie worked out pretty well for Les Habs in '86 - but no one is saying either of these kids are the next Roy (yet). What really defines a pro at this level is consistency, and my guess is that Gabby and George are worried about the ability of the young guys to perform at a high standard each night. JT60 has been playing a lot better and has been here before. But, I agree with your point that both Neuvy and Varlamov have looked at least as good or better than jt60 when they've gotten a chance with the the caps. Future is definitely bright.

Posted by: hook99 | February 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@ The Richmonders... Empire at Laurel and Broad always seems to have the Caps on.

Posted by: jafrick | February 15, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

How about Greene for MVP this year? If he continues to put up the numbers why not? Sounds good to me. Go Caps

On Crosby, He is a good player but why must he be such a winer? AND A CRYBABY?

Posted by: wwwduckyjimpond | February 16, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@ hook99

We agree. Just one thing. No one know whether a goalie, young or otherwise, can be consistently good until they get a chance. Who could've predicted that Steve Mason would be so sick for Columbus? Forget Calder, that kid is starting to get a mention for the Vezina and rightly so.

Posted by: ranndino | February 16, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

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