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Caps' collective health on upswing

Here's the latest infirmary report: Alex Ovechkin (left shoulder strain) has unofficially been upgraded to "questionable" for this weekend's games; Mike Green (upper body) and Alexander Semin (right wrist) will suit up tonight; Boyd Gordon (sore back) could return by this weekend; and Jeff Schultz (lower body) returned to practice this morning but isn't quite ready to play.

That's certainly good news for a Caps team that begins a stretch of three games in four days tonight against the Islanders.

Some other news, notes and quotes from KCI:

* Coach Bruce Boudreau praised Semin for playing through an assortment of ailments because he knows the team needs him with Ovechkin out. Semin has not scored in six games and has not recorded a point in three.

"He's got some bumps and bruises," Boudreau said. "You all know his history; he's playing through all of these things, which is a really positive thing. I applaud him for doing what he's doing and just going out there and trying to compete."

* The Islanders will be without Kyle Okposo tonight because of the swine flu, according to Newsday. They'll also be without Doug Weight, who has an upper-body injury, and Radek Martinek, who's out with a torn ACL.

* The Caps do not have an update on Michael Nylander's status at the moment, but GM George McPhee is expected to be back from Toronto tonight and could have something later, I'm told.

* Speaking of Russia, KHL President Alex Medvedev and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly (and maybe Commissioner Gary Bettman) are scheduled to meet tonight in Ted Leonsis's box at Verizon Center. I'm hearing that the men are going to discuss a variety of topics, including the lack of a transfer agreement.

* Jose Theodore will get the start tonight. He's 4-0-3 in his last eight games with a .910 save percentage and 2.81 goals against average.

* Asked why the Caps are so dominant in the first period -- they've scored first in 14 of 17 games and outscored opponents 20-6 in the first period -- Boudreau joked that it's his pregame speeches.

"I'd like to think it's [because] the coach gets them ready," Boudreau said. "I'm not saying that. But there is a trend."

* Mike Knuble did not skate this morning, but he told me he's fine.

* Mathieu Perreault is the fifth player from Caps' 2006 draft class to make the NHL, joining Nicklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Oskar Osala.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 11, 2009; 12:36 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Islanders at Caps

Comments

Great, three-0 in net.

5-4 victory...Isles are terrible, but I really do think we need to get Varley more involved.

Jose doesn't scare anyone...just throw the puck on net, crash, and rebound is as good as in (unless the Caps defense clears it).

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

SinkingCaps is the artist formerly known as Cheef

Posted by: DaleHunter | November 11, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps

Theo has been the superior goalie this season and that is why he is seeing more action. Jose 2.84 GAA, Varly 3.18. You talk bad about Jose and his rebound control...have you seen Varly's glove hand and his technique??? He relies on pure athleticism at this point, he needs to learn some things.

Posted by: ThePat | November 11, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Dale - we miss you - wish you were still playing!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I do think Fleishman will continue his tear...and Perrault will also score again tonight.

Hoping Green remembers where the DZONE is...we will need him back there...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

SinkingCaps is the artist formerly known as Cheef

Posted by: DaleHunter | November 11, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

At least Cheef disappeared after victories...

Posted by: HappyWeagle | November 11, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps: uhhh....what?

Jose Theodore: SV% .908, GAA 2.84
Semyon Varlamov: SV% .897, GAA 3.18

That's what you do with any goalie in the league, and Theodore's made some highway robbery stops this year. Varly's been rough. Yeah, I can see getting him more involved, but I think he gets one of the back-to-back starts this weekend. I wouldn't say it's because of Theo's poor play.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@SinkingCaps, that is kinda harsh considering he has lost two games in regulation and the team is in first place in the conference. I also don't think that Varlamov scares anyone either, it isn't like he is Patrick Roy back there.

@DaleHunter, do you have any comeback other than that. I think you have called me Cheef as well. Just because everyone doesn't see everything the way you do doesn't warrant them being put in the category of Cheef.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 11, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

'@ the pat...

I agree, Varley has a TON of weaknesses. But while we are doing just fine in the standings...why not get this guy some experience.

You said it yourself, he needs to learn some things...no better place than in games!?

"Superior" is a tough word to use...he's 32 in the league in Save Percentage and 39th in GAA. He has been better than last year, but please don't tell me you think they should consider bringing him back...

BTW-- he makes 4.5 million dollars. We shouldn't even be THINKING of Varley...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

hmmm how about wins and losses?

isn't the most important stat??

Posted by: joek443 | November 11, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Hold the phone....NOT saying Varley is our option YET...but we might as well see what he has....(no don't start him every game)...

And I agree...WE MISS DALE HUNTER!

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to the game against the Rangers tonight. Would love to be there but I'll be watching on Versus.

Hope to see Varly in net tonight. He needs to get some work in. Also looking forward to Semin breaking out of his funk, has he been hurt or something? Doesnt seem to be himself.

Bummer that Ovie is out 4-5 weeks but I think it's an opportunity for the rest of the guys to step up and show us what they've got. A win tonight will go along way towards getting us back in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Any Nylander update?

Posted by: MrObliviousCapsFan | November 11, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Isles will be more of a test than the FLA Kittens for the Ovieless Caps.

Varly is a little scary in net. Never know when the next melt down will happen.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 11, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Guys, we are playing with "house money" right now...with OVIE out, most (experts) expect us to lose.

So play Varley for a few, get him some experience and then when OVIE gets back, toss Theo in there...

We are 7 points UP in the division...with (what seems like) 70 games left...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy, I've touched a nerve with the vocal minority.

Theo has thoroughly outplayed Varly this year, the numbers don't lie. You can b!tch and moan all you want about not wanting Theo in net, have at it, but he's proven to be the #1 goalie on this team.

And I'll be sure to continue to tell you otherwise when you come on hear spouting nonsense supported by no facts.

Posted by: DaleHunter | November 11, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

the number one goalie is the goalie who starts in the first game of the playoffs... and we have a long way to go and I for one haven't forgotten how terrible Theo was in the playoffs in the spring

Posted by: joek443 | November 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Tarik:

Mathieu Perreault is the sixth player from Caps' 2006 draft class to make the NHL, joining Nicklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Oskar Osala.

Using the fingers and thumb on my left hand, I make that the "fifth" player.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's a fact....why is Chris Clark still playing? 17GP, 17 shots and a -4 rating.

A fourth line player's goal should be to NOT hurt the team. His -4 rating shows other wise.

Nice guy, hard worker, but there are many others who should be playing ahead of him.

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I see your point SinkingCaps, sorry to equate you with Cheef. Hard to tell the tone, etc in a chat. As for freakinandpeakin, not so sure yet...

Posted by: DaleHunter | November 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

sinkingcaps

Go to the Pens blog already, will you?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 11, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

JoeK...

I agree with you on that. Right now, I would start Theo in net if the playoffs started (I know, shocker considering I'm a huge Varley supporter)...

BUT, it's not playoff time...let's groom Varley to see if he IS ready for this year's playoffs...

THEO>Varley ...now.

But, Varley wasn't on the team last year...and he was almost the answer in the playoffs...so we need to build on that...not depend on theo becoming "our man"...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

We are also tied for first in the conference. Gotta get the points whenever/however we can. Number one seed in April would be nice.

Varly has to play better when he gets his opportunities...he has to earn his way back into the net.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Greg...I have zero desire to even visit the smelly grimy city of pittsburgh.

I even hate the steelers...

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't get into it with Pittsburgh people. As much as none of us would ever want to even vist there (let alone live there), the fact is they hold the Lombardi Trophy and the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 11, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Varly has 15-20 nhl starts and alot of raw talent.
Theo has over 300? nhl starts, vezina, hart, playoffs, experience, etc.

Varly needs to turn his raw ability into nhl talent. That's what young back-up goalies do. Irbe is here to teach him to play net in the nhl. He will get his chances this year and the caps will look to see if his technique is improving. No doubt, based on raw ability, he his a good nhl goalie but why rush him into the pressure of carrying the team this year. Let him watch, practice and learn. At seasons end, make a choice on keeping him as the #1 or having a more experienced #1(does not mean more upside or talent but experience matters). Remember Neuvrith was injured out of camp and coming off injury when Varly came-up last year. Neuvrith may have been penciled in as the next #1, but Varly took advantage of his oppurtunity and blurred the line betweeen the 2 goalie prospects.
The team is winning now.
Take time and develop young talent.
The caps do not need to force young players into positions anymore.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Are the Caps warming up in the camo uniforms that will be auctioned off for charity?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

1) Varlamov's nickname (according to the paint job on his helmet) is spelled "V-A-R-L-Y".

2) Ovechkin's nickname (according to his Twitter feed and no-longer-active website) is spelled "O-V-I".

If you have any respect for these players whatsoever, you will use their preferred spelling when using their nicknames.

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

We are also tied for first in the conference. Gotta get the points whenever/however we can. Number one seed in April would be nice.

Varly has to play better when he gets his opportunities...he has to earn his way back into the net.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

number one seed means absolutely NOTHING, just look at the history of number one seeds... what you need to do is have your team-playoff ready, the seeding means nothing

Posted by: joek443 | November 11, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@irockthereed,

well done!

Posted by: saintex | November 11, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Good grief.

Posted by: JSchon | November 11, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Here's a fact....why is Chris Clark still playing? 17GP, 17 shots and a -4 rating.

A fourth line player's goal should be to NOT hurt the team. His -4 rating shows other wise.

Nice guy, hard worker, but there are many others who should be playing ahead of him.

Posted by: SinkingCaps | November 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

he's got 4 pts in his last 5 games and is 0 over that time. he's also one of the few guys willing to drop the gloves when needed. i'd like to see him get some additional pp time to stand in front of the net.

hopefully his last stretch of games are going to be more representative of his entire season. i think he's clicking now with his line. besides who are you going to plug in instead of him. barring injury, he's going to be on the roster. with some cap flexibility, maybe you see him get some press box time given his age and injury history.

i'm a chris clark fan despite his struggles over the past few years. if healthy, i think he's the type of guy you want on your roster come playoff time...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 11, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

As I said in a previous thread, and harped on by kittypawz, Varly has not been impressive at all this season. The numbers back it up.

Varly seems to be in the same mold as a young Fluery, DP, young Hasek, etc..

All athleticism, but needs to work on positioning/technique.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Theo's recent 4-7 win doesn't exactly convince me he is a superior goalie.

An 8% save difference over scott clemensen with a 3 goal differential doesn't speak well.

He's done well this season thus far sure, but He did well last January too, doesn't mean he had a great year...all I'm saying.

Posted by: breaklance | November 11, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

It was the back end of a home and home, when he played the first game the night before. Let's not rue anything yet.

Posted by: Section117 | November 11, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Varly is a little scary in net. Never know when the next melt down will happen.

Posted by: hockeypuck1

Yes, but I don't exactly see Theo as a rock of stability either. In his last two games he let in some soft goals and his save percentage was in the 80's. I saw glimpses of the old Theo in these games.

Varly, I believe, has improved. I am curious to see what others think. I can't remeber which hand it was that he had trouble with glove saves, but he has made some spectacular glove saves since then. And I don't sense him nearly as fragile emotionally as he was during his meltdowns. I thought he was looking better than Theo at his last game.

Posted by: caraveli | November 11, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

number one seed means absolutely NOTHING, just look at the history of number one seeds... what you need to do is have your team-playoff ready, the seeding means nothing

Posted by: joek443 | November 11, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Joe, four of the last eight cup winners won their respective conference. I like those odds.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | November 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

TSN useless facts:

Washington most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Calgary are 4-6
After playing Florida are 7-3
After a win are 7-3

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

When #1 seed's burn out in the 1st or 2nd round, it's usually because the players have been playing too gritty all year. After 82 games, your body is pretty broken if you play a hard-nosed game day in and day out.

(see: Bruins last year.)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you can hate the pens and still not rag on the city. A number of us here grew up in Pittsburgh. I did, and believe me it's a great and beautiful city in a lot of ways. Included in its greatness is the number of championships it has managed to garner.

And like most good Caps fans, I hate the Pens, a hatred developed over the years by our losses to them and numerous other factors. We will, however, prevail, and hopefully soon.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 11, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

From my visits as a kid, I thought Pittsburgh was a pretty horrible city. Then I watched that movie "Smart People" and wondered where it was filmed, since the setting had a bunch of great visuals. Turns out..it was filmed in Pittsburgh.

Then again, I live in freaking Richmond, VA, So I really shouldn't be talking about other cities..(FYI, I hate Richmond)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Via Twitter

TheFourthPeriod Spoke to Caps GM earlier... he said Nylander is willing to play in KHL, expects a decision in "day or two"

Posted by: ThePat | November 11, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

TSN useless facts:

Washington most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Calgary are 4-6
After playing Florida are 7-3
After a win are 7-3


Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 2:06 PM


Is Ron Weber back with the club?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I believe Pittsburgh as a city is doing ok these days. They are no longer a steel town and have more white collar jobs than they used to. Unemployment there is lower than the national average. From what I've seen of the city on TV it looks quite nice. It just sticks in my craw that they've done better than us in the NHL and the NFL.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | November 11, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Am I crazy, or did I read somewhere that the Caps had special warmup sweaters tonight? Can anyone provide a link?

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

blackhawks are wearing camo warmups. cant find anything about the caps

Posted by: brian58 | November 11, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

you are probably crazy but also might be right haha. I do not know the answer, just felt like being a smartass

Posted by: ThePat | November 11, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Anaheim wore camo jerseys during warm-ups the other day too. The NHL is really putting an emphasis on Veterans's and Rememberance (Canadian version) day this season. I am totally on board with that because I am a retired Sailor. I still work in the DoD and deal with folks in harm's way every day. Ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things, and think nothing of it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 11, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Rich Chere of the Star Ledger talks with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer who tells him that a trade from Anaheim this season is "a possibility" and that he doesn't have a no-movement clause. Wonder where Nieds would be headed if the Ducks are still struggling in 2010. Say, where is his brother playing these days? [Newark Star Ledger]

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

caraveli
you're basing that on one game that varly played good since his rocky games this season. that's silly. his GAA is still higher than theo's. wanna talk about bad games? how about the last game of the playoffs last year? huh? who played that game and how many soft goals did he let in? you guys see him as a a savior for the team and he's not there yet. he hit a hot streak and if he was truly that good he'd be starting every game right now and his GAA would definitely be lower than Theo's. stop speculating on what you don't know about.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Is Ron Weber back with the club?
Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 2:25 PM

C'mon that's blasphemy man! Ron Weber is GOD! LOL!

Posted by: Rocc00 | November 11, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

* Mathieu Perreault is the sixth player from Caps' 2006 draft class to make the NHL, joining Nicklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Oskar Osala.

And more to come from the farm. GMGM knows what he's doing tor those on the glass 1/2 empty side.

Posted by: Rocc00 | November 11, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't remeber which hand it was that he had trouble with glove saves, but he has made some spectacular glove saves since then.

Posted by: caraveli | November 11, 2009 1:57 PM |

I'm not trying to be a Richard, but it would be the only hand in which he uses a glove.

:)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon - Rob is playing for the Devils. Right now, he has 2 goals and 5 assists in 13 games, and has a +3, with 4 PIMs and 19 shots. :-)

As for Varlamov, my opinion remains that he relies too heavily on his athleticism, and needs additional experience before he will truly be a #1 goalie. He's good - but he has an angel on the crossbar a lot, and enjoys unholy luck on a regular basis. That first game he played, where he beat Montreal? They rang 6 or 7 off the crossbar that would have gone right past him if they'd aimed just a touch better. Varlamov is not the Second Coming. He's a young, athletic goalie, who needs a couple more years to polish up his skills.

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - *snicker* good point, that.

For the record, Varlamov catches left. That would put his stick and blocker pad on the right. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Mathieu Perreault is a beast!!

Just sayin'... :-)

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Perrault has a long NHL career ahead of him. Don't know if it's going to be with us, but that kid will be a great 2nd line center for a team one day.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@irock

That was the NJ Star Ledger asking the rhetorical question.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 11, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Also, in case any of you are interested in how our two former Russkis are doing back in their homeland;

Kozlov has 4-7-11 points in 22 games for Salavat and 8 PIMs.

Fedorov has 4-7-11 points in 20 games for Mettallurg with 10 PIMs.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

i had no idea how popular the NTC/NMC really was

list of players (from mar) with clause
http://www.nhlscap.com/no_trade.htm

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 11, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

(FROM AN EARLIER THREAD)
You guys have too much time on your hands...Circles is a ridiculous name...seriously...90% of hockey players circle and pivot the play as they are moving.

Great nickname...career years before he came to the caps...not to mention:
920 GP_209 Goals_470 Assists_678 Pts.
Playoffs: 47-12-22-34

Whoever gave him the name "Circles"...how many points do YOU have in the NHL...just ridiculous...
I agree he needs to go...but ONLY because Boudreau can't make a square peg fit into a triangular hole...
Beagle, Perrault, Laing, Fehr will ALL never add up to the career points Nylander had...

Posted by: SinkingCaps

@sinkingcaps--Of course Nyls has had a great career--that is why the Caps signed in the first place with the now infamous NMC.

Posters don't argue that he is a bad player. They argue that he is not a good fit for the offensively driven system BB has in place. He was already here when BB took over. Neither of them have been able to adapt to each other. Part of what made Nyls so effective with other systems is his ability to slow the play down in large part because of the way he could maintain control of the puck by circling. Put that style in BB's system and Nyls doesn't fit whereas other players, Ovie being the obvious example, have thrived in BB's system.

I'm now wondering just how much Caps hockey you have seen recently from your seats in the 100s. When you slammed our entire defensive corps you made a huge point of saying that you could see just how bad Green, Schults etc were from your fabulous view of the ice. How could you have missed Nyl's circular style.

Maybe you need my birds-eye view up in the 400s.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - Also, Salavat Yulaev is in 2nd place in the league, and Metallurg Magnitogorsk is in 1st.

Metallurg most recently defeated Lokomotiv, 2-1 in overtime; SY most recently defeated Barys Astana 4-3.

The teams' records are:

Metallurg - 16-1, 1-0, 0-3 (W-L, OTW-OTL, SOW-SOL)
Salavat Yulaev - 14-1, 1-1, 3-0

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@Cap'n Kirk

Yeah, somebody posted that link when the "Cheefs" of the world kept saying GMGM is an idiot for giving someone like Nyls a NMC like a year ago.

Of course, a lot of these are contingent on what they actually signed in the contract. (like only to an East team, etc)
Nyls was somewhat of a "general" NMC, it seemed like.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Also, Fedor Fedorov has several PIMs for "simulation," which is what the KHL calls "diving." I rather like their term for it more than ours. :-) Much more descriptive, LOL!

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Metallurg most recently defeated Lokomotiv, 2-1 in overtime; SY most recently defeated Barys Astana 4-3.

_______________________

Wonder if Varlamov got any calls from a gloating Fedorov. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I am wondering what is the team mascot for Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Someone dressed as a drill bit?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed this season that Varly's been trying to rely more on technique and not just his athletic saves, a change due to Irbe's coaching I surmised. He has made mistakes-it takes time to change habits.
Having said that, we need to bring him in carefully--he is one of our future goalies. Theo has NHL experience and I think he is the best in front of the team that is Ovi-less (see Irockthered--I noticed your post about correct abbreviations).
BB plays the hot goalie and at the moment Theo is the hotter of the two and he has made it clear that he considers Theo to be the starting goalie.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 11, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - I don't know about that, but I do know that Glen Hanlon got sacked by Dinamo Minsk a couple of weeks ago... not that the two have ANYTHING to do with each other!

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

irock: Yes, whenever they call diving, I'm reminded of when Louganis cracked his head on the diving board and I imagine how much worse it would be if he landed on the ice.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

For those that thought Theo Fleury was someone the caps should pick, maybe Perrault is that guy. Small, works hard, clearly has offensive ability, quick.
Also I am guessing GMGM has read the sign the in the Bar that Says "Free Beer Tomorrow". Kinda like on Monday when he said will be have more information about NYLS tomorrow.

Posted by: RichC3 | November 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Mathieu Perreault is a beast!!

Just repeating my earlier sentiment.

Watch him. He looks like a miniaturized Ovechkin on the ice! I swear, his number should be 8.5 instead of 85, 'cause he skates just like Ovi! Someone needs to issue that boy his own yellow skate laces!

I <3 Perreault!!!

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Perrualt definetely doesn't carry the same edge as T. Fleury though.

I don't think Perrault will ever rack up 150-200+ PIMs.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Owwwww... my head hurts just thinking about that!

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

irock: I posted the other day that Ovi should dub Perreault "Mini Me."

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Yeah he should. :-)

@richmondphil - You say that like it's a bad thing! We don't need more guys sitting in the box, LOL!

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:

Ha ha! You got me there. Who knows what I was thinking! "I'm not trying to be a Richard, but it would be the only hand in which he uses a glove."

What was the problem he (Varly) had? I can't remember? And does anyone else think that he has improved?

As to the standings. I completely agree with joek443

"number one seed means absolutely NOTHING, just look at the history of number one seeds... what you need to do is have your team-playoff ready"

I remember how un-ready we were for playoffs last year, even though we were #2 in the Eastern Conference. And, other than Detroit, the hot teams that went deep into the playoffs were late-comers and not necessarily top seeds. Think of the Penguins for example.

The Caps fizzled out in the last few weeks of the season just when they had to gear up for the playoffs. I don't know what BB concluded from that and if he is doing anything different this year.

Posted by: |

Posted by: caraveli | November 11, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all--

I have upcoming travel to conferences in Prague and Rome and am wondering where would be a good spot to watch the Caps on live TV (ie, after midnight); of course, I could stay in my room and try to watch on the Internet, but where's the fun in that (and besides, it probably wouldn't work)? Any suggestions for a late-night sports bar in Prague or Rome, preferably with a satellite hook-up that could get an NHL game on request late on a Friday or Saturday night? This worked at a Canadian pub in Hong Kong, where I had the dubious pleasure of watching Columbus/Mason shut out the Caps 3-0 (again!) last January.

Thanks in advance--Let's Go Caps

Posted by: jhershb | November 11, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@IRTR

True, but we all have to remember who was our captain for a long time...:)

I remember when they brought that penalty box out onto the ice on his number retirement game. Definitely one of the more memorable games I've ever attended.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli - Varlamov's big problem is three-fold, as I see it:

1) He has a hole in his glove. Any player shooting high glove side has a good chance of scoring on him, and the rest of the NHL has figured this out.

2) He leans more on his athleticism than on technique, so that he's caught out of position a lot, and when he is, he either has to make a HUGE save, or he is on the wrong side of the net to stop the puck. The huge saves that he makes sometimes when he's caught out of position make him look spectacular, but if he'd been where he needed to be, he wouldn't have had to make the huge save.

3) He gives up big, juicy rebounds. - I'm not saying he's the only goalie in the NHL that does this, but he does need to work on rebound control. It plays into problem #2 - he gives up a juicy rebound and is out of position to make the second stop.

Has he improved? I really can't tell. I know he's gotten lucky several times, and he has made some clutch saves, but I don't see him as our #1 goalie yet. I personally prefer Michal Neuvirth for that role in the long run, if he can stay healthy.

That, however, is a huge "if."

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Varly has definetely improved his rebound control since last year. As far as positioning/technique and his glove side....well, he still needs to work on it.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

for those who like to mention there favorite player from EA sports NHl 97 as a good addition-> reference washington Redskins Fantasy football team for the results of signing older names past their prime as keys to victory. Fleury,Forsberg,etc.

A few veterans to mentor is good but don't expect them to carry the team to victory.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 11, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Also @caraveli - Remember that the tail end of our season last year was all "easy teams." We coasted into the playoffs. Our last six or seven games, we needed only one point to clinch the division, and I think the ability to coast hurt us in the long run.

Our season ends with tougher teams this year, and I think that's all to the good.

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

A few veterans to mentor is good but don't expect them to carry the team to victory.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 11, 2009 3:53 PM |

On the flip-side, there are Cup teams who were stacked with vet talent. (02 Wings)

Then again, the Wings retardedly stacked team of superstars was complemented with the Wings own draft picks coming up huge as well.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe Mr. Malkin is a Magnitogorskian. I vaguely remember looking it up after seeing just how far from Moscow Alexander Semin came from. That is a lot of land to scout....

Posted by: saintex | November 11, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

As veterans I am referring to the 40
year-ish old players at the end of great careers. Sundin, Shannahan, Fleury, etc.

There good for mentoring but won't help too much in victory. In 02 wings, that was alot of the veterans last strong season and playoffs esp. stevie y, feds. Lucky luke and Larinov didn't do squat but Hasek was awesome. You can buy a championship(see Yankees) but loaded up with OLDER(36+) veterans is a bad business.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 11, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

but loaded up with OLDER(36+) veterans is a bad business.

Posted by: cadlecreek1

correct - you could get away with two (maybe three) 36+ yr olds, getting 10-15 semi productive minutes a game - preferably with some 'deeper' playoff experience. locker room/bench presence can be just as valuable as ice time

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@saintex - Yeah, Moscow to Magnitogorsk is a couple thousand miles... it's like here to California, only without reliable air transport. :-p I was hoping to get over to Russia to watch Fedorov play, but they've already played Dinamo Moscow, and traveling from Moscow to Magnitogorsk would suck with my extremely limited Russian vocabulary, most of which would get me in a LOT of trouble!

Yes, Malkin played for Magnitogorsk, as did his father, Vladimir, and his brother, Denis. He was actually born in Magnitogorsk.

Semin played for Traktor Chelyabinsk, and was born in Krasnoyarsk (Siberia) - a fact I'd do well to remember when I kvetch about it being cold out, LOL! This is probably a balmy spring day for Sasha.

Posted by: irockthered | November 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Something tells me SinkingCaps is playing the same game 828 did a couple years ago (reverse psychology)

Posted by: superpaqman | November 11, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Remember the guy who said he sold steroids to the Caps? Took a plea deal:

http://www.wftv.com/countybycounty/21586467/detail.html

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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