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Caps 5, Isles 4 (SO)

The Caps beat the Islanders, 5-4, in the shootout tonight. But the buzz after the game was about a player who wasn't in the lineup. According to a report on, Michael Nylander has agreed to be loaned to Dynamo Minsk of the KHL.

Forward Michael Nylander agreed with Dynamo Minsk of the Continental League in Russia, according to what RDS has learned.

But GM George McPhee said he could not confirm the report and the KHL has yet to announce the move.

As for tonight's events, the Caps put on another entertaining show, even if it wasn't always pretty. I covered a fair amount in the gamer, so I'm going to be brief tonight:

*Semyon Varlamov was outstanding in relief of Jose Theodore, making eight saves in the shootout. The rookie is now 2-0 in shootouts.

He showed his athleticism in penalty shots when he stopped Trent Hunter and then grabbed onto the crossbar to keep from sliding into the goal with the puck in his pads.

"I was just skating back into the goal very fast," he said through an interpreter. "I just grabbed the first thing I could to stop my movement into the net."

*Semin's goal eight seconds into the game matched Gaetan Duchesne's record for fastest goal to start a game, which Duchesne set in 1987.

*Semin had two goals and another in the shootout, but easily could have three or four after attempting 15 shots. He also had some forgettable moments, missing a backhander early from point blank range, holding the puck too long on a 2 on 1 and had an egregious giveaway that led to the Islanders' third goal. The good, though, certainly outweighed the bad on this night.

"I had a lot of moments to score," said Semin, whose right wrist was tightly wrapped, indicating his still playing through injury. "I couldn't capitalize on all of them."

*Tomas Fleischmann extended his career-long point streak to six games with his first-period goal.

*The Caps' 41 shots on goal were a season high.

*Richard Thomas, the accused Florida drug dealer who said he supplied the Capitals with steroids, pleaded guilty in a plea deal with prosecutors. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

"There has been nothing that anybody hasn't covered other than the original, unsubstantiated, very general and unspecific allegations," Commissioner Gary Bettman said of the league's investigation into Thomas's claims. "There's been nothing there."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 12, 2009; 12:25 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clark lifts Caps in shootout
Next: Morning roundup: An 11th-round knockout


I'm sure it's been covered before but what's going to happen to the cap space if Nyles does go?

Posted by: rh71 | November 12, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

@rh71 - If I remember correctly we get something like 3.9M in cap space (you have to count the number of times Nyls has been on the roster but scratched against the cap).

But until GMGM confirms it then I am not getting too excited.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 12, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Good game. Lots of scary moments in the shoot out.

Glad we pulled it out.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings for positively demolishing the Columbus Blue Jackets. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving team.

(After they injured Ovi and had the nerve to boast about going for him, I enjoy seeing them get beat.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Semin had a monster game. Just when you think he's becoming BB's next "Nylander," he shows up big time. And I don't blame him for the giveaway. It was hardly "egregious" - he got knocked to the ice trying to make a sweet move and where was the D to back him up? It just looked bad because the two D were way out of position, allowing the Isles breakaway.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | November 12, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

If Nyles is truly gone, there will be: Cap space to keep Perrault up with the big club; room for a defenseman, if they ever need to call one up due to injury(even though that's not their most pressing need); a better chance of acquiring people at the trading deadline; and finally, money to sign Semin and Backstrom to contract extentions.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse


That's the truth -- on Semin's giveaway. Help by the D would have been very useful. (Semin can sometimes be so awkward -- or should that trip have been a penalty on the Isles.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

"Semin had a monster game."
And yet tarik could only see the worst of him - LOL
Ask any professional hockey player and they will tell you he is one of the best in the world, ask Tarik and his followers and they would say ... oh, well, who cares what they say.

Posted by: hock1 | November 12, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Yeah any critique of Semin is unfair after that performance. He was on fire.

Posted by: trunkenmath | November 12, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Backstrom...Wow! Just when I was about to say he isn't worth $7 million a year. He totally dominated. I'd still put him in the $5-6 million range, but he definitely has a great upside. And he certainly makes Flash look better.

So happy to see the much maligned Captain Clark get the GWG. He has done some good things in the past few games that have gone unnoticed.

Definitely happy to see Semin have a good night. Of course his play tonight was not that much different from the 2nd Panthers game, but I guess if he doesn't score, he sucks. Still wonder why after a win and a dominating performance we still make sure to point out his errors....Hmmmm.

Glad to see Fehr get a goal. And Varly was superb!

Posted by: ablake70 | November 12, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

@ hock1:
Yes, Semin can be one of the best in the world, but he can also be very bad. That giveaway and goal wasn't all his fault, but he was definitely partly to blame. He's very similar to Theo in that way. At times he can look like the best player around, while at others, you just want to strangle him.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | November 12, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75 the only thing that makes it better is the were in Columbus and it was Hitchcocks 1000th game.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 12, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

@ hock1:
Yes, Semin can be one of the best in the world, but he can also be very bad. That giveaway and goal wasn't all his fault, but he was definitely partly to blame. He's very similar to Theo in that way. At times he can look like the best player around, while at others, you just want to strangle him.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | November 12, 2009 1:16 AM

The problem isn't that you criticize Semin. Yes he does deserve it sometimes. But you lose credibility when he is the only one you find fault with after a game like tonight.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 12, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

In order to be Gabby's new Nyls you have to miss most of a season injured, and never come around the team while you're out. And then when you come back, you have to suck and play a style that doesn't fit the system. Additionally, you have to use your NMC as a weapon against management and refuse to work with them, being content to ride the bench and bank millions.

@ Everybody else swinging from Sasha's sack.
Sure, he blew it up tonight. But don't forget that it was the ISLANDERS that we BARELY beat tonight. That's when he brings it: when it doesn't matter. Plus Sasha is one of the most consistently lazy kids on the team, giving it ≤80% every night. His attitude sucks. And that's why his trade value is worth more to us than HE is.

Of course, you're all going to gnash teeth and scream treason, and bellow incessantly about how stupid Gabby and GMGM are. And then you'll buy Semin jerseys for the team he gets traded to. And the collars of those jerseys are going to stay drenched with tears whenever they are worn in VC. Because Gabby and GMGM are professionals in this game. And you are not.

Posted by: large23220 | November 12, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

@ large

I see your point and tend to agree: Semin is frustratingly inconsistent. But since when does ANY game on the schedule not "matter" - it's not like you get extra points for beating an elite team. A win's a win - and players gotta bring it every night. You can't discount Semin's performance tonight just because it was against a bottom dweller.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | November 12, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

I sure can.

Posted by: large23220 | November 12, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

So I just came here to say that the haters should keep on hating. Heard nothing but Semin chatter ("trade him", "don't resign him", etc.) and he turns out a monster game. Someone posted recently about how our captain does nothing for this team, and how he's old and done. Read a few posts about how Fehr isn't pulling his weight.

Keep hating haters, because the people you hate tend to have good games right after you do :-P.

To get into the spirit: Darn it Juice! Why'd you take that penalty and almost cost us the W? WE SHOULD TRADE HIM BEFORE HE LOSES US THE CUP!

Posted by: Raber | November 12, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

To get into the spirit: Darn it Juice! Why'd you take that penalty and almost cost us the W? WE SHOULD TRADE HIM BEFORE HE LOSES US THE CUP!

Posted by: Raber | November 12, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse


Yeah but Juice actually does kind of suck. People like to rag on Schultz and Poti, but Juice and Erskine would be the first ones I'd upgrade.

Posted by: butcherbaker | November 12, 2009 3:05 AM | Report abuse

you know all players have there ups and downs but i dont think thats the case in semins case.It seems he chooses when to have his ups and downs.You never know if he came to play that night or not.He definitly came to play tonight but whoknows about the next never know the semin your gonna get.And trust me,i'm not a semin hater,i think he could be as good as ovi if he wanted too but thats just the problem,its if 'he' wants to or is that worth paying big bucks to a player that you dont know who your gonna get each night? I dont know.But hes definitly worth it if he comes to play each night but with that,who knows.Him and ovi are something special and i hope to see them together for a long time.maybe ovi can put some fire under his butt!! Anyway,great game semin and the caps.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 12, 2009 4:16 AM | Report abuse


Respectfully, you are 100% wrong in my book. Semin doesn't "just show up" for lousy teams. W/O him last night, the Ovi-less Caps lose to the Isles. The giveaway was terrible and inexcusable - from my seat, he pulled a Nylander and coughed up the puck before being hit. But the goals (thanks also to Green and BMo) were beautiful and, still with sore wrist, he put pressure all night long.

There are a number of players like Semin - Vanek and Gaborik to name a couple. Would I trade him? Will Calgary give us Phaneuf?

Semin wins us about 5 games mostly by himself each year. Last night was one of those games.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

My new favorite team that I wont ever pay attention to is Dynamo Minsk.

Smoke = Fire

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse


Sometimes it seems like Semin has n margin for error. If he's not perfect, he's considered a bum. It's not like he's the only Cap who makes mistakes. (I can think of a whole roster full of guys.)

In many ways, Semin is a symbol of the entire team of this era. Great most of the time but when bad, he's infuriating. But love him (and the team) anyway.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

This game by Semin will soon be forgotten, and within days of him playing another game and taking a bad stick penalty, the sky is falling people will call for him to be traded for cheaper beer.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm with tominfl -- Semin was hurt the last couple of games -- he didn't just decide to "show up" for this one. I'm thrilled to see that he's apparently not having to limp with an injury. He was awesome!

and he could have used some help on D on that one play. His mistake was not to pass it sooner. Losing the puck was unsurprising given that he was getting closed in on by 3 guys, but he should have had defensive backup -- BMo and whomever was on the other point.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

And here's a nice answer for the real Semin haters -- how about those quotes? In English and rather elaborate at that? So much for Semin failing to "show commitment" to the team by not bothering to learn the language. That one was a laugher.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse


Yes, Semin has been hurt lately. The wrist problem since Friday. (He was spotted wearing a brace at practice on Tuesday.) And that's apparently not the only thing "wrong" with him on the health front.

Luckily, Semin seems to be a resiliant fellow. He can come back from mistakes and do good. (We can say that about our team, in general.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I was lucky enough to be at the game last night with great seats. Such a terrific evening, and all the haters' voices were silenced in my head. (It's fine to criticize--- over-the-top crap drives me nuts. Like how some people think that Semin only shows up when he wants to. That is so interesting that they know what is going on in Semin's mind. Sorry, I can't find the "dripping with sarcasm" font on my computer.)

ANYWAY, I just have to mention Eric Fehr's goal. It was HIGHLIGHT REEL worthy! If Ovie had done that (and he probably has made a shot like that), you would have seen it on the news a few times. It was sweet!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 -- So glad that whatever brace he's found, it's working beautifully.

@dccitizen -- My thoughts exactly, though since my seatmate had the tix last night I was comfortably at home. What a great game -- not perfect, just great.

The other thing that came to mind was just how entertaining this team is. Whether we're at the game or at home they put on a great show far more often than not these days. We're very fortunate.

11-3-4. Not bad.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Without Semin, we lose last night. How does that "not matter?" Isn't that kind of the opposite of not mattering?

Anyway, I was fortunate enough to be at the game and I have literally no voice today. That was as intense as it gets. I can't believe Varly stopped 10 penalty shots in a row after giving up the first one. Amazing performance!

Posted by: TotallyTacos | November 12, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the win also gave us the points lead in the Eastern Conference. Too bad this one didn't matter. Boo Senin, boo Caps.

Posted by: TotallyTacos | November 12, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

You're Sonyask, I hadn't noticed. Varly used an interpreter but Semin is quoted directly. I always knew he spoke English because I've seen him talking to English speaker guys. But it's nice to see him using English with the media.

Great game--the Islanders pushed hard but we pushed back. I don't think they are as bad as a team as others think. I think they are a team that is in construction right now and Tvares along with some others are really amazing talents. The same thing could have been said of us a little over two years ago. My how times have change.

Hated the penalties at end though after a pretty penalty free game. They sure kill the momentum. I think we could have kept the lead if it weren't for the back-to-back penalties. We still need to improved our discipline and consistency but pleased to see that they played hard--to the end.

My heart was in my throat for the shootout. Great game by Varly. Whether he was always tapped for Fridays game or not, he has earned the right to be there. I thought he stayed in good form, lots of use of the butterfly position for example, and saved his athleticism for the shootout--boy did he need it on a few occasions.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Sonyask: They kept showing Bettman on TV (I got the game in HD on NHL Network). Bettman certainly looked entertain (no sarcasm). He comes to DC on a Nov Wednesday where it was like a tomb 3-4 yrs ago and the place is rocking like it's the playoffs! BTW, we noticed Leonsis was w/Bettman earlier but not at end. Maybe Ted got infuriated at the refs in the 3rd and Bettman suspended him mid-game.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

That first goal by Theo was such a softie that after the game he was offered an endorsement deal for Dairy Queen.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: Fehr back in the day was a two-time (I think) 50-goal scorer in the WHL. That's how he got to be a #1 pick. Like Flash, no question he has the talent. I think both of them will be like Bondra who came over in 91 but didn't really breakout until the strike-shortened season of 95-95. He was around 27 then.

I bet freakinandpeakin earlier that Fehr and Flash combined, next year, would have cap hit of $4M. Flash keeps this up and he's in line for a Brooks Laich deal at like $2.5M. Fehr gets hot and maybe I win one.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh and what a great game by Semin. I think a mistake many of us make is to think of him as Ovie. He's not--he's Semin with shifty let's avoid the big hit speed down the ice and hard shot from an angle. If the other goalie hadn't been so hot, Semin would have had more shots go in. I've always been a Semin fan--I've always expected that something will be worked out with him contract-wise. Japers had a good piece analyzing Semin yesterday that put his strengths and weaknesses in perspective--he's definitely a major asset to the team.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

way to go, semin! great game!! :)

i'd like to see the haters get out on the ice and do what any of these players does on an average night. sounds like stick-envy to me :)

Posted by: spinner-33 | November 12, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

If Ovie had made the same backwards shot resulting in the puck going in the small area between the goal post and the goalie everyone would have said "but of course". Kudos for Fehr making not a fluke shot but an exactly placed shot from a difficult back to the goalie angle. And I am enjoying Flash's dash--he's hot too.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Swedish media is reporting that Nyls is close to being signed with CSKA Moskva. It says Minsk's interest has cooled significantly. If you want to use google translator, check it out;

Posted by: jakopz | November 12, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

E.Fehr was a bada$$ in the W. He was also very, very good in the A.

He has always been a plus player.

His issue obviously is staying healthy, although he played the entire last 4th of the season with jacked up shoulders.

He only plays 9mpg, his shifts are maybe 30 seconds long. He'd benefit with more pt, like 12mpg. He also would benefit with more time with better center play. It just isn't in his cards right now.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I still wonder where this killer instinct is. With 5 minutes to go in a game, you can't kill your defensive effort by putting your team on the PK, especially when you're one of the team's go-to's on the PK. I'm looking at you, Stecks. Juice's penalty was touchy, so I blame that one on the refs, but these late penalties are what's killing us as I thought our team D had been good up to that point.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 12, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The Islanders are a better team than people on here give them credit for. It's not like they are the Maple Leafs or Hurricanes. They are a respectable (and slightly creepy) 6-6-6. Good enough to be lingering around the playoff bubble. 5-2-3 in their last 10.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 12, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse


Its really not killing us, nothing really is. We are 1st in the East.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, by "killing us" I mean making what should be a comfortable win a very nerve-wracking nail-biter.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 12, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

You know from a Campbellnomics analysis at The Hockey News, all three of Semin's goals were of the game changing variety: the first one, the score-tying one, and the winning one. It's a funny piece Campbell updates that enjoy because Ovi so dominates it. There are goals and then there are GOALS.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

sorry Clarkie got the winning one. How about the first one in OT for Semin.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Ok...1st....GREAT character win.

2nd...Green looked good again on Offense...

3rd...Congrats to Clark (who I called out) for getting the game winner.

And for all those who bashed me yesterday when I said that Theo was average, I hope you saw the game last night.

First goal, rebound, no athleticism to make the second save...that is his BIGGEST weakness...and it's exploited every game.

Second goal, snapper from the point...please.

Third goal, breakaway (I know that is not his fault)...but his athleticism on breakaways/shootouts is terrible. The guy can't skate or move east west!

Varly was awesome. I know 1 game doesn't make a man's career (see Jim Carey)...but let's build on this and improve him as we go along this year....

Can someone finally agree we need changes on the defense? Poti and Jurcina look lost out there...drop them/trade them both...if all you want Schultz, fine...we have to get rid of all his cloans...(and Sloan)...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who threw a hat on the ice last night should never be allowed to attend a Caps game ever again.

Ovechkin's shootout goal was a complete embarrassment

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Here's the translation of the article jakopz referred to:

Washington Capitals have been working for some time to find a club in the Continental Hockey League who is willing to hire Michael Nylander.
Dynamo Minsk was a candidate, but the trail has cooled. Instead, the army club CSKA Moscow, which could be new club address for the experienced Michael Nylander, 37.
HOT - for lower pay

According to there are several clubs in the NHL who are interested in acquiring playmaker Nylander, but not to the annual earnings - equivalent to 37 million crowns - that he gets to Washington.
Michael Nylander went through the so-called waivers list without any other club interest during the 24 hours to take over his contract, which expires 2011th
Should Nylander continue his NHL career, Washington would have to place him on reentry waivers. Should another NHL club take Michael Nylander's contract, but Washington has to pay half the salary and the proportion is then submitted for salary cap.
The plan: to hire out

Washington would rather let Michael Nylander go to the KHL, which thus CSKA Moscow are showing interest.
The Washington can take off Nylander's salary of their cap space and strengthen the team with a player that the club would rather have.

Posted by: puckman | November 12, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I's nice to see people at the who understand the game *rolling my eyes*

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the information on Fehr, tominfl1 and jschon. I remember last year going to a game and seeing "Fehr is fair, but I like Laich" flashing up on the screen. It was a joke, but it helps me remember how to pronounce their names.

Yes, it's a great time to be a hockey fan in Washington. Caps are entertaining and fun and sometimes maddening to watch. Although I'm not happy Ovechkin got hurt, it has shown me that the Caps are a TEAM and have many contributors.

On to the Wild on Friday!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

We are 1 shutdown defenseman away from the cup...1 single player away....

A minutes guy who is physical and PLAYS defense...

Unfortunately, the guy(s) we needed are Philly and Calgary...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious that both Jose and Varly have been inconsistent so far this year. Thankfully, when one has been a bit "off" the other has, typically, been playing better. We've been fortunate in that regard. If that continues for the rest of the year, so be it. It's good enough for 1st place in the conference.

Jose has been great at times this season, and last night was Varly's best efforst so far. Yay, goalies!

Posted by: TotallyTacos | November 12, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

It was too bad to see the penalties late. The Stecks move was uncharacteristic, but a good clear call by the ref. The Juice penalty was non-existent. Juice laid a light hit and did not finish -- he set his sights toward the puck mid-way through the hit to make the next play. Bad call.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

@sinkingcaps: We'll blame the 3rd goal on the breakaway. Now if you are going to flat out blame Theo for goals 1 and 2, and you can complain all you want but goal 4 was a rip, how can you then blame Poti and Jurcina? Again, if Theo sucks so bad to let in 1 and 2, it can't be the defense's fault. Either the defense played bad and the goals were scored, or the goaltender let in softies. That's not always the case but if you are going to call Theo out for crappy goals the defense can't be blamed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 12, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Theo is responsible for a number of our victories due to some incredible, stand on your head saves.

So he had an off night.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Fan hock---

The defense needs to play stronger to eliminate shots. If they eliminate shots, the chances of the other team scoring decline.

RE: our goaltending. I agree, it is inconsistent. I am VERY happy it hasn't hurt our standings/record.

All I am saying with Varly IN GAMES to get him better. If he is our future, let's find out before the trade deadline. Playing theo doesn't establish anything. We will not resign him next year.

Neuvirth/Varly could be trade bait for a more established goalie...or one with more upside. (I am not saying anyone in particular, or if there IS an option out there).

Just stop with the Theo experiment. Yes he deserves to play, but not as much as he has been.

By January...if Varly is still inconsistent..we still have time to work Theo (i cringe when I type that) into a groove for the playoffs.

No bashing, just trying to align ourselves for the ultimate goal (and no I don't think I have all the answers).

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Sonyask...yes, he's played "ok"...but come on...he is good for at least 1 or 2 soft goals a night.

If we didn't have the powerful offense, we would not be able to withstand that type of performance...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

For you stat guys...

Varly (R) 6-1-0 2.9 gaa .905 save %
Theo (13 yr vet) 5-2-4 3.08 gaa .900 s%

Again...he IS inconsistent (Varly)...but let's give him a stretch to improve. We are 9 points up in the division...with 50 games to go...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps, (putting aside your troll name and the fact that it's silly given their acheivements), if I can read a thesis from your posts it is that McPhee has done a rotten job staffing the team and Boudreau is making stupid decisions using the personnel he's got.

I'll be charitable and state that you don't think all of GMGM's and BB's decisions are rotten, you just think if they would just make the decisions you would make the Caps would be so much better.

Don't be surprised if folks would rather put their faith in the people who built and play this awesome and entertaining team rather than you.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

It read as if Semin didn't use a translator in his brief snippets to Tarik. That would be a nice sign. It seems like he's getting a bit more comfortable in speaking English.

Posted by: blackjack65 | November 12, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning..

this team sucks and wont make the playoffs...1st place is all a mirage.


Posted by: SA-Town | November 12, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I was pretty impressed with Fehr, along with his line with Clark and Perreault, last night. As a group, I thought they did a decent job of generating some chances, including the no-look goal, but what really impressed me was in the 3rd period, the puck was turned over around the offensive blue line and Fehr busted his but to get back down ice and backcheck to prevent a 2 on 1 break. Great hustle, and he's going to need to keep it up if he doesn't want to be scratched when Ovi gets back.

Posted by: cainoo7x | November 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse


1) No I'm not a troll.
2) Yes I was frustrated when I made my "name"...and now I can't change it???

3) George has done a decent job. I think everyone would agree some decisions are suspect...and I think we all agree EVERY GM faces scrutiny with their decisions.

4) Boudreau has done a very good job. But, this is a message board and we are allowed to voice our opinions and be monday morning qb.

5) Some players I think are getting away with too much..and they are given the benefit of the doubt to often and MAKING MILLIONS DOING IT!

It was evident we needed a shutdown minute munching defenseman after the series against the pens. What did we do about it this summer...nada...

If you don't believe me...write the experts at TSN...I know 3 of them personally...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse


Glad someone sees it my way... lol...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

and yes, I was kidding in regards to S-A's comment...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl -- thanks for the word on Lepisto. Glad to hear Sami's doing well. He was one of the several great call-ups we've had in the last couple of years.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the non-hat trick thing. All of the traditional NHL cities are laughing at us. I guess this is what comes with picking up a lot of new fans and I love their enthusiasm, but this is absolutely ridiculous. If this is going to become a "tradition" at the Phonebooth, color me irritated. It's bad enough that I have to "enjoy" my experience by lecturing people on hockey arena etiquette every time I go to a game, but I'm drawing the line here.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 12, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@sinkingcaps-with your sad, sad, tag I will never have any interests in your posts. I tell my son that the phrase--"can't do it"--is not part of our family motto. We don't limit ourselves. We CAN do anything even though some thing are harder to accomplish than others. Your troll name makes you a "we can't" kind of poster. Makes me doubt the validity of any of your observations since you have a limited view of the Caps.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Can someone finally agree we need changes on the defense?

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 8:03 AM |

Seriously dude? Finally agree? It's quite obvious that you're a new poster here. Since free agency over the summer, that's all we hear about on this board.

Posted by: Fro_ | November 12, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

At least it wasn't as many hats as with Ovi. The newbie fans are learning. Don't count me in that camp though--I learned hat tricks count only in regulation time several years ago.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps: have to agree with newbie here. You simply will not be taken seriously unless you get a different handle here. We don't take kindly to trolls and your name implies exactly that, whether you mean well or not.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 12, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

nope, not new..I just get bashed everytime I suggest our defense is not cup worthy..

And newbie...thanks for your lil pep talk. It's very cute.

If someone tells me how to change the name, I will make sure I do that (and include my former name in parens)...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

OH NO ChickenLittle laying low today due to free wing giveaway!! OH NO curse you Milan Jurcina and your weak boarding call, should have won 4-3!! OH NO our defense continues to suck despite having lost the fewest games in the league in regulation!! OH NO Theo was flapping his arms like a chicken wing on that first goal!! OH NO Varly is the Mariano Rivera of NHL Goalies...great in relief!! OH NO Caps fans are stupid for throwing hats when Semin scores in shootout even though this has been done in Philly too. OH NO Semin sucks...

Posted by: ChickenLittleCapsFan | November 12, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps -- I understand where you're coming from but it grates on people. Folks make assumptions about things we just don't know, for instance assuming that McPhee and BB are satisfied or don't have a plan. I and others assume, on the other hand, that they are not satisfied and that they are implementing a game plan for long-term winning and player development. Based on their track record, I'd say they seem to be on their way. Satisfied? no. Winning? yes.

BTW, if you want to change your tag I'd think you could "log out" from WP, and then register using a new name. Let us know when you do.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Snake...I hear you...and I completely understand.

I am very much interested in the Caps doing well...

I am also still realing the affects of Tikkenan missing that empty netter that would have put detroit away in Game 2...and possibly changed that series and my life...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

No need to change your name dude. You chose it- on a quick snap decision.

And people bash you because we're all aware of our defensive needs. It's a tired argument. Now, if we don't address the issue come the trade deadline, feel free to unleash the fury- as most of us probably will.

Posted by: Fro_ | November 12, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

You will most likely need to create a new account with a different email address. I don't see a way to change your username.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 12, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

At least it wasn't as many hats as with Ovi. The newbie fans are learning. Don't count me in that camp though--I learned hat tricks count only in regulation time several years ago.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Amend that one slightly -- it would still be a hat trick if scored in the five minute 4 on 4 OT period.

In any case, I agree entirely that we come off bush league. Let's counsel our neighbors at the games to layoff and not create a new category called the "DC Hat Trick"

Posted by: Sonyask | November 12, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@sinkingcaps--Now you are patronizing me. How special (sarcasm) Your tag is horrible but you reinforce it with your negativity and lack of knowledge. Sure everyone is entitled to their opinions but it's clear you are new to this board because you keep making statements as if you are the first one to make your observations, as, for example, the weakness in defense.

But for many posters myself included you became the worst fan ever when you hoped that Green and Schultz have long-term, season-ending injuries. BAD BAD fan to wish such a thing, even on a message board.

I am no longer a fan of my tag as newbie, particularly as I'm not as new anymore, but at least it was chosen with an excited frame of mind about our beloved Caps.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@sonyask--Ahh, now I get to teach my husband something. He told me it was in regulation time only. Good to know.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Dynamo Minsk denies signing Nylander. Shoot...

Posted by: CodePoetry | November 12, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"I had a lot of moments to score," said Semin

Did he say it in English?

Posted by: CodePoetry | November 12, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to remember that Varlamov's stats took a hit when the entire Caps team decided to take the rest of the game off after the 2nd period vs Toronto. Poor play in front of Varly cost him 3 goals.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

yes, because the phrase "through interpreter" as used with Varly was not used with Semin.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

thanks again newbie...I know...I'm a bad bad bad boy...I sincerely apologized for that...

Please don't spank me...for that horrible horrible mistake.

Come on dude, lighten up...

Their offense is AWESOME...their defense is suspect.

Defense wins championships...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps: also, keep in mind that your the tone of your comments is in line with your handle, so coming back with the exact same tone and a different name likely won't mask you from the damage you've already done to your persona on here, as newbie has already pointed out. I would advocate maybe changing your tone a bit and pretend that your name comes out of the mid-decade struggles of the team.

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 12, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov's GAA would be 2.48 instead of 2.89 had the rest to the Caps kept playing.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse


I have nothing to hide.

Been a caps fan for a very very long time.

Just tired of missing the chance for the cup..year after year after year.

If (and when) I figure out how to change my name I will be certain to put "formerly SinkingCaps"...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

yes, because the phrase "through interpreter" as used with Varly was not used with Semin.

That's very cool. He is finally talking!

Posted by: CodePoetry | November 12, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Defense wins Championships?

Maybe in football (Thats where that cliche came from)

Last year the Penguins were 17th is GAA during the regular season and 5th in the post-season.

What wins SC's, hot goaltending and a total team effort. Balance.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

And a little luck.

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Good points JSCHON...

FYI..Goaltending is considered part of defense.

I promise, I will not bash or talk about the defense (for awhile)...promise.

(is dat ok new-bie?)

Will focus on the positive....

We are so darn close to the cup...I want that so bad....(now I know how Red Sux fans felt in 2003)...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps: If you go to "change preferences" you can contact the customer care center at WP. Here is what they say about changing your user name: "We're sorry but changing your MyPost user name is not currently permitted.

If you need to remove a user name, please write to us using the "Send Us a Question or Comment" tab above and we can delete your current account. This will free up the use of your e-mail address to create a new account with a new MyPost user name.

We apologize for the inconvenience."

This is a good discussion board and everyone has the right to contribute. In face-to-face communication, much of the message is conveyed through tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. This is all stripped away in print. So it's good to develop strategies to get your point across without being offensive. Word choice, punctuation, the occasional "lol" help, as well as toning down the emotionally laden words or ideas (eg. hoping that players have season ending injuries in order to get them off the roster.)

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot...

Not having Tom Poti on the team too...

Posted by: JSchon | November 12, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

DC Citizen...thanks! (seriously)...

I will work on it...

We ain't SINKING!!! lol...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 12, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I hope Varly starts again Friday...

I'd like to see him get the bulk of the work.


Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 12, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I think when Joe B. and Locker referred to Semin as high risk-high reward, that characterized him perfectly. Sometimes in the same game.

Refreshing to see our offensive production without Ovi. It's nice to know that secondary scoring isn't just because the opponents' top defense is focused on our top line. Definitely makes the statement to other teams that taking Ovi out of the equation isn't a gameplan that improves their chances of winning.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | November 12, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Don't get too excited about Bettman being in DC on a Wednesday. He and Daly were in town at the request of Medvedev (head of KHL) for a meeting.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

it was mentioned above, but I'll do it again, Japers has a great summary of Alex Semin yesterday. a must read for all of Semin's fans haters and lovers.

Posted by: billd2 | November 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This Semin hate is hysterical. I remember a game when another guy on this team had two goals and a shootout winner. No one pointed out his mistakes, they just hailed him as a hero. And that guy is well known for coughing up the puck trying to make bad passes that leads to breakaways and goals against. Hmmmm......

Posted by: ablake70 | November 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

BTW...we all need to thank Ted for eating Nyls contract. 8 Million (less what ever they get back from a KHL team)over two years is a heavy price to pay. Other owner maybe would not do that.

Posted by: RichC3 | November 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps: Wow, you know three of the TSN "experts" personally? I know a Senator personally. Does that qualify me as a foreign policy expert?

Your posts are silly and you're all incite w/ no insight. Last year, the Caps gave up 245 regular season goals. The Red Wings? 244. The Penguins? 239. The Rangers? 218. San Jose? 204. Get the point? The teams that made the Cup finals did not have the best defenses during the regular season.

The Pens' defense played above their regular season level; however, you were on your own if you though Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi were going to come up huge in the Stanley Cup Finals. Goligoski? Sorry, but the Pens' were not built around shutdown defensemen.

Posted by: HeShootsHeScores | November 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

semin, like the tides roll in and roll out. this is the exact stuff i expected to see this morning. during OV's abscence it has been gratifying to see this team play more like a "team" and play a little more gritty style of hockey. i hope it will will after OV's return.

Posted by: doughless | November 12, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

continue after OV returns. duh

Posted by: doughless | November 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I watched the video of the Semin interview, and he did indeed use an interpreter, both so that he understood the questions asked, and so he could answer them. But at least he's talking to the media. That's a distinct step up from last season, even if it IS in Russian.

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Sources tell TSN that Forsberg was sufficiently encouraged by how his troublesome foot responded to game action last week, and that he intends to continue skating and working out with an eye towards playing again in the NHL.

But he apparently still has reservations that he's ready to play now so he has indicated to his Winnipeg-based agent Don Baizley to not engage in any contract talks with NHL clubs at this time.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 12, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

You people make me tired and unimpressed with humans in general.

Sadly there is decent new info hidden in these comment sections sometimes so I inclined to skim them. You all babbling about how awesome your opinions are (or how un-awesome someone else's are) slows me down.

...I say this about once every 3 months in full knowledge that it makes no difference. But I feel a little better afterwards. Carry on being awesome!

Posted by: megatroll1 | November 12, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

For those of you at the game last night:

Did the caps do anything to show support for our vets last night? The Blackhawks wore camouflage warm-up jerseys, which I thought was pretty cool. I believe they auctioned them off afterward, or they are going to. So, I was wondering what the caps did.

Posted by: JD09 | November 12, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Do not mock the Islanders, they could be a 1st round opponent for the Caps in the playoffs based on the way they are playing. Other teams are having trouble defeating them, not just the Caps. Currently they have the same amount of points as Boston and Ottawa, and is tied for 8th in points, so I am not sure where all this "It's only the Islanders" talk is coming from. I am just glad that the Caps do not have to play them again until Jan 2009. But unfortunately they will have to play NJ this weekend. I hate all the teams in the Atlantic Division! Thank goodness the Capitals play as if they are still competing in that division.

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 12, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@JD09: There were a couple of times that the veterans were honored last night at the game. The players stood at attention in respect. They also had a couple of veterans on the big screen for a while, and the players (instead of clapping)hit their sticks on the ice in applause. There is also a "courage" campaign going on that (I think) benefits the USO, and some Caps apparel with "courage" is being sold. Camouflage jerseys worn by the Blackhawks and then auctioned off was a great idea---wish the Caps had done that.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Thoughts about yesterday games and other stuff

1) to me, winning and being an offensively powerful team, WITHOUT OVI, is incredible and validates the caliber of the team. We all wanted to see the stuff the team is made of without Ovechkin. I think we have now seen it and I, for one, feel reassured. What I especially like is that a wide cross section of the team is scoring. Now if we could also have such team participation on the defense side!......

2) On the other hand, we still suffer from lack of discipline (penalties at the most sensitive points) and inconsistencies (this includes goal-tending). We have to address these to be a real Cup contender. I am a whole lot more confident than before about improving, though.

3) I am thrilled about Clark. I never understood why there are Clark bashers. Point-wise, he has made a contribution and I see him fighting hard game after game. I have faith in him that he will recover the old Clark. Good for BB for trusting him in the shoot-out.

4) Ha! Varly was spectacular. I definitely see him as our playoff goalie

5) Could someone explain to me the implications and likely scenario of having Nyls go to Russia? I know we will be able to bring some folks from Hershey up and also give raises to Semin and Backs. But will the Caps put their resources in bringing up Hershey players or finding veteran defensive players from the outside? And when is the trade deadline and how will this work in terms of GM's planning? Where will Nyls' leaving have the most impact?

Also what do you think they will do about goal-tending? Trust the Varly-Neuvy duo or bring another veteran for a year or two? God, I hope they don't renew Theo. BB likes him.

Posted by: caraveli | November 12, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse


Thank you. I feel better about my day by the affirmation that I am not the only one here that thinks the Islanders are a decent team. Not a great team and often not a good team. Certainly decent at 6-6-6.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 12, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@sinkingcaps--I am a woman, not a dude, not a girl, and your tone is still quite condescending. Moreover, you would know this about me if you actually read my posts rather than just react to them.

@caravell--I hope we don't sign another goalie. Personally, I think Varly and Neuvy are our future and I have enough faith in Theo to get us through the season. I figure that BB will know which goalie is our playoff goalie. I'm hoping that Varly gets the seasoning and experience to be that playoff goalie.

When is the actual trade deadline? I assume it's pretty close to playoffs?

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung-I said this in an earlier post but I definitely think the Islanders are undervalued. They clearly are in a rebuilding mode too and Tvares is quite the player. Hope you understand though that I hope we beat them again, in regulation this time, the next time they meet, which thankfully won't be for awhile.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I am also glad that Clark got the game winner. It's been long due for him. Lingering injuries are the worst.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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