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Caps Close to Decision on Goalie Prospects

It's a good problem to have, but it's still a problem. The Caps have three goaltending prospects -- Simeon Varlamov, Daren Machesney and Michal Neuvirth -- in Hershey right now.

That, however, may be about to change. GM George McPhee said today that he plans to loan out one of the goalies to another AHL team, perhaps as soon as a tomorrow. McPhee wouldn't say which player will be involved or where he might be headed.

It would make sense for the Caps to loan out Neuvirth for a couple of reasons. First, Neuvirth hasn't suited up for the Bears and therefore, if he is loaned out, can come back and play in Hershey later this season. Also, it makes sense to keep a veteran (Machesney) and a rookie (Varlamov), instead of two rookies, on a team that appears to be good enough to challenge for another Calder Cup.

"We may have an answer in a day or so," McPhee said. "It looks like we've got something going and we're close to a decision."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 14, 2008; 5:26 PM ET
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Next: Fedorov Playing Center; Brashear Not Practicing


Any solution that involves us keeping all three is something I can get behind :)

Posted by: Jeroen | October 14, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Wish we could bring one of 'em up XD

Posted by: this space for rent | October 14, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Like all the Caps' problems, this is that SOB John Erskine's fault.

Posted by: Tex | October 14, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, how does the loaning out process work?

Posted by: loan process | October 14, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

And will the current credit crisis affect any loans made? (sorry. couldn't resist)

Posted by: Leeguru | October 14, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Erskine may be the reason for the whole housing crisis too! Darn Erskine made the Dow Jones plunge!

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to Frederick Cassivi?

Posted by: gocaps | October 14, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse


he left to play in Germany.

tarik-With the loaning process since we're essentially giving them a goalie do we get some kind of compensation, or is the fact that they're rostering one of our players kind of a favor to us.

Posted by: DC FURY | October 14, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Cassivi is playing for the
Sinupret Ice Tigers
of the Deutsche Eishockey League (Germany)

Posted by: | October 14, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Cassivi was UFA and signed in Germany.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 14, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

John Erskine forced Cassivi to play hockey in Europe!

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse


I know you're kidding, but some poor sap will take that seriously...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 14, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

And I will be truely, truely amazed!!!

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@ Jschon
Sorry, just catching up on today's posts, I may have to get a Kozlov jersey to wear when I don't wear my other jersey and your second favorite player Erskine. (Which yes, everyone, he must be the bin laden of the CAPS.)

Sorry we couldn't make it out for the brew last night, next time... Jenny said she would buy, OK she didn't but we should hold her to that anyways.

Posted by: Super | October 14, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse


OK, that was seriously bad about Erskine...

Loaning out Michal Neuvirth - I hope - is what they have in mind, since he's yet to play for the Bears this year... We shall see, though.

Machesney and Varlamov are both doing very well!

Posted by: i rock the red | October 14, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It is my fault Cassivi went to Europe -- I purchased (with my little brothers money) a Cassivi t-shirt last year.

Posted by: uncatim | October 14, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

any updates on pothier

Posted by: capfann | October 14, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse


An idiot?

Kozlov's career postseason stats:

21 GP 0G 6A 6P -11

Overpriced and gone after contract up. Come on homey with OV and Backy with another dynamic winger and boy yuz got a line.

Jim get your head out of your arse.

Posted by: Told be Truth | October 14, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Cote and Godard are going... Not even 6 minutes into the game

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 14, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps need Brashear to play agains the Pens. Godard of the Pens just got into it with Cote of the Flyers.

Posted by: MikeR | October 14, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

so if the bears lend neuvirth to another team. and lets say that team and the bears meet in the playoffs...makes for an interesting scenario. can the bears yank him back at that point?

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | October 14, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1,
How incredibly devious that would be! Probably against the rules too, darn it.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 14, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

yeah i just that too... haha

Posted by: MNMNT | October 14, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@ i rock the red.

I hope that snort wasn't at me...

I really do have an Erskine Jersey and wear it proudly.

Posted by: Super | October 14, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

What RW should we get for 2.5 mil to replace Kozzy since everyone hates him so bad? Who would be better for that price?

Posted by: Jordan | October 14, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Talk about empty arenas, there is no one at the Trashers game

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Is there ever? I mean, they had season ticket holders burning their tickets at one point, if I remember correctly.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 14, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Super wear it... And he is rather proud of it...

Drinks on Jenny!!!

We only stayed for one...

I dont hate Kozlov, I just think his stats are padded by being on the OV/Back line and the Boudreau system as anyones would.

He's fine during the regular season but plays even smaller in the playoffs than he does during the regular season.

Kozlov's game is finesse and finesse only. It doesnt work in the playoffs, not in the East vs PIT, PHI, NYR, NJD...

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Im not advocating dumping Kozzy at any point during the season, but I wouldnt be upset if they did.

I am advocating not resigning him after this season and allowing some of the younger and CHEAPER RW's a chance to play. Fehr, Bouchard, A.Gordon...

Clark can play on the top line until either Fehr or Bouchard are ready.

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the idea of an unusually eager and potentially big league ready group down in Hershey motivates Jose and Johnny to step it up.

It might just remind them both of how $#!+ hot each of them were not too long ago in their careers, and maybe they still have a butt load of that left before they hit the links for good.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | October 14, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Completely unrelated to the Tarik's post but my company has a box at the Wachovia Center(they are headquartered in Philly) I had the opportunity to go to the Flyers/Habs game last night and I see now why we never let Eminger play.

He is absolutely terrible. On three separate occasions coming off the ice people were screaming "Eminger, You SUCK" and I also heard a "Eminger, go back to Washington!"

Maybe there really wasnt an issue between he and management, maybe he really is just that bad. Completely inconsistent, The Flyers 18 yr old Sbisa kid made Eminger look like a rookie.

Posted by: JD | October 14, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Actually they are playing in Pittsburg, so people yelling at him is probably a complement

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

actually, last night they played in philly

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

He has looked good against the stinking Pens!

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

This PIT/PHI game is on VS.

Nittymaki is playing great, Biron might be out of the #1 spot in PHI.

1-0 PIT.

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Correction... Nittymaki was looking great...

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"I am advocating not resigning him after this season and allowing some of the younger and CHEAPER RW's a chance to play. Fehr, Bouchard, A.Gordon..."

I have to agree with you there. After this year Kozlov will have served his purpose with this team.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 14, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse


Had to leave practice early today. There is one observation that has been nagging me. Last year, Olie always practiced on the side of the glass accessable to the fans at KCI. Johnny has since taken that spot, Theo on the other end. What's up with that?

Posted by: OleMiss | October 14, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@Super - naah, it was at the absurd Erskine-bashing going on. A snort/snicker/laugh.


On a side note - Here ya go! - pix from last night! :)

Posted by: i rock the red | October 14, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told is still an idiot

Posted by: JIM | October 14, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm heading to the practice facility tomorrow... 10:30...

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Re: loaning Neuvirth

As I understand it, when the Bears loan a player to another AHL team, they usually get someone in return. Also, as long as Neuvirth has not yet dressed for a Bears game, either as starter or backup, the Bears can retract the loan and get him back at any time (like in case of an injury to Daren or Simeon). If Neuvirth would have dressed for the Bears and then been loaned out, the Bears would not be allowed to recall him later in the season, although he remains Caps property no matter where he plays.

I'm not swearing this is 100% correct, but that's how it was explained to me.

Posted by: tess | October 14, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tess!

Posted by: uncatim | October 14, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm buying hat Tess is selling... do you have any lemonade Tess?

Posted by: JSchon | October 14, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the poll on it's in the middle of the article about the Wings visiting the White house today. It had two questions, 1) which team will score the most goals this week, and 2) which game is the most intriguing thing week? Caps are on both... Looks like the Caps vs Pens Thursday is the most intriguing :)

Just thought I would share as I found it interesting b/c Caps vs. Pens was more popular than Pens vs. Flyers tonight. I guess because of the Ovi/Sid match up.

Posted by: Blonde Caps Fan | October 14, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The Pens/Flyer is indeed interesting. Although when seeing Cindy for the first time in months, I couldn't help but going "ewwwwwwwwwwwww".

It might be too soon to judge it, but I see the refs more focused than last year...


Is Wachovia center to be renamed Wells Fargo center?

Posted by: mauree | October 14, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Which team do I detest more- Pens or Flyers? Tough tough call.

Posted by: Chris A | October 14, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

go to to see ovie's music video from russia...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Hell yes, Clark on the top line makes up for a shadow of a Malkin and an as yet unproductive Backstrom (pt wise). I should have won my fantasy week. Carcillo thwarted me. Carcillo.

Posted by: oo7 | October 14, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse


your exactly right. although we might not get anyone in return since we are stacked as is and dont really have any roster spots...i mean our 4th line is osala, perrault, bouchard...that could most def be a good 2nd line on any other team...however i would take a solid d-man. also chicago wolves are rumored to be a team in the running for the loan, one of there goalies did not report i believe.

Posted by: ben | October 14, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

tarik any updates on pothier

Posted by: i never rock the red | October 14, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

tarik any updates on pothier

Posted by: cap fannnn | October 14, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

One of the best stats so far this season is the line on Steve "Will somebody please send me back to juniors where I belong" Stamkos..

0 goals
0 assists
3 shots on goal
9:47 average ice time


Posted by: Oneal | October 15, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Hey, don't hate on Tampa, they're going to win the division. Just ask them.

Posted by: Section 117 | October 15, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I thought the game last night was in Pitt (they were wearing black and the Flyers were wearing white)? If so, then it does not mean much that the fans yelling at Emmi. Ironically I only watched about five minutes of that game and the announcers were praising Emmi for a move that he made.

I wouldn't kick Stamkos to the curb just yet - Backs had a slow start his rookie year and even Ovie took a game or so to wake up this season (he did just about nothing in ATL).

Posted by: Boo! | October 15, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse


It may be time to get your head out of Kozlov's arse. As an astute poster so eloquently stated earlier he has served his purpose -- the team no longer needs him and it has passed him by. Watch as the story unfolds homey.

Posted by: told be truth | October 15, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I would take Stamkos, I've watched him play and it is just a matter of time. It may take a while for anyone on that team to develope the chemistry needed to win, but from what i've seen of Stamkos he has good hockey sense and seems to be in the right places.

Posted by: Bob | October 15, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

You read JD's comment wrong. He's talking about the night before...he was in Philly to see the Flyers/Habs game. So it was the Flyers locals who were razzing Eminger.

Posted by: tess | October 15, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that Heward was leading the Bolts D with 2 assists? Good for him! I always wished we could have kept him, not many players would have been back on the ice so quick after the skate to the face he took. I think a character player like him is needed on a team. Too many pretty boys on the team is not a good thing. We have the best of both worlds with OV!

Posted by: Bob | October 15, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I think that was me not Boo who got it wrong. I was trying to watch the game between the two cesspools of the east and write at the same time, never a good thing. So hard to watch 2 teams you hate! Who do you root for? I just hope for lots and lots of violence! Beat each other up boys, thats the way!

Posted by: Bob | October 15, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

JD was talking about the Flyers/Habs game the night before when the Flyers faithful (haha) were jeering Emminger. Looks like the Flyers are in for a season of up and down games from Emminger.

Posted by: Mark | October 15, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

told be truth,
Koz still has a place on this team. We have some good up and coming talent that will make him expendable, but he is a key part of the team now. We will get by without him for now because of our outstanding depth. IMHO, we are still better with him than without, though.

Posted by: Mark | October 15, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Oops - my bad! :-) Well, even if the Flyers fans were jeering, is that really such a bad thing (considering the source)?!? ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | October 15, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't kick Stamkos to the curb.. he could very well become a great player. I just think he belongs in juniors for another year.

Backstrom went back to Sweden as an 18 year old. The idiots in Tampa only kept Stamkos with the big club for marketing reasons. But how can it be good for his development to play nine minutes a night?


Posted by: Oneal | October 15, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

If Neuvirth gets loaned to another AHL team can he play against the Bears?

In the Premier League (soccer) over here teams are allowed to loan players to other PL teams, however that player isn't allowed to play against the team that loaned him out originally. Conflict of interest and all that.

Also who pays his wages? Is it picked up by the team he is loaned to or do the Bears pick up the tab. It should be the team he plays for.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | October 15, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Boo,

No one is exempt from the wrath of those "great" Flyers fans. Not opposing teams or their own players. Equal opportunity boo'ers! :)

Posted by: Mark | October 15, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Dave! You're alive!! So much has happened since you've been gone - mauree even came home!! ;-) (Just kidding - hope all is well!)

Posted by: Boo! | October 15, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

At least they are consistent! ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | October 15, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse


Agreed on Stamkos. Similar to our situation with Alzner. The salary cap made the decision to send him to Hershey an easier one. I think that Alzner will benefit from those extra minutes in Hershey and Stamkos would likely develop better with the extra minutes in the minors. Time will tell.

Posted by: Mark | October 15, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

With Koz out 2 weeks,keep him out four weeks and make sure he is healed. So with that time frame he can go on LTIR and get some more cap relief so Alzer comes back sooner and we can pick up someone at the trade deadline and have the space available.

Posted by: Rich C | October 15, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Dave: I think regardless of where he plays, DC, Hershey, or another AHL city, he is paid by the Caps. That's who owns his contract. And yes, I think he could end up playing against the Bears. That's why you want to be careful about who you loan a player out to.

Posted by: tess | October 15, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I think it was early 90s when Caps were at Portland in the AHL. They had both Dafoe and Kolzig and loaned Kolzig for an entire year to Rochester. I don't know who paid Kolzig's salary, but doubt there was a player loaned back in return. I believe Kolzig then led the Rochester team to the Calder Cup before being sent back to Caps.

Posted by: Tom in FL | October 15, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@ Truth be told: "homey" twice, "arse" twice, "Kozlov sucks" too many times to count

My point is this -- Kozlov does not suck. I actually agree (mostly) with Jschon (is that your "astute" blogger?). He creates space for OV and Backs, is decent (fair) on faceoffs, has great vision and presence, great hands, and a wicked wrister, when he uses it. At 2.5mil, he plays as billed. He is not an elite RW/Center, but a good one. He also plays well defensively knowing when to drop back when Green joins the rush. He is a consistent plus player, good on penalty shots, and feeds OV some juicy set-ups. He also is big and skilled enough to pull two opposing players to him freeing up either OV, Backs, or a blueliner sneaking in. So keep him for this year and then do not resign him because Fehr, Clark, or Bourque may well replace him. PS don't forget that OV loves playing with Koz -- that alone is worth something.

I replied to your half-arsed Kozlov sucks with an equally lame come-back to highlight how sophomoric your consistent line is

Posted by: JIM | October 15, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info. Seems a great deal for another AHL club then. A top goalie prospect for free.

I agree they have to be careful where he goes then. Imagine him beating the Bears in the Calder Cup final.

Very funny! :) I'm alive (just) and am composing my reply as we speak.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | October 15, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Exercises for those who feel Kozy is overpriced at 2.5 per.

Head to your favorite cap site. I don't care if it's NHLscap or NHLNumbers (I prefer the latter) and do a player comparison. Look at where Kozy falls (he's listed as C on NHLNumbers so you have to imagine) in the list of RWs.

Not a single one of the 50 RWs in the list are available next season. (You might also notice Clarkie sitting up there at 2.6+pucks).

Heck, look up even further, Zuby is sitting up there at 3.4. The guy Kozy was meant to replace on the top line makes almost 1M more than Kozy, yet I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone here who can make an argument for Zuby over Kozy.

Let's adjust the exercise a bit. Find yourself a list of top point producers in the league from last year. Excluding players on entry-level deals (as they will be making more when it's time to sign again), take a look at the price range for a 50-70 point producing FWD. Sure, this takes a bit of work. Comparing the list to individual players on your favorite Cap site. But it's a good exercise to see just what you should expect from your 2.5M.

The Crux of this discussion/argument on Kozy comes down to this: Can anyone put up 50 points just by virtue of playing with Ovie? I honestly don't think so. No FWD in the league can do it by himself, and if teams can isolate the players around Ovie, his production drops off the cliff (look at post-trade-deadline 2 years ago). Ovie needs a supporting cast to make the double-teams more dangerous. He had a great supporting cast last season and look what he did. Does it have to be Playmaker + Physical guy? No. It could be Playmaker + 2x superstar, but when teams don't have to worry about your 2nd-4th lines, it can become much harder to score.

Looking ahead to next year, I think it would be fair to see how Kozy plays this round of playoffs (if we make it-just tryin not to anger the hockey gods). If he shows up, and we can keep him for 2.5...that's a bargain. If we decide to part ways with him, I'm not going to be sad. If Sergei plays for a full season the way he has sofar, I'd much rather spend 4 on him and let Kozy go. Losing both Kozy and Sergei could be a problem for our young Russians.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 15, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Jim. Kozlov still has a place on this team, and is worth the 2.5 million he is being paid. He's isn't worth more, but he definitely isn't overpaid.

After this season, I don't think we should re-sign him, mostly because we have cheaper options in the AHL that should be ready to step up on the team. As Jschon said, next season we can move Clark or Fehr up if need be, and bring one of the Hershey kids in on the 3rd line.

His time on the team will have passed after this season, not because Kozlov sucks, but because he'll be 34 next year and we need to keep cycling young talent into the lineup to maintain the long term health of the franchise.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 15, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

do we maybe want to see if Jose can work out of his terrible start before we start loaning goalies away?

Posted by: sean | October 15, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

You still don't get it Jimbob --

you think Borky or Fehr can replace him dude my sophmoric comment goes a long way to the complete ignorance with your last statement. Think about your comment Jimbob. What planet are you on and it is quite freshmonic to state "cause Ovie likes him." Are you kidding me. Are you a girl? Is this a lovefest you having going with Kozlov?

Anyone that knows hockey knows that Ovie needs a guy that can go to the net and your loving player Kozlov does not fit the bill.

Listen homey you called me an idiot first and I have to say that that was quite freshmoric don't you think Jimbob?

Posted by: be told the truth | October 15, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Why the Kozy lovefest? We have to turn up the Machine to get to the next level. That means Kozy bye bye and big trade coming before the deadline. Finally Sir George is getting it. We are so stockpiled with potential NHLers it is not even funny. Fehr won't be with us next year you watch. Borky will.

Jimbob for fan of the year. He knows Kozy.

Posted by: be told the truth | October 15, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry, Truth be Told is a Complete and Utter Idiot

Yes, I'm a girl named JIM (or is it Jimbob?) who evidently has a freshmoric crush on a 34 year old Kozy, oh yes, my heart is a titter, swoon, gasp, so on

I love to know that I'm a "homey" too -- did you dust off your lame 90's rant talk, just for me? I feel priviliaged

Just wondering, where will the money come from to trade away Kozy at the trade deadline, where will Sir George find money that is not already committed to the cap for an elite player -- sorry I just don't see that scenario when the Caps have 2-3 young players they can afford and could slip into a 3rd line RW (Bourque and Fehr come quickly to mind) freeing up someone else to play 1st line RW (Clark, Laich, and Semin all come to mind). Maybe I can't see it because my head is up Kozy's arse

Posted by: JIM | October 15, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse


calm down, there is no need for personal attacks.

"Anyone that knows hockey knows that Ovie needs a guy that can go to the net and your loving player Kozlov does not fit the bill."

Didn't Ovechkin score 65 goals last year with Kozlov on his right wing? Kozlov doesn't fit your "go to the net" style, and yet Ovechkin scored the most goals in history for a LW. Could Ovechkin have scored 65 last year with Backstrom and Clark? Maybe? Probably?

I think you, and others, underestimate Kozlov's ability to win battles along the boards and control the puck, which allows OV to move freely without the puck to get open and revieve passes. Kozlov is also an under rated passer. He is not god's gift to RW, but he is an effective player ans like I and FFS have said, his 2.5 million dollar salary is far from being over paid.

This isn't a Kozlov love fest. It's a "woah woah woah miss lippy" let's not over react and shoot off at the hip without actually thinking about what we're saying fest.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 15, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse


From what I understand Neuvirth can be called back at short notice if required. Also lets give Jose a decent amount of time before he is put on the scrap heap.

We've scored an average of 4.33 goals per game so far this year so as long as Jose keeps it to below 3 goals per game against, we will win more than we lose.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | October 15, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse


Have to be careful with the "anyone who knows hockey..." stuff.

In the same breath of "Ovie needs someone who can go to the net..." you also need to remember that same line needs to be able to hold the puck long enough for a player to get to the net.

Put it this way. Currently our top line will typically enter the zone from the left, with Ovie leading the rush. The goal being either for ovie to stop and start setting up the zone, OR shoot. Watch on the plays where Ovie stops high in the zone. Koz DOES go to the net. (Gasp!) When Ovie skates in for the shot, Koz pinches the boards in an effort to hold the puck in off an errant shot. When he's got the puck on the boards, count how many opposing players it takes to remove the puck from his possession. I'll give you a hint. It's not 1.

Take a look back at 2006/7. Clark's work down low paid off because we had a C who could work the puck physically and required more than one defender to force a turnover. We don't have that at our Center position anymore. We have a good small playmaker, but he's yet to draw a double team from anybody because of his size/experience. Look at the playoffs last year. The flyers keyed on Backstrom and Ovie and it took our entire top line down.

Back to my initial comment about needing time for "going to the net" to work. On 5-5, you don't have hours to set up in the zone. You enter, see what the D's gonna give you. Maybe set up a couple plays and hope for the best. Because of that silly "Offsides" thing, the player most suited for going to the net is the one carrying the puck into the zone. If Ovie has no options when he stops high in the zone, it doesn't matter if Kozy goes to the net, cause the puck's coming back the other way. That's what PHI did to us in the playoffs. When we entered the zone, they stuck a dude on Backstrom immediately and sent another right at Ovie. Result? Turnovers galore. Enter Feds, who wasn't as easily marked as 19 and the top line came alive.

It's more than just Ovie + Any dude Going to the net. It's about guys who can create space. You need 2 of those per line to have good success.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 15, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Jimbob -- you must not be a financial wizard. they can find the money through steals and deals homey. If Kozlove stepped up to the plate in the playoffs we would have advanced into the second round. He sucked and he lost a lot of battles along the boards as I remembered.

And Homey get this OV was basically non-existent for much of the playoffs. You know why Homey? Because the Flyers did not have to worry about any other threats on OV's line.

You a big dummy Jimbob. Hi Texmex you be a smart one too. I'm saddened to see we have a few leftover ignorant cap fans. Don't worry you will see. Now answer your company phones and get back to work.

Posted by: truth be told | October 15, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Eric Fehr....boom outta here

Posted by: stevo | October 15, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

You guys overthink the game. Kozlov hindered us in the playoffs. Now let's discuss something intelligent like who would be a great linemate with OV to take us to the next level?

Any ideas?

Jimbob you don't have to respond because I know you will say "Kozlove."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Nice clinic from FFS Enough & Sombero Guy, thanks. Sorry for my counter rants to folks who read them.

Posted by: JIM | October 15, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind . . . time for a new post

Posted by: JIM | October 15, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey last time I checked usually when you have a guy that can go to the net -- yes he CAN create space.

You guys are softies. We need a fast big winger (you know the American kind or Swedish) that can go to the net. get it go to the net. get it go to the net.

Remember as a hockey nut you guys tend to overthink the game. That's why you are where you are.

The get rid of Kozlov parade!

Posted by: truth be me | October 15, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

While I don't want to see anyone get hurt, the Kozlov injury helps the Caps. Wait and see.

The Kozlov bye bye parade

Posted by: Jimbob for fan of the year | October 15, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Kozlov stole Truth Be told's girl

Posted by: Truth Be Hurting | October 15, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Did the circus come to town because I seem to be the target of the clown's pie-throwing contest?

Posted by: JIM | October 15, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sure, the Caps will keep winning with Kozzy out of the lineup, but that doesn't mean they are BETTER without him. It just proves the team is deep and players are willing and able to step up when they have to, like last year when Nylander and Clark were out for the whole second half. We weren't IMPROVED because two of our top 9 forwards were down. Give me a break.

Posted by: Jordan | October 15, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

You know it wasn't that long ago I was calling for a trade of Kozlov and was soundly vilified. Now I see the idea is getting some traction. Interesting.

I stand by my original suggestion of trading Kozlov for a solid top six defender or for picks. I think Clark or Laich can fit in on that line and Gordo/Fehr can fill in well on the third/fourth lines. Of course if Feds stays on D we don't need another D man and would then have two forward slots open. This is not necessarily a bad thing, we just would not have a healthy scratch among the forwards. So lets say we trade Kozlov and Feds stays on D (he seems to like the idea):


I think Steckle and Gordon could flip flop here. It actually makes us a little thin up front, meaning we don't have someone ready to jump in there, but puts us in a much better position on D. If we want Feds up front we make the trade for a d-man (or call up Alzner as we are creating cap space every day he stays down there)and will have two scratches each night, one up front and one on D.

Posted by: kenwood | October 15, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

For somebody claiming to be one who knows about hockey, you sure did seem to miss all 7 games of the playoffs last season.

Ovechkin was non-existent for most of the playoffs? Really? 9 points in a 7 game series is hardly non-existent.

I love seeing people on here blindly question our Jack-Adams winning coach's game plan. Let me postulate the following:

If Kozlov was the PROBLEM vs PHI last post-season, why was he not replaced with your first-line savior, Eric Fehr? Why was it Backstrom that was moved to the 2nd line in favor of Feds?

At least JSchon will go do the work required to back up his complaints about Kozy and continue to make this an interesting conversation. Instead of just giving up when confronted with information, claiming I over-analyze the game.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 15, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

You guys miss my point --

We must find the right winger to go with the Great 8 to take us to the next level.

Of course when Kozlov is long gone next year you guys will be loving who and did I hear any names that would go with OV's line besides the ever loving Kozzy love?

Names clowns names

Posted by: Kozlove Lovers | October 15, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I know we won't cap room, but how awesome would a Ovie-backstrom- marion gaborik line be

Posted by: stevo | October 15, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

>>Response to Truth in next blog.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 15, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

wow don't some of you guys work?

Posted by: MNMNT | October 15, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

FFH you have a complete problem of seeing the forest for the trees. OV was shut down 2 and 3rd games and part of 4th eh homey. He had almost NO help fromm your loving Kozzy bear. You miss my pointyou miss my point because you smack the head into the tree too much.

Where was KOZZY in the playoffs? tell me clowns where was he? Imagine clowns if OV had a linemate that took the pressure off of him. The Greats have great compliments.

It's sad that you two clowns root for the Caps. We want intelligent people who don't overthink the game as fans. We want knowledgable people not beer drinking idiots. We want to take it to the next level.

Jimbob and FFH for fans of the year.

the Kozzy bye bye parade

Posted by: FFH and his meery men | October 15, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't know who you are but you sound like Chief. Enough with the insults already. If you are not careful you will be labeled a troll and nobody will respond to you. Just b/c someone disagrees with you, don't attack them. It makes you look bad. Besides it makes guys like me who actually agree with you want to change sides on the issue.

Posted by: kenwood | October 15, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Finally a name from someone that knows a great deal of hockey.

Now for you clowns that don't know jack - gaborik is 6-1, 190, and a Czech (not a Russian do ya hear). 42 goals last year and 63 penalty minutes. He is a tough guy not like softy Kozlov. Gaborik is dynamic and creative. Uh last time I checked Kozlov missed the boat on these important hockey traits. What do you think Jimbo? And he played under Mr. Stifler last year. Just think what Coach Voodoo would do for a Gaborik.

Can you say steal of the decade -- Lord Stanley hear we come.

Posted by: Stevo the Man | October 15, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect Kenwood, it was Jimbo who called me an idiot. He attacked me first. So what do you say to Jimbo?

Posted by: truth be told | October 15, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I guess I made my point on Kozzy. I'll take a couple of days off and come back next week with more intellegent thoughts on how to make us better.

We will revisit the Kozzy love fest next month and see where we are.

Npow is everyone watching their 401ks?

Posted by: The Speculator | October 15, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

>> Gaborik, new blog.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 15, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'll bet my last dollar Koz will be with the caps thru this years play-offs. He fits the TEAM well, is a force in the shoot-outs/breakaways. He was a plus +28 for goodness sake, and here is the real kicker.....the COACH likes him.

For some of you who think its more than just getting a bunch of players together, there is more to it then that. It all has to work with a SALARY CAP.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 15, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What team do you think they will Loan Michal Neuvirth to and do you think they will loan him to Grand Rapids or the Phantoms

Posted by: Suezanne | October 15, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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