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Steckel: 'Everything Feels Stronger'

(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)

David Steckel played all of last season with a finger that was damaged so badly he couldn't bend it. Not even a little bit.

That finger, however, is now fully functional after a pair of surgeries this summer, the big center told me today following an informal practice at KCI.

The scar isn't pretty. It runs across the knuckle of his right forefinger, and the digit still bends oddly in a place where a normal finger shouldn't. But Steckel said he doesn't care what it looks like. All that matters to him is that he finally can grasp his stick securely, put some zip on his shots and fire passes more accurately than he's done since breaking the finger in March 2008.

Steckel and his doctors hoped that rehabbing the finger after the 2007-08 season would fix the problem. But it didn't, leaving him at a bit of a disadvantage last season.

"All of last year it didn't bend," he said. "It just stayed straight. I just got used to it."

Even with a bum finger, Steckel put together a solid 2008-09 campaign. The 27-year-old notched a career-high eight goals and 11 assists in the regular season, then raised his game in the playoffs. Skating on the third line with Brooks Laich and Matt Bradley, Steckel recorded three goals in the Penguins series, including a memorable overtime tally in Pittsburgh that sent the series back to Washington for Game 7.

Steckel also was the Caps' best faceoff option, winning 57.9 percent of his draws in the regular season despite the injury.

While almost everyone was pleased with Steckel's improvement, there's a sense that the penalty-kill specialist still has some untapped offensive upside. He did, after all, record 30 goals and 31 assists in the AHL just three years ago.

"My goal going in [to this season] is 15 to 20 goals," said Steckel, who focused much of his off-ice training this summer on increasing his speed and agility. "I think that's a reachable goal for myself. Every year that I've been pro, I've improved my numbers no matter what the level. I had chances to put pucks in last year and they didn't go in. If I capitalize on those chances this year. ... I want to be able to contribute more offensively and help the team."

Steckel hopes playing with two healthy hands for the first time in more than a year will aid him in the pursuit of those goals.

"Everything feels stronger," he said. "Even when I'm in the weight room, I can grasp the bar. Shooting, I feel like I have more control. Before, it was just, 'I hope this goes where it's supposed to.' I feel like I had a better summer from a workout and skating standpoint."

Steckel said he's finally put the heartbreak of last May's stunning, season-ending loss to the Penguins in the past. There are, however, two things he wants to carry over from that series: his success in the offensive end and an increased role. Steckel averaged 16:03 of ice time in the playoffs, up from 13:48 in the regular season.

"I don't want to say I was more into the game," he added of getting more ice time. "But when you skate more five-on-five, you kind of get into a rhythm. It wasn't just penalty kill and then a shift here or there. I liked it."

As for the possibility of being reunited with Laich and Bradley, Steckel hopes that happens, too.

"I had great chemistry with those guys," he said. "We knew where the other guys were and we knew how we had to play. We got some of those garbage goals that we weren't getting in the regular season. ... I hope we get to play together again; that would be ideal."

(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post)

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  August 27, 2009; 1:34 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Catching Up With Erskine, Bradley and Gustafsson
Next: It's Almost That Time


Stecks if you continue to win 59% of your faceoffs I don't care if you score a goal, but I would expext 10-15.

Posted by: caps512 | August 27, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks for the update. All this talk of guys coming back to town, and the training camp schedules is killing me though, hockey season is so close I can almost taste it

Posted by: superpaqman | August 27, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting a Steckel jersey.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 27, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

David Steckel does good work! If he was that effective injured, I am excited to see how he improves this year.

Posted by: amberlynne | August 27, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I said it yesterday, that would be a great line. Maybe someone more original then me can come up with a good line name for those 3. Their last names start with L B and S so maybe something about pounds (LBS).

Posted by: pkendrick | August 27, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

now just imagine what he is capable of... can't wait. still think bourque deserves a jersey if he doesn't get one this year, we're going to lose him next year. stecks-brads-brooksy line is def a good line. varlie and theo should split the goaltending. ovie backie knuble line is a must. and schultz deserves a hershey jersey, please be sure he gets one.

Posted by: capsfan387 | August 27, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you 387, Bourque deserves a jersey this year but would he be UFA next year?

You also have to think that GMGM is going to make some trades before the season starts...

Alzner will be in a Caps jersey which means either Schultz goes down to Hershey (possible but Gabby likes him) or we trade away one of our D.

And if we give Bourque a jersey then we would have 15 forwards which means one of the other guys would have to be sent down OR traded.

Either way, we won't know until after camp.

Man am I getting the hockey itch now.

Posted by: pkendrick | August 27, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan387 & pkendrick:
Schultz to Hershey?? H*ll no! We don't want him either.

Posted by: tess2201 | August 27, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

LOL... tess I don't think Sarge is going anywhere. I am just saying that Alzner is a 100% lock for the Caps which gives us 8 D. That means we either need to move 1 forward and carry 8 D or we need to move a D somewhere.

I still think there is going to be a trade before the season starts.

Posted by: pkendrick | August 27, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

A trade is all but guaranteed. Two trades likely. Here is cap. I added "NW" for the players who can be sent down to Hershey w/o clearing waivers (I'm assuming on Collins but uncertain.) Note ShaMo already moved off.

Ovechkin 9.538
Nylander 4.875
Semin 4.600
Knuble 2.800
Clark 2.633
Backstrom 2.400
Laich 2.067
Morrison 1.500
Bradley 1.000
Fehr 0.772
Gordon 0.761
Flash 0.725
Steckel 0.725
Aucoin 0.500
S/T 14 Forwards 34.896
Green 5.250
Poti 3.500
Pothier 2.500
Alzner (w/bonus) NW 1.675
Jurcina 1.375
Erskine 1.250
Schultz 0.715
S/T 7 Defensemen 16.265
Theodore 4.500
Varlamov 0.850
S/T 2 Goalies 5.350
Total 23 Players 56.511
Clymer (Buyout) 0.367
Total 23 Players + Clymer 56.878
Cap Space (Est) 56.800
Available -0.078
Extra Players
Morrisonn 1.975
Sloan 0.640
Collins NW 0.625
Bourque NW 0.578
Extra Players - Sum 3.818

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tom, further prooving my point.

Posted by: pkendrick | August 27, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

This Steckel thing brings to light something fans need to keep in mind. All year long, these blogs are filled with "fans" who think they know all and what's best for the team, rarely without considering the fact that they actually know very little. 2 years ago people started getting on Clark and then apologized out the _ _ _ when they were informed of how severly his wrist was injured. Time to give the players and coaching staff the respect and benefit of the doubt they deserve. Most injuries are not disclosed, so if a player is not quite on his game, give him a break and assume there might be a viable reason. Now, if Stecks was able to improve as he did last year DESPITE his injury, what might we expect from him this year?

Posted by: gonchpup | August 27, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This Steckel thing brings to light something fans need to keep in mind. All year long, these blogs are filled with "fans" who think they know all and what's best for the team, rarely without considering the fact that they actually know very little. 2 years ago people started getting on Clark and then apologized out the _ _ _ when they were informed of how severly his wrist was injured. Time to give the players and coaching staff the respect and benefit of the doubt they deserve. Most injuries are not disclosed, so if a player is not quite on his game, give him a break and assume there might be a viable reason. Now, if Stecks was able to improve as he did last year DESPITE his injury, what might we expect from him this year?

Posted by: gonchpup | August 27, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: gonchpup | August 27, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

There's likely to be a trade at some point, but I don't think it's Schultz, sorry haters. If you want to see Alzner in red this year, it's ShaMo and possibly Juice as well.

Why? Simple math. Alzner's cap hit is 1.7 million, and we're about 400K into the bonus cushion right now. So, in order to fit Alzner into the lineup, somebody who makes more than him on the blueline has to go. That leaves Green (5.25), Poti (3.5), Pothier (2.5), and ShaMo (1.9). If you say trade Green I'm going to laugh at you. Poti maybe, but (a) he is the most experienced on a very young blueline and (b) his value is such that we'd have to take a roster player back in any trade we make involving him. Not something we want to do. Pothier has too many injury questions and is a UFA after this year, interest in him is unlikely. Plus, he was solid after injury and is well-liked by fans. He has more value to the Caps than any other team right now. That leaves ShaMo, who could be traded for a prospect and a pick a la Aaron Ward, and we clear the salary and the roster room for Alzner.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 27, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

On another note, glad to hear Steckel doing better. I'm thinking about a Steckel jersey as well, but that is dependent on another project.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Nice update on Stecks. Personally, I couldn't see "flash" leave soon enough.....

Posted by: melissa2809 | August 27, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Juice ain't goin nowhere cept to crush opposing players!!!

Posted by: doughless | August 27, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

As I have stated before, I don't think Knuble on the 1st line with Ovie is a given. I think a stronger 1-3 line combo would be:


Clark is also a mucker/stand in the crease type of player and played well with Ovie in the past. This gives us 3 very strong lines, stronger than putting Knuble on the 1st and Clark on the 2nd I believe. I like having my right wings be more the power forward type plus Knuble should mesh very well with either Nyls (who I would prefer if he can get anywhere close to his pre-injury form) or BMo.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | August 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

yes melissa--his 19 goals were not welcomed for a 24-year player who earned a whopping $725,000 & scored 19 goals despite a lengthy bout with mono.

Posted by: pachanga74 | August 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

All of you are (for some reason) forgetting about John Carlson. I think he's going to come into camp and outshine Alzner and every other defender out there. He can score and he's tougher than Alzner IMO. I think they trade Sha Mo to make room for him. If they want both of them then they will trade Sha Mo and Pothier (obviously not for much though).

Posted by: ZMANN84 | August 27, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse


You have to be nuts if you think Clark will be put on the 1st line instead of Knuble. Yes Clark had 1 great season. Knuble gives that line EXACTLY what they need. A tough big guy in front of the net to put in rebounds from Ovie's 500 shots (projected) this season. Knuble is Mr. reliable. 6 years with over 20 goals I believe? Clark will have to prove he belongs on the top 2 lines. We are WAY too talented offensively to put him on the 1st line. Knuble is a no-brainer on the 1st line.

Also. Don't underestimate Morrison on the second line. He was awesome in Vancouver for quite some time. I'm excited to see him this season. Clark will start out on the 4th line....100%

Posted by: ZMANN84 | August 27, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

What is it with people saying "you're nuts" for disagreeing with them? What ever happened to civil and reasonable disagreement? No, we have to insult anyone who disagrees with us in hopes of making our argument look stronger.


I thought we got out of that in middle school.


I don't think we see Clark on the top two lines either. I think Knuble takes Backstrom's right side, BMo centers the second line, and Clark gets either the third or fourth line. I wouldn't be surprised to see LBS and Clark on the fourth line.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 27, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It's kinda pointless to even discuss lines with this team. They change from period to period anyway.

I want the season to start so bad it almost hurts..

Posted by: thiazzi | August 27, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

ditto thiazzi,

also what's up with the daily rerun of all the salaries on here? I don't know why they even make those figures public, not just in hockey but any other sports for that matter.

do you want the world to know how much you make every year? LOL that's just between me and the IRS.

Posted by: joek443 | August 27, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

kitty, thanks for the support but I do believe I am big and old enough to ignore juvenile responses. I agree they do sound very middle school (when I was in school they were called jr high). While I don't have a real problem with Knuble on the 1st line, I do not believe that Clark should be a 3rd or 4th liner. Forward lines are not just about putting the best 3 on 1st line and next best 3 on 2nd line etc. It is also about causing matchup problems. Having Ovie-Backs-Clark along with Semin-Nyls/BMo-Knuble creates more matchup problems than Ovie-Backs-Knuble then ?-Nyls/BMo-Semin would. I believe Semin would make a better 2nd line left wing than a second line right wing. Clark is not a left wing but is a better than average to good right wing. If you want to put Clark on the 2nd line as the right wing I am ok with that, just prefer the other way around is all. I want to keep Laich-Steckel-Bradley as much as anybody and as the 3rd line they are downright scary to the opposition.

ZMANN I may be nuts, but that is the way I see it and those are my reasons. Multiple strong lines are more effective than a single strong line.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | August 27, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

(now that we know about the injury)

Has anyone noticed how pained in celebration Greens' face is in all the playoff goal celebration pictures?

Posted by: caps28fan | August 27, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Clark hasn't done enough lately to be on the first line of any team, much less this team.

Posted by: joek443 | August 27, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I found this. Look at fourth picture. But bad news, Nyjer broke his hand today. ;(

Posted by: rachel216 | August 27, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Caps need Steckel's healthy hands on the dot, especially with Fedorov gone. I think he's good for 35 points and increased PIMs this season.
That Laich-Stecks-Bradley line might deserve a name, but the way BB churns combos you won't much get to use it!
Reason 55 isn't going to Hershey: Schultz is Good.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 27, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

clark has played through a very painful injury. Does he deserve his salary, no but he does deserve to be on the team for his intangibles.

Having clark on the top line isnt a horrible idea as it makes the 2nd line stronger and might force production out of clark. I still like Knuble better up there but its not a crazy idea.

Posted by: caps512 | August 27, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I like Steckel, he plays significantly better in the playoffs than he does in the regular season... how many among the Caps' players can you say that about?

Posted by: joek443 | August 27, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz: I second your motion. Way off base for someone to say "you are nuts" in a disagreement. This is a problem created by these "faceless" blogs. If you are going to criticize, post your name. BTW, I am:

Tom Orem, Longwood, FL

I agree with poster who says BMo on 2nd line. I was apprehensive at signing, but think it was pokerface who set me straight on BMo. Also, I am in the camp that Flash did OK last year. When I did "rank the forwards," he came in as a solid #2 LW - a great value in fact for $725K.

I have 30 years experience in Aerospace and have done cost estimates up to $4B. It's not too hard for me to calculate value on $725K. Flash, like Fehr and Schultz, like Stecks and Sloan, like Bradley and even Erskine, are good bargains. You can't pay them all 9 million dollars.

I say this all, naturally, with the utmost respect toward my fellow posters.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 27, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I think that the Laich Bradley Steckel line should stay intact. And OV and Backs will play together, as will Semin and BMo/Nyls. Knuble will fill out one of these two lines. If Clark is healthy then he is the most likely to fill out the other line IMO. Who else are you going to play there?

Posted by: fatboy08 | August 27, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Tom, I am in St Pete. Hello neighbor (well within about 100 miles

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | August 27, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse


I heard the news on Nyjer Morgan myself. Ouch! And he was doing so well this year.

I had considered him one of my birthday presents. The other was the Caps acquisition of Knuble. (Acquiring the birthday boys around the time of their birthdays and mine as well.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 27, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse


Thought Flash had pneumonia rather than mono. He admitted that the illness took a lot out of him.

In a way, I wonder if Flash could have picked up mono as well. We did play the Bruins when Phil Kessel had mono (January). And recall that Steve Mason of Columbus admitted having mono for 3 weeks in February. Well, the Blue Jackets did play the Caps during that time frame. While mono is contagious to some degree but not uber contagious, did any of our guys manage to pick it up from either Mason or Kessel?

It sounds like Green had mono in spring time. (Could Flash have picked it up also? Or any of our other guys?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse


Clark's played with lots of painful injuries over the past two years. Heck, he played after having his jaw broken in 2007. After that, he had the groin problems, which finished him for 2007-2008.

And last year was the wrist problem. First, they diagnosed him with a hairline fracture of the hand and put his hand in a cast. He stays out a while, comes back in December. Then, it turns out he needs surgery for the tendon in his wrist and is out until Brash got suspended.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 27, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

realoldcapsfan: Keep in touch.

Hope to see you at a Caps-Tampa game where we kick the Lightning from here to next month.

Last year I only went once and it was to Sunrise. Missed the game when Green got the record. Speaking of rivalries, Caps don't have any really inside the SE division. Is Carolina a rivalry? Tampa? Doesn't really feel like it. The Caps got the bum end of the stick when they realigned. Sure, it's easier to be #1 seed against the dog meat of the SE...but it isn't exciting. I'll much rather see a pummelling of the Flyers than a whipping of the Thrashers. And what kind of stupid name is it to call a hockey team "Thrashers?" Isn't that some dopey a$$ little bird? It isn't even a vicious bird like Ravens or Falcons. A team named "Thrashers" should be in baseball. I don't mean to demain Atlanta, but guess I will. They're first foray in professional sports was to bring a team from Milwaukee through Boston named, I'm guessing, after the Boston Tea Partiers: the Braves. Then they created the Falcons, at which point they had run out of names, so their next team was, "We got stomped by Sherman." (The Flames.) "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn."

At some point they got the Hawks. Good name. Better than Thrashers.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 27, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I ran into Stecks' aunt shortly after his surgery. She said he was feeling so much better about it and he's really excited and looking forward to this year. Aren't we all! Here's hoping a good finger will bring great things this year!

Posted by: stuffedinvader | August 27, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I love stecks I really hope we resign him. it's amazing having a fourth life face off stud at his size and at that price

Posted by: dcfury | August 27, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

TominFL - you're pretty funny on the budgeting thing! Yes I was the one talking about BMo. I've like him ever since he came in and time will tell. Will he be the player of the past 2yrs banged up and not able to do anything or be the fast speedy guy who can make plays and kill penalties. Regardless, 1yr contract and low risk.

Kitty - couldn't agree more on Pothier. I'm really thinking that he will have a fantastic yr and he might get resigned. He is definately worth more to us than anybody else. All other teams will low ball us due to risk but I see him playing this yr and being a solid puck moving Dman for us this yr. All fingers are pointing to ShMo as the odd man out with the most salary and is considered the most "tradable".

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 27, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of all this. Everybody's juices are starting to get ggoing especially the GM's etc. As more and more players come back and training camp starts you're gonna see some things start to happen. I just have a sneaking feeling that GMGM is up to something pretty nice. He might be holding the gun to see how training camp goes and if Alzner and Carlson come in pretty strong, you could see a pretty big trade prior to the season. I just have a feeling with as good a team as we have and as good of a farm system as we have something really nice is coming our way. Who knows?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 27, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

One last thought, you know there really hasn't been a whole lot said about Green. We all know that he was very uncharacteristically bad during the playoffs and I heard a little about his shoulder but it didn't seem to be anything major that required surgery. I honestly thought when he took that Pronger hit his season was over but he played again and was fine but wow he was bad in the playoffs. I really expected to hear that something was broke or something like that but all I heard was his shoulder was hurt and rest would heal it. Unless I missed something else?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 27, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

RichmondPhil... "A rivalry, by definition, says absolutely nothing about the other team's fans disliking the other team's fans." Huh? Are you for real? I completely disagree. And as a Caps fan noted above, Flyers fans are by far the most violent. Their very brand of hockey is trademark violence, and it carries over into the stands with them.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | August 27, 2009 1:54 PM |

I am for real. What a rivalry should entail is an intense contest of the game hockey every time the team plays, especially in the regular season. Meaning it has nothing to do with the fans. The teams decide to put on a better show for the fans, that's about it. I don't hate any other teams' fans, does that mean we have no rivalries? I will reiterate, "hating" a team should really only go so far. At least to me, it's just joking. The fans who take anything like that seriously should probably find a more interesting job or pick up a hobby or two. Most sensible fans seem to have the same view as me. The "hate" for other teams is all in good fun. We can call Crosby a whiner and a crybaby and still recognize he is one of the best players in the sport right now.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 28, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I like Steckel, he plays significantly better in the playoffs than he does in the regular season... how many among the Caps' players can you say that about?

Posted by: joek443 | August 27, 2009 7:34 PM |

Juice, Erskine, Bradley, Gordon. and Steckel.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 28, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

The wonderful thunderstorm in Owings Mills woke me up. Thats my disclaimer for any of my ideas at this point in the evening.

I think at this point we have a real rivalry with Carolina or its getting there. When we play each other its a pretty good game. Combine that with how we knocked them out of the playoffs 2 years ago and how I think its us and them for the SE title for the next few years and its a decent rivalry.

The only fans I truely hate are the flyers fans. The best thing about philly is a movie and clogging your arteries on a cheesesteak.

Posted by: caps512 | August 28, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

What a slow day for hockey news. Only 1 1/2 weeks until the rookies start tearing up ice at Kettler. I guess there a few guys there every day but I live too far away to just "poke" my head in on the 8th floor of a parking garage.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 28, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Richmondpil, for me the "hate" I feel toward an opponent is at the collective level, I do not hate the individual players (I don't even know them) and I don't hate individual fans, most of the time when I talk to fans from the other side at the arena or in a bar they turn out to be decent people.

Posted by: ds_kelly | August 28, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

To thiazzi - I have a Steckel jersey but you have to get it specialy made - they don't have one you can just buy - but I bet real soon they will - LOVE STECKS!!! LETS GO CAPS!!!! cannot wait for the season

Posted by: beachkween | August 28, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@realoldcapsfan: Who said it was about you? That rant's been building for a while because I see a lot of that sort of crap all over the place, not just here. I don't frankly really give a crap about your feelings, I'm just tired of childish debate tactics.

@caps512: I have to agree - the Carolina / Washington rivalry is getting some pretty good spice to it. While it's a new one and not an old one, it should be interesting in the next few years. I think it'll come into full force the first time these two teams face each other in the playoffs.

@fatboy08: I have to put Flash at second line LW. Remember that Clark is a RW, and that Flash doesn't play on the right side. With Bongos on his right side, I can't imagine a toughness problem with that line. :D Seriously, Clark can play with the kind of grit that a checking line needs, but Flash on a checking line doesn't really work.

The other option is Brooks Laich on B-Mo's left, but that breaks up the LBS line.

@pokerface1208: IIRC, Green had mono on top of the shoulder injury. Mono takes months to fully recover from, and he wasn't fully recovered in the playoffs.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 28, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@beachkween: Yup, I'm planning to have a Steckel jersey made for myself real soon here. I'm holding off on one thing, but it shouldn't be too much longer now.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 28, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Last comment: Looks like I'm going to have to go to Kettler to get the jersey I want. only carries women's cut jerseys in silver/white and pink/gray. How stupid is that?

Posted by: kittypawz | August 28, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Stecks, Stacks.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 28, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

To the Flash haters, sometime last season coach B was asked who had the most raw talent on the team. Was it OVie? na Semin na Greenie na it was Flash. I know raw talent and production are two different things, but i do not see flash going anywhere anytime soon.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | August 28, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The problem I see with Flash, BMo and Semin is who is going to go to the net? And I am with you with regards to LBS, they played very well last year together. I guess these problems are why they pay BB the big bucks

Posted by: fatboy08 | August 28, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

In regard to someones comment yesterday about Green being injured, and wondering if he's still hurt. It appears he's impressing a lot of people at Canada's Olympic team practice/scrimmages/tryouts.
Hope he's back to his old self.

Haven't seen a "Go Caps" in awhile so there it was.
Can't wait.

Posted by: billd2 | August 28, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz: I remember when I was shopping around for a jersey for my cousin and when I initially offered to get her the girly-type jerseys, she almost disowned me for even suggesting it. I wonder though, if women feel slightly offended that the NHL would even think that they'd want a girly version of their team's jersey. Pink jerseys? Always wondered if they actually sold well or if they were mainly for "puck bunnies". *shivers*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 28, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Last comment: Looks like I'm going to have to go to Kettler to get the jersey I want. only carries women's cut jerseys in silver/white and pink/gray. How stupid is that?

Posted by: kittypawz | August 28, 2009 9:27 AM

Go to for your jersey.
Much better than Kettler. They stitch names
on instead of heat press. Looks way better.

Posted by: whiteltng | August 28, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan: They're mainly for puckbunnies, IMO. Now, the Caps do make a woman's jersey that looks just like the men's jerseys except that it's cut slimmer, and that would be nice. I don't fancy looking like I'm wearing Omar the Tentmaker's latest creation. But, if it's a choice between pink or silver and the men's cut jersey's, I'll tie off the end. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | August 28, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Scoring eight goals with an "I hope this goes where it's supposed to" finger is amazing.

I love this guy.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 28, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm bored so I'll throw a joke out in here. I am a Caps fan, a homer if you will, when it comes to fans trashing our beloved team. But...there are an awful lot of Steckel lovers in here (I'm one of them), how long after Stecks first miscue that costs the Caps a goal for or against will the ragging start?

For example I could see fellow fans saying things such as: "I thought he got his finger fixed?"
"Maybe he got the wrong fixer fixed?"
"Steckel should look for another doctor." "He was better before his finger was fixed" "Steckel sucked before his finger was fixed, but sucks even more now."

I can see these comments coming because that seems to be the trend in here.

Let's Go Caps!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 28, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

hockey is often refered to as the world's fastest team sport but I have to disagree... racing is because it IS a team sport. this is practice time for the belgian grand prix at Spa, a 4.6 mile road course and the top 10 times are seperated by only 4 tenths of a second... that's a TIGHT competition.

1. HAMILTON McLaren 1m47.201s
2. GLOCK Toyota 1m47.217s
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m47.285s
4. WEBBER Red Bull 1m47.329s
5. GROSJEAN Renault 1m47.333s
6. FISICHELLA Force India 1m47.506s
7. TRULLI Toyota 1m47.559s
8. KUBICA BMW 1m47.578s
9. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 1m47.579s
10. VETTEL Red Bull 1m47.602s

Posted by: joek443 | August 28, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, why post the entire paper story to the Blog? At least have some out takes or something. Why do I bother paying for home delivery if its available for free on the blog?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | August 28, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: whiteltng | August 28, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for the season to start. My thoughts on the above. . . .

Flash will come together. Hope he's bulking up!

Green needs to get Back to Basics (and get healthy).

I disagree that Alzner is a lock -- as noted above the cost is high and I have not seen him prove himself worthy to date.

Seems about unanimous; ShaMo can be traded.

I think Knuble will be on the top line, but I too am intrigued by the idea of seeing him alongside Nyls and Semin. Could be just what they can use.

Side note; why didn't we see more carry-the-puck-and-walk-to-net goals from Semin last season like he did so many times the year before?

Glad to hear folks speak highly of BMo. I'll look forward to seeing him in action!

Go Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | August 28, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

joek443: As I have said before, to each their own. I know that driving a car at a high rate of speed punishes the human body, but apples and oranges. All hockey players are athletes, but not all NASCAR drivers are, nor need to be athletes. I venture to say that every NHL player is capable of driving a car (fast ones because they can afford them) but very very few NASCAR drivers can even skate let alone play hockey. Maybe we can bring polo teams into the mix.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 28, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't think racing is a team sport. Can you pass to your teammate in racing?

Posted by: thiazzi | August 28, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

is there anyone who still thinks the Caps should have held on to Sutherby, while keeping Steckel in Hershey, or worse yet, letting him walk?

Posted by: shotfromthepoint | August 28, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I was just pondering this after reading Sonyask's post, but does anyone else think GMGM isn't waiting for training camp to see IF Alzner/Carlson/Sloan/any of the Bears can fit in the but which, and move accordingly. I mean I know it's not really that big of a revelation, but it's more of a salary cap-centric view on the issue, I mean if we were to bring up Sloan/Carlson that'd be half the hit of Alzner, so really we wouldn't have to trade such a high dollar player to fit them in (though the extra space would be nice). What does everyone else think?

Posted by: superpaqman | August 28, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

They'd trade a vet before one of the younger guys, probably.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 28, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: maybe not an athlete but in pretty good shape.

@thiazzi: I think your racing team would
consist of driver,crew people,spotter
not just the driver out there by themselves.

Posted by: whiteltng | August 28, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

ehrhoff and lukowich traded from san jose to vancouver for some prospects

Posted by: _stevo | August 28, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1 is correct. Caps fans (many, but not all) are very short-sighted in two ways. First, as was stated, it doesn't take much of a negative change before the trash-talking begins. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many player's improvements... once a trashed player, always a trashed player. Secondly, there are far too many band-wagon fans. Where were they even 3 seasons ago? There was one game so empty you could yell across the ice to somebody and they would answer back. At the fan appreciation game against Buffalo, there were more boos than cheers for Ovie because Caps fans were out-numbered. Pitiful. Now, to all the faithful out there, I think you can understand what I am saying. To all the new fans, a sincere WELCOME ABOARD and I hope the seats continue to be filled. It's awesome, but please stay around through the lean years and show your support when it's not easy to.

Posted by: gonchpup | August 28, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse


That's actually a better case for racing as a team sport! I didn't think of the support personnel.

I was responding to a post about racing teams wherein one owner or sponsor fields multiple drivers.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 28, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

mathieu schneider signed with vancouver also, sharks trading ehrhoff seems like a big salary dump....possibly to bring in heatley

Posted by: _stevo | August 28, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

So golf is a team sport, cause of the caddy? By this inane follow-up to the definition of 'rivalry', the Bonneville Salt Flats host the world's fastest team sport, by a few hundred mph. Please let me know if this turns back into a Caps-centric hockey blog.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

How can we reach you?

Posted by: thiazzi | August 28, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

excellent analogy

most team sports would be defined as having multiple players working toward the same objective (football, bball, hockey - even cycling) on the field (or course) at the same time.

i don't consider racing a team sport
other 'non-team' sports would include (but not limited to) with the exception of relays:
archery, swimming, surfing, gymnastics, skiing, wrestling, tennis, billiards
some individual sports pit yourself against a clock, subjective scoring or just your own skill (golf, skiing, gymnastics & surfing) with no opposition to your actions.
in others you would go against another single opponent (tennis, wrestling & billiards) where the oppenent is trying to keep you from your objective.

feel free to blast me if you disagree

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 28, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

If the guys in NASCAR changing tires,
putting gas in and making adjustments to the car are not team members what are they?

Posted by: whiteltng | August 28, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

they are support personnel - not players in a team sport. by that definition - a trainer that tapes up a players ankle becomes a player and teammate as well
that does not make sense to me.
putting gas in, making adjustments and changing tires are only support functions - they are just working on the equiptment used by the athlete.

you could apply this to any job really.
when making a movie the person that operates a camera on a set isn't considered an actor - but the actor is usless without being filmed

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 28, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse


Yea, I remember the Buffalo game. The a-hole behind me yelling "It's Miller Time!" and "No Sir!" after every Miller save had me more than a little pissed off. Lil Danny B did his usual on ice b.s., we lost.... Lots of fun.


While they might be team members, it doesn't make NASCAR a sport.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 28, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

whitelting: Is there any such thing as an individual sport? Someone's making the rope for a rock-climber; Federer has a trainer (adjustments) and nutritionist (fuel).

Posted by: redlineblue | August 28, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

While they might be team members, it doesn't make NASCAR a sport.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 28, 2009 5:08 PM

Sport is an activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determinant of the outcome (winning or losing), but the term is also used to include activities such as mind sports (a common name for some card games and board games with little to no element of chance) and motor sports where mental acuity or equipment quality are major factors.

Posted by: whiteltng | August 28, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

If the guys in NASCAR changing tires,
putting gas in and making adjustments to the car are not team members what are they?

Posted by: whiteltng


Technical Support LOL

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 28, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Gonchpup--I am most definitely here to stay. I never watched hockey before and we moved to the area in 2006. So it's not like I've been ignoring the Caps until Ovie came along. Hockey has become a family activity at our local rink and at the Verizon Center.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 28, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

By the way racing is a sport. So is golf. But I wouldn't call it a team sport but rather individual. The focus is on the driver not the crew. And like golf it not aerobic but without question it is very difficult. This argument is really unnecessary. There is no need to diss racing, Nascar or otherwise.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 28, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Likewise, I didn't much care for hockey until I watched my first Capitals game last October and then got hooked. So sue me if I didn't care about hockey until I actually watched a game. Give me credit for looking into it before dismissing it entirely. I don't plan on leaving anytime soon and my apologies if there is any doubt that I might leave just because the team may or may not start to s*ck. Sadly, I gotta' make do with the tickets available to me on those resale sites and paying $200 to $300 for a ticket (times 2 since I want to take my favorite cousin with me) and the plane ticket to even see them at Verizon is prone to discourage anyone in this economy to really follow the team religiously as most long-term fans occasionally insist I must do in order to earn the right to call myself a Capitals "fan". Heaven forbid I'm not allowed because I haven't watched enough games or can call them out for skating or shooting horribly. =) Can I just enjoy the game please? =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 28, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Others have already said it, but pneumonia - and losing the weight and sheer muscle mass that Tomas Fleischmann lost last season as a result - HAD to have affected his numbers. And yet...

His numbers - 19 Goals, 18 Assists - were up from 2007-2008's 10 Goals and 20 assists. OK, he got two more assists. Whee.

* His S% was second on the team behind only Semin. He put in (during the regular season) 14.5% of his shots.

* In 73 games, he spent only 20 minutes in the box.

* He had the 6th most goals on the team. Who had more? Gee: Ovechkin, Semin, Green, Laich, and Backstrom, in that order.

* He had the 7th most poinst on the team, behind Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Green, Laich, and Kozlov.

I'm not going to suggest for half a second that we pull the trigger on Fleischmann and trade his talent away.

If you've had pneumonia, or known someone who has had pneumonia, you know it isn't just a head cold. I'd like to see Flash have one healthy season before we consider trading him.

Posted by: irockthered | August 28, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@pokerfaceI208 - Re: Green

Do you remember when he checked - uhhh... help me out, someone. It was in the playoffs, in the Rangers series. He checked someone, who fell down, and grabbed his arm on the way down to the ice, pulling Green down with him.

200 pounds of hockey player pulling unexpectedly on your arm will generate a separated shoulder, especially if your shoulder is already wonky. I read somewhere that Green had separated his acromio-clavicular joint during the post-season. (That's the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder.)

Green wasn't playing at 100%.

That said, most AC joint separations don't require surgery. (Some severe ones do.) Mine was successfully treated by a chiropractor where a "regular doctor" failed to treat it at all, other than to give me a prescription for ibuprofen. But having had that particular injury at about a grade 2 level... it was debilitatingly painful for me, and I was in a sedentary job! I can't imagine playing hockey with even a grade 1 separated shoulder...

Posted by: irockthered | August 28, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Leftcoastcapsfan--I so agree with you. I've been hooked since my first game which was the Caps/Flyers playoff series. We got the ST in order to get tickets to the playoffs. I didn't know enough before to have an educated opinion before but if anyone had asked I would have said that hockey was violent. How wrong I was. And it is amazing live. Our seats are nosebleeders but we have on a couple of occasions gotten tickets up close. The experience is so different. I learn more getting a bird's eye view but wow what an effect one gets sitting in the close 100s. I have to add that I am in awe of the many Caps fans who don't live close. Now that is dedication. BTW--my husband is not a bandwagon fan. He was a Rangers fan growing up, made a few efforts early in our marriage to get me to a game, and sort of lost interest in hockey and the Rangers in the 90s. Said the game had really slowed down and he was into baseball, the Mets, in a major way. He started watching hockey again when our son started playing. Everyone has their own story, each as valid as the next.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 28, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan - :) I guess I should also suggest that Caps fans get be a bit sensitive. I clearly stated, "Welcome aboard". We need the seats filled and thankfully they finally are again. In know way was I saying you aren't a fan unless you've been here since the 70's. BUT... everybody knows the fans dwindle as the wins do. I am only hoping this generation of Caps fans is more loyal. Also, I can understand the financial issues. I have been a season ticket holder, partial plan holder, and there have been years when I just picked up a few games when I could scrape up some $. Anyway, I apologize to anybody who misread me but at the same time, there are many "crap" fans who do nothing but complain when the going is good and disappear when the going is bad.

Posted by: gonchpup | August 28, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Gonchpup--my response wasn't directed so much at your post but rather at myriad posts this past season over who was a truer fan, a bandwagon fan, or a fairweather fan. I've made several friends over the past few years who would pass any loyalty test--locals who have been fans since the beginning of the franchise and who have kept their ST through the lean years, not just the fat. So I do understand your point of view. I think some of us new fans can be a little sensitive too.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 28, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The piece on Kane is interesting. I tend to maintain that there are two sides to every story--a locked door by the cabdriver in this case. Still a drunken stupid act by Kane and his cousin but not without provocation. I would not be inclined to tip a cabby if he locked me in.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 28, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Capsyoungguns -

It's a tough thing to do, and maybe no need to try to categories fans. I am certain that somewhere out there are plenty of Flyers faithful who are civil, intelligent, and passionate fans. Most Pens fans I know or have met are very typical as well. In our building you will also find diversity. The key, I think, is to hope for a supportive fan-base that can weather the off years. A few years back, my daughter and I flew up to Ottawa for a game. Barely a 500 team, I was blown away by the support and enthusiasm. I think there were 22,000 and standing room only. Sure, it's Canada, and much more of a cultural connection than we have, but it was awesome. On top of that, it was great seeing them simply as hockey fans. For the pre-game skate, hundreds of kids were pressed against the glass to see "our" Ovie. They loved him! The fans we were sitting near, concession staff, etc... were all extremely welcoming. They were hockey fans as much as Senators fans. Now, I am sure that if we showed up there to see them play the Leafs (and dressed in blue) we would have been at their mercy - different story. Hockey is still growing in our area and hopefully we will continue to see a more positive and passionate support and less of the grumps.

Posted by: gonchpup | August 28, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

joek443: As I have said before, to each their own. I know that driving a car at a high rate of speed punishes the human body, but apples and oranges. All hockey players are athletes, but not all NASCAR drivers are, nor need to be athletes. I venture to say that every NHL player is capable of driving a car (fast ones because they can afford them) but very very few NASCAR drivers can even skate let alone play hockey. Maybe we can bring polo teams into the mix.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 28, 2009 1:34 PM |

FYI, the #'s he listed were qualifying times for Formula One...definetely not, in any way, shape, or form, Nascar.

But I am still trying to figure out where/why he even posted that. You think racing is the fastest team sport? Okay.... doesn't seem to relevant to anything...

Posted by: richmondphil | August 28, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, maybe I am just not reading this right, but the Sens have been a contender for a number of years. It was only recently that they sucked. Recently being last year. Until last year, they qualified for the playoffs every year since 94-95 I think.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 28, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

i don't know why anyone would care if other fans are bandwagonres or fairweather. i just enjoy the fact that everyone here (excluding pen trolls) roots for the caps to do well. if the bandwagon/fairweather fans leave when the team is doing poorly - i don't miss them and when they come back - they are welcome

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 28, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse
you can vote for who you think should be captain.
*guys* make sure you scroll down 3 or 4 pages (*gals* - don't bother calling me a pig - i already know it)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 28, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Gonchpup--Nice post and I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment. How great would it be to have that level of devotion to to hockey in DC. I hope that those who come to see Ovie play stay long enough to love hockey itself. I've never experienced the empty arena so I can only imagine. It is amazing to me how far and fast that has changed.

I've been thinking about rivalries too--I never met a New Yorker who was a fan of the Mets and the Yankees. Had to be one or the other. Whether or not there are enough Pen vs Caps fans to constitute an ongoing rivalry I don't know. But the fact that the two teams each have a once-in-a-generation athlete with the kind of star wattage that is noticed outside the hockey universe sets up a nicely developing rivalry.
The Caps/Pems rivalry will surely grow in intensity.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 29, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse


I can't remember Green getting pulled to the ice like that vs the Rangers, but very vividly rember Stamkos pulling Green down along the boards toward the very end of the season & Green reacting like he was hurt.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 29, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse


I can't speak for others, but I can't dispute that Flash has skill. The problem that I have with him is that he seems either unwilling or unable to battle along the boards, hit anyone, stay in front of the net, stay on his skates when hit, etc etc.

Just an opinion.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse


Don't worry, I won't be calling you "pig" even if you do say "guys".

I'll admit I've said "you guys" to mixed audiences and even to female audiences plenty of times, even though I'm a girl.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 29, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse


I've actually met New Yorkers in my life who've supported both the Yankees and Mets but the passion usually ran stronger for one or the other. It's actually not that hard to support them both since they're in separate leagues. (I've also met Chicagoans who've supported both the Cubs and White Sox althought that's also supposedly impossible. Passion usually was stronger for one of them, as well.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 29, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse


In my case, I had stopped going to games (all sports) since I was busy raising my family and involved with the kids' activities. Now that the last one is off to college, I've started going to hockey and baseball games again. (It helped last year when the younger one was driving herself places more.)

I hadn't been a season ticket holder before. Last year, I got myself both a 6 game plan and 3 game plan (and had gotten tickets for a few other games). In previous years, I usually was a walk up customer for the games (but sometimes in advance).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 29, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan75--During the years we lived there people we met were fans of one or the other (or didn't give two figs about either), but it was all in good fun. No hate--just rooted for one team or the other and tended to attend games in the Bronx or Queens depending on which team they preferred. It seemed to me that the team favored had a lot to do with family history and geography, where they grew up. It was part of their identity as native New Yorkers as I always interpreted it (I was the outsider). Whether you were a Yankees or Mets fan was always a good ice breaker. Much like the Cubs and Red Sox I imagine. That was the point I was trying to make however inarticually. It's clear from people's reactions that people interprete rivalries depends on which facts defines a rivalry.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 29, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Oops I meant White Sox.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 29, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Ricmondphil: I guess I won't ever be mistaken as a race fan. I had no idea Joek stats were Indy.

Steve_R and gonchpup: I remember the last game of the 2007 season against Buffalo too. The thing I remember the most were the chants of "season's over."

My opinion on Green: The man was hurt. He was ill, and he was injured. It did adversely affect his defensive play. Again, IMO, Mike Green is THE top offensive-defenseman in the league. His ability to read plays and throw hip-checks also tells me he has the ability to transition to the best overall defenseman in the league. Mike Green is a friggin' stud. Unless it's for charity I believe we have seen the last Mohawk for the playoffs by Green. With hockey players being among the most superstitious guys, he is probably starting to believe the Mohawk is bad luck.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 29, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The game where Stamkos pulled Green to the ice was the same game where Ovechkin did the "hot stick."

Ovechkin's celebration was early in the 1st.

Green got taken down toward the end of the 3rd.

You almost have to wonder if Ovechkin's celebration pissed off a team that had little to fight for and led to Green getting injured which, in turn, contributed to his poor postseason performance.

But, if we're talking hypotheticals, maybe Green gets a worse injury if Stamkos doesn't take him down. You never know. Either way, just a thought.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 29, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Well...Formula One is different from the Indy series as well. Three different series of racing, three different types of cars.

Still don't find the relevance in the initial post though.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 29, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse


Agree with you on Green. Of course, being both sick and injured would not do wonders for his performance. It wouldn't surprise me if he ditches the playoff mohawk for next year, as superstitious as hockey players tend to be.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 29, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse


Interesting post on how fans choose which local team to root for when there's a choice of two local teams.

There are rivals and there are Rivals. In many ways, the rivalry between local teams (Yankees/Mets) is more a rivalry among the managements for fans' interest and dollars than of the fan bases. Fans can root for both Yankees and Mets, with one being the greater passion. It's harder to maintain a permanent hatred for a team in the other league/conference etc.

But then there are the rivalies between your local sports team and their main competition who I could call the Rivals, with a capital R. For the Caps, it's the Penguins (as the most hated) or Carolina (the main divisional rival).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 29, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

No offense taken, gonchpup. I like reading your posts. I've taken my lumps for being an LA Caps fan, a new fan, or whatever label people wanted to put on me (i got accused for being a stalker because I was posting on the same Washington Post website as everyone else. Didn't realize there were others. *shrug*) but your comment was insightful. =) By my count, I have 40 more days until I land in DC again for the Rangers game.

*presses fast forward button on the cable remote*

Thought I'd at least give it a try....*sigh*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 30, 2009 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Re: the fairweather/bandwagon fan talk- I have the impression that so much of it is a crack at the "more fan than thou" contest, a contest that has dubious bragging rights at best. I haven't been following the latest convo that closely, but a lot of times I read them and want to leave a measuring tape on the table and walk away. :D

Is it October yet?

Posted by: kittypawz | August 30, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Can't say that the Mets and Yankees fans I know would ever change their allegience on whatever enticements the managements devise or would that make them fairweather fans--ha, ha. Really I was just musing on the many different ways one can define a rival--big R and little r. Nevertheless I do agree it is time for hockey to start. We are thinking of going to Kettler next Monday to see the start of Rookie camp. We never gone to the camps before.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 30, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I hate fairweather fans. Support your team, you hippies.

Bandwagon fans are more than welcomed.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree, the more Caps fans the better. I realize that a lot of people have become Caps fans post lockout but it is what it is. The only issue I have is when somebody is new and claims they know everything about hockey (players, teams, rivalries, records etc). Then again it is what it is.

There is another problem I have. Due to the increase in Caps fans and STH I'm finding it more and more difficult to buy all of my family (10) tickets to all the games around Christmas and New Years when I come into town! How dare they sell my season tickets just b/c I live in Colorado! LOL!

I love hearing all broadcasters these days talk about how full the VC is and how loud it is etc. Maybe we should bring back the Decible (sp?) Meter!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R - Yes, that's the one I meant with Green.

I want Flash to have a completely healthy season (or at least no debilitating illness that can knock the sh*t out of you for months!). Then I'll discuss what he can and can't do.

Posted by: irockthered | August 30, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao - From where I was sitting, on the far side of the ice with a clear view, it looked to me like Stamkos lost his balance and just grabbed Green on his way down, a natural movement. It did not look deliberate. That Green was injured in that one looked completely accidental, but that doesn't make it suck less. I very seriously doubt Stamkos was intentionally trying to damage Green.

Some players, I'd believe that of, but I don't know Stamkos' style of play well enough to know whether he'd deliberately try and yank someone's arm out of its socket or not. I suspect not, or he'd have a rep that way...

Posted by: irockthered | August 30, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Anybody see Mike Green's new blog yet?

Posted by: kittypawz | August 30, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | August 30, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan - :) I guess I should also suggest that Caps fans get be a bit sensitive. I clearly stated, "Welcome aboard". We need the seats filled and thankfully they finally are again. In know way was I saying you aren't a fan unless you've been here since the 70's. BUT... everybody knows the fans dwindle as the wins do. I am only hoping this generation of Caps fans is more loyal.

Posted by: gonchpup | August 28, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

No offense taken, gonchpup. I like reading your posts. I've taken my lumps for being an LA Caps fan, a new fan, or whatever label people wanted to put on me (i got accused for being a stalker because I was posting on the same Washington Post website as everyone else. Didn't realize there were others. *shrug*)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 30, 2009 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I said the exact same thing as gonchpup and you proceeded to call me names. So, which is it?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 30, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, BTW ... looks like Tanguay signed with the Bolts. I have a feeling Tampa is going to be a lot more interesting than last year.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 30, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Tampa is going to be a lot more interesting than last year.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 30, 2009 4:22 PM |

Me too..but that's what they said last year.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 30, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse


It's amazing. All the posts on "I'm a better fan than you" that have been posted.

I'm not trying to compete with anyone else in the "best fan" department. I have other interests besides hockey. Plus, I'll admit my attention to the game had waned while I was busy raising the kids. (Nope, I didn't get the kids into the game. I was too busy dealing with their activities, primarlily swimming.)

Now, with my younger one off to college, I have more time to attend games. I'll certainly remain a customer (for both baseball and hockey) for the foreseeable future, as long as my health and finances hold out. (Luckily I'm in good health and my finances are good at the moment.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 30, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, good to see it's business as usual around here. In Helsinki, Finland right now, headed back to the States in a few hours. I saw an ad on TV here today for the top Finnish hockey league, SM-liiga, showed an equipment guy stiching the numbers on the back of his team's sweaters, getting ready for the season, then cuts to a shot of some on ice action. Apparently, some pre-season stuff is going on now, but traveling around playing music didn't allow me to check out any games. I did have a lot of good hockey conversations with many people here, and picked up a Finnish hockey 'zine (pretty cool except I can't read Finnish and Crosby is on the cover booooo!!!!!) Anyway, excited for the season to start and glad I'll be home for awhile to catch some games. LET'S GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 30, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse


I watched that TB game on TV. I remember seeing multiple replays and my impression was that Stamkos absolutely put some extra force into the takedown. It looked like frustration. Because he was falling, he was able to conceal it in real time from the refs but upon replay, it was fairly obvious there was a deliberate aspect to it. Why he was frustrated, I'm not sure. Maybe YouTube or another site has the clip.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 30, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow so Vancouver stocks up and trades for 2 dmen and signs another D (Schneider) via free agency. Wonder if GMGM had talked to them at all. Just wondering how a team that wants Dmen and how a team that needs to unload some Dmen don't get something done. Maybe it was the return? Maybe GMGM doesn't want prospects back? Who knows, I just found this a little curious. I still think GMGM is gonna do something more on the bigger side of things but the anticipation is killing me! Hannan sure would be a good pick up. He's a great player on a very bad team.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 30, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: I had posted a month or so back that Vancouver was likely home for ShaMo because they were short d-men and he is from BC. And, yes, prospects or a draft pick would have been the expected return, since we are capped out. Maybe the Canucks figure they can just sign ShaMo if they want next year, since he will be a UFA come next July 1st.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 31, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

The NHL Network reshowed the day in the life of Mike Green last night. Really got the juices flowing for hockey seeing the game coverage in that. And Ovie making fun of Greenie calling him "superstar" the whole time he was being followd around by cameras was just classic! Bring on some hockey already!! Go Caps!!!!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 31, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Me too..but that's what they said last year.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 30, 2009 4:46 PM

Well, they were. I didn't say they were good last year.


Who knows? Guess we'll see what happens.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 31, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

from puck daddy:

scary news kids. especially the talk about a potential strike or lockout.

NHLPA fires executive director Kelly; petty or precautionary?,186134

Posted by: doughless | August 31, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Still need to fill spots in the fantasy league if anyone is interested.

Can't wait for rookie camp next week.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 31, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@ freakin: I think what you fail to recognize is that it's not what you say but how you say it. While your intentions were similar to gonchpup's, the way you phrased it and the words you used came off entirely offensive. Also, for the record, I didn't call you names. That was another poster who took offense to your comments and to be honest, I kinda' agreed with his assessment.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 31, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Just read that Feds won his lawsuit, though no telling when he'll get his money back:

Posted by: bagace | August 31, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I was checking TSN to see if there were any hockey updates and saw some comments, by Canadiens, regarding the Chula Vista team winning the Little League World Series this year. For those that watched it like I did knew that California would probably pull it out. It is disturbing to see Canadiens make comments regarding the US having an automatic finalist. The fact is, besides Japan, the US has the most competitive teams in youth baseball in the world. There were two phenonmenal teams eliminated in their regionals, Northern California, and East Texas. Just don't understand why the younger generation of every day Canadiens dislikes the US so much. Canada has an automatic bid in the tournament every year but is lucky to win 1 game. They had their best team this season IMO, but they still only managed 1 win. Maybe the Canadiens would like to have to compete against the US for a North American respresentative? If that were the case Canada would never be represented in Williamsport.

The dislike by young Canadiens is from experience. Back in 2001 I was on a ship that pulled into Nova Scotia and at a club in Halifax the DJ announced that Sailors from the US ship were in the club and There were many boos. Until that moment I considered Canadiens our brothers to the North, since then, not so much.

I know this is a hockey blog but since Canada is considered the birth place of hockey and we are all hockey fans you would be interested in the Canadien reaction. Of course it is just one website, but not one Canadien stepped forward to admit the US has good youth baseball teams. I, for one, would state that if youth hockey was the topic because the Canadien boys as a whole still have a step on our US boys.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 31, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

One more quick thing on the Canadiens dislike of Americans. I googled that phrase and in blogs one of the biggest reasons we are disliked by Canadiens that posted was because we are "flag waivers." One mentioned that you cannot drive 20 meters in the US without seeing another US flag. My question in regards to that is, why would anyone dislike someone from another country because they are patriotic? At the World Juniors in Ottawa last year was I the only one that saw a Canadien flag as big as an entire section? Am I the only one impressed when the Canadien anthem appears to be sung by just about every Canadien in the stands? To dislike us because we love our country is insane. Other countries can dislike our governments policies, sure, but they shouldn't expect to come across our border, trash talk our country, and then expect Amercans to just jump on board. That's like a stranger coming into your house, calling your brother or sister an idiot, and you agreeing with them. Not going to happen, even if you fight with that brother or sister on a regular basis. That brother or sister is family, just like the US is a family. I did not vote for our current President, but I won't agree with a non-American that comes over and trash talks him, I will defend him, because he is still MY President. Blind patriotism? I guess so, but no one has ever completely supported every US President, but they have continued to love their country. I am getting off of my soap box now and fully prepared to get slammed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 31, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Canadians put a maple leaf on EVERYTHING. Literally everything. If that's not flag waving, I don't know what is.

I don't think it's a bad thing, by the way. Just saying.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 31, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

there are idiots everywhere. i saw a great t-shirt last season that I think defines our relationship with our brothers and sisters to the north. i am contimplating buying one for this season.

Posted by: doughless | August 31, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

contemplating, that is

Posted by: doughless | August 31, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Fanhock- no need for bashing here. I'm with ya. While I didn't read what you did Canadians pick their spots and tend to bash the ones that protect them from other evils in the world. For the most part they don't like us but they have their own civil war as well between the west and the east. The bottom line is they can't accept not being 1st in anything especially hockey. Baseball is just 1 example.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 31, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I will say this however, I've met many a Canadian in my day and every single one of them has been extremely nice. Very genuine and kind people. I typically hear more of the negative stuff towards the US from media types. I don't think Don Cherry likes Russians very much, but that's just a guess!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 31, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Heh. Um, Canadians are just as patriotic - as thiazzi said, they put maple leafs on frickin' everything. I wonder if it's insecurity :)

Posted by: kittypawz | August 31, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I missed most of this debate, but after poking around on the Washington Post website I just have two things I noticed that I need to get off my chest. Did anyone else notice the way the sports section is set up? It's Wiz/NBA, Caps/NHL, etc, but for the Redskins, it's just Redskins, like they don't have a mandate to follow the rest o the league. Secondly, this is directed strictly to the writers, Tarik, Katie and Lindsay (if you all are still with us), please, please, PLEASE, never start a series of blogs titled (or similar to) "Here's what happend, here's what I think" that one of your compatriots puts out there daily.

Ok you may now resume any and all Canada bashing. America F-Yeah.

Posted by: superpaqman | August 31, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

My one daughter just moved to Hamilton, ON last week. So far, she's acting the same. Called yesterday and didn't say "eh" even once. I asked if kids were outside playing hockey but she said she hasn't seen any. That suprised me. I'll let you know if she starts accusing me of being an imperialist.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 31, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

In my overseas travels I always see Canadians sporting Maple Leaf lapel pins or backpack flags because they are paranoid about being mistaken for Americans.

(Silly northern sister.)

But the U.S. does have a high instance of private (at home) flag waving. I'm hard pressed to recall any other country where I've see so many homes flying flags any ol' day of the year.

Posted by: pstenigma | August 31, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao - Point. I saw it live, and was not able to find a replay. (And it isn't on YouTube that I can find now.)

This is why I am getting a DVR for this season........!

Posted by: irockthered | August 31, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@ircok - Eh, the past is the past... let's just hope he can stay relatively healthy this season.

My underlying thought was that while Ovechkin can handle the occasional backlash of his outgoing personality on the ice, maybe his teammates will pay the price once in a while.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 31, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

can someone explain to me why Eric Lindros has become a driving force in the NHLPA?

don't they know how many times he's been hit in the head???

Posted by: joek443 | August 31, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

don't these guys know the old fashioned unionism is dead??

even the MLB players union the most powerful of all unions has begun to realize that.. why these guys still think they can re-start the war that they lost is beyond me... NOBODY cares about NHL hockey outside Canada and a few selective US cities... good luck to them.. LOL

Posted by: joek443 | August 31, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe there aren't any updates available. I assume players have been rolling into town for training camp. How about catching up with Eric Fehr to see how things are going after his shoulder surgery? The youngsters will be in tearing up the ice at Kettler in 6 days and all we have here is the sound of crickets since last Thursday. In the words of Austin Powers Tarik and gang, "throw me a fricken' bone here."

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 1, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

If Stecks can score 8 goals over the season with a non-functional finger then I look forward to how he'll play next year. Double digit goals for sure I think and 25-30 points? That would be huge for a fourth line guy (probably third liner now).

Posted by: alee06 | September 1, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Joek- Lindros has been very involved in the union even during his playing days. He has very good business acumen and as a player understands the needs, wants and concerns of players. I understand your comment was more of a "ha ha" but he is very respected from all player reps and is probably the leading candidate to replace Kelly. He won't be soft and he'll be able to articulate better to the NHL. I think most feel it's his job to lose rather than his job to gain.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 1, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I, too, am thirsting for an update, but to be fair the last week in August is a vacation week for many people and may be for our bloggers. Hopefully somebody is still in the office and can give us some dirt.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | September 1, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

season ticket holder presale goin on. i got some SWEET seats for 4 games!!!!! rock n roll

Posted by: doughless | September 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Hockey reruns
Must Have More (Choke cough cough> Caps

'cept anything 'bout Cyndy, 'cuz baby thats just nasty.

Posted by: jdhoover | September 1, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Originally looke like this, but since I am a putz today it came out like before.

Caps (gasp)
Hockey reruns (wheeze)
Must(choke) Have (cough) More (Choke cough cough)
Caps (choke)
Anything (gasp)
Please (Cough gasp choke)

'cept anything 'bout Cyndy, 'cuz baby thats just nasty.

Posted by: jdhoover | September 1, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I swear its the lack of hockey. I need a fix. Badly. Maybe I'll just paint my head read and blue with an eagle on it. Get into the feel of things. Shout CAPS CAPS CAPS in the office. I'm outta control. Somebody fore check me into the wall. Please. I had a bagel for breakfast...I thought it was a puck. Used a broom and slapped it across the kitchen. I'm slipping away...Must Youtube hockey Highlights before its too late....

Posted by: jdhoover | September 1, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

BTW Directv didn't swing a deal with VS and it is off the air. Hopefully they'll get this resolved because I believe VS has exclusive rights to the Caps opener against the Bruins. If all else fails I will have to go to my in-laws for "dinner" that night because they still use the local cable company that has VS. Why don't I switch many are probably wondering? Because the local cable company got into the same situation with COMCAST over Comcast Sportsnet and the cable company dropped them. Between Directv, my local cable company, and my season tix, I should be able to see every Caps game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 1, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Im so happy for Feds and his 60 mil settlement...I was starting to have trouble sleeping over it...

Posted by: SA-Town | September 1, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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