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Caps have travel trouble, again.

For the second time in a month, the Caps had problems with their charter flight service. As a result, the team arrived in Atlanta around 10:30 this morning instead of yesterday afternoon.

The delay left equipment managers scrambling to get pads, jerseys and skates ready for the morning skate here at Philips Arena. It also upset the players' road trip routine.

"We're getting to know each other real well in a confined area," Coach Bruce Bodureau cracked. "The bonding is becoming better and better."

When the Caps experienced a similar delay last month, they got hammered that night by a struggling Maple Leafs' team, 6-3, at Air Canada Centre. On that trip, the team had been scheduled to fly late at night following a home game, but was grounded because sparks were seen coming from underneath the plane prior to takeoff at Dulles Airport. The players were sent home around 2 a.m. and reconvened a few hours later and left around 10 a.m. They arrived in Toronto too late to have a morning skate.

Yesterday, takeoff was aborted twice - just as the plane gathered speed down the runway - because of a faulty emergency door sensor. Mechanics worked on the problem, but the flight was ultimately canceled for precautionary reasons.

According to the original itinerary, the Caps were scheduled to leave at 2 p.m. The players, coaches and support staff sat on the plane until 6, hoping that the charter service, Miami Air, could bring in another jet from Toronto (which had just dropped off the Penguins). But when it looked like a four hour delay might become a five or six hour delay, Boudreau ordered everyone to go home for the night.

The Caps finally left at 8:15 this morning. The key difference between this debacle and last month's was that the team arrived in time to have a morning skate.

Still, players were sour about having to drive home and then get up early this morning and drive back to Dulles.

"It's pain in the [butt] and out of the ordinary because everyone had to get up early to make it there in time," Mike Knuble said. "All of sudden you're in a hurry instead of having all the time in the world."

Boudreau acknowledged that the situation is less than ideal. But he also said the Caps won't use their travel issues as an excuse tonight against the Thrashers.

"There should be no excuse," Boudreau said. "They all got home at dinner hour, they probably all had good dinner and spent the night in their own bed, with their family. We're on time for everything [this morning] as far as meetings go and meals."

"We can make a big thing of it and use it as a crutch," he added. "Or we can just say, 'It's a mishap, the plane never took off and they were looking at safety first, which is always the most important thing. We're here now and we're ready to go.'"

So will it be the former or latter? We'll know in a few hours.

A couple of notes from the morning skate:

*Michal Neuvirth will start tonight against Ilya Kovalchuk and Thrashers. Jose Theodore, however, is expected to get another start on this three-game Southeast Division swing, Boudreau said.

*Based on the morning skate, looks like Tyler Sloan and Quintin Laing are the odd men out tonight.

I"ll check in later with a lineup.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 9, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
 | Tags: Atlanta Thrashers  
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Thrashers


Let's hope this travel issue motivates them this time. I would love to see a good pounding of the Thrashers.

Posted by: crooks_c | January 9, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure it was mechanical? Or, did Poti and Chimera get into a gun fight over a card game? I keed, I keed......

Is it literally the same plane that got in trouble on the way to T.O. or is it the same charter service?

Someone best be commenting from the air service's perspective....

Posted by: CF11555 | January 9, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

the same airline that flys the Pens around? I think there are no questions as to what's wrong. The league is behind it.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

the same airline that flys the Pens around? I think there are no questions as to what's wrong. The league is behind it.

Posted by: Leeguru | January 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sure don't like them having these plane problems. Too dicey. I wonder, too, if it was the same plane from last time. Just glad they are cautious. I have been on a small plane that had to abort just before reaching optimal take-off speed. The plane was so small, all of the passengers could see the red light come on!

Posted by: Steakum | January 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The bonding is a good thing, seriously. This team needs a LOT of time together really because of the youth and all the changes. If Ov founds out that Laich doesn't like confined spaces, or Semin finds out Backie always hesitates before answering a hard question, it translates directly into on-ice knowledge (and more importantly, premonition). That's just the psych. major in me babbling. GO CAPS! Lets take this lead back in the east tonight and chase down the Hawks for league LEAD!!!

Posted by: wutzthedeal | January 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 202-206 | January 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Who's in charge of travel? Del Griffith?

Posted by: JSchon | January 9, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, hope to see you at the game tonight. GC Falcons in the house!

Let's Go CAPS!!!!

Posted by: paperboy76 | January 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hockeybuzz has the Caps trading Fehr, Theo, Della Rovere and some picks for Souray from Edmonton. I know HB is full of crap most of the time, but still - Thoughts?

Personally I would be peeved if this trade went through, and don't ever see GMGM executing that...Souray is at 5 mil a season through 2012, has huge minus numbers at points in his career, and really doesn't fit the need for a physical D oriented Dman...

Posted by: BACKS | January 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

i saw that too and will be pretty disappointed if that goes through. for what we are giving up there, especially in della rovere and a couple of picks, i would expect more from edmonton. i mean souray's good, and would improve our defense, but i would expect at least a pick or two.
there was also a rumour on HB about dion phaneuf. now him i would really love to see in washington. him and green on defense. wow. i would be alright with giving up a prospect and a few picks for phaneuf. i think once we get a solid d-man like phaneuf, we are set for the cup either this year, or next year - next year varlamov will probably have established himself as a top netminder by the time the playoffs come around

Posted by: colonelbagpuss | January 9, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I really liked BB's attitude on this one.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 9, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse


I also trust HB; when they "get it wrong" I suspect the deal fell through, and don't suspect SH's honesty.

But still, EDM already has the virtual equivalent of Threormore ('Bulin) and Deslaurier is putting out some strong performances. I don't understand why they would eat 4.5M for a piece they don't need.

Also I would be sad to see Fehr go (Gabby would too I bet).

Posted by: large23220 | January 9, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Pay me the salary of the lowest paid player and you can change my flight time anytime. I'll go to Dulles, drive home, go back to Dulles, have a drink with the pilot, sleep on the baggage carousel, whatever! Go Caps!!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 9, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse


I don't think the Caps should trade for Souray, but if it's possible, get Phaneuf. On HB, Eklund said that Phaneuf and Jokinen aren't fitting in and might be traded, atleast Phaneuf, by the draft. I know HB isn't reliable, but it sure would be awesome if GMGM could get Phaneuf without giving up too much.

Posted by: bmcgraw | January 9, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts?

Posted by: bmcgraw | January 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse


I dont think any one could argue going for Phaneuf. He's reckless but hes a budding top pairing Dman that brings physicality and some offense.

Posted by: BACKS | January 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

If Miami Air keeps this up...Ted should purchase the 787 Dreamliner, hire own flight crew, and paint the plane with Caps colors. That'll be awesome!

Posted by: RITdude | January 9, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@ large23220

the reason why Edmonton would make the trade is Theo's contract is done at the end of the season so after that he will come off the Cap. Hockeybuzz doesn't get much right but they had an article about Cap Fix Chips Basically it talks about how with the Cap you can't really trade away guys to lower your cap without taking some cap back. Guys like Theo will make the cap hits this year even out while still giving the team giving up the better player free up cap space for next season.

As for the Caps making this trade I really hope they don't. I honestly don't know much about Della Rovere so I do not know if he is someone we will want to hold on to or not. However, I think we could get Niedermeyer for less and I know we could get Mathieu Schneider for MUCH less and he isn't that much worse.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 9, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse


What do you think the Caps would have to give up, I mean if its any where near what the Ducks wanted for Pronger they can't make that trade. It would be awesome if they could get him though.

Posted by: bmcgraw | January 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

BACKS: How many defensemen do you think the Caps need on their roster? They already have eight. That's not including either Alzner or Carlson. You would think that if any particular rumor was even remotely accurate, that a defenseman would be going the other way in return.

Not only that, but the Caps need defensive defensemen, which Souray certainly is not.

Posted by: aybee27 | January 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Della Rovere's stock is very high after his play in the juniors. I wonder if the Caps consider him a future NHL player.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 9, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

BMC: It would be alot, probably near Pronger, if only because Phaneuf is so young. I wouldnt mortgage the future for Phaneuf like Philly did with Pronger.

Aybee: Thats why I think the trade doesnt make sense. If/when we deal for a Dman someone is going the other way, whether its Poti, Shamo, pothier w/e. I also noted that Souray is not what the Caps need in a defenseman.

I would prefer Neidermayer over them both, honestly. His contracts up, so it would be a playoff rental, but he brings an incredible amount of playoff experience and leadership. He wouldnt cost that much either because everyone knows this is most likely his last year.

Posted by: BACKS | January 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps have to make one more trade before trading for another Defender. I would think trading for a Fehr like forward who is under contract for next season already might be best to go after. Then they can trade Fehr, Theo, and possibly another D-man for the big D man they really want. That will help with the extra D men and would make it so we don't lose a forward in the trade as well. Now if that actually happens is another thing completly.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 9, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

@BACKS: I'm a long-time Niedermayer fan but at age 37 he is a -12. He may have jumped the shark.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 9, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

not that I'm for the Caps going after Niedermayer but I think guys like him and Paul Coffey, probably the best two pure skaters in hockey in the last 30 years, can play till they're 40 as long as they have the wheels.

Posted by: joek443 | January 9, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

A good site to check out for rumors is . Just go to that page and click on "Rumors". Spector compiles rumors found through various media sources (which can be read in original form by going to the provided links) and then comments on the likelihood of said rumors occuring. Biggest difference between that site and Hockeybuzz is the attribution of rumors to the many beat writers and other full-time hockey reporters as opposed to the anonymous nature of Eklund's rumor mill. And, Spector has no probs calling BS on certain of the rumors (he routinely shreds Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun).

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | January 9, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

$150 million for a B787. That would buy a LOT of #1 D-men!

Miami Air has an excellent safety record. They fly under the callsign "Biscayne". They have been in business since about 1990.

Posted by: gewhiteva | January 9, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to the 737 Pollin used to own that the Caps & Wiz used? Had the Caps logo on one side of the tail and the Wiz logo on the other.

Posted by: alpca3877 | January 9, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Although many of us and many in the media favor the Caps getting a physical, S@H type defensemen, I'm not sure GMGM and BB are going in that direction. They may want to follow the Russian model, i.e., the best defense is controlling the puck, which would be consistent with some of the recent rumors (not just Souray but Kim Johnsson, for example).

Posted by: zmega | January 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

They better get a new charter service before the damn playoffs begin..................

Posted by: dcsportsdude | January 10, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

【 live score】 and 【odds advise 】

Posted by: bgfgf402 | January 10, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't Ted purchase a airliner for our team? This team could use a Caps*1 airliner.They could fly in first class all the time . Great recliners to relax in and first class steak & seafoods for dinners .

Ted buy your team a dam airplane my-man treat your first class team good please. Then that way you could have a glass case on-board to show off the stanely cup your gonna win this year! I love the REd.

Coach in New Carrollton, Md

Posted by: terryreece | January 11, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

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