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Carlson sent down, Ovechkin named first star

Today's practice was optional and several players, including Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Tomas Fleischmann, exercised that option. Still, there was plenty going on.

*Let's begin with the news of the day: Defenseman John Carlson was returned to Hershey after practice, despite his strong showing against Toronto and Philadelphia. Carlson was a combined plus-4 in the two games, the best of any Caps' defenseman in that stretch.

He's headed to Portland, Maine, for Tuesday's AHL All-Star Game. It's unclear if he'll make it there in time to take part in the hardest shot competition tonight in the skills showcase.

*Carlson's demotion could mean that John Erskine (upper-body injury) is close to returning. Erskine practiced fully today.

*Brian Pothier, who has been sidelined the past two games with an undisclosed injury, also skated. But he still was limited in what he could do and afterward told me he's not ready to return.

*The injury news regarding goalie Semyon Varlamov (groin/knee) did not sound all that encouraging. He had hoped to practice with the team at some point this week, but he did not skate at all today.

Asked if Varlamov had suffered a setback, Boudreau said: "I don't know. I just think he's been skating every day for so long that sometimes you give it a rest. Once you give it a rest, he'll be stronger tomorrow."

When asked if Varlamov, who has been out since Dec. 7, would be on the ice tomorrow, Boudreau added: "I'm not a 100 percent sure, but I know he wants to."

While it's far too early to reach for the panic button, Varlamov's health is likely the most pressing matter facing the Caps at the moment.

*With three goals and seven assists in the past four games, Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL's first star of the week.

At least as impressive as his 3-7-10 scoring line was the fact that Ovechkin was plus-5 in the Caps' last two games (both victories) and is now plus-28 for the season, tops in the NHL -- and a big jump from his plus-8 finish last season.

*No word yet on whether the Caps plan to recall Karl Alzner now that he's eligible to suit up for the Bears during the Olympic break. But the team is considering it.

*With the Red Wings, Penguins (in Pittsburgh) and Coyotes on the schedule this week, this is an important stretch as Boudreau and General Manager George McPhee take stock of what they've got and what they might need. After Saturday's game, the Caps will only have 11 more games before the March 3 trade deadline.

"This is a great 'test' week," Boudreau said. "The statistics don't show Detroit as a top team in the league. But you always play them as if they're the top team in the league. Then we're playing the champions and you throw everything out when it's Washington-Pittsburgh. They're a great team. Then you're playing Phoenix, the upstart team. It's not that you take them lightly, but they've got 61 points and they just keep coming at you. Teams get up for us now. So everyday we have to be at our best."

*With the Caps' offense having produced four or more goals in seven straight
games, Boudreau sounds like he might have found that elusive balance he's been seeking with his forward line combinations. (At least for now.)

"People keep forgetting that this is not a sprint, you start in September and you're going hopefully until June, so this is a marathon," he said. "So you've got to try and experiment with different things. Right now it's a good fit. We found out that [Tomas] Fleischmann is a good fit with Semin. It took us 40 games plus to get it. Hopefully we can keep it the same."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 18, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Semyon Varlamov  
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Comments

First! Lets Go Capitals!

Posted by: mjwies11 | January 18, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I like these forward lines too. The chemistry is there.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 18, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

stupid question: is there no all star game because of the olympics? just occured to me the other day

Posted by: bleedred | January 18, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

With Laich back to form, the forward lines are beautiful.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

With Fleischmann stepping things up, Knuble really driving the net now and Chimera finding good chemistry the team is starting to get some real balance.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 18, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@bleedred

Correct. I believe TSN just ran an article picking their "all-star" selections, had there'd actually been one.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I vote keep Carlson and Alzner up - they look like the most steady guys out there.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 18, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I watched the practice and saw both Pothier and Oisk on the ice. Guess Oisk will play tomorrow.

I saw Ovi behind the bench but not on the ice.

Guess Semin decided to rest his bad wrist and take the day off (or was advised to do so).

Odd that Flash wasn't practicing.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Islanders are shelling the Devils, up 18-7 om shots after 1. Took a 2-0 lead 4 minuts in and that's where they stand.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Heard a rumor that San Jose may be interested in ShaMo. He is an UFA after the season and with Carlson and Alzner pressing to get in the Caps lineup full time, ShaMo's time with the Caps may be expiring by the trade deadline.

If Caps move him by the trade deadline, at least they pick up a 2nd or 3rd round pick. At this point, McPhee would want a pick instead of picking up an additional player as Hershey has plenty of prospects able to move up to the big leagues.

Posted by: puckman | January 18, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Whether at the deadline or later I don't anticipate ShaMo coming back.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

We could use bodies for ShaMo, but if we can bank some picks to trade (albeit not high ones from the Sharks), it could work.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

re: Odd that Flash wasn't practicing.
Posted by: CapsFan75

Guess Flash even need a break now and then, especially after taking a few hard hits over the last few games. I'm the #1 Flash fan but he didn't look as sharp to me Sunday afternoon as compared to the last 6-8 games.

Plus with Detroit, Casino Night & his big upcoming ESPNzone appearance, he needs his rest.

Posted by: pachanga74 | January 18, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought Carlson looked better against Toronto than against Philly. I thought he played a little more tentatively against Philly. Did anyone else see it that way? I think he is going to be a great one, but I wonder if Pittsburgh and Detroit and the Cup playoffs might be a bit much for him at this stage.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

If Billy Guerin was only worth a #3 last year, what is ShaMo worth at the deadline?

My prediction for next season: Schultz makes more than ShaMo. I see it in the tea leaves.

signed,
nostrathomas

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 18, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

On the Isles/Devils game, I wouldn't call 2-0 game a shelling. Note: the score remains that way 2/3 of the way through 2nd period. Not much action in that period.

In any case, hope the Isles can hold on and win.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I thought Carlson looked 100x better than we came up the first time. I thought he was poised, made great outlet passes and didn't look out of place against both the Flyers and Leafs. I was pleased to see that.

"Heard a rumor that San Jose may be interested in ShaMo" by puckman

God I hope so! Trade him a pick. Bye Bye! The other Morrison is better and spells his name right

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Would not be surprised to see that happen. Especially if Schultz ends up as the leader in Plus/Minus. At the moment, he's #2 to Ovi.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, I was referring to the number of shots -- 18 in the 1st -- a lot for NJ to give up.

Now it's 3-0 Isles toward the close of the second, 30 shots to 11. That's a lot of shots for one side in two periods.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, folks, I guess I won't be getting that job on CBC now...


As some of you may recall from my post last week, I made some predictions about the TOR, PHI, DET, and PIT contests.


Thus far, I am 0-for-2 on those predictions:


--I predicted the Caps would defeat Toronto 4-3 in a close-fought contest...only to see the boys open yet another 5-gallon can of whup-@$$ on the hapless Leafs with a 6-1 win.

--I also predicted a "push" vs. Philthy, with the Caps likely to win by 1 goal provided the Caps' goaltending was sound...and the Caps won by three--despite having far fewer chances on the PP than their guests. I refuse to count the late 6-on-4 goal by Philthy as anything more than another excuse for Theo-hate: IMO, even Brodeur would have had a hard time stopping that.

As a Caps fan, I should be happy about these outcomes--and I am!
If I had bet money on the Caps to cover the spreads that I predicted, I would have won those bets, so that should make me happy, too.


But it is because to the nature of those wins that I am suffering a crisis of faith, if you will. I must now conclude that--despite years of study, observation, and yes, actually playing the game--my level of Hockey Knowledge is Zero.

Oh, woe is me: I must be assigned to Company "P"

Company P: that Purgatory for People whose Prognostigatory Predictions are Peskily, Persistently, and Preternaturally off-Point.


It's true.
I'm Guilty.
Take me away...


Just kidding, Tom! ;)

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 18, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Make it 4-0 Isle on 32 shots.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

And now it's 4-0 in favor of the Isles.

Not many shots for the Devils this game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I like ShaMo, but I think his time here in Washington is over.


Our friend over at alexovetjkin.blogspot.com has a number of interesting quotes and notes. Most of you probably go there in your normal hockey-site cycle, but just passing it on.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, I'm only getting the benefit of the "game cast" on espn.com -- How's the game look?

NJ's having a bit of a skid lately.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40:

Nostrathomas could have told you those predictions of yours were wrong. But he keeps silent mostly on these things since life wouldn't be any fun if we already knew the outcome.

But you already knew that, didn't you?

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 18, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

It's understandable to be nervous about the Caps' prospects.

Glad they won their last two games.

Hope they do well against Detroit and Pittsburgh (and Phoenix) this week.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

I clicked on the live feed on Yahoo when it was 3-0 and then learned it was 4-0 when the feed came on. (I probably won't watch the whole thing. Thinking of doing some skating at the ice rink at 4:30. Need the exercise.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

My scrappy Islanders are just outworking the Devils. It could have been 5-0 if not for a quick whistle by Dan Marouelli. I'm still hoping for that Caps vs. Islanders first round match-up. Why? Because I'm selfish. Whoever wins, I'd be happy. Who'd of thought Matt Moulson would have 20 goals at this point. DP standing strong too. Anyone want a used Biron?

Posted by: lornemyoung | January 18, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Brodeur has been pulled in favor of Yann Danis.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hell, I'll join you in hoping for a Caps/Isles round 1. I think all of us Caps fans will, especially if DiP's hip re-explodes.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm still hoping for that Caps vs. Islanders first round match-up. Why? Because I'm selfish. Whoever wins, I'd be happy. Who'd of thought Matt Moulson would have 20 goals at this point. DP standing strong too. Anyone want a used Biron?

Posted by: lornemyoung | January 18, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you do, lornemyoung, but my recollection is that the Isles have matched up tough against the Caps thus far this year.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I want the Isles as the Caps first round opponent. Don't know who I want.

In any case, Islanders are still leading 4-0 with less than half the period to go.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I want whoever's seeded eighth to be the Caps first round opponent.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75: For some reason, there is never a good answer to who you would want as a first round opponent. I'd go for the Albany River Rats, but I don't they'll make it.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 18, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I think ShaneMo has been playing great the last few months. He's been taking the body, sticking up for his teammates and playing with a bit of a mean streak. I'd hate to see him get traded. I really like the makeup of our team. Other than Gordo and Holtby (logjam in the nets), I really don't see us making any moves.

Would like to get Lehitien and Turco from the Stars for Holtby, Gordo and a 2nd..

Posted by: jake81 | January 18, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Taking a look at the Caps and their affiliates, I got curious about the entire league. I totaled up the records of all the NHL's teams and affiliates.

WAS - 90W | 30L | 14OTL

And then I stopped after the Capitals.

Posted by: JSchon | January 18, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - Always wrong to wish injury on someone. I will assume that it was meant in jest and let it go at that though.

As for Devils@Islanders, the Islanders kept the Devils from hoping back into 1st in the East, thus helping the Caps stay #1. I like what BB had to say about always playing Detroit like they(the Red Wings) are the best. A Caps win against the Red Wings will make my Tuesday.

I'm looking forward to Rocking The Red on January 23rd. It is a Brockport College Alumni event. So, lots of NY transplants will be there cheering on the Caps.

Posted by: lornemyoung | January 18, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan

Unfortunatly, the Albany River Rats won't be an option for the Caps as a playoff opponent. Wrong league.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

We can celebrate the Devils' defeat at the hands of the Islanders with Molson Golden Ale as Moulson was the #1 star at that game today.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

just a random question, is there a morning skate tomorrow?

Posted by: lovecaps28 | January 18, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Just don't drink Molson when Caps are playing the Islanders. That would be as bad as eating carrots while playing the Flyers or drinking a HURRICANE while playing Carolina.

Or, for that matter, purchasing a Buick LeSABRE or, especially, joining the Burgess Meredith fan club.

Nor do you ever want to plant a MAPLE tree in your yard or put a DEVIL dog in your kid's lunch.

Mrstominfl1 made DUCK l'ORANGE. I didn't say no, I said "HE!! NO." She served it with WILD rice. I went running out of the house. She stood in the doorway and yelled out the ice tea was BREWIN and she'd be sad and BLUE if I didn't eat. She howled like a COYOTE as I shot like a FLAME down the block.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 18, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

big week coming up for the AmeriCaps...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 18, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

just a random question, is there a morning skate tomorrow?

Posted by: lovecaps28 | January 18, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

It's a game day, so there should be one at 10:00 a.m.
http://capitals.nhl.com/club/page.htm?bcid=sch_PracticeSchedule

Posted by: Sonyask | January 18, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

okay yeah that's what i thought but it wasn't on the "caps today" schedule like it usually is so i wasn't sure. but thanks

Posted by: lovecaps28 | January 18, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40: Perfect Post!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 18, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget another player who was crucial to the Caps sunday win: Jose Theodore. http://bit.ly/7HU0vk

Posted by: eternale5150 | January 18, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

tominfl-
Your wife sounds like a PANTHER or something. You gotta be the KING in your castle. Can't you get her to LIGHTNING up on you a little?

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 18, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

For those who can get MASN or ComcastPhilly or FoxSportsPittsburgh:

The AHL All-Star Skills Competition is on TV right now. From the Bears, Alex Giroux and Andrew Gordon are on the Canada team, Keith Aucoin and John Carlson on PlanetUSA.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 18, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the Coyotes are not being as obliging as the Islanders. Come on, Phoenix, don't let Buffalo walk all over you.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 18, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

ISLANDER a few bucks for charm school if you want.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 18, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Pretty Please, can someone please cool down Buffalo, pretty please? I guess tonight's not the night. Phoenix is down 3-0 to them.

They actually have a hard schedule coming up. Anaheim (okay, they're not that hard) and after that, LA and San Jose. May their luck against those two teams be as bad as the Caps' luck against them and then Vancouver. Okay, it's not right wishing ill will to Buffalo but it makes it even.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

Unfortunately, Phoenix seems intent on doing just that. And Bryz has been pulled at goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Any ideas on when Varly will be back:

1) Before this coming weekend

2) Before the end of January

3) After Feb 1 but before the Olympics

4) After the Olympics

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Just read rumor on net suggesting Kovalchuk for either Backstrom or Semin along with Fehr. I can't imagine that GMGM would even entertain the idea of moving Backstrom. that would be insane. I know some of you disagree but I wouldn't trade Semin either. He and Ovi are friends, moving Semin could upset the Great 8. We do not want that. Do we really need Kovalchuk? If any deals should be made they should involve defense.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 18, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

Agree with you on not trading Kovalchuk for either Semin or Backstrom. We need Nicky. Plus, Semin is our best secondary scoring outside of Ovi and Backstrom.

Acquiring Kovy would compound the problem we now have with paying our current cast of characters, with or without Semin/Backstrom. Kovy would be even more expensive, giving us less money for other people.

There was actually a poll asking whether we should trade Semin for Kovy. The majority actually voted NO. (There were times I wondered otherwise but now we know.)

Kovy is a great player. There's no denying that. His market value would probably be greater than either Semin or Backstrom. But trading either of them to get him would not be a wise idea at the present time.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the idea of trading Semin persnally. He has one more year left on his deal and Kovy is on his last one and no way does he resign low enough we can keep him. We have a young team and I think we can keep Backstrom, Flash, and Shultz (we may have to lose Fehr but don't forget last week he was a healthy scratch). That means even if Semin doesn't resign after next year then we have two great chances to win the cup and if we do the trade we will have one and then one with less of a chance.

After this season the Pens are going to have to deal with Gonchar and Letang both being FAs so they could lose even more. NJ will have Marty who will be another year older. The Black Hawks are going to have to trade away some players to stay under the cap. That is a lot of the top teams that are looking to get weaker next season while the Caps won't be losing much at all (assuming we can sign the three I mentioned above).

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 18, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I would try to bring back Gonchar... he's their best D-man and I think he still has a few good years left in him

Posted by: joek443 | January 18, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris Clark scored a goal today for Columbus (5th of the year) helping them to defeat St. Louis 4-2.

Posted by: MReilly9 | January 18, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris Clark scored a goal today for Columbus (5th of the year) helping them to defeat St. Louis 4-2.

Posted by: MReilly9

Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I am so happy for Clark.

Posted by: caraveli | January 18, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:

I have the same question about Varly. It seems like he is never coming back. I am very worried about the goalie situation again. It is not this injury in particular, but the rumor that he is injury prone that concerns me. Wasn't he out for a long time at Hershey?

If this is the case, we need a very solid and reliable second goalie. I thought Neuvy was that. I still believe that he will be but it doesn't look like he is the rock we need now. I know that BB is making light of it, but I was surprised that he had to melt-downs in the row. I don't know how to read them. Does anybody?

It will be telling if BB uses him tomorrow.

Posted by: caraveli | January 18, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

We will not trade Semin or Backs for Kovy. We don't need Kovy. We already have enough defensive liabilities as it is. Great talent, could improve scoring for sure but I don't think we need to improve on our greatest asset especially when there isn't another team in the league that's within 15 goals of us in total goals scored.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 18, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The Blackhawks are already over the cap next season and are in worse shape than the US government. Long about Sept 30, 2010, when Hawks mgmt holds the come to Jesus meeting on how to cope with their opening night payroll for next season, you'll see more players nylandered than you can count.

Let's not "blackhawk" the Caps too.

Say "No" to Kovalchuk and tell friends and family to do likewise.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 18, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Honest to God, the Hawks have only 16 players signed for next year (they need 22 on roster) and they are at like $60.5M. And that doesn't include an almost $3M "cheat" on Hossa.

I don't know how they're going to do it, but it will be fun to watch them try.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 18, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Yes, Varly had problems with injuries down in Hershey last year, which is why Neuvy was called up last Feb when Johnson was out.

The current goalie in Hershey, i.e. Holtby, has proved he can play back to back games and be effective. He was in goal for the vast majority of the recent games played. (Chihuahua in goal once this weekend. Varly played in his rehab start where he got injured. Other than that, I think it's been Holtby all the way.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

Especially when Kovy is not a very good defensive player. Backstrom and Semin have shown their "take away" skills defensively.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

if I was to add a winger to this team, it wouldn't be Kovy... I would probably add a veteran like Owen Nolan

Posted by: joek443 | January 18, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

But wouldn't trade either Backstrom or Semin to acquire Owen Nolan.

Would you trade one of our "excess" defensemen for him?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75, I don't know what it would take to get a player like Nolan but probably not much

Minnesota will probably not make the playoffs this year and he's in the last year of a 2-year/5.5 mil contract

a draft pick or two would probably be enough to get him

Posted by: joek443 | January 18, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

And he's relatively old but having a fantastic year this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

It will be interesting to see how the Blackhawks handle their cap situation.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

I would prefer to add a veteran center rather than a winger like Nolan but I think he could help them in the playoffs

he's a former captain and a number one overall pick with over 400 goals in his career... he could do for the Caps what Guerin did for the Pens last year

Posted by: joek443 | January 18, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@eternale5150 -- these both describe a shot from van Riemsdyk. I'd thought there was a screen on that second goal, (although the shot may have been fairly unremarkable) so it was helpful to see a number for the people involved.

From the CSN Washington article: The Capitals failed to clear paths in front of the net, making it difficult for Theodore to see the puck. On the Flyers' second goal, when winger Jeff van Riemsdyk scored from the point, four bodies blocked Theodore’s view, leaving the goaltender little time to respond to a puck that easily passed by his glove hand.

From the gamer here: But James van Riemsdyk restored the Flyers' lead with an ordinary-looking shot that eluded Theodore. The play began with a turnover by Matt Bradley in the corner.

Posted by: miseaujeu | January 18, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@miseaujeu

And to think they were watching the same game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 18, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

It would take a 4th round pick or later to get Owen Nolan. Not sure he's what we need though. Doesn't help the PK. Adds grit but we supposedly just got that with Chimera.

Bring in Souray or Nieds and a good PK Center like Yelle or the like and we're set. Just a lil tweak. And oh yeah, a healthy Varly for the playoffs please.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 18, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Chicago put thier chips "All in" for this yr. It's is 100% correct that they are already over the cap for next yr and only have 15 players signed into next year.

While a Cup would be great, I like Ted and GMGM's stragegy to give us multiple shots at a Cup rather than 1 and done.

We just need a tweak and I have a feeling GMGM is gonna pull something off pretty remarkable without sacrificing the future.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 18, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

as good as Ovie is, he's not quite the talent that Super Mario was

this is NOT a popularity or personality contest, they're judged on what they produce on the ice

Posted by: joek443
------------------------------------------

Production on the ice? I hope you'll agree that hockey in the mid 80's is COMPLETELY different than the hockey of today even though it's opened up a little bit. That being said in the 1st 4yrs of Mario's career he's gotten just shy of 100 more points than OV which averages out to 25 points a yr. Be it that the scoring was so much higher then, I disagree that OV "isn't quite the talent" Mario was. Mario was a gifted goal scorer who was able to protect the puck very well with his large frame. He was never accused of being fast. OV is all of the above and fast. You put OV in the mid 80's and Mario here today and you tell me who you think would get more points.
Regardless, OV will break most if not all of Mario's records in a more defensive NHL.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 19, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

You know thinking of the whole deadline deal thing something that hasn't been mentioned lately is Foppa! Anybody heard anything on his status? I thought there was somebody on here from Sweden giving updates earlier in the year. It'd be interesting to see him play in the Olympics and come in for a stretch run and playoffs. Not sure who could compete with us up the middle if that happened and Foppa was healthy for a couple/few months.

You know things are quiet when Eklund hasn't even mentioned his name in a bit especially knowing the Olympics are just a couple weeks away.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | January 19, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Foppa is already injured again =)

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | January 19, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Sharks score 9 against the struggling Flames. More impressively, 8 different players scored...

Posted by: Raber | January 19, 2010 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Here's something interesting: Ovie's skated under 18 minutes in each of his last two games and is +5 over that stretch. I looked at his Game Log and there's a strong correlation between a better +/- for Ovie with less ice time. Also, since becoming captain (7 games), Ovie's skated 3 games under 20 minutes, whereas the rest of the season (30 games barring injury/game misconduct) he's skated under 20 only 4 other times.

Maybe it's just that we've been in the box more or had large leads, but it's looking to me like our captain is growing up!

Posted by: Raber | January 19, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Trading either Backstrom or Semin would be a very bad idea. Backstrom is one of the best passers in the NHL, and only needs to improve his faceoffs to become a truly elite center. Semin is perhaps the Caps best all-around player - he is excellent at shooting and skating, has pulled off some incredible passes, and can play either the PP or PK. That is a major advantage of Semin over Kovalchuk - penalty killing.

Posted by: timmyv38 | January 19, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

From the CSN Washington article: The Capitals failed to clear paths in front of the net, making it difficult for Theodore to see the puck.

live TV link http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | January 20, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

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