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Caps reassign Aucoin, Giroux

The Caps have sent Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux back to the Hershey Bears.

That likely means new dad Matt Bradley and Mathieu Perreault, who was feeling under the weather yesterday, are ready to return tomorrow night against Carolina.

The team is off today, but Dan Steinberg caught up with Bradley and Quintin Laing at Kettler and will have more on that later. (Check out Dan's Twitter account to find out what Laing's been eating with his jaw wired shut.)

Update: Here's Bradley on being a dad.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 10, 2009; 12:36 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: Division dominance

Comments

giroux had his chance up here and didn't produce. I hope they give someone else a shot next time

Posted by: _stevo | December 10, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

totally agree w/ Steveo!!

Giroux had multiple chances w/ last year and this year..he is an AHL scorer, not NHL...

good forth depth or a trade piece, but nothing more.

when's Oskar Osala get a long look?

Posted by: netminder71 | December 10, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Giroux proved what he showed last year - he gets pushed around way too easily and cannot finish at the NHL level.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

From twitter:

Eklund

Nylander to Jokerit e(3) (at the risk of the normal Nylander craziness...this from a close source.)
34 minutes ago

TSNBobMcKenzie

Michael Nylander (Washington) clears waivers. No players put on waivers.
1 hour ago

It's Nylander so I figure it means nothing but you never know...

Posted by: megatroll1 | December 10, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I was about to write that, although Giroux certainly has done nothing to impress at the NHL level, BB and GMGM might see something in him that we don't, and that he might develop over the next couple of years.

And then I saw that he was 28-I thought he was a lot younger.

So I fully agree - he's had his shot, let's give others an opportunity. What strikes me most is that he doesn't seem to skate/work particularly hard. Perrault is half his size, but always seems to win the battles in the corners.

Posted by: hook99 | December 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@netminder71 - Osala probably gets a look when he's not hurt... though I can't confirm where I heard that he was.

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Is Knuble playing tomorrow night?

Posted by: Steakum | December 10, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

You live up to your name there megatroll1. Eklund's rumor success rate is less than 2% and McKenzie didn't note that this was a "waiver refresh" job. Until McPhee makes a statement that Nylander has signed a contract with another team, there's no point in speculating.

Posted by: Raber | December 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Japers Rink had a nice discussion regarding whether or not Ovi embellished the trip and deserved to go to the box.

I'll give my two cents and be done. First of all, it was a stick and a left foot (slew foot right?) that clipped the back of his right foot. It was his right leg he suffered the injury on just 10 days ago. Now, he's in the slot and Backs has control of the puck in the corner just below the goal line. Why would Ovi embellish and take himself out of a play while in the slot when a passing magician has control of the puck? I don't think he would. The question is why did he look so funny and spin around. IMO his recent knee injury made him think more about falling once he was going down. Think about this too, if someone lightly poked the back of your knee when you don't expect it, don't you lose your balance badly, even when not on skates?

Anyhow, I don't think Ovi is getting any respect from officials now.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This just got a lot better with Perrault back. Last night, no MP = no passion, no hustle, no win. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: Andoy | December 10, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It would be cool if the Nylander issue was resolved. Hanlon coached in at Jokerit in 2008-09 so that's another link to former Capitals, and he might serve as a consultant. We'll just wait for GMGM to make an announcement. If or when anything happens with Nylander GMGM will waste no time making it public.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock-
come to think of it that was a bit "slew"-ish wasn't it? The zebras got it wrong IMHO.
As for Giroux, he MORE than had his chance... he pulled top line duty next to OV at one point and still didn't net any that I can remember. I hate to say it but that's about as epic FAIL as I can imagine.
I thought Knubs was coming back, no?

Posted by: Chad8 | December 10, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I actually thought it was the right call on the ice of the dive + trip. There are other times where I think it should have been called on Ovie but wasn't. I'll agree that Ovie's really getting the zebra love recently (and by love I mean scrutinizing eye) - he's probably at the end of a short rope with them...

Posted by: Raber | December 10, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I just can't believe that a player who wants to win as badly as Ovi does would dive. Besides, the video clearly shows he was tripped.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i think the dive + penalty tandem was discussed in a previous thread. There's a fine line between drawing a penalty and diving. Like with so many other things, there's a gray area there and it's ultimately up to the officials. In this particular case, I didn't object until I saw the 2nd camera angle. Obviously not a luxury the official that made the call had.

Posted by: Chad8 | December 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I just can't believe that a player who wants to win as badly as Ovi does would dive. Besides, the video clearly shows he was tripped.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 10, 2009 2:06 PM

First off, Crosby wants to win as bad as Ovie does, and we all know he a great diver.

Second off, he was clearly tripped - that's why the trip was called. The replay also showed him doing a full 360 before falling to the ice and throwing his arms up in the air a little to draw attention to the penalty. As written in the rulebook, he probably embellished a bit to draw the penalty, thus he dived.

I didn't think the embellishment was that bad at first - going so far as to get mad initially when the refs called it. After watching it again I decided that he might have embellished a bit - whether he did it bad enough to justify a diving call is another question, one where opinions will differ from person to person.

Posted by: Raber | December 10, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I like the fact that call-ups were sent down to make room for MP returning to the line-up.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 10, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm of the opinion that Giroux was bewildered/intimidated/overwhelmed by the speed and skill in his NHL games.

Posted by: beeman | December 10, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

In this particular case, I didn't object until I saw the 2nd camera angle. Obviously not a luxury the official that made the call had.

Posted by: Chad8 | December 10, 2009 2:06 PM

Second camera angle? I only recall seeing one camera angle in the replay I saw (the one from the front) and would love to take another look if someone's got a youtube link. I might just retract everything I've said about him embellishing the hit ;-)

Posted by: Raber | December 10, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Raber:

He was slew footed and pushed with a stick. Ovi tried to stay up but could not recover. Remember ice skates, not completely foregiving. Example: sunday I was showing my son a stop and start drill. I have been skating for 35(started at 2) years and played hockey for 25 of those(my knees are toast). I caught an edge and just about did a Greg Louganis. I got off balance a little too far and splat. I did about 4 360's trying to stay up and finally fell. OVI WAS TRIPPED THE DIVING CALL WAS HORSE***T.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Raber-
I can't find a clip, but I believe the replay on CSN showed a 2nd angle really focusing on the contact to OVs leg. It was enough to change my mind, although I am admittedly biased.

Posted by: Chad8 | December 10, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I want to officialy discuss the split up of OVi and top linemates. We've had an ongoing discussion here about Semin (keep him, or trade him), and I want to add and this OVi debate thread. I'm not just bringing this up because of last nights game. This is a feeling I've had now for some time, after carefully watching our team mature over the last few seasons and grow talent around the grt8, yet experience early playoff exits.

Tarik, please take notice. Hopefully you will write something about it so it gets some attention by the Capitals coaching staff.

For the better of team success, and at the possible expense of not winning the INDIVIDUAL scoring race, BB needs to pair Ovechkin with someone other than Semin, Backy, or Morrison. OVi can be centered by Perrault, Steckle, or Clark. OV is in a completely different league on his own. HE DOES NOT NEED TALENT AROUND HIM TO SCORE GOALS! Look at his offensive production when he was with Clark and Zubrious a few years back. Nothing to be ashamed of. Spreading the talent around will make the caps unstoppable IMO. Not stacking them up to serve OV, or to have the most dominant single line in hockey. We have the luxery of having the most talented player in the game, who doesn't need talent around him to score, and from his play elevates those around. Why not take full advantage?

Think about it. BB can still give him 20-23 minutes a game.

Line Combos for a Stanley Cup run- (note, the order means nothing)

1. Semin, Backstrom, Laich
2. Flash, Morrison, Fehr
3. OVi, Perrault/Steckle, Bradley/Clark/Beagle
4. Lang/Sloan, + odd man out line 3.

As for defensive pairings, I'd put the more defensive pair with line 3, but do we really have a more defensive talented pair anyway?

The combos I suggested I believe will produce a legitament, Pittsburg Penguin/Detroit Red Wing 'esk multi-line threat. A threat that can't be mitigated by playing some defensive trap, or by shadowing a player or two, or by a hot goalie.

The combos above will NOT help OVi collect hardware awards, including MVP. He would most likely loose to another hot winger, or Crosby or Malkin.

BUT SO F"ING WHAT!!

Now, fellow Caps fans, which would you prefer? Team success vs. OVi success? I know most of you will answer Team. But just really think it through. Everyone wants to see OVi do his thing, including me. Could we tolerate OVi doing his thing to the degree of 35-40 goals vs. 55-60? Same thing in playoffs. Less points individually. Less attention. Could we tolerate that?

IF SO, THEN WE AS FANS NEED TO DEMAND IT!!

Lets remember folks that he is a winger, not a Center. His job is to score when on the ice. But not be over-servred or catered to for individual awards. He is 'A' weapon on our team, and not THE single weapon, as was the case a few years ago.

Thoughts?

Posted by: floms | December 10, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My thought is no one is catering to Ovi. Silly to put him on a third line. Silly to deprive him of Backstrom and Semin's feeds. Silly to deprive the team of those scores.
...

Posted by: Sonyask | December 10, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

We demand a shrubbery.....

Posted by: _Mark | December 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

So flom,
Your willing to sacrafice 20-25 goals this season for the sake of even lines??? That makes no sense!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 10, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Ha- ovechkin on the third line - omg my sides hurt from laughing.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

floms wrote:
I want to officialy discuss the split up of OVi and top linemates. We've had an ongoing discussion here about Semin (keep him, or trade him), and I want to add and this OVi debate thread. I'm not just bringing this up because of last nights game. This is a feeling I've had now for some time, after carefully watching our team mature over the last few seasons and grow talent around the grt8, yet experience early playoff exits.

Tarik, please take notice. Hopefully you will write something about it so it gets some attention by the Capitals coaching staff.

For the better of team success, and at the possible expense of not winning the INDIVIDUAL scoring race, BB needs to pair Ovechkin with someone other than Semin, Backy, or Morrison. OVi can be centered by Perrault, Steckle, or Clark. OV is in a completely different league on his own. HE DOES NOT NEED TALENT AROUND HIM TO SCORE GOALS! Look at his offensive production when he was with Clark and Zubrious a few years back. Nothing to be ashamed of. Spreading the talent around will make the caps unstoppable IMO. Not stacking them up to serve OV, or to have the most dominant single line in hockey. We have the luxery of having the most talented player in the game, who doesn't need talent around him to score, and from his play elevates those around. Why not take full advantage?

Think about it. BB can still give him 20-23 minutes a game.

Line Combos for a Stanley Cup run- (note, the order means nothing)

1. Semin, Backstrom, Laich
2. Flash, Morrison, Fehr
3. OVi, Perrault/Steckle, Bradley/Clark/Beagle
4. Lang/Sloan, + odd man out line 3.

As for defensive pairings, I'd put the more defensive pair with line 3, but do we really have a more defensive talented pair anyway?

The combos I suggested I believe will produce a legitament, Pittsburg Penguin/Detroit Red Wing 'esk multi-line threat. A threat that can't be mitigated by playing some defensive trap, or by shadowing a player or two, or by a hot goalie.

The combos above will NOT help OVi collect hardware awards, including MVP. He would most likely loose to another hot winger, or Crosby or Malkin.

BUT SO F"ING WHAT!!

Now, fellow Caps fans, which would you prefer? Team success vs. OVi success? I know most of you will answer Team. But just really think it through. Everyone wants to see OVi do his thing, including me. Could we tolerate OVi doing his thing to the degree of 35-40 goals vs. 55-60? Same thing in playoffs. Less points individually. Less attention. Could we tolerate that?

IF SO, THEN WE AS FANS NEED TO DEMAND IT!!

Lets remember folks that he is a winger, not a Center. His job is to score when on the ice. But not be over-servred or catered to for individual awards. He is 'A' weapon on our team, and not THE single weapon, as was the case a few years ago.

Thoughts?

Posted by: floms | December 10, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

_Mark:

Ni!

Posted by: jeets | December 10, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Winning games requires scoring goals... Scoring goals requires the right set-up and solid finish. What better pair than Backstrom/ OV for that purpose. Backstrom is as good an assist guy as I've seen and NOBODY finishes like AO. As for Semin, he's already been rotated off and on by BB. Maybe Buffalo's D would argue that OV doesn't need help to score. They controlled him well last night I thought.

Posted by: Chad8 | December 10, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

not sure if it's been mentioned, but NHL Network has a show on tonight@7pm, on Ovie's Greatest Goals.

Posted by: Max231 | December 10, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Why is there no news on Pothier? Is he ok?

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Why is there no news on Pothier? Is he ok?

Posted by: capscoach | December 10, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hockey is the ultimate team game. It's much easier to stop a superstar if you have the luxury of keying on him because you don't have to worry about the other linemates. Pairing him with 8 and/or 28 opens up time and space not just for him, but for the other players as well.

Moreover, why on earth would you want to completely make over the most potent offense in the league. Your reference to early exits from the playoffs is not really accurate - it's not like we're the Sharks. Two years ago, we were out in the first round, and last year, with more experience, we were a game away from the conference finals.

Posted by: hook99 | December 10, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"Semyon Varlamov, Washington -- 12-1-2, 2.21 GAA on a team that many falsely allege can't play defense."

per nhl.com, article on shutouts.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 10, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@floms

You are making a huge deal out of nothing and you are basically trying to tell BB (who leads the #1 team in the league) to run his lines?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 10, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm - best team in the league with the best player in the world and we should put Ovie on the third line? Insanity. Get over the couple games he was out...the team is much better with him scoring goals from Backstrom.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 10, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Last night, no MP = no passion, no hustle, no win. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: Andoy | December 10, 2009 1:37 PM |

If it's as simple as that, the Caps are in trouble.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 10, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts?

Posted by: floms

1) Please refrain from posting the same long post multiple times.
2) I think Knuble is too valuable to sit. He's not in your lineup so I guess you're suggesting either a trade or a healthy scratch.
3) I don't think the coaching staff is going to split up Backstrom and Ovechkin.
4) Having a dominate line to pressure the other team and wear them down is a good thing.
5) The Caps are one of the top teams in the NHL don't mess with it too much. That is along the lines of don't fix it if it isn't broken.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 10, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

On the Ovi diving call, I do think it was crap, but the weird flailing of the arms as he tried to regain his balance might have convinced a ref that it was dive worthy.

I'm so not weighing in on this 7th grade level line-building exercise. We are near the top of the league and had a bad game. Let BB coach.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 10, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

In my mind, Ovi did embellish...I just have always hated the diving rule...it gives the refs an out on a "possible" border line call..."Yes it was a trip but the other player dived (dove?) so both go to the box"

I recall diving being a big issue 10 yrs ago so maybe this rule has helped but something doesn't sit right when you see it called, whether its called on your team or on the other...

Posted by: jeets | December 10, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

On diving. In my mind you have to just call one guy. Either it is a dive and you call the diver or it is a trip, hook, whatever and you call that guy. If a guy is actually tripped it is hard for it to be a dive too and if he dives then it really isn't a trip or whatever.

On Nylander, I know that Eck (hockeybuzz) is wrong almost all of the time and normally Bob McKenzie is normally the much better source however he said himself that he is not going to be reporting any Nylander rumors so maybe something is up and he is just ignoring it as to not get burned again. Of course this also could just be me really wanting to finally be rid of Nylander.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 10, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It looked like embellishment at regular speed, but in slo mo I thought there was a good chance Ovi was in the process of making a move to one side to be able to put in the puck, and so his momentum, with the trip, carried him in an odd way.

I can see why they made the call, though.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 10, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Just read that Varly was put in IR. True? Does that take him out for a week?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 10, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Let the record reflect - all these injuries and call ups and downs.....this team even with San Jose losing in OT last night - is still on top of the league. Again doesn't mean a lot right now but it's impressive. The defense has been better and the goaltending improved. Slowly but surely this team keeps going onward and upward.

Be grateful for what we have in this team going forward. Yes there are still hurdles - Nylander - and other things to deal with soon but the team just needs to stay focused and keep winning.

Ice Breakers and Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 10, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Of course this also could just be me really wanting to finally be rid of Nylander.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 10, 2009 5:00 PM

This.

We're all wanting Nylander to be gone. But not one of the "Nylander on next rocket to the moon; he's finally off the Caps books for the season" rumors we've heard has led to any results. When McPhee gets up and says "Nylander has signed a __insert league here__ contract and has been assigned to __insert team here__" is when we can start thinking about him again.

And by thinking about him I mean spending all his cap money on chicks and booze.

Posted by: Raber | December 10, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns - where did you read that about Varly? If it's true then not a bad move. Theo and Neuvy can handle the two game set for Fri. and Sat. Keep Varly resting it for the road trip.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 10, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I hope the boys got out of Buffalo safely. Sounds like the weather is supposed to be really bad today. Or do they have to come home tomorrow?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 10, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I read it in the most recent (as of 5:00ish) thread on Japers--it was buried in a long discussion of the "weakness" of the diving call on Ovi. Don't know where that poster got the info.

I agree though that with a groin let it heal. Give Neuvy a chance and give Theo time to regroup--not his best game but by no means was it his worst. He made some great saves too. I hate flukey goals. Sometimes the hockey gods are with a team and sometimes they're not. Which is not to take anything away from the Sabres goalie. He made some incredible save.

I hope they get a good nights rest at home and come out strong tomorrow night. We'll be there rockin' the red. FINALLY I can have some red vino!!!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 10, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

FLOMS

thats is just stupid i understand taking semin away but the way ovi and nicky play together is like they are made to be on the same line two of the most talented players in the league who help those around them making each other better... sounds like a good deal to me

Posted by: nickiefan83 | December 10, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns - where did you read that about Varly? If it's true then not a bad move. Theo and Neuvy can handle the two game set for Fri. and Sat. Keep Varly resting it for the road trip.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 10, 2009 5:55 PM
-----------------------
It was also reported on CSN this evening.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 10, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: joek443 | December 10, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys - thanks for the info. Here's to Varly healing up.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 10, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

On diving. In my mind you have to just call one guy. Either it is a dive and you call the diver or it is a trip, hook, whatever and you call that guy. If a guy is actually tripped it is hard for it to be a dive too and if he dives then it really isn't a trip or whatever.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 10, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

-------------------

Agree 100%. Either the player takes a dive or draws a penalty. It's not logical to call both.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 10, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it great that the Flyers lost again tonight, 2-0 at home to Ottawa?

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 10, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does Malkin look a bit like Herman Munster?

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 10, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@MReilly9

On the Flyers' play, it doesn't look like the new coach has sparked the team enough.

I still think the Flyers have too much talent to miss the playoffs entirely.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 10, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I sure like the Perreault now seems to be settling in. Even though he's not racking up the point like he did in his first few games, he definitely is fun to watch AND he makes things happen that may not make it to the score sheet. Dont' forget I was talking him up last March.

Posted by: rjma1 | December 10, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

@rjma1

Perreault will have two "Top 6" caliber wingers on his line tomorrow since it looks like Knuble will be back (and Ovi, Semin, Flash, Fehr, and Laich are all healthy).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 10, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I agree with your post on Ovi and diving. He gets no break from the officials these days.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 10, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered,

Oskar was injured in the game on Saturday 5 Dec 09. He and two opposing players went heavily into the boards in the first period of the game and his knee hit the boards hard. He went to the locker room and tried to play in the second period but only played a few shifts. When he came out of the building after the game his leg was very stiff and he was limping badly. He couldn't bend his leg much. He did not play in the Sunday game.

Every one who is a Caps fan needs to make a trip up to Hershey. The building is fantastic and the food in the arena is great. Way better then the food in the Verizon Center. The nachos have their own fixins bar. The arena is really nice and big. We sat up in the upper bowl which is similar to the 200 level seats in the Verizon Center and the view was fantastic. Both games (5 Dec 09 and 6 Dec 09) were great. The first game was really close and the Bears had to come back to win. The second game was a rout (they won 9-1). Also there is so much to do in Hershey and the surrounding area. Plus it is so much fun to watch the young guys playing. You can also meet them after the game. So go see the Bears and Go Caps!

Posted by: estuart0 | December 11, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Guys,
McPhee just called me. Apparently the Caps have decided to replace their entire coaching staff with Floms and "fans". He apologized for not reading blog comments sooner and agrees ovie should be a third liner.

Really floms...are you high?

Posted by: trunkenmath | December 11, 2009 2:47 AM | Report abuse

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