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Caps improve to 7-2 without Ovechkin

(J Pat Carter/AP)

Morning roundup

Some morning links to get the day started:

*Caps 7, Panthers 3: Pretty much everybody scores as the Caps improve to 7-2 without Alex Ovechkin in the lineup. | Postgame wrap-up »

*Mike Wise: "If Alex Ovechkin listens to no one else, he needs to listen to Mike Knuble. If the NHL's most breathtaking player tunes out everyone but Knuble, he might actually be around for another decade or so."

*D.C. Sports Bog: Caps score more minus Ovie. What's the deal?

*Caps deflate Panthers' hopes. From the Sun Sentinel:

What little chance the Panthers had left of making the playoffs probably dissolved with Tuesday's blowout loss to the Capitals.
Of course, you could argue it wouldn't even matter if the Panthers grabbed that eighth spot.
That's because they'd face the top-seeded Capitals in the first round, and as this 7-3 thumping at BankAtlantic Center again showed, they're no match for the NHL's best team.

*"Redskins drop Dolphins in Sunrise." Nice. (On Frozen Pond)

*Game recaps and reactions from everyone on the Internet: Japers' Rink, Mike Vogel, RMNB, Ed Frankovic, Storming the Crease, Rock the Red, Examiner's Brian McNally, DC Landing Strip, Caps Blog.

Game highlights:

Our video recap of yesterday's suspension reactions in Florida:

*The most feared man in the game. (Peerless)

*From Ted's Take: Aw, shucks, they like us. | How dare you be anonymous?

*Boudreau: "The boards caused the damage." (Bog)

*Cory Stillman's insightful Ovie comments. (Bog)

Stay tuned for news and notes from Raleigh.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 17, 2010; 8:17 AM ET
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Next: Gordon not practicing in Carolina


No Ovie...No Problem...

When do the Playoffs start?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

What a terrific performance. Keep it up Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | March 17, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Well I guess there are two ways of looking at it. Either the Caps have some character guys that rise to the occasion when their captain and superstar is out of action, or they don't need Ovechkin. :) It's a joke people.

Seriously the Caps play well without Ovechkin, but they're a better team with Ovechkin. That makes sense somehow, I think. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 17, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Quote: Tarik from previous post: "It's tough to be critical after a blowout win. But the Caps need to stop yielding goals one shift after putting one in the net. It's been happening FOR YEARS, and it happened again tonight."


Posted by: aybee27 | March 17, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'll take some credit for last night, having done the 'reverse SI jinx' on BMo. Yesterday here I said he should sit. Of course, then he FINALLY wakes up and does something, and even he put it in basically these terms in today's Post. And as I said yesterday, I'd be "ecstatic" to be wrong. So I'm here to eat crow. Let's hope it continues. Early this season BMo looked like a great pickup; the last 2 months, not so much. We need that veteran center.
And with Gordon hurt again (the back, which has proved naggingly persistent), is our forward 12 now closer to being set? With Ovie back, sit Laing, play Walker once in a while for a spark. Is my counting right? Does this get Stecks in all the time?

Posted by: wotansdad | March 17, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear Gordo is hurt but I will say this.

Getting rid of Nylander for cap space and getting this depth is so HUGE. We can just fill the slot and roll on....It will be a big deal in my opinon for the grind.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Gordo's injury is unfortunate. It helps set the lines, but not completely.

Last night's 3rd line was fantastic, but it's hard to see it stick. Ovi comes back; where does Flash go but the third line? Chimera has been playing very well, but I think he's the odd man out and slides down to the 4th.

4th line is Chimera-Steckel-Bradley/Walker

Posted by: Sonyask | March 17, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

So there I am with my brother Whale4Ever walking towards the brand new Jet Blue tail fin at BAC just before the game and who do we see sitting there smoking a cigar?????

Sonny Jurgenson!!!!!!!!!

Besides watching the Caps crush the Cats live and viewing the game from special seating, meeting Sonny Jurgenson at the Caps game in Sunrise, Fl was the coolest thing. Who new Sonny was a big Caps fan.

For the Panthers view of this game, goto:

Posted by: RIVETTESGR | March 17, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Just don't dress Walker and or the other.

Nick this team's MVP and should get some recognition as he passes Cindy in points.

Scariest shifts of the night...when Sloan and Corvo were on the ice together...

I was thankfull I was hallucinating when I thought I saw Erskine out there with them.

BTW...3 goals against in a playoff game USUALLY (not always) results in an "L".

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 17, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Thursday April 15th will be Game 1 for the Caps. Can't wait!

Posted by: Don-Ald | March 17, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@soring Caps

So do you expect them to clamp down when they are up 7-2 to keep that 3rd goal out?

Thats a bunch of B.S.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse


I agree that should probably be the first game since the Wizards play Wed, but is there an official statement?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Re: Mike Wise's article - the good intent is there but in an age where athlete don't always show effort & determination & passion for the game - every game be it reg or playoffs - asking Ovie to hold back on that even though we haven't won squat is just cheating Ovie, the Caps, & the fans.

If i am going to get beat by a guy, I want him @ his best & me @ my best.
Not save it for a rainy day that may never come.

(of course, seeing Ladian Tomlinson lose a step in just 2 short year is a cautionary tale...)

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@ SA

Sorry dude, I know in text that appeared to be a complaint about last night's game..but it wasn't. If they are up 7-2 in a playoff game, I certainly won't care if they give up 2 late cheapies...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 17, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps, I am absolutely and totally unconcerned about the goals against from last night and how it relates to the playoffs.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 17, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification @SoaringCaps.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 17, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

while it sucks that Gordo got hurt to lose his spot in the lineup, eventually thats a silver lining for this team because a more capable player will be in the lineup. How long is he out?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 17, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Gordon has been playing well...He has a role, and he fills it well..we dont need points...we need solid PK, and good backchecking...

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Happy for Bmo...can he keep it up? If so I hate to see Chimeras size and speed go down to 4th line but really have no choice because of Flash. Nice work boys!!

Posted by: Todgak | March 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Well this will get guys like Cooke a few more minutes on the bench.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hockey Reference currently predicts 120 points for the Caps this season, eight better than the #2 overall team, Chicago (who ties San Jose in points but earns the tiebreaker with total wins).

With twelve games left, this means 1.42 points percentage, well above the league-leading .736 they currently boast.

However, they've posted a 1.625 points percentage since the Olympic break, and half of the remaining games are against teams that are currently out of the playoffs.

The most points earned in the history of the President's Trophy is 124, set by the 2005-06 Red Wings. Of course, they lost in the first round...

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 17, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise, I am not trying to be disrespectful here, but please stick to covering a sport you know about. You're a relatively smart guy, but you're a "hockey in general" idiot. I am quoting your column here: "But the more he takes runs at people who are nowhere near the puck".

Mike, have you ever actually watched a Caps game? A hockey game? OV doesn't take runs at people who are nowhere near the puck, and you would know that if you actually watched and understood. And why would anyone try to tell this guy how to play the game?! He's getting paid to do something he loves to do. He's playing a contact sport, and he is very good at it. Excuse him!

The media is helping the NHL talking heads turn this game into figureskating. Please stop. It's not what we as fans want to see. IT'S A CONTACT SPORT!!! People pay good money to see the games as they were meant to be played. People play these games at their own risk, and they know the risks. Let them earn their money the right way or let them choose another career path.

Why do people insist that everything and anything that can or could hurt us be governed by other people??? WTF is that? Where is the freedom in that???

Posted by: sca187 | March 17, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse national headline stories about

Daniel Alfredsson Hit from Behind on Francois Beauchemin ????

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

this is the last I have on this matter, but the homerism here is embarassing. many of you really should join the rest of the hockey world. Wise's article raises a valid issue. and equating not hitting everything that moves in every game (no matter the team) with not playing your best is just ridiculous.

i come here to read what Tarik and the rest of the WAPO Caps team report. There are also many people that post here that I think have some interesting things to say. But this whole situation has demonstrtaed to me that a good number of so-called Caps fans here are truly homers.

i will keep reading, posting periodically and laughing at some of the just plain silly things I read here.

Keep up the good work Tarik, Lindsey and others.

Posted by: doughless | March 17, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Doughless, you are not thinking about some of the things you're reading. I get what Mike Wise is saying. He's urging OV to take it easy so he can prolong his career. Mike Knuble is saying the same thing. But Mike Wise is perpetuating the perception that OV is a dirty player by saying that he hits people who don't have the puck. I am a Caps fan, but even bigger, I'm a true, life-long fan of the game of hockey. The NHL has never seen another player with his skill work as hard or play as hard as he does. There is nothing wrong with that. It is his career, and I don't think he should "slow down" unless he thinks he should. He should play the game the way he sees fit, as long as it is within the rules. He has done some things that are on the edge of the rules, but there are others that are paid to play outside of the rules. Those are the players that the NHL should be concerned with.

Hitting is the name of the game. Again, it's a contact sport.

Posted by: sca187 | March 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If you have the skill and drive to play your best, your game encompasses scoring, hitting, passing, skating, etc. and you let up on any of those while playing at any time during the 60 minutes of the game, then you are not playing your best.

How is that ridiculous?

Posted by: sca187 | March 17, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone more excited about seeing Crosby piss his pants tomorrow vs. Boston rather then watch the Caps/Canes?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Good article unlike Wilbon who should stick to cleaning the latrines.

Posted by: capsfan12 | March 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Beauchemin was not hurt, so no suspension will result. That is the epitome of ridiculous, but welcome to the NHL. If Campbell had got back up OV would likely have played last night, and since Beauchemin did get back up, Alfredsson will play tomorrow in Atlanta. Alfie's hit was worse than OV's in my opinion, but nothing will be done about it because that would mean consistency, something the NHL is clearly not about (unless it's for NOT suspending guys for head shots, in which case they're very consistent).

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Makes you wonder if the NHL suits really know what their goal is. Colon Campbell is in over his head.

One-ice officiating AND front office discipline are both way too inconsistent. Something needs to be done. Hopefully they will get the head shot issue sorted out the right way. Players need to know what is legal and what isn't so they can continue to play the game with passion while playing within the rules.

Posted by: sca187 | March 17, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

sca187, I could not agree more with your posts. Minus the "hitting without puck" comment - it would be okay. If you read posts on other blogs (stories) - TSN for example - you would seriously think OV is like a child molester or something (i.e., the worst of the worst). It's almost unbelievable the opinions of some people out there. I truly believe it is all fueled by pure jealousy.

Posted by: kkd76 | March 17, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"this is the last I have on this matter, but the homerism here is embarassing. many of you really should join the rest of the hockey world. Wise's article raises a valid issue. and equating not hitting everything that moves in every game (no matter the team) with not playing your best is just ridiculous."

So anybody that doesn't share your opinion is a homer? Good to know. I must be a homer then.

The problem with Wise (and Wilbon) is that he doesn't understand the game. He uses Knuble's comments about dialing it back to save himself and relates them to the controversial incidences surrounding Ovechkin. Knuble talks about not going full bore all the time and not needing blow someone up in a 6-1 game. Well guess what? None of Ovechkin's controversial hits occurred in blowouts. The Campbell hit happened with the Caps down one. The Gleason hit happened in a tie game. The Kaleta hit happened with the Caps up 1-0. And none of them occurred while Ovechkin was hitting a guy who was nowhere near the puck. In fact, Ovechkin has shown a remarkable ability to get back at guys who have taken runs at him (and there have been a lot) within the flow of the game. This latest incident with Campbell was extremely unfortunate but that play happens 10 times a game. Normally the players involved maintain their balance and it turns into a normal check along the back boards. This time, unfortunately for Campbell, he lost his balance and hit awkwardly into the boards. There was a similar hit on Green later in the game that no one remembers because Green maintained his balance. The absolute knee-jerk reaction to this was predictable though. The other funny thing is that this hit doesn't even apply to Wise's point either since Ovechkin wasn't "throwning his body around". It was a push.

As for the other incidences the only one that even deserved a penalty was the Gleason knee-to-knee. The Kuleta boarding was a terrible call. But it becomes part of the record now and becomes evidence of a pattern of behavior when, in fact, it was a clean hit.

In the end, what makes Ovechkin so great is that he doesn't ever give up and he doesn't ever let up. It's no coincidence that other teams don't score on the Caps when Ovechkin is on the ice. They know they can't hold onto the puck that extra second to wait for a play to develop because Ovechkin will make them pay. Ovechkin has been on the ice for only 35 even strength goals against this year which is a ridiculously low total. As a comparison, Crosby has been on the ice for 61. As soon as Alex Ovechkin stops going full bore the entire 60 minutes will be the time he ceases to be the best player on the planet. Thankfully I don't believe that his personality will allow that.

Posted by: ouvan59 | March 17, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather be a homer than a 1/2 arser.

As for playing the game @ 100% - with all the talent that Allah has given to Ovie...well your boss probably wish you would bring it to your job everyday just a bit more - right nutless?

Apparently, homerism to you is admiration of a person's 100% best effort.
You probably thought Cal Ripken isn't all that too huh nutless?

So thanks for giving us heads up that you won't be bringing it as much anymore...but then less than 100% effort is your m.o. anyways.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

An excellent game last night. Sloan played an astounding first period and finished with a nice offensive 3rd period assist. Seeing that Corvo is coming along but when paired with Sloan he is safer until he gets up to speed on BB system. At one point he was way out of position causing a look by Sloan as to where was his partner?! Carlson is lacking anticipation when on pure defense in front of the net; he moves the puck offensively very well, and when he acquires the ability to anticipate he will become more complete and what we want to see....he will definitely arrive with time. Right now he is the opposite of Alzner who anticipates magnificently and has the ability to jump start an offensive play when deep in the defensive end of the ice. Theo - just solid again - provides an extreme comfort level. Enjoy the ride, appreciate the roster depth!

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | March 17, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

kkd76 and ouvan59, I couldn't agree more. I think that the rest of the league wants what the Caps have, and that's OV or someone exactly like him. But he is one-of-a-kind and we're very lucky to be seeing him play here.

Hopefully the NHL doesn't push OV to go back to Russia some day by suspending him for playing hard, because he and Sid (I hate to say that!) are a big reason why hockey is even on the map right now.

I've never been so excited to be a Caps fan. I think I'm speaking for all of us... We are witnessing an historical season by this team. I think this team is very hungry and I like it!

Posted by: sca187 | March 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

A lot of bad press lately with Ovi takes away from his game. I find it insulting that people are making Ovi out to be a pariah but consistently turn a blind eye to their own teams' goons whose only purpose on the ice is to take players out. Ovi has more class than the media dogs who feel they're doing a service to anybody but themselves when they sensationalize his aggressive play. No offense, but last I checked hockey was an aggressive game. Anyone who plays passive hockey doesn't exactly get paid millions or hundreds of thousands to do so. They get hurt. *shrug*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 17, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

question about Backstrom:

obviously we need to sign this guy, but we don't want to become the Pens (put all money into 3 or 4 players and have no cap space for years).

Can we sign him to a % of the cap? That way, if in 5 years it goes up (it will) his salary rises to match it? Is that allowed in the CBA?

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Taking time to read a hockey article by Wise or Wilbon is like slowing down on the side of the road to visually evaluate a traffic accident.

Why waste your time to read it?

Posted by: puckman | March 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@ doughless

I don't think most Caps fans are upset because they thought it was a good, clean hit. It wasn't and Ovi deserved a penalty. The problem is that the hockey media is using this incident to label Ovi as the dirtiest hockey player to the world at large. When casual fans and MSM types don't know about similiar hits, they think only Ovi does those type of things and label him a brute. This depiction hurts Ovi, the Caps, and the future of hockey (even if the TSN guys don't know it) Fans in North America like violent sports, hence the popularity of football. What they don't like is to be reminded that they are condoning violence. Sullying a player as charismatic as Ovi does the league no good long term. Sports fans in the USA just aren't interested in the boring, Sidney Crosby types.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 17, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I find it odd that some Caps fan seem to go out of their way to nitpick all the little grey areas of this team & organization.

Like somehow there is a set of rules this org. has to abide by above & beyond the rules for mere mortals apparently.

He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. Is this 1 of those cases where the GT kid has to be held back for the sake of the slower class?

Well, since Ovie is that once in a lifetime player & we've never had a Gretzky, Lemieux, or Howe in this town, how about you blackhats let us enjoy our moment in the sun?

Cause I really don't want to go back to '03-'06 or even be the Wizards for that matter. Cause life without a superstar isn't fun.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 17, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

There is no way we are letting Backs go to the open market. NO WAY...

Backs in many ways is our MVP of the season. He kills penalties, blocks shots, faceoffs, power play, can score when he wants...and most importantly his hockey sense is incredible.

He is way more valuable than Green, and agruably more valuable than Ovechkin...

I don't think the Caps have any more "superstars" than Backs, Ovie, and Green. The others are (very good) complementing pieces that can be interchangable...with the right parts. Meaning, an Eric Fehr won't ask for millions, neither will Flash, or Schultz...

So we will be fine signing Backs. It will just mean Semin will probably be moved at the deadline next year...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 17, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

If Fehr stays hot, and has a nice playoff, he will get a raise...

I hope he stays hot, even if it means we cant afford him next year.

To with the Cup, means people are due a raise...and you will have to let some people go...

just like Hall Gil and Scuderi did with Pittsburgh.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 17, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I love watching Ovie play, but I am concerned that being too physical will reduce the amount of time he has to be effective. In the past 2 instances where he was suspended, he got hurt worse the first time (knee-on-knee), and ended up sprawled on the ice this time. Not a bad thing to keep the pedal on drive rather than accelerate to full speed all the time.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | March 17, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's the briefest possible way to describe why Ovie is so great:

He has a 'Rage to win'.

'nuff said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 17, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Can we sign him to a % of the cap? That way, if in 5 years it goes up (it will) his salary rises to match it? Is that allowed in the CBA?

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 12:34 PM |


Backstrom will resign. There is absolutely NO reason to worry. A lot of cornerstone franchise players wait until the last spring/summer to re-sign.

I am predicting that he will re-sign right after the Caps get eliminated/win the Cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

as a lifelong hockey fan (caps), i hated watching the red wings of the late 1990s because of their lack of aggression, intensity, and physicality (save for darren mccarty).......winning or losing, i'm disappointed the caps have decided to model their team after them.....i just can't understand GMGM's and BB's infatuation with nice, passive "big men"....if a playoff series turns nasty, mark my word that the caps won't/can't match up and next year analysts will be talking about how the caps need more grit and nastiness to take it to the next level...sloan should be in minors for his ability, carlson should be in minors for seasoning, and erskine should be in the line-up night in and night out

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 17, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Daniel Alfredsson Hit from Behind on Francois Beauchemin ????

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 17, 2010 10:54 AM |

I missed this. Got a link?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

vermont caps....if Sloan is in the Minors for his ability, Erskine should be taping sloan's sticks because of his ability.

And I am not a Sloan fan at all...

Erskine is a great physical presence...IF HE CAN CATCH UP TO WHAT HE IS TRYING TO BE PHYSICAL AGAINST...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Dude, the Wings had toughness all up and down their lineup. They might not be as tough as the Probert days, but the Avs/Wings games were the best games in hockey at that time.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Alfreddson crushes Beauchemin with penalty call from on ice referee.

Posted by: robostop10 | March 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Seidenberg decks Parise. No penalty call.

Posted by: robostop10 | March 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse


def expect GMGM to sign Backstrom. I worry that Pens put too much into #s 87 and #71 and have a weak supporting cast as a result (no wingers to speak of).

What I'm thinking is that if he signs a long term deal, in years 5 or 6 he's getting the short end, while in years 1-3 we may be taking too much cap hit. Hence wondering if cba allows structuring deal as a % of sal. cap. Whatever % 5.5 is of this cap, but for 7-8 years. He gets a big, guaranteed payday, a chance to compete on a contender year-in, year-out (and he has to put up with Ovie in the locker room - which I'm sure has its big pluses and minuses, depending on mood).

I think Semin and Flash are important pieces. 6m for AS is fair, I'd see us giving #14

Fehr might be top 6 material but won't get that chance here. He's likely to move on - he's a good player, though, might become better than that given the ice time.

If Varly gets good goalie bucks, that's at least 4 mil there (next year?).

We do seem to have serviceable replacements coming in (Johannson, Kugryshev, Perrault) and keeping that talent pipeline stocked (ala Detroit) is key to succeeding in cap times...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

btw, meant to say giving #14

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think 5.5 mil/yr is definetely low-balling Backstrom.

He will get upwards of 7 mil. I am guessing 6.5 mil/yr-ish.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

And you can't give someone a fixed % of the Cap. They make what they make.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse


There was no Canadian press uproar over teh Downie takedown of Crosby either. Could it be that both are form Canada? Gee I wonder.

Not that it was bad enough, Downie gets a $1000 fine for the move. The NHL should've just let it be. It wouldn't have gotten me as angry as this "punishment".

Posted by: jwash4472 | March 17, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on Backstrom - he gets $7, minimum. If Toews just signed for $6.5, no way Nicky shouldn't get at least that, I'd take him over Toews in a heartbeat.

Missed the hit on Parise, will watch it now.

PS. Whoever said Carlson should be in the minors is watching a different game - he's at least our 4th best d-man, if not higher (sorry, GMGM, not so impressed with Mr. Corvo so far). And Erskine can't hit what he can't catch, unfortunately for him, seems like a great guy.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 17, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

As good as Backstrom is, I really don't believe he will get more than Kane, Toews, or Richards. I think Ovi's contract was more about filling seats than his actual skill. Backstrom is a relatively quiet guy and his skills are more subtle, something the casual fan wouldn't notice.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

soaring caps.......surely you jest if you think sloan brings a better nhl package to the blueline than erskine, that's about all i can 'bout that; like you, i love the caps but we differ in how we think the team achieves greatness...we've got every element except for what erskine brings, so give him a chance and let him prove it...clearly, it's not the quality or style of play that's keeping erskine on the bench (he's proven that he can play at the highest, most intense level....he was perhaps our best d-man in last years playoffs...his stats are as solid as anyones' given his # of games, and his stretches of inconsistent play are no better/worse than anyone else) i'm convinced it's one of the following: 1) coaches are disappointed he doesn't initiate more confrontations when he does play; 2) he has health concerns that aren't public, or 3) he's a cancer in the dressing room anyone know?

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 17, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse


I think because other teams overpaid doesn't mean we can afford that luxury. Part of the reason Hawks fired their last GM was because of the absurd position he put them in, cap-wise. I think we'll try to balance a bit lower pay with more guaranteed years. That's why I think there should be a %-of-cap formula for this one. (Hell, even Ovie's yearly number may seem pretty low 8 years from now...)

interesting posts, everyone!

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

i like nhl hockey; if i wanted to watch a team of highly-skilled fast skaters i'd be a fan of college hockey....erskine is cagey enough to play to his strengths and i'm not suggesting he log the minutes of other defenseman.....if used consistently and properly by the coaches, he could easily become that player the opposing team takes note of when on the ice

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 17, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse


re: homerism. At times, very true. A lot of very interesting posts - frankly I learn as much from these threads as I do from any blog or print article. And the level seems higher here than on Yahoo. But, yes, the reaction to Wilbon's article (which did raise some good points and I thought had good advice in it) seemed to border on the absurd.

Ovie's a remarkable person - a force of nature; a huge amount of on-ice charisma, energy and power that makes him into -literally - the stuff of legend. I think he'll figure all this out, but everyone - all people - do better with some kind of guidance.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Ovie's a remarkable person - a force of nature; a huge amount of on-ice charisma, energy and power that makes him into -literally - the stuff of legend. I think he'll figure all this out, but everyone - all people - do better with some kind of guidance.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

as Charles Barkley once said in the famous nike commercial athletes shouldn't be role models... unless you know him personally, you have no idea what he's like so let's not get carried away with the hero worship.

look what has happened to Tiger Woods, enough said...

Posted by: joek443 | March 17, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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