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Caps Down Ducks, 6-4

Here are a few notes and quotes that didn't fit into my game story.

*You've probably already read about Mike Green's shoulder injury (and admiration of Scott Niedermayer). I'll have an update on his status after tomorrow's optional morning skate at Staples Center.

*Brent Johnson is expected to start tomorrow night in Los Angeles. I will confirm this after the morning skate.

*The power play scored multiple goals for only the third time this season, and notched three in the same game for the first time. Alex Ovechkin and Tomas Fleischmann said the difference tonight was simple: They stopped overhanding the puck and started shooting it. Fleischmann deflected a Green bomb from the point for the first goal, and Green fired a long shot through traffic for the second one.

"We just tried to play simple," Ovechkin said. "This is our key. We sometimes try to be too fancy. Tonight, we just shoot the puck, control the puck and get some traffic to the net. You see the result."

Fleischmann added: "It was good. We didn't pass too much. We shot the puck. We went to the net and looked for some rebounds. It worked."


*Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom remain on a roll. Ovechkin had a goal and three assists to record his fifth consecutive multi-point game. Backstrom scored his third goal in four games.

*Michael Nylander recorded two assists, ending a five-game point drought.

*Chris Clark, I thought, had one of his better games of the season. He logged 11:36 on the fourth line and fired three shots on net. He also registered an assist, ending a 13-game point drought.

*Things got a little rough late in the game, and at one point Bobby Ryan, who scored twice for Anaheim, took a few liberties with Backstrom. Ovechkin took exception and the he and Ryan started to go at it. Ryan dropped his glove; Ovechkin never did.

"I told him it's not my job to fight," Ovechkin said with a smile. "My job is score goals. I was just trying to protect Backie."

*Speaking of fighting, Donald Brashear and George Parros, he of the ridiculous 70's mustache, squared off in a battle of heavyweights. I scored the fight (which wasn't that great) as a draw.

*With Green out for most of the game, Tom Poti logged 29:13, a season-high for the veteran defenseman.

*I ran into Shaone Morrisonn in the pressbox tonight. He said he hopes to play against the Kings after missing six games with a groin muscle pull. If Green and Sergei Fedorov (sprained ankle) are unable to play, he might have to.

That's it for tonight. Check back for a full update on the injuries tomorrow around 11:30 PT.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 20, 2008; 2:47 AM ET
 
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Comments

Thanks, Tarik.

Was at the game tonight, and as good as the forwards played, that's how much the D needs a good, stay at home solid blue liner. Whether it's a healthy Morrison, Alzner, a deadline deal, etc. there were too many times tonight Theodore had no shot to make a play. Getzlaf, Ryan (who played GREAT), Morrison, Perry, all got behind the D in ways that can't happen. Jurcina in particular seemed to be out of position tonight. Did you or others see that too?

All that said, The forwards were great. Not just the big names, but the Steckel-Bradley-Gordon line was terrific too.

Hopefully we can line up six healthy defensemen and play another good game tomorrow night.

Other LA Caps fans going to staples tomorrow night?

Posted by: Konofish | November 20, 2008 3:30 AM | Report abuse

oh man poor Green. we need him. we can't have any more injuries.

Posted by: capsfan387 | November 20, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I thought the D was looking beat by the middle of the last third... Poti logging nearly half the game? Ouch! We need someone back. Hopefully it won't be pushing Morrisonn to put him back on the ice; if it is, we've got to pull Alzner up or somebody. No choice. :-( We'll kill our D-men if we keep them on the ice for half the game!

Posted by: irockthered | November 20, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

great offensive game by the Caps, especially with no Alex. Caps cannot fall alsleep after they get a big lead though, they seem to do that so often.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 20, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

That was a very talented Anaheim team we beat, at their house 6-4. We aren't the team that surprised everybody last year. Everybody knows what we are about. We were without Green for 2 periods, Feds, Mo and of course Semin and we still for most of the game dominated a team with Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne, Pronger, Niedermayer and Sutherby (kidding).

This was an impressive win anyway you slice it.

Posted by: JSchon | November 20, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

With the way the D played during the 5 game winning streak, its hard to watch them struggle the past 2 games. It seemed to me that they left too many guys open in front of the net, especially when they were on the PK. But hey if the offense can score 6 a night, who needs D? :) Props to Kozlov for one of his better showings of the season. The way he held onto the puck was awesome.

Posted by: _Tim | November 20, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

JSchon

exactly. And it wasn't a lucky win either, we fought for it, it was a tough battle.

Here's for the same kind of effort tonight, and for a fast recovery of all the injured.

Posted by: mauree | November 20, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

great offensive game by the Caps, especially with no Alex.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 20, 2008 6:39 AM
-------------------------------------------
Who says he's needed? 11 goals in the 2 games he's been hurt, it's time to dangle him out in the trade market.

Posted by: Section117 | November 20, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Guys, I didn't think the D was that bad for the first two-thirds of the game. Theodore was lights-out in the second, but they just did not get that many chances. If you look at the boxscore, the Ducks registered just 14 SOG in two frames, 5 in the first and 11 in the second. The third was where things got nasty, and they registered 16.

I think the D was just plain flagging by then because they'd been registering so much ice time. The first period problems we had with Theo getting left out to dry was us getting complacent after a 3-goal lead, but the out of position stuff I saw in the second and third was in large part due to slow and leisurely skating, and I think we have the loss of Green to thank for a good percentage of the D issues.

Consider also that our D is getting KILLED on injuries. Three-quarters of our injured are D-men (Fedorov sorta counted in that). It can't be easy to get a solid system going when you keep losing pieces to injury.

A lot of our secondary scoring stepped up tonight, and the power play was really impressive to watch. Keep doing what you were doing last night, boys. :)

Here's hoping that Feds, Mo, or both can play tonight. I'm not optimistic about either Green or Semin.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 20, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Section117: That had better be a joke XD Do you really want to play /against/ the guy?

Posted by: kittypawz | November 20, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Call up Alzner already. The kid is playing awesome in Hershey. Give him a taste against the Kings and Sharks and see how he handles the NHL. Morrison, Green, and Federov should not be rushed back (see Semin and Clark last year). Speaking of Clark, when is the captain going to break out of his funk?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 20, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, you got me.

Posted by: Section117 | November 20, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh, if the Caps need a tough, scoring forward, call up Osala, too. Alzner and Osala can hang out and talk on the long flight out west (whether in Canadian or Fin, who knows?).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 20, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Last pose, I promise: For those of you who think we should have been tougher - we had two problems that kept us from doing that on this particular night, injuries and the refs.

- The cheap shot on Gordon should have been a double minor (I thought drawing blood was an automatic double minor).
- Brash tried to go after Montador, several times. Montador kept avoiding him.
- Ovi stood up for Backstrom - would have liked to see him drop the gloves, but I think he's been told he's not supposed to do that?
- We were in bad enough shape from injuries as it was, and as bad as the refing was, I can't guarantee that we wouldn't have found ourselves on a 5-minute penalty kill.

The Ducks are the West Coast version of the Flyers, IMO. XD Talented, but dirty cheap-shot artists as well. Agreed that Perry and Montador should have gotten a couple of tickets to the @$$-kicking buffet for their little stunts, but the refs were not calling a fair or even game, and we didn't have enough breathing room to deal with it. Brash tried - I wish Erskine and Bradley would have tried as well.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 20, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz,

nice analyses I agree on both (except on the Philly/Ducks comparison, Anaheim is a much better team)

Posted by: mauree | November 20, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

In terms of call ups for tonight's game. I think it may be too late to get someone on a plane for tonight, coming all the way to the West Coast. That is a 6 hour flight and by the time a player got there, not sure what kind of shape they would be in for the game. I make the trip on business all the time and it drains you.

May have to suck it up and go with what we have. Otherwise, we would have a drained rookie playing. Which is worse?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 20, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Feds is feeling better. I forget his prognosis, but if he's up that gives BB more options. And, if I remember correctly we did okay when Feds waas hanging with the D.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | November 20, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

FOR THE LAST TIME. BARRING TRADE OR MAJOR INJURY (read, IR-required injury), WE WILL NOT SEE KARL UNTIL MID-LATE MARCH.

If people want to be an armchair GM, I'm fine with that. Hell, I do it a lot myself, but do it well, please. Take the (short amount of) time to figure out how the cap system works and understand the math behind it. Utilize resources other than boxscores and Tarik's blog (gasp) like Japersrink.blogspot.com and nhlscap.com. Japer had a post 3-4 days ago outlining the chalk-talk the caps held last week with McPhee's underling. Caps are less than 200k under the cap while Sloan's here (by the way, Sloan's here cause he's cheaper than Lepisto).

If we brought Alzner up right now, we'd have him for less than 20 days. In reality, unless we're able to send Sloan back down for a while when Green/Mo are healthy again, we won't see Alzner till mid-late march, if at all. You most definately won't see Alzner NOW, as that would handcuff us and make the team unable to deal with non-IR injuries.

Another issue to keep in mind. We're 190something-k under. Say Schultz, Erskine or Juice are hurt long term. You still won't see Alzner. You'll see either Sloan or Lepisto. In the case of a long stint on IR, Lepisto becomes a possibility (where he's not now) cause he can fill 4/23/55's economic shoes without impact.

kittypawz. I'd argue the refs did a horrible job last night, but I wouldn't say Aneheim was the beneficiary of more gifts than the Caps. 4 min for Gordo's blood could be argued either way. There was a clear interference in the 2nd that should have been called on ducks, and the "cup-check" on Ovie.

I'd argue though that the refs missed quite a few holds, trips and hooks on the part of the caps. The one at the end of the game that they DIDN'T call on Clark brings up a major pet-peeve of mine in the NHL. Time of game (or type of game, reg vs. playoff) does not modify the rule of the game, or what is/isn't a penalty. Most players/coaches always say they don't want refs to decide a game, but by ignoring major, game changing penalties CAN decide a game just as much as calling marginal crap. Poti's trips vs PHI last year are a prime example. They tried to let the first one go, but he did it again, same shift, same place in the ice and we lost the series. Clark's trip last night was one of those "major" deals that should have been called and could have made the last 7 min much tougher on the Caps.

Posted by: FFSEnough | November 20, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

To clarify my comments above, by "major" I don't mean 5 min sort. I mean time/situation/score where 1 PPG can change the course of the game.

Posted by: FFSEnough | November 20, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

There are only four infractions which can be considered for a double-minor: high-sticking, spearing, head-butting, and butt ending...none of which was perpetrated by Perry on Gordo. He was called for roughing: 51.1 Roughing – Roughing is a punching motion with the hand or fist, with or without the glove on the hand, normally directed at the head or face of an opponent.

Roughing is a minor altercation that is not worthy of a major penalty to either participant. (An altercation is a situation involving two players, including goalkeepers, with at least one to be penalized).

51.2 Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who strikes an opponent with his hand or fist.

51.3 Match Penalty - If, in the judgment of the Referee, a goalkeeper uses his blocking glove to punch an opponent in the head or face in an attempt to or to deliberately injure an opponent, a match penalty must be assessed.

51.4 Fines and Suspensions - There are no specified fines or suspensions for roughing, however, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion (refer to Rule 29).

There's no wording for injuring an opponent as a result of a roughing altercation other than by the goalie so the refs got it right. If the league is serious about head injuries, though, there should be a injury clause and Perry should have been seen the gate for more than two minutes.

Posted by: meagle | November 20, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

@meagle
I believe what you are missing is the wording under roughing.....striking with a hand or fist....that means bare hand or fist, not gloved.....i have seen double minors assessed many times for a player striking while his glove is still on his hand....

Posted by: PhilR | November 20, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night! It's also great seeing the team not missing a beat due to injuries to MAJOR contributors. In years past these types of injuries would have been hard to over come. Hate to see the injury to Green, but was nice to see everyone pul together, without our d- man minute muncher.

@FFSEnough.......whew...well said!
I was thinking the same thing when I read someone mentioning flying out King Karl and or Oscar......just isnt gonna happen.

Here is to a good game tonight.
LETS GO CAPS!

NOTE: Anyone notice how many times the pens have caught a team on the back end of a back to back??.......been a bunch already, talk about having a bit of an advantage.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 20, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Even if the roughing call wasn't a double minor, the spear to Ovechkin's {{*snicker*}} "Produce Section" - which I have to admit, the term had me rolling on the floor giggling for ten minutes! - should have at LEAST been a minor penalty.

They should, though, with being serious about head injuries, add an injury clause in to the roughing penalty rules.

The refs did miss calls on both sides, though; we got away with at least one trip that I saw. So I'm not going to complain too loudly about the refereeing.

I think the last third defensive problems can be largely blamed on us currently having only five D-men to choose from, with the injuries. I am hoping that Morrisonn or Fedorov - or BOTH! - are ready to play tonight. If they are, we could maybe give Poti a night off to rest. That boy was on the ice for almost half the game!

Posted by: irockthered | November 20, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

someone definetly should have given Montador a taste. I know with green out the sexy lumberjack couldn't or we would have had only 4 D men. He avoided the donald like the plague so may matty brads should have.

Oh yeah, jeff schultz flat out sucks. Slowest/worst defender on the ice

Posted by: _stevo | November 20, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I thought Kozlov looked really strong with the puck last night.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 20, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Poti is a machine; he can handle it.

Ersberg has been on quite a run lately. He's due for a big blowout loss..

Posted by: _jordan | November 20, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Kozlov did look pretty solid last night and the donald/clark/nylander line i think somewhat worked out. Good to see clark and nylander on the board again

Posted by: _stevo | November 20, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Kozlov was playing like he did down the stretch last year. He seems to want to stick on that top line.

Was it just me, or did Nylander seem like he was just watching the PP out there? Like he was a spare guy or something.

Posted by: _jordan | November 20, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Montador = d-bag coward a la Danny Briere. Hopefully someone will teach that guy a lesson.

Though the D seemed to be slippin towards the end of the game it's understandable considering the amount of ice time and the overall intensity of the game.

Overall a fantastic showing by the Caps, let's hope they keep up the good work and get a few of these injured bodies back before Saturday's matchup with the Sharkies.

Posted by: CapManJ | November 20, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

My observations of the game last night:

The reffing was actually pretty consistent. They called pretty much the same penalties over and over and there weren't too many that didn't fit the mold they'd cast. I would have personally called a 4 minute on the Gordon bloodying, but I wouldn't have called the Pronger penalty -- I didn't see a trip on TV, I saw him get rid of the puck and then fall, which is what I'm imagining the Ref saw, too.

But I disagree with FFSEnough, I don't think it was a game-changing penalty. With the exception of the Selanne goal, the penalty killing was great last night. While it's possible that they could have gotten another backdoor goal, I highly doubt they could have gotten two.

Kozlov was a man possessed, and we can only hope he develops some of the consistency that Semin has.

Backstrom also had a fantastic game -- he really made me believe that he was going to do or make something great happen every time he was on the ice.

Theodore should have had 3 of the 4 goals. he didn't play badly, but all 3 of those goals were bad. Out of position for the first one, simply got beat on the second, and he should have had his leg down and planted for the 3rd. You can blame defense for the 3rd one some, but he's still got to have that.

I disagree with Tarik on this one in that I don't think Clark looked very good. In fact, I thought he looked out of place. Every time he'd try to touch the puck around a defender to go get it himself, he'd touch it way, way too softly. And it happened probably 4 times. It's hard to tell what the issue is, though. I don't want to say he's lost it, but it sure looks that way sometimes, and it did a lot last night.

Ovechkin is now only 5 points behind Semin in the same amount of games played. He's had an incredible two weeks!

Extremely excited about the game tonight, though it'll be tough fighting fatigue to watch the game tonight :-).

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 20, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Remember this one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJlD00gVJ6Q

They gave Brashear a double minor for high-sticking and a 2 minute minor for roughing.

Looked like a pretty weak call for a double minor on the high-stick, but the roughing was warranted. May have cost us the game, but still loved it.

Posted by: Fro_ | November 20, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Will the league fine Montador for that little danny stunt he pulled?

Sombrero, as the blog capologist, could you please research the earliest we could bring Alzner up. Something has to be done, I don't see Green playing tonight. maybe Satruday, but that shoulder is going to HURT today.

Why can't they just start hockey games at 4pm pacific time? I can't handle late nights like that. They should change for ME!

Posted by: Leeguru | November 20, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner

The game changing aspect goes two ways in that situation. I'm not saying the Ducks would have scored while on the PP, but when you are on fire, as they were in the 3rd, AND given life near the end of a game with a penalty (pulled goalie, 6 on 4) you can really do some damage and make the game that much closer. I'll have to go back and look at it again, maybe Clark missed him, but if it was indeed a trip like Locker said, it should have been called and could have been a huge momentum swing for the Ducks.

Regarding Nylander and Clark's play as of late. These guys are getting the raw end of the deal right now. Clark has been on a line with just about every C on the team sofar this year, and has been paired with Fehr, Brashear, Flash, Semin and Bradley. Nyls on the other hand, has had just about every W as a linemate at some point this year, other than Ovie and Bradley. I preach the importance of consistency on the D side of the puck a lot, but it matters for your fwd lines also. If you are not familiar with who you play with, and if they are not familiar with you, you can't play as good as you could if you know who you were skating with. Look at our primary energy line (Brash, Bradley and Stecks/Gordo). That line is AMAZING, yet when you break them up they are not as effective.

My only complaint with BB sofar this season is he's moving lines around too often. Give things time to work the kinks out. When Feds comes back, I'd love to see some more consistency, but if he keeps moving players up and down lines, we could be in for a streaky season.

Posted by: FFSEnough | November 20, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Leeguru

Japer posted this earlier: http://japersrink.blogspot.com/2008/11/tuesday-roundup.html

"Fishman was surprisingly candid about the team's salary cap situation - the Caps, at that point, were $190,000 below the $56.7 million ceiling. Not $305,000 below or $668,899 below, but $190,000 below.

So what does $190,000 get you in the NHL these days? Well, it'll get you about 55 days (not games, but days) of Chris Bourque or 50 days of Sami Lepisto or or 43 days of Simeon Varlamov or 21 days of Karl Alzner (or three days of Alex Ovechkin)."

Later in the article. March 13, give or take a day, is the earliest we'll see him.

Posted by: FFSEnough | November 20, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I would take Khabibulin for Nyls ... but not his salary! :-)

Posted by: Boo- | November 20, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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