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Caps 6, Avs 1

The Caps got balanced scoring, good goaltending and a solid effort on the blue line tonight. And, not surprisingly, the score reflected their thorough effort.

Check out my blog post on the injuries to Mike Green and Shaone Morrisonn here, read my gamer here, then come on back for an abbreviated postgame notebook (since it will be about 2 a.m. EST by the time you're reading this).

*Earlier this month, the NHL suspended Philly's Daniel Carcillo for sucker punching Matt Bradley. Tomorrow, the league might hand down some punishment to Colorado's David Koci, who leveled Mike Green behind the net with a dangerous hit from behind.

Asked if he thinks there's a pattern developing with teams taking cheapshots against the enforcer-less Caps, Boudreau said, "We'll continue to score six goals when they do stuff like that. The rules are in place where if they get the penalties, the good, skilled team are going to take advantage of it."

"It's more coincidence or there would be a lot more suspensions," he added. "[It also] shows what we have to get rid of to have a good game. ...the guys who sitting on the end of the bench and they come out and hit a guy and run around like idiot or I'm never going to play again, those are the guys that have to get out of the game."

*With Green and Morrisonn hurt, and John Erskine in the penalty box, the Caps were down to three defensemen for a stretch in the third period. They actually got down to two defensemen briefly when Tom Poti joined Erskine for delaying the game. At one point, Brooks Laich was taking shifts on the blue line.

"He was putting on a 'D' clinic," Boudreau joked about Laich.

*Jose Theodore was outstanding against his old team. (Check the game story for some good quotes from the veteran). The victory was his second in nine career games against the Avalanche (2-5-1).

*Since we talked a bit about the high altitude before the game, I asked Karl Alzner whether he noticed a difference.

"Normally you can go up the ice hard, back hard, up the ice hard and back and then change," Alzner said. "Here you can just go up the ice hard and then you have to change. It's unbelievable. It doesn't matter how well you are conditioned. You just can't do it."

Across the board, the Caps' forwards took shorter shifts tonight.

That's it from me tonight. I'll check in from Vancouver tomorrow.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 16, 2009; 1:53 AM ET
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Next: Morning roundup: Caps power past Colorado


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Posted by: alicejen16 | December 16, 2009 2:48 AM | Report abuse

That is pretty funny stuff....that along with BB's quotes really help paint a picture of this koci fellow. Enforcers will always be a part of hockey, but I think it is essential for teams who have enforcers to have enforcers with some decent hockey sense at the very least....Do not think Koci really fits that bill.

I am just glad to hear Green is feeling better (I did not really expect him back in the game wether he was good to go or not due to the game being pretty much out of reach in our favor). And I hope ShaMo does get to play on Friday (after a few days off) since it will be a hometown crowd for him.

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | December 16, 2009 2:46 AM |

I'm with you on that one. Enforcers are still needed in today's NHL, but their roles are just dramatically changing. It's hard to give a coveted roster spot to a goon like Koci I would think, but Sacco thinks it's still 2002.

I would love a Rypien or Boll type, not a one-dimensional enforcer like Koci.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 16, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

brooks laich should be wearing the C every night exhibit A...CC just retire there are players 10 times more talented at hershey and your role will be easily filled by brooksie et al

Posted by: formerlylove1 | December 16, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse


Thanks as always. Can you store the post game interviews on the site to link to so we have a one-stop shop of reading your articles and catching up on the full interviews with the team?

Posted by: CapsSkins | December 16, 2009 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Brooks is the captain-in-waiting for sure. He even looks kind of like Clark.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 16, 2009 3:29 AM | Report abuse

from last thread

A COL fan friend of mine posted a link that showed Koci's stat line one game.

In case anyone can't read that, Koci received a major (probably fighting) when he had a total of 2 seconds TOI.


Posted by: richmondphil | December 16, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Actually that was his last game on the 13th against the Flames. He has played 96 NHL games and has 2 goals and 1 assist. He averages only 3:07 per game in 5.2 shifts and has 64 PIM with 8 major penalites. Last year his TOI was 6:24. He was on the ice for 205:01 and had 137 PIM. He spends almost as much time in the box as on the ice. He is a no talent good and someone the league needs to get rid of. Even guys like Carcillo can score like he did tonight (and had a second goal waved off for kicking). He may be a good but he at least has some talent to go with it. Koci has no talent and hopefully will be out for a long time.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 16, 2009 4:19 AM | Report abuse

I know I have already talked about this but look at some stats of Koci in the past. In 06-07 he played only 9 games and had 88 PIM which means he was at almost 10 per game and he had 223 in 44 games in the minors that year which is still over 5 PIM per game. He has 12 goals combined in jrs, the AHL, and the NHL and 2064 PIM in that time. Since 2000 he has 142 fights according to including 31 regular season NHL fights. That is about one fight every 3 games.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 16, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

i understand boudreau's statements about taking advantage of power play time, but what good is that if you start losing players to significant injuries from these cheap shots. i'd love to see brandon sugden up for a couple games so other teams realize we won't put it with this. that was as blatant of a boarding as i've seen in a long time.

Posted by: nwilson2 | December 16, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

He is a no talent goon and someone the league needs to get rid of.

I guess that is what happens when I post at 4:30am

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 16, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

nwilson2 what is an enforcer going to do? Koci is on the ice for no reason other then to fight. Look at the example of the game before this when he had a fight in 2 seconds on the ice in the entire game. Even if we had a heavy weight guys would still take runs at us because worse thing that happens is they do their job and get in their fight and sit on the bench.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 16, 2009 4:37 AM | Report abuse


Only problem. We can't bring up Sugden since he left Hershey and went to the KHL.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 16, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: CommanderX-2 | December 16, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Koci managed to injure not one but two, of our guys.

What a cheap shot artist!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 16, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, CommanderX-2, for the youtube links. Green was down for a very long time. I wonder if there was also a concussion. Thanks go to John Erskine for standing up to the lug Koci. Get well soon, Greenie!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 16, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

I like that the ice time last night was evenly distributed. Only Alzner, Poti and Schultz were over 20 mins, and the reason is obvious. Even Ovi 19 + change. Hope BB can maintain that.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 16, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse


... another good example why such things shouldn't happen - a very good player (a reason why people want to watch the Caps) is injured by a "goon" (no one would like to watch playing) ... not a very good value for your money

... going after people with the intention to insure shouldn't be a part of the game IHMO ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | December 16, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

"Koci managed to injure not one but two, of our guys."

The Avs shouldn't be happy with this as it rises the probability of the Caps loosing to the Canucks and Oilers - it seems to be a bad turn ...

However, in the POs, it's another story ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | December 16, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Erskine had a good game, and I mean actually playing up until poor Greenie's run-in with the bad man. Erskine certainly gets a penalty pass for taking up for Green.

Posted by: Steakum | December 16, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Great game by the Caps, but they need an enforcer in the worst way to deal with punks like Koci.

Posted by: FLDave | December 16, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I have to say that I don't think that we need an enforcer. Erskine did just fine with stepping up. How would an enforcer, how would probably be sitting on the bench at the time, have helped??? Green still would have been hurt, and some one else would have had to step up.

Also, I don't think their mere presence would stop those types of plays, cause I really believe that other teams feel they can't beat us with out taking guys out.

I would rather have the roster spot open for another skilled call up that can net the goal on the resulting penalty....

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 16, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for an enforcer that actually serves another purpose on the team, those guys are hard to come by. Komisarek is a good example, good defensemen, enforcer and not goon, 20mpg.

Koci is there only to muck things up, not something I want.

Posted by: JSchon | December 16, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"I have to say that I don't think that we need an enforcer. Erskine did just fine with stepping up. How would an enforcer, how would probably be sitting on the bench at the time, have helped??? Green still would have been hurt, and some one else would have had to step up."

I love Erskine but he took a beating. Typically a goon like Koci will not get tossed from the game. The next time his blades hit the ice you respond with your tough guy.

Posted by: FLDave | December 16, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

no mention of Kyle Wilson's amazing night. Birthday night, NHL debut, 2 assists...come on now Tarik lol! I didn't watch your vid yet, but still no mention in the writing

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 16, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

agreed on the fact that we dont need a traditional enforcer. it wouldnt stop koci from doing his thing. the avs were getting a beat down at home and no doubt koci was sent out to send a message and mix things up. unfortunatly, he doesnt have the brain power or respect to do it the right way, with clean hard hits. having brash on the bench would not deter koci.

now, having guys on the bench willing to finish checks and mix it up if necessary would be a deterent. if koci knew that by pulling such shenanigans would mean a greater change of stastny or liles getting hit hard, perhaps that changes his approach. koci isnt going to be afraid of brash and brash isnt going to fight one of their skill guys. we have a big team, we need to use it. fehr, steckel, jurcina, etc. these are big guys who need to use their size. finish checks and be physical.

the only benefit to having an enforcer on the bench is that in a situation like last night, when you know the other team is going to run around, maybe brash and koci put on a show and you take koci off for 5 minutes. not the best use of a roster spot, imo.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 16, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice Eskine look back to Green before he engaged Koci? I don't know if he saw the entire hit, but he definitely heard it. Looked back to see if Green was all good. When he realized that he was down, he then went over to dance with Koci. I'd call this smart. If Green got up and was fine, no need to fight and maybe get the other team fired up. But since he was hurt, you have to go stick up for your boy- regardless.

I also wonder if Erskine doubles as the resident mall Santa after practice during the holidays.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

So one of the teachers I work with has the las name Nivirth..or something like that, so I asked him the origin of the name and he said Czech! and the name has been changed a bit. I might have just met Nuevirths long lost cousin!

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

It is over a 3rd the way through the season and I think we are doing fine with out Brash or any other enforcer.

Our team is built the way the NHL want to see the game played. If the NHL wants a high paced game, they need to gid rid of the Koci's of the league and make a statement that that type of play is un-acceptable.

Again, I love our chances right now. On a relaged note, for anyone to say we have defensive issues, well we only had 2 defensemen in the thrid for two minutes and three for the majority of it. How is that for team defense!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 16, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Erskine has gotten much smarter about when to fight...the whole team has actually. I don't think we need an enforcer right now, but we might come play off time...we can not afford to lose guys during the playoffs...and our top scorers might need some extra protection.

Posted by: capscoach | December 16, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is talking about an enforcer taking up a roster spot. Look at where the Caps finished in the standings last year. Brashear was in the line up almost every game prior to his knee injury.

The enforcers are not going the way of the dinosaurs. I believe fighting is actually up this season over years past.

Fighting is part of the game, it fills a lot of seats and the league knows it. Name the last hockey fight you witnessed where the fans sat quitely or booed???

Posted by: FLDave | December 16, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes, fighting is part of the game, but I would rather Bradley or Erskine drop the gloves and defend themselves and the team, but can also score and defend really good also. Fighting should be a secondary skill for our players, not a primary!! Again, I think we are doing fine in that respect.

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 16, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Bradley can't fight and Erskine is a light heavyweight. Taking a beating is not enforcement.

Posted by: FLDave | December 16, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

So one of the teachers I work with has the last name Nivirth..or something like that, so I asked him the origin of the name and he said Czech! and the name has been changed a bit. I might have just met Nuevirths long lost cousin!

Posted by: capscoach

Thats funny. Yeah, I have a similar story. I just met a teacher at my school the other day, and she introduced herself as Mrs. Fleischman...she told me that its okay if I forget it, because many people have trouble with that name (not a very diversified school)...she told me to just think about the butter brand...I told her I would have no trouble remembering that name, and that I was a Caps fan and there is a player with the same last name....she told me that another teacher who was a big Caps fan mentioned that to her....Mrs. Bradley :) She also say that Mrs. Bradley loves to call her Flash. I thought it was funny anyway.

@TominFl: I also love the fact that the caps got to roll all 4 lines (even on PP). I think with the condensed schedule, that is a huge advantage to our guys, and makes the Caps an even bigger, better "rested" threat to other teams...Especially when we have the likes of Bradley and Steckel putting one in :)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | December 16, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

No enforcer, please. I'm all for considering toughness in our future acquisitions, but I don't want to give a roster spot to a marginal player who fights. I agree that traditional enforcers are a fading part of the game.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 16, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I understand that, but I would rather have guys who can net the puck and not back down in a fight as opposed to taking up a roster spot with an enforcer.. Do the wings have an "Enforcer"?? No, granted, they are a far tougher team than us, but we just need to get there. I love our team and I don't think that we need that type of player..

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 16, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Re: Neuvy
Just last weekend I was sitting in traffic and noticed that the truck in front of me had a N.Carolina plates and a sticker that said 'Neuvirth Dodge'. I immediately thought of Neuvy and grinned. :-)

Posted by: tess2201 | December 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

These guys should get an automatic 5 games suspension, and then tack on how many games the player they injured would be out.
So the gorrilla that hit Green would get 5 games, and if Green misses 2 games that would up goon's suspension to 7 games. There would certainly be less incentive to have a goon on your bench.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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