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Caps Need Resilience Against Rangers

The Capitals have already shown their ability to score goals seemingly at will, but tonight's contest with the Rangers marks the first time they must display how quickly they can learn from their mistakes. In particular, cutting down on the number of penalties from the nine minors they were whistled for in Philadelphia.

"Sometimes the refs call things differently game to game but we have to be careful," said Boyd Gordon, who was uncharacteristically called for a hold against the Flyers. "I got my one arm up a little high and that was enough to get the call. We've just got to be a little smarter with our sticks and limit it to four minors -- that would be ideal."

While the Rangers may not be the Flyers when it comes to goal-scoring, they do have a few new threats in Marian Gaborik and rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who has recorded goals in the past two games.

"We know we all want to be better defensively than we've been the last two games," Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

As posted earlier, Milan Jurcina is the healthy scratch among defensemen tonight, while Tyler Sloan will suit up as a forward on the fourth line.

The rotation of healthy scratches is no more than a way to try to get each of the eight defensemen currently in Washington some ice time, Boudreau said, while the team is short a forward with Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleischmann still unavailable.

"This isn't going to be a consistent thing all year," Boudreau said. "We'll get back to Saturday night and starting to get back to our normal routine. When Fehr and Fleischmann are ready to play, they're going to play."

Based on the morning skate, here's what the defensive pairings might look like:


*While it may not be his ideal scenario, Sloan is anxious to make his debut tonight. "I'm excited to just be getting back in game situations and back up to game speed, even if it is at forward," he said. In addition to playing a few games at forward for Boudreau in Hershey, Sloan served as a swingman during his time with the Syracuse Crunch.

*Boudreau on what it was like to be a healthy scratch during his playing days: "It's boring. You work out, go home, do nothing, come to the game. It's boring, I understand that. There's not much else you can do. It is what it is. It depends on if you were satisfied just sitting up there, but I was never satisfied. So I was always really frustrated; if you're a guy that was just happy to be here then it's not a big deal, but I was never one of those guys."

By Katie Carrera  |  October 8, 2009; 12:37 PM ET
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Rangers at Caps (Updated)


So I guess Gabby knows how Nylander feels.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 8, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I like the defensive pairings a lot better tonight. This should be a good game.

Posted by: Stu_c | October 8, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Vindictive + Petty + Juvenile = __________ (Can you fill the correct GM name in the blank?)

Posted by: Varly | October 8, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

varly, if they had one, i'd put the skins GM in the blank.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 8, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My comment in the last thread: ranndino: Many of us know that you back Varly more than most. I too believe he has the potential to be a solid goaltender in the NHL. The fear I have, and probably many other is his track record since game 7 of the Pens series. He had an obvious meltdown in Game 7. Now, I will be the 1st to admit we were in Game 7 of the 2nd round because of his great goaltending. It still doesn't take away the fact that something happened to Varly's confident in that game way back in May.

Now, fast forward to this pre-season, and I know, it was preseason, but Varly was in a 3-way dog fight. He gave up 3 goals in the 3rd period of the game in Buffalo. Again, I realize preseason, and I saw replays and maybe he could have saved them, maybe not, but he didn't.

He then gave up 3 goals in the 3rd period against the Rangers in the last preseason game.

Then in the game against Toronto he gave up 3 goals in the 3rd. Granted, he played a nice game, but 3 goals in 1 period for the 3rd time in a week and a half.

Then came the 2nd period in Philly where he gave up 4. To say only two were his fault isn't much of a defense since he gave up 4 goals in, what, 12 minutes.

Again, IMO Varly can be our goalie of the future, but HE needs to believe he can and regain confidence in himself. Hopefully the team leaders can run defense for him as far as the media in concerned because he doesn't need that distraction.

I heard a good saying regarding goaltenders a long time ago. If they have to make 5 or 6 highlight saves a game, they may only be highlight saves because they aren't where they are supposed to be. Think about Roy and Brodeur. Some people say that part of their success is luck because sometimes they didn't see the puck and it just hit them. Well, it HIT them because positionally they were in the right place.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

sweep the leg...Go Caps...

The place was loud for Toronto, and the Saturday night booze fest helped...but tonight we make noise...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse


Gabby: "If you're a guy like Nylander, it's no big deal; he is satisfied just sitting up there. He's a guy that's just happy to be here." DRAWING CHECKS.


Posted by: large23220 | October 8, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse


I don't get it.. Are you suggesting its McPhee? and because of Nylander?

Posted by: capsfan7 | October 8, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

McPhee is the architect of this squad. Nylander does not fit what the CAPS do. Although I would at least work him in early so that there would be some relevant tape on him during before the deadline. McPhee/Boudreau have chosen not to do that. Nylander supporters...who would you have him in there instead of. Is this what we bicker about when we have a Cup contending squad....

Posted by: carsonspence | October 8, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Nylander is sitting because there are still balls in the air trying to get him over to the KHL-- that story about his joining his brother on a team (like Fedorov) is still hanging ini the balance, for example.

Nylander goes nowhere without agreeing to it, so presumably he wants this to work out as well-- he gets his money either way, he knows the Caps don't want him in this system, and he's a professional who wants to play. Playing him and risking injury would be idiotic, for both parties

Posted by: capsfan7 | October 8, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe they have found a taker but Nyls won't go along with it and they are trying to pressure him into changing his mind.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | October 8, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I think some of you are being too hard on Varly. It seems the criticism is based on accommodating stats in order to back up the argument, using that type of analysis anyone can be made to look good or bad based on your bias. Varly had a bad game 7 on the playoff but was outstanding on the previous games against top teams including the eventual winner of the Cup. Because of that game and some meaningless pre-season game people were ready to crucify this guy if he allowed more than two goals on his next game, well, he did against one of the best team on the NHL, however, with the exception of the last goal, in my opinion those goals were legitimate and in the same circumstances Theo would probably have been beaten too.

This kid is just starting his NHL career and he seems to have a great future as a goalie, I hope we don't run him out of town or begin giving him a bad reputation which will affect his play.

Posted by: hock1 | October 8, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, man. Schultz-Poti/Erskine-Pothier is a MILLION times better than the pairings on Tuesday. I think that both Poti and Erskine have been great through preseason and the first to games, but for whatever reason, Poti + Erskine = disaster...whether it was completely their fault or not.

Although I'm sad that Juice has to sit. I think he's been great, minus that one overaggressive penalty the other night.

Posted by: SEvanson | October 8, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

On the Nyls situation. Why does anyone think that GMGM is at fault that he is not playing? I think it is BB's option not to play Nyls, but I am just guessing.

Posted by: hock1 | October 8, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@carsonspence - Yeah, apparently it is, and I'm getting tired of it too. :-p Personally, in Bruce I trust.

@fanohock1 - Well SAID! And even if Game 7 was not entirely Varlamov's fault (and it wasn't), it is his confidence that needs to be repaired more than even his glove hand. If anyone can help him, I have confidence that Arturs Irbe can do so. I am very much hoping that Game 7 and the subsequent games this pre-season and season did not shatter his confidence beyond repair.

Posted by: irockthered | October 8, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse


At the time Nylander was signed by the Caps, it was a coup, and he proved his value until he was injured and the team's playing style changed. That was Coach B.

I swear I'm tired of arguing this point, but I don't see GMGM at fault here. Neither do I see Nylander. If any fault is to be laid out, I'm looking at Coach. Something happened that poisioned the well. We can't see it.

And Large - at what point does logic set in? First, would you "walk away" from $5.5M? Didn't think so. But it's not like he isn't working, now is it. He worked out over the summer, is in great shape and works hard in practice.

When do you ask why he isn't being played and actually earning some of that paycheck?

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@hock1: Those preseason games were not meaningless to Varly. If you are going to compare apples to apples Varly did not do well in the preseason compared to the other two goaltenders. Neuvy getting hurt made the decision easy for BB. If Neuvy was healthy the stress level would have been much highter on 30 September. Four different period with 3 or more goals is not something that can be overlooked. I am not saying he is a horrible goaltender, not at all, but something is wrong with his confidence. You could even see it in his eyes in Philly when the 2nd goal was scored. He had a "not again" look. He just needs a couple of solid outings. He can even give up 3 or 4 goals in a game, as long as they are spread out, and he will start to regain his confidence.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Callahan hurt himself during the morning skate and may not be able to go tonight for my Rangers. The Rangers called up Evgeny Grachev from Hartford and he may be in the lineup. Grachev was the ROY of the OHL last year with 40 goals and 40 assists in 60 games.

Posted by: JK111 | October 8, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Greg S., I agree with you 100%

Posted by: hock1 | October 8, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

From NY Times today for those can not not get enough Ovie, since this did not make the AM reading

Posted by: RichC3 | October 8, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

i think it is riduclous that Nyls doesn't get an opportunity. BMo looks good, but is Bouds not the least bit interested to see if a 100% healthy Nyls brings more game?? and I thought donkies were stubborn. seriously, shouldn't the coach be looking at all options in terms of putting the best possible lines out on the ice?? personally, i would like to see how 28-92-22 works out on the ice. there are 5.5 million reasons why this should happen.

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse


if they are in fact sitting him (as a 37 yr old) to avoid injury while they are shopping for a deal that would take his 5 mil. off our cap sheet-- 5 mil that could be spent on a perhaps a top-line D-- then that would be the 5 million reasons to keep him scratched

Posted by: capsfan7 | October 8, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

i am not an expert, but it seems that common practice in the NHL when you are trying to find a buyer is to put said player on the ice so that possible suitors can see what they might be getting.

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Even Ovechkin’s mother, Tatiana, has stepped forward.

“How can Bettman not let them play?” she told The Washington Post last week. “Doesn’t he understand what Olympics are? Let him read books! Let him study history! They stopped wars in ancient Greece for the Olympics. Wars! And he can’t stop his league for two weeks? This is nonsense!”

Mrs. Ovechkina's declaration to Bettman, "Let him read books!" reminds me of Marie Antoinette's, "Let them eat cake!"

She should put together a UPS package of textbooks on the subject and mail it to NHL HQ in NY. Then I can picture Bettman and Campbell pouring through the books.

"Look, Gary, look what is says here - it says even Ghenghis Khan suspended touture during the Olympics. Geez, Gary, she's got a point."

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Fanhock1, what I meant by meaningless was that during the preseason the teams are trying different things including players, tactics, etc., some of those goals came during those periods, and every game had new combinations, pairings, new things so from the fan point of view one can't really compare apples to apples there, the coaches can because they have some expectations. During the regular season and playoffs then it is a different story, we as fans have to believe that what we are seeing is the best a player can offer in the best situation a coach puts him in. In my opinion, other than game 7 of the playoffs, Varly has been outstanding. On the last game he made some incredible saves; yes he allowed some goals but for goodness sake, let us give credit to the Flyers, they are an outstanding team. I don't think any of the goals were soft, although, I do think he misplayed the rebound in the last goal.
As for his look, well you have better eyes than I do, but I think you might be reading too much into it, couldn't you also have said that his look was that of a calm but P.O. guy for allowing the goal? I don't know.

Posted by: hock1 | October 8, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Potential injury has nothing to do with Nyls' situation, IMHO.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 8, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Here is the question that I have not seen answered anywhere with Nyls. Is it a coaching decision not to play him or a GMGM decisoin not to play him, then we know something.

Posted by: RichC3 | October 8, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I like Varly IMO his confidence is in the toilet right now. IMO it's not his game that needs work it's the mental part of his game. Luckily Irbe can communicate with the young guy. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Nine penalties - pah.

Penguins - 10 penalties at home, lose to Coyotes. I'll take my point in Philly.

Posted by: dingogumby | October 8, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If Nyls didn't play most of the playoffs last year, and isn't playing now... Don't you think he would ADAPT and see what he can do to contribute? I sound like a broken record here.

Posted by: MNMNT | October 8, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse


No one can answer that question but the club, but I believe strongly it is a club decision, agreed to by Ted, GMGM, and BB along with others. I think Nyls is made to know that if he wants to play hockey it will not be here. Whether there's a deal in the making or not, Nyls has to know that he won't play here. That's a management-level roster management call.

I don't think injury or an impending deal comes into it. If he were to play (and risk injury), I think he is extraordinarily motivated to play hard and add grit and more shots to his game. That would bode well for increasing his chances with prosepective suitors. If he were to get hurt bad and go on LTIR, that would take his salary off the cap hit for a time and provide flexibility to the club. In other words the incentives are there for the club to play him, but it won't because of the overall strategy.

That's my best guess, but who knows?

Posted by: Sonyask | October 8, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

tominfl - I guess it's obvious that I'm in the A camp. Ready to take the Cup? Close. I think our young defenders need some work and the coaches need to find a way to get everybody to buy into the system at both ends of the ice. I can understand camp B's concerns about D, but it is very difficult to pick up such a quality player at the end of the year. If one is available, several teams will be banging on the door for him and the GMs will have their hands full - That is one of the reasons we need to count on making the most of what we have to work with in case a deal can't be made. Hey... at least we all want the same end-result!

Posted by: gonchpup | October 8, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Go Caps- let's keep the goals against down tonight - defense wins championships.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 8, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

It is just not that hard. Nylander is not needed on the top two lines and does not work on the bottom two. We have better players than Nylander for line one obviously, line two is a tougher crash the net line, not exactly Nylander's style. Bruce tried him on the third line and he can't play shut down defense so be comes a liability and he would be a joke on any fourth line. So he gets a good seat to the games and lots of money.

Posted by: majiksea | October 8, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I personally doubt that even if Nyls is moved, and that space cleared, that this organization would drop too much of that money on any outside/trade/external player. With both Semin and Nicky being RFAs after this, Nyls $3M will be off the books along with JT's $4.5M to give the team space to sign both of them for the long-term. Semin is on $5m this season and Backstrom is playing for less than a $1m (not including the bonus). Now, since I happen to think Backstrom will put up 100 points this year (80A and 20G) I suspect we'll need some cash to keep him. If Semin plays 75 games and plays like he is now, he'll hit 100, also. If I take that $7.5 million and spread it over those two then I move Semin to $7m per year and Backs up around $6m. That eats up just under $7m in space and I'd use the rest to give Steckel a $500K raise since he'll be an UFA and that would put him at about $1.25m per year. I happen to think it's a steal for a great two-way player and PK'er.

So, there's isn't a load of money out there even if Nylander is moved. Yeah, we'd have whatever is prorated and remaining from $5.5m this year but that's it - that's not what some would see for a top defenseman, not over any length of time. Maybe we comp $2.5m if he's moved and use that for a one-year wonder but I have my misgivings about that.

If I were trying to read the team's mind then I propose that moving Nyls isn't going to have a significant effect on the team - either on the ice or on the books - at this point. A trade would only bring on players who's salary add up to Nyls and who knows what length we might be looking at; we'll need that money elsewhere. I don't want Nylander sitting because I think he's been professional through this whole thing. I just don't think he fits the style of play of this squad - it happens and it sucks the money is tied up with him but if you think about it, it's tied up now with future contracts, regardless.

I think this team wins the East this year. With that long view I can forgive some bad nights of defense like in Philly. I think the D is better than last year but it needs to improve. Nyls contract - here or not - isn't going to help that situation.

Posted by: saintex | October 8, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

People are being too hard on Varly. Sometimes the D just watch Varly try to make saves instead of clearing out the puck. Even Pothier said the team is overconfident when Varly's in net.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 8, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of Nylander and hearing about it - HE WILL NOT PLAY FOR US EVER AGAIN...That is obvious.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 8, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Seriously. We're just going around in circles with this Nylander discussion.

Posted by: hillg | October 8, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

in circles with Nylander?

Posted by: capsfan7 | October 8, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

no pun intended- lol

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 8, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Fully intended. ;)

Posted by: hillg | October 8, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hysterical! I'm tired of the play him conversation and what line he would be best on...he is gone...get over it...let's concentrate on people that contribute.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 8, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't really care about Nyls at this point. What I want to know is why does Flash have to play when he comes back. I don't miss him....

Posted by: vafan3 | October 8, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

There is a better chance that Nylander pours me my beer up in the 400's then ever seeing him on the ice...

I would tip him a buck though if he's reading...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I never heard back last time I posted and I'm sick of Nylander... did anyone else read that Anton G. was called up from Hershey? It was on Yahoo transactions some days back... he's not good enough to play, ideas?

Posted by: Chad8 | October 8, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Nylander isn't being moved unless its to the KHL. The NHL is getting younger and faster and Nylander is neither of those. His cap hit is almost $5 million and has 2 seasons left including this one for a guy that has put up 20 goals and is -19 in the past 100 games he's played. So they aren't playing him because the team has gelled without him and inserting him into the lineup isn't going to address any of the Caps' pressing needs. so they will hold him and if they don't get rid of him this year, they will hope that his front loaded contract will become more appealing next year when he is due to be paid 3 million and they could potentially move him toward the trade deadline, if he doesn't retire before then.

Posted by: JK111 | October 8, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

So, Nyls rides the pine all year and in return gets his name added to a shiny object at the end of the season? And gets paid for it? Sweet!

Posted by: HappyWeagle | October 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there some requirement that you have to play a certain number of games during the season or playoffs in order to get your name on the Cup?

Posted by: hillg | October 8, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@vafan3 - Why so hard on Fleischmann? Personally, I thought he had a good year last year in SPITE of having had a bout with pneumonia that set him back rather hard. Despite missing several games, he still scored 19 goals, and was behind only Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Green, Laich, and Fedorov (who isn't here any more) in terms of goals scored. That ain't half bad!

Posted by: irockthered | October 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Feds scored 20? Hmmmm.....

Posted by: saintex | October 8, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Caps!

Big Donald back...let's see who he goes after.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 8, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

varly is clearly in need of more practice at the nhl level.

when JT came in at philly, his rebound control was drastically better then varly. His positioning saved a few shots as well. His rebound was kicked to hard for stone hands poti to control leading to Hartnell's goal.

Watch varly closely. He is very quick but commits to soon to the butterfly and lacks good rebound control. Working with Arturs and watching JT 50 times will help him move to starter next year.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | October 8, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg S., I agree with you 100%

Posted by: Hookey | October 8, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I dont get it.Why sit juice when it was poti and erskine that had a bad game.Juice has been playing better then them i think.So punish the ones that do bad and not the ones that are playin good.thats BB for ya.bass akwards.though he is the coach and he must have his reasons so i'll go with it.doesnt mean i get it.And varly,love the guy but still think he needs time in the A and bring up neuvy.He's gonna be our goalie of the future.thats if BB and GMGM get there head on straight and see the obvious.till then...GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 8, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Irbe is only 42..

we should give him the start vs Nashville and see what he's got left in the tank...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 8, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

OK; I was looking at the wrong column.

The totals for goals were:

Ovechkin - 56
Semin - 34
Green - 31
Laich - 23
Backstrom - 22
Fleischmann - 19
Kozlov - 13
Fehr - 12
Fedorov - 11

Posted by: irockthered | October 8, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@ cadlecreek1

That is exactly what I have been saying for weeks.

Unfortunately some of the folks here fell in love with Varlamov when he got put in for Theo last postseason. He was just as shaky then, we just buckled down and played better in the games that counted.

Posted by: rovingbandit | October 8, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

IRTR, I figured you might have and was just giving you a hard time.

How close to 100 points do 19 and 28 get this year? I have Backs for 81A and 21G for 102 and Semin with 45G and 50A for a 95. Of course, AO is up at 68G and 58A for a killer 126. That would be the possibility of about 323 from that line if they stay together.

Posted by: saintex | October 8, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Last post on Nylander situation:
This situation is like some relationships in life. It just didn't work out. Nylander doesn't fit in with the current coach's style of play. Nylander isn't at fault or a bad player. The coach isn't at fault. The GM isn't at fault because he fit in with the coach he had at the time of the signing. The only thing you could really fault GMGM for was the length of the contract and Nylander.

It's unfortunate, but these things happen.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 8, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I love some Varly but I agree with bandit a bit on this one. We went from 0-2 down to the NYRs to winning the series 4-3 and the only real change with Varly in net. Granted he was stunning but he's the obvious option for adulation after that series.

Posted by: saintex | October 8, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

In a pinch, I'd definitely take a 42 yr old Irbe over Brett Leonhardt. Do you think Irbe still has the mask with the grid cage?

Posted by: hook99 | October 8, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If Nyls didn't play most of the playoffs last year, and isn't playing now... Don't you think he would ADAPT and see what he can do to contribute? I sound like a broken record here.

Posted by: MNMNT | October 8, 2009 2:27 PM

Well, yes. But what makes you think he hasn't? It could be, and this is my belief, that BB will never play him no matter what this guy do. Even BB has said he is in great shape, works hard if not harder than the others, and stays longer on the ice than many. He has been a professional and from what I read hasn't been a problem in the locker room at all.

Posted by: hock1 | October 8, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

gratefuldid - Was it the players (Poti and Erskine) or the pairing? How do you find out? Split them up and play them again. Conversely IMHO Jurcina played well enough to earn another start. Fans get to debate, but the coach gets the final word. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 8, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Irbe needs help to see over the crossbar. I lived in the Bay Area when he was in his prime. "Like Wall"? Hardly. "Like Midget" is more like it. And, more recently, "like sieve".

Flash is a low rent flyer of a player. He might develop into something pretty decent (a 20 ish goal scorer on a second/third line situation. If he doesn't pan out, then no big loss. Would you rather have more Flashs or more Nylanders?

As for the Cup, there are rules about who gets on the cup, I think its X number during the regular season and Y during the Playoffs or finals. (I forget which.) The former covers guys who were key and got hurt, the latter covers late additions or call-ups who play in the end games. Nylander isn't going to sit for the entire season. If it becomes clear he isn't moving, they'll play him at some point. Someone will get hurt and he'll be called upon. It might be 2010, but he'll play.

One thing that bugs me about Nylander is why they didn't put him on LTIR to avoid the cap hit. They did with Eminger even though he wasn't hurt but an extra part. I know its against the rules, but so are a lot of things. I wonder if they toyed with it or if Nylander made some quiet threats about not being designated as "injured".

Posted by: oldtimehockey | October 8, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Man I'm not the hugest Juice fan but he's waaay better than Schultz, that's for sure. Why do they keep throwing JS out there, is just taking GMGM's orders on this or what?

What does Schultz bring to the table - other than being tall [and a former 1st-rounder].

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

So, Nyls rides the pine all year and in return gets his name added to a shiny object at the end of the season? And gets paid for it? Sweet!

Posted by: HappyWeagle | October 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there some requirement that you have to play a certain number of games during the season or playoffs in order to get your name on the Cup?

Posted by: hillg | October 8, 2009 4:01 PM


What hillg said, except not as a question.

People who are asking about whether it's Boudreau or GMGM, I remember reading a quote from Boudreau about the situation saying "it's up to GMGM right now" or something like that. I maintain that burned bridges or not, BB is more about putting the best possible team on the ice than anything else, and he's likely to have rewarded the hard work of Nylander in practice by now if it was up to him.

But seriously, let's stop talking about Nylander. You won't see him playing in an NHL game wearing a Capitals jersey ever again. If and when Nylander finally caves and waives his NMC and we find a team in some league willing to take him, he'll be gone. Until then, you'll see him in the press box. Is there any more to discuss?

Posted by: Raber | October 8, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to seeing Grachev - I remember you-tubing for Duchene {"the next Forsberg," give me a break] but Grachev [his linemate] kept popping up instead, it was hilarious. I realize he's a little raw but the kid can flat-out play - hopefully he's not out there against Schultz, that'll be ugly.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If Varly and Neuvy progress really well this year, come around March we could unload JT on Toronto. Those guys are sucking wind up there in goal.

Having said that, I'm pleased so far with JT's play and wouldn't object to seeing him lift the cup as a Cap this year.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Raber, you make some pretty solid points - but I think the thing with Nyls hints at a larger issue, one with management.

And the picture ain't a pretty one.

Disclaimer: I know I've criticized certain aspects of Green's game before, but wow do I stand corrected - he's been much, much better in his own zone, I've been impressed.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

just about to head over to VC. hope to see Ovie as swing man on 3rd or 4th line and Sloan with Pothier on D at same time - then you have tremendous skaters against their 3rd/4th

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | October 8, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

could someone explain to me why washingtonpost live starts always with the burgundy and gold. this is just dumb. why does this town not want to focus on the one team that has a chance of doing something positive.

Posted by: samb99 | October 8, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Disclaimer: I know I've criticized certain aspects of Green's game before, but wow do I stand corrected - he's been much, much better in his own zone, I've been impressed.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2009 5:02 PM

And oddly enough he hasn't been scoring! Always have to give the Green bashers something to complain about right? I agree though. He's been much more responsible in his own end as of late. With the number of goals we're scoring anyway, I'm happy that his benefit to us is back there rather than up front.

Posted by: Raber | October 8, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, exactly! And his outlet passing has been excellent too - and I feel like just the threat of him out there keeps the D back on their heels - not that they don't have their hands full already with the likes of Ovie, Semin and Backstrom!

Playing good D is challenging anyway, never mind at that level - maybe it really does just take time - because he certainly has the raw physical power and natural ability, there's no question about that.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 8, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe they have found a taker but Nyls won't go along with it and they are trying to pressure him into changing his mind.

exactly what I suspect - it's the only thing that makes sense. Let's face it, the Caps probably don't mind Nyls getting hurt - he's then not a cap hit. (Or, if he is a "cap, hit" then he may, indeed get dinged...) I think they just want to make being here less pleasant than going elsewhere. It's a professional affair at this point: neither side owes the other, he was a good signing at the time...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 8, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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