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Caps happy to be home

There were a lot of happy faces around Kettler Capitals Iceplex today. Players were glad to be back home after a December that saw the Capitals play 13 of their past 17 games on the road.

An optional practice was run by assistant coaches Dean Evason and Bob Woods, but Coach Bruce Boudreau gave many of his big minute skaters the day off after they navigated through the difficult travel schedule with a 10-5-2 record, including a stellar third period against the Oilers Saturday night that saw the team explode for four goals to end the trip on a high note.

"It was weary," said Boudreau. "I can understand how the players were tired. I was tired at the end of the second period of the Edmonton game. I looked and I said, 'We gave it what we had in the first period, we've got nothing left.' And it's just been too long a month with too much traveling -- what was it, 13 out of 17 on the road? -- and it's the last game and we want to go home. Then we found what good teams do and what good character teams do, have the juice to go out and give it one final try and they did it."

More notes and quotes from today's practice:

*Goalie Semyon Varlamov, who has been nursing an injured groin the last two weeks, came on the ice 30 minutes into practice and drilled with goaltending coach Arturs Irbe separate from the rest of the team. Most of the drills were just skating side-to-side and he did not face any shots. When Boudreau came out to speak with the media, and Varlamov and Irbe were still on the ice, he told them to get off, a sure sign the Capitals are worried about the 21-year-old re-aggravating the injury.

I'm told he's now aiming to return next Wednesday against San Jose, but that remains up in the air depending on how his injured groin reacts over the course of practicing this week.

*The Capitals have fallen to fourth in the NHL in power play percentage at 22.9 percent after leading the league in that category for a time this season. After a 14-for-32 stretch on the man advantage in the eight games Alex Ovechkin missed due to injury or suspension, the Capitals are 3-for-22 since he returned to the lineup Dec. 7 against Tampa Bay. Ovechkin scored two of those goals, and the third came from Nicklas Backstrom during garbage time of the team's 6-1 blowout of Colorado last week.

Boudreau didn't seem worried about the stat, saying power plays go through ebbs and flows over the course of the season and just get out of sync sometimes, but that "I hope the suggestion there isn't, 'Let's keep Alex off the power play.' "

I'll have a little more on this in a notebook for tomorrow's print edition.

*Maybe you have a worse travel experience from Snowmaggedon 2009, but I certainly would not have wanted to be in Boyd Gordon's shoes this past weekend. The Capitals originally wanted him to go to Hershey for a rehab assignment this weekend, but the bad weather forced Gordon, who has played in just one game since Oct. 12 because of a bad back, to go on an adventure straight out of "Plane, Trains and Automobiles."

He took a car service from Vancouver to Seattle, but nasty weather on the East Coast sent him on flights from Seattle to Atlanta to Orlando to Cincinnati before he finally gave up on the assignment all together and ended up in the D.C. area. Gordon couldn't skate this morning because his equipment got lost in the shuffle during all the flight changes. The team is hoping his equipment arrives at Kettler by tomorrow and Gordon will return to the ice, but Boudreau said he wasn't sure if Gordon would go on another rehab assignment this weekend.

*Defenseman Brian Pothier returned to practice today. He said his injured rib felt better but that he's still "limited," particularly when he's taking backhands. Sounds like you can rule him out of Wednesday's game. Center Kyle Wilson was sent back down to Hershey on Sunday.

*And finally, Boudreau had a hilarious tangent about coming home from a long road trip right around the holidays that I just had to share. When discussing his desire to give all his big minute players two days in a row off because teams usually struggle in their first home game after an extended road swing, he also added these words of wisdom:

"As a player, it used to be okay, you come off a road trip and the wife has the kids and says, 'Here, they're yours, they've been with me all the time,' You gotta get all your shopping in, you gotta do all this, you gotta come to work, you gotta practice, so there's no time. So I wanted to get, just like the last time we got home, stay away, get everything done and then you can be rested and the day of the game, you're not running around doing everything. At this time of the year, it's tough when you're on the road, especially for men, it's tough because we're not shoppers. We get home and you gotta shop. Now there's a Christmas party on the 24th, which throws my whole Christmas shopping out of whack. So I've got to do it tomorrow."

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 21, 2009; 1:56 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: Power play hits a wall (updated)

Comments

I would glady offer to help the Coach with his shopping...

Posted by: Caps16Fan | December 21, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I knew they'd been away a load - since I wasn't at VC twice-a-week but I didn't realize it has been so rough. That's a stellar record for 13-of-17 on the road.

Well done, guys.

Welcome home and Happy Holidays.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I need two days off from just reading about the road trip!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 21, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I can tell that Gordo was on Delta.

Seattle...Atlanta...Orlando...Cincy.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope the org shovelled out their cars. Mine was a pain....

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

tominfl...I believe you need to refer to it as the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if they are practicing tomorrow? and what time

Posted by: capscoach | December 21, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Heck. Boudreau can make one phone call and buy his wife a Mercedes, have it wrapped and delivered. Oh...and get a discount! :-)

Posted by: dezlboy1 | December 21, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Coach doesn't have to shop for anything. Who wouldn't want autographed copies of "Gabby"? BTW, he was awesome after today's practice signing copies of his book. Thank you messageboards!!!

Posted by: sandyflee | December 21, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

10-5-2 with 13 of 17 being on the road isn't shabby at all. Well done, boys.

I'll admit that my wallet appreciated the lack of hockey at home during the holiday season - Metro / parking and food can be expensive. Still, once we're into the New Year, we'll be seeing a lot more of the Phone Booth.

You know - this month I've found it intriguing that we're not the only fanbase with a nickname for our team's arena. GM Place (Vancouver) is apparently The Garage, and Pepsi Center (Colorado) is apparently The Can. I know about The Joe (Detroit).

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Shark Tank.

Posted by: kevbnyc | December 21, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Scumhouse - Philly

Posted by: jeets | December 21, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Baby's Crib - Pittsburgh

Posted by: jeets | December 21, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

a few days ago someone noticed that the pens were getting a lot of games where their opponent had played the previous day - and they wondered what it looked like for the season
i compiled this list for each team for the 09-10 season

the first number is how many times a team has an advantage - their oppenent is playing back to back games

the second is how many times a team had to play back to back when their oppenent did not

the third is when both teams played the night before

19-17-0 -> ANAHEIM
16-15-1 -> ATLANTA
11-17-0 -> BOSTON
15-18-0 -> BUFFALO
11-14-0 -> CALGARY
13-15-1 -> CAROLINA
19-17-2 -> CHICAGO
10-15-1 -> COLORADO
13-12-0 -> COLUMBUS
11-12-0 -> DALLAS
20-12-1 -> DETROIT
15-11-0 -> EDMONTON
16-14-4 -> FLORIDA
18-12-0 -> LOS ANGELES
17-14-1 -> MINNESOTA
12-15-1 -> MONTREAL
12-14-1 -> NASHVILLE
12-19-0 -> NEW JERSEY
19-18-1 -> NY ISLANDERS
18-12-1 -> NY RANGERS
13-11-0 -> OTTAWA
19-14-2 -> PHILADELPHIA
15-13-0 -> PHOENIX
22-16-0 -> PITTSBURGH
09-13-0 -> SAN JOSE
18-17-1 -> ST LOUIS
14-11-1 -> TAMPA BAY
17-18-0 -> TORONTO
16-14-0 -> VANCOUVER
12-12-1 -> WASHINGTON

most: detroit +8
least: nj -7
the caps were the only team where their schedule evened out

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The Igloo is another arena nickname.

Oh yeah don't they call Anaheim's arena the pond? Did I spell Anaheim correctly?

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 21, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

capt kirk, look like you have a lot of time on your hands...must be from NOT shoveling 20 inches of snow!!!!

interesting analysis.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 21, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1:
i am off this week - so yeah - i'm trying to find things to do other than drink beer.
no snow here - but i haven't seen the sun yet today (60's brrrrrrrr) and it MIGHT rain - my life is like a living h*ll right now. i know, i know - no one is going to cry any icicle tears for me

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

You know, I think we should all make Capt'n life a little better. Everyne get an insulated box and a chunk of dry ice, fill it with snow, and mail it to him.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the caps have regular practice tomorrow at kettler?

Posted by: JSeagull1 | December 21, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

@JSeagull1

I would assume the Caps are having a regular practice tomorrow.

I hope they do some work on the Power Play and the Penalty kill. The Power Play definitely Needs Improvement (grade of N).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

most: detroit +8
least: nj -7
the caps were the only team where their schedule evened out

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 21, 2009 4:25 PM

My conspiracy sense is tingling...

Note some teams that are super positive:

Detroit = +8
Pittsburgh = +6
NYR = +6

Those are all of Bettman's favorite teams!! It's totally all rigged.

Posted by: Raber | December 21, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

Sounds like a great idea. Send Captain Kirk some dry ice. One slight problem. Where do you find frozen CO2? It's a little hard to maintain unless the temp is lower than 100 below zero. (That would even be hard to do in Krasnoyarsk.)

Krasnoyarsk's high is 14 today and its low is -4. Wednesday will be even colder with a high of -21 and a low of -31.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Your tally of the schedule makes me think the schedule may be more than rigged in the favor of the Penguins, Detroit, Philthy, and the Rangers (and not in the favor of NJ.)

The Flyers are still not doing well even with that advantage. While the Devils are cleaning up.

BTW, if I were a Pens fan, the NJ Devils would be my most hated team this year, even over the Flyers, Caps, NY teams, etc.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@Raber

You obviously agree with me that the schedule is rigged. (And here the Devils are winning in spite of the schedule being rigged against them.)

Of course to analyze the data further, we'd have to look at the quality of the opponent, not to mention the number of miles to the city where the second game of the back to back is being played.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@BetterOffWithFedorov

Yes, you spelled Anaheim correctly. (I should know. I'm an old Angels fan.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Delta was obviously not ready when Gordo was.

Might have made just as much sense to have BG fly to either DC or Philly and then drive to Hershey. Except that the weather and the roads were so bad that driving to Hershey from either place would have been prohibitively difficult.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I feel really sorry for Boyd Gordon. I wonder if he feels sorry for me when I do the same thing making 5% of what he does?

Posted by: SA-Town | December 21, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Rock the Red! Yes, I bought a rib roast the other day and cut off the bone for Sunday lunch. Now left with essentially a delmonico roast I sliced off some thin steaks to cook on the George Foreman with 2006 Rodney Strong Sonoma cab. I called the vineyard and, yes, there's a blend - 3% each Malbec and Cab Franc. A very nice wine at $10-11.

Tomorrow we will sneak in a rock the white with sauteed soft-shell crabs. Then I have a beef tenderloin for watching the Sabres game. Tornados of tenderloin calls for the driest of reds; I'll see what I can do.

I really enjoyed all the back and forth today with JSchon on future cap space. I ended up doing some research and concluded that my calls for "Sign Flash now!" are even more imperative than I thought. I am at $3.3M for his salary next year and the trend is moving upward.

CF75 you must say when you are arriving next month so we can have you for dinner. I can't have the people here thinking I might be making this all up.

mrstominfl1 is watching Food Network (the guy Boudoin was just in Baltimore). She watches as much as I watch hockey. Then she cooks all the foods while I watch yet another game. I bought three more cans of Phillips crab meat on the way home today, the crab meat being like a current draft choice that must make its way to the "big club."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo up 1-0 over Toronto after 1, I am sure that BB and Co. are watching and taking notes (Find a way to beat Miller). Game is on Versus. Former Caps draft pick, but never signed by McPhee, D-man Nathan Paetsch, was just interviewed.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 21, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Any of you see Crosby's latest temper tantrum? He just slashed Niedermeyers stick from his hand and then pushed it away from him. 2 minute penalty called on him and the Devils quickly scored on them. Toronto up 2 - 1 on Buffalo.

Posted by: gonchpup | December 21, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Pens are getting hammered. I love it!

Posted by: elicea | December 21, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Devils are now up 4 - 0 on our beloved Penguins.

Posted by: gonchpup | December 21, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Could Marty pass Sawchuk tonight?? I hope so!!

Posted by: HemmedUp | December 21, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Tominfl1: Yours sounds like a match made in heaven. Only problem with your posts is that you make me really hungry. And the salary cap stuff makes my eyes spin, but I'm trying to learn, so thanks for the analyses.

And Jeets, thanks for the laugh! Baby Crib indeed.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 21, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

Couldn't happen to a more deserving team.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

And they didn't tack on an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct on Crosby?

Or does that sort of thing only happen to Tom Poti?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

And I notice that Philthy is also losing. They are down 3 to zip vs Florida and all of Florida's goals were Power Play goals.

There were 3 fights in that game. (A goon fest)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Guess crosby had to slam the penalty box door--that's a serious injury to the door after all.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 21, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if Brodeur can make history tonight. 20 more minutes.

Posted by: gonchpup | December 21, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Florida 4 - 0 on Flyers. Something else to cheer about with our boys idle.

Posted by: gonchpup | December 21, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@HemmedUp

Join the club. Go Marty.

This is probably one of the few times I'll root for the NJ Devils this year.

Here's a logic statement:

CapsFan75 roots for the NJ Devils if and only if they are playing the Penguins. (At least this year)

(Of course, if the Rangers, Islanders, or some other obnoxious team got good, I might change my mind.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo is also losing to Toronto... cant be good for their ego :)

Posted by: mrszilla | December 21, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

McAmmond of NJ amd Max Talbot of Pitt both got 10 minute misconduct penalties near the end of the second period, along with minor penalties. That game's starting to become a penalty fest.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

Nope, it can't be good for Buffalo's ego. Now they know how we feel. (Exdept will losing to Toronto get Buffalo more fired up against us?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't speak too soon. Sabres tied it up.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

Nope, it can't be good for Buffalo's ego. Now they know how we feel. (Exdept will losing to Toronto get Buffalo more fired up against us?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

i was thinking that too but i figure its usually worse having a team on a roll vs a team whose confidence has been tested... we'll see won't we!

Posted by: mrszilla | December 21, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Boy that Devils/Pens game sounds nasty.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 21, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

@mrszilla

We'll be more rested. Plus we're coming off a comeback win on the road,. Plus we're finally seeing home cooking again.

BTW, Tom Vanek is out for Buffalo today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

A full period left in the Pens Devils game, but Marty's got it going so far.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Yes, it does. But the Florida/Philthy game is even nastier. Both teams in that game have had a parade of people to the penalty box and three fights in the first period.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

Grrr!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't speak too soon. Sabres tied it up.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

True story haha oh well, we'll see

Posted by: mrszilla | December 21, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of fights in the Philthy/Florida game, another fight broke out there.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Islanders are no longer horrible, my hatred for them may return. I'm actually rooting for Tampa Bay to beat them.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Toronto just had a chance to take it in regulation: alas. a minute to go.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: I understand that some people might be bored with the salary cap stuff, especially when it's a year or two out. But, what can I say? I get a cut, and equations come out instead of blood.

mrstominfl1 is watching some loud, spooky movie in the hockey shrine (living) room. Have I told you all that I'm scared of being afraid? So I just put on NJ-Pitt in the family room. It isn't HD, but a SD actually looks better.

I see FL 4, PHI 0. Maybe the Flyers need to fire the coach.

The way NJ does it is that Brodeur has had about 3 bad games in 19 years.

For the combined decades 1990-2010, name an athlete in North American team sports to have a bigger, more consistent impact.

Barry Bonds? A-Rod? Clemens? MJ? Emmitt Smith? Peyton Manning? Nick Lidstrom?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

tom
I don't know how you eat good food and watch hockey. Games are too much of a distraction for me to enjoy a good meal/wine properly. I have to keep it simple.

When I am in the US: Dinner ca 2h before the game, or sandwiches during intermission for matinee and MGD.

When I am in Germany/UK: Nothing, I don't eat after 9pm. Maybe have some juice for flavor.

When I am in Taiwan: Noodles with fried egg or a bowl of rice and a big bottle of Taiwan Beer to start my morning right.

Posted by: trunkenmath | December 21, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Philthy made it 4-1. Somehow I doubt that they'll come back.

They already tried the "fire the coach" thing. Didn't work to well -- so far.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

OT at Air Canada Ctr. From what I've seen the Maple Leafs have dominated, but the Sabres have skill -- Jochen Hecht tied it up -- and Ryan Miller too.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh had pulled Fleury. Replaced him with Johnson.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Will Lapierre of Philthy get suspended? He got 30 penalty minutes, including 5 minutes for fighting, a 5 minute major for charging, anther 5 minutes for fighting, and a 10 minute game misconduct.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Dag. Sabres win in OT; Derrick Roy comes in alone

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Derek, that is. He's not much of a rig, and definitely not a derrick.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

G.D. bleeping Buffalo!!! Grrr!

Buffalo's fans are so obnoxious when they come to Verizon Center.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 -- you're so right about that. Fewer and fewer each time, though.

NHL on the fly is showing the Pens Devs game. 5 and a half left. 4-0

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I want to get a copy of "Gabby" signed by Coach Boudreau after practice on Thursday. As it is the day after a game, they should practice at 11:00. Does anyone have any advice on what is the best strategy for getting his autograph at the practice facility? I am probably crazy for trying to go to the mall on Christmas Eve, but it is worth a shot for the man who got me into the Caps.

Posted by: crooks_c | December 21, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Less than 2 minutes to go for Marty B.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Brodeur

Posted by: elicea | December 21, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@crooks_c, try over on the right side where they exit the ice. With any luck Tarik or better yet Lindsay Czarniak will be interviewing Bruce after practice.

Christmas eve though.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Less than a minute

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Marty. Couldn't do it to a nicer team. Amazing.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@elicea

Amen to that one. Yeah, Brodeur. Stopped 35 shots against him.

It could not have happened to a more deserving team than the Penguins.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Good grief--what on earth happened in that Flyers game? Good for Brodeur tho' that loss on home ice must sting.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 21, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if there is a practice tomorrow??????

Posted by: capscoach | December 21, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1: Just so you know, most Phillips crabmeat is from SE Asia, with preservatives added. It isn't even the same species of crab. I've checked & I know. I was classically trained at culinary schools here & in France & have worked in top kitchens in DC & MD. Phillips is actually now bad for the MD seafood industry.

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the NHL is now regretting going with the Flyers over the Caps for the Winter Classic?? The Caps would have been great at Fenway wearing their replica 1974 sweaters. Maybe could have even gone with the white britches!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 21, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope the phlyers phreeze.

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

Especially when the Flyers seem to be h*llbent on self-destruction.

The NHL should have picked the Caps over Philthy for the Winter Classic.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 21, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness, I never really had a problem with the Flyers being chosen to play in the classic. They met the criteria. The irony is how far they have fallen since, and it's going to be interesting to see what type of hype is spun to make it such a showcase game.

Posted by: gonchpup | December 21, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

If bettman has any brains maybe the caps will play in next years winter classic.I'm gonna start a petition for it,who's with me??!! It would of been nice this year and i do bet that bettman is kickin hisself on this one.plus didnt he say one reason why he was weiry on having the WC in d.c was cause of the weather.like not being cold enough or no snow.Well bettman,you can bite your tongue on that one.This year would of been perfect for the caps and d.c for the WC.Cant cry over it now but i bet the caps will have more a foot in the door for next year than before.Happy Holidays to all!GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 22, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

I too look forward to how they spin this. I see Bruins vs Flyers and the last thing I think of is Marque matchup.

Posted by: trunkenmath | December 22, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

@gratefuldid: the first five words ("if bettman has any brains" stopped me cold---lol!

And Tominfl1, I hope you don't think I was complaining about the salary cap info. I'm just saying, it's hard for me---but keep it up. It's fun for me to throw in comments around the water cooler about whether or not there's room in the cap for acquiring high priced players. Except for the fact that people give me funny looks when I say, "Well, Tominfl1 thinks such and such, or Jshon thinks this, or Cap't Kirk in Az doesn't think that this will happen..." They sort of slowly edge away and find work to do.....

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 22, 2009 6:28 AM | Report abuse

uncatim: Thanks for that info. We had one can the other day and it was good. Here in Cent FL it's not so easy to take care of the crab fix. BTW, I think most shrimp is from SE Asia also.

From another thread, I think Schultz is arbitration-eligible this year. He played out his EL contract then signed a one-year deal for this year. Not positive, but I think. It does have an effect on earning potential. Either way, though, he can go on the RFA market and some team surely would pony up a #2 or 3 pick to get him.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 22, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: No, I understand. Some people don't want to read anything except the next game. I do numbers for a living though so for me it's natural. Figuring out cap is no different than being program financial analyst.

As for Winter Classic, I wonder if the league will tell the Flyers not to play like goons. That would really mess things up. They need to pull Ogie Oglethorpe (er, Pronger) aside and give him the speech.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 22, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

FROM CBA
12.1 Eligibility for Player or Club Election of Salary Arbitration.
(a) A Player is eligible for salary arbitration if the Player meets the
qualifications set forth in the following chart and in Section 12.1(b) below:
First SPC Signing Age
Minimum Level of Professional
Experience Required to be
Eligible for Salary Arbitration
18-20 4 years professional experience
21 3 years professional experience
22-23 2 years professional experience
24 and older 1 year professional experience
A Player aged 18 or 19 earns a year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or
more NHL Games in a given season. A Player aged 20 or older (or who turns 20
between September 16 and December 31 of the calendar year in which he signs his first
SPC) earns a year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or more Professional
Games under an SPC in a given season.
END CBA QUOTE

I put this because a prior thread question if Schultz arbitration-eligible next year. Looks like he is as he'll have 4 yrs under guidelines. There was also question a week or so back, "What constitutes a season?" Some said it was 40 games. The CBA in this section seems to say 10 games. 10 games is what I thought, meaning Alzner gets a "season" for the 30 games last year.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 22, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I worked for Phillips in the late 80;s when the owner went over to SE asia and checked out the area. The crabs are pretty much the same. They could not get enough local crab and people to pick them. Over they are a pest and the labor is cheaper so they built a plant there so they would have enough supply for the restaurants, then expanded to make a ton of money supply the states.

Posted by: RichC3 | December 22, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75: The dry ice thing was a joke :)

Congratulations to Brodeur. So awesome in so many ways, for a Caps fan.

  1. He got it - good on him. A hell of an achievement.
  2. He got it against the Pens. All the better.
  3. Johnson was perfect (15 saves) once he went out there. Good for him - I like to see him do well even with the Pens.
  4. The Caps don't have to worry about it being them now.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 22, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

And Tominfl1, I hope you don't think I was complaining about the salary cap info. I'm just saying, it's hard for me---but keep it up. It's fun for me to throw in comments around the water cooler about whether or not there's room in the cap for acquiring high priced players. Except for the fact that people give me funny looks when I say, "Well, Tominfl1 thinks such and such, or Jshon thinks this, or Cap't Kirk in Az doesn't think that this will happen..." They sort of slowly edge away and find work to do.....

Posted by: dccitizen1

Ha, ha--I have the same problem with my family. When I talk about the roster and who we may or may not be able to afford according to so and so, he looks at me funny and says to himself "And I'm the one who showed her the CI posters blog."

And I'm hiding my addiction to reading CI by pretending I'm just getting and responding to my emails. He's not fooled. In fact after a controversy oh say like Koci my husbands has now taken to asking what the other bloggers think or what the consensus is.

I'm not a numbers person--argh makes my head hurt because they're so many players I want to keep. I'd be the worst GM in the world. I love this season's roster. But then I'm not big on change period.

I enjoy reading the analysis, especially on the quiet days between the games. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 22, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz

I hadn't thought about it that way. Great point-it's good that Brodeur got not only got his record but that he got his shutout against Fleury and the Pens and Johnny was able to come in and keep it to four goals. Happy too that they broke the Pens streak. Now it's time to break the Devils streak and start one of our own.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 22, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Last night we saw a spirited Buffalo team come back when they were being outplayed and Marty Brodeur get one for the books against a hated rival, and we play both of them in our next two games. Great goaltenders, hot teams. Time to make a statement.

That stated, Lindsay and Tarik could you please pass on to the print staff that the coverage of these games is godawful. Brodeur captures a record for the ages and it garners only the 25 words atop the box score, and the Caps are playing the Sabres tomorrow night. Given that the Caps are by far the greatest game in town, maybe it's time to expand to at least a full page of hockey coverage, for goshsakes. You already get the AP rundown. How bout expanding it and providing a few headlines for other league play?

Posted by: Sonyask | December 22, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

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