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Clark on Ovie's absence: 'We can work around it'

The mood was bright in the Capitals' locker room at KCI this morning as the team basked in the glow of perhaps its most dominating performance of the season last night in a 6-2 victory over Florida. The team had a relatively short practice and in a short while will embark on a three-game road trip that starts tomorrow night in Philadelphia.

The win over the Panthers, though, left Washington with a surprisingly strong 5-2 record without star Alex Ovechkin, who will miss his second consecutive game against the Flyers. The team's only blemishes have come against New Jersey and in those seven games, 17 different Capitals have registered a point.

"If it was maybe three or four years ago and Alex was scoring or getting in the play for 50 percent of our points, -- that's one thing, then we really know we're relying on him," said captain Chris Clark. "But we have such great players ... step up and you've got guys that don't get as much playing time getting more playing time stepping up and showing they can do it. We definitely miss him, there's no doubt about it, but we can work around it for one or two games."

Click below for some more news and notes from today's practice.

*Defensemen Tom Poti and Shaone Morrisonn both skated at today's practice and both will be on the road trip. Poti told me he's going to take the morning skate in Philadelphia tomorrow and see how he feels, but all signs point to him being in the lineup. Morrisonn will also take the morning skate, but his status is a bit more up in the air. He was, however, doing wind sprints at the end of practice with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble.

Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked whether Morrisonn and Poti's return would mean defenseman Karl Alzner would be sent back down to Hershey, and he had an interesting response:

"Not necessarily, but we do have nine (defensemen) when (Poti) and Mo get back, so something's gotta give. But it's not necessarily Karl."

*As for Ovechkin, he was once again wearing an orange non-contact jersey at practice, but skated hard the entire time. Maybe the best indication of how his sore knee is feeling came in the locker room afterward, when he threw a red felt knee brace he'd been wearing during practice to a Capitals locker room attendant and said, "I don't need this anymore."

*Talked to forward Quintin Laing, who has been out with a broken jaw since Nov. 17, and still has his mouth wired shut. He's been skating sporadically for about a week now, but the real test comes Tuesday when he gets those wires out. He's been monitoring his calories and said he has only lost "five or six pounds" since being put on the long term injured reserve list, but isn't sure when he'll be able to return.

"You've got to see how your body reacts to food again," he explained. "The countdown is on right now. I'm just looking forward to some mashed potatoes or something, anything but another slurpee or shake."

*Coach Bruce Boudreau also addressed the status of rugged forward Boyd Gordon, who has played just one game since Oct. 12 and has been MIA at KCI for quite some time now with a serious back injury. Gordon, Knuble, and Laing are all currently on the long-term injured reserve list.

"He's seeing doctors all over the country and that's why he's not here," said Boudreau. "And believe me, he wishes he were here, but it's no fun getting poked and prodded by every doctor. ... The back, I've come to the conclusion, is the weirdest injury. You just don't know sometimes what's causing a bad back."

Be sure to pick up tomorrow's print edition, where I'll have a story trying to crack the riddle that is Alexander Semin.

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 4, 2009; 1:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Poti set to return; Theodore to start (updated)

Comments

GO CAPS!!! FANTASTIC GAME YESTERDAY BOYS!!!

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | December 4, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

GO CAPS!! FANTASTIC GAME YESTERDAY BOYS!!

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | December 4, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

anyone else really sad that Steck didn't get his goal yesterday?? i would have LOVED if he scored..

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | December 4, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If BMo continues to produce at his current clip he will want more than $3mil. I would venture to guess that if Matt P is able to continue through the end of the season that he will become the 2nd line center. The new center in our line-up next season will be Marcus Johansson who is currently playing in his 2nd season in the SEL and playing well. He prides himself on being a two way center, compared by some experts to Zetterberg. He could be a 3rd or 4th line center for us next season an entry level contract dollars.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 4, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Clarkie is on point.

Posted by: doughless | December 4, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan: In Orlando last night, NHL Center Ice had both the Caps and the Panthers broadcasts.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 2:13 PM

Was that from Direct TV? I'm not too far from Orlando (Vero).

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 4, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm..."not necessarily Karl". Then who...?

Posted by: chasedano@gmail.com | December 4, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Pens have put Chris Bourque on waivers...

Posted by: chetMcwhittington | December 4, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Assuming BMo stays healthy this year, I think he will be between 60-75 points. I think the Caps will want him again next year, and I think a 2 year, 4 million dollar contract is doable for a couple reasons:

a) He has been injury prone the last few years. Assuming he stays healthy this whole year will increase his stock, but does not necessarily mean that he will get a big contract, as there is still that risk.

b) He has never won a Cup, and Washington is a likely option for him to be able to get one. As a result of this, I would assume he would choose 2 million a year to play here, as opposed to 2.5-3 million to play in, say, Atlanta (although, side note, how good do the Thrashers look this year?)

All that being said, and maybe I am just wishful thinking, but it would be amazing to see him sign with the team for another couple years after this one. Perreault has been great, but it'd be good to see him get more time at third line center before moving up. Additionally, it would be good to re-sign BMo because of the potential for injury. It'd be nice to have BMo and MP on the team for at least one year after this one, in case one ends up injured.

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 4, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Complete side note, but is anyone else fed up with the reputation the SOUTHEAST has around the NHL. I am tired of it being viewed as an inferior division, and called the SouthLeast. Does anyone else find themselves cheering for Atlanta, TBay and Florida when they're not playing against the Caps, or is that just me?

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 4, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1

Have to agree with Aldred15 here.

B-Mo is no spring chicken. At 34, he had some great years in Vancouver centering arguably the best line in hockey during that time. Even then he was only putting up 70 a year. If he gets that here with the Caps, I don't see him demanding more. He knows what happens when you end up in Dallas or playing with 3rd liners in Anaheim. I'd be very surprised if he didn't take $2M/year. Especially since it looks like Perrault could back fill that 2nd line anchor spot relatively easily.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | December 4, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@aldred-
As much as I'd like to cheer for the SE, I'm more concerned about winning the division. So no, not really.

Posted by: Chad8 | December 4, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Good luck cracking that riddle! :)

Posted by: CapsChick | December 4, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Aldred - yes, I am a southeast fan. I would love it if all 5 teams made the playoffs.

Jow about the si.com story on Ovie by Jim Kelley.......made me want to write to Ted, Ovie, BB and tell them to ignore the media from now on.

Is it the same in DC? from over here in Australia it seems that everyone hates Ovie and gives him a hard time and that Sid is treated as the ultimate icon.

I'll take Ovie anytime.

Posted by: ozcapfan | December 4, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

can someone tell tyler sloan to grow his facial hair back...he doesn't intimidate a bunny rabbit with that baby face on defence.

Posted by: carsonspence | December 4, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@Aldred15

Well, it's hard to argue. The Southeast is pretty horrible, besides the Caps of course.

Posted by: JD09 | December 4, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I would say our division is pretty much consistent with the others..... if it weren't for Carolina stinkin up the joint. Holy crap!

Posted by: Chad8 | December 4, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I almost spit my lunch out when I read..."rugged Forwatrd Boyd Gordon.." then after I swallowed I laughed, hard.

Don't get me wrong, I am not happy he is hurt, just happy he isn't playing.

Posted by: opus1m | December 4, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I know everyone here is in armchair GM heaven at the moment and the whole Ovi thing is exhausting. But there is a fanpost Marshall Pirate at Japers that is great. He catalogued all of Ovi's penalties and minutes. And then he wrote an open letter to Kelley at SI analyzing said infractions. it's a great read. Not that I expect that SI jerk to pay attention--he's enjoying his 15 minutes of fame and could care less about responsible journalism.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Now that the euphoria caused by yesterday's win has died down.

I am not one of those who complaint about the team, a player, or staff, I love the Caps and I will root for the weakest player as hard as I root for the best player, but I want to point a troubling trend that I felt it shone in yesterday's victory.

The Caps had 12 power-play opportunities, twice with a 2 man advantage for which they scored both times, but for over 16 minutes of 5v4 they were only able to score once. I find that a bit troubling, however, I did see that BB played many different line combinations during the PPs. Was that a result of BB's confidence and allowing some of the players that otherwise would not get on the pp to have some fun? Or is he trying to find some combination to click for what it seems to be lately an anemic pp group? Just curious if anyone else saw that weakness in the game, or am I being over critical?

Posted by: hock1 | December 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

BTW-delighted to read BB said not necessarily Alzner about who to take out of the lineup. i was going to get a Backs jersey next but it might have to be Alzner if he keeps it up.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The Southeast is currently the last in point totals. Blaming Carolina doesn't really make sense, since the Southeast has the second best team in the entire league. So, it pretty much evens itself out. The Capitals take up nearly %30 of the Southeast's total points. The PAC is the current point leader, and is destroying the SE by 49 points. Which means, we need another team added to the SE to get even close to the PAC right now.

Posted by: JD09 | December 4, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Correction - PAC is ahead by 29 points.

49 would just be sad.

Posted by: JD09 | December 4, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

So if Alzner stays, i'm interested to hear who you guys think will go down....Sloan?

Anyone else besides me going to brave the Philly fans on Saturday?

Posted by: OviFan08 | December 4, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Not solely blaming Carolina, but that's a 25 point spread between us and them... and it's not like we're constantly playing against our division like in the past. Carolina has been losing and handing those points over to other divisions... we've only played them once right?

Posted by: Chad8 | December 4, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Any Caps fans in Philly....If the Caps are winning by 2 goals in the 3rd, start a "fire Steven's," chant....They might actually like you and join along.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 4, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

hock1,

More than half of our PP minutes were in the 3rd period and were consecutive or overlapping. I think it got to the point where BB did not want to rub it in. We were 3-9 at one point which is a good percentage. The last 3 he threw together almost as a way to reward all his players and not rub it in.

It does hurt with OV out in terms of lineups on the PP though. Also, I think the team was having so much fun with cutesy passes (Locker and Joe B even commented that they looked like they were having fun with the passing) that they did not shoot as much and muck it up as much.

Against Philly, they will need to find more dirty PP goals in front of the net.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Bondra2Ovie:
I'm also really sad that Stecks didn't get his goal yesterday. I would have loved it too. Every game recently I have been rooting for him the most to finally score his first goal of the season - he just can't seem to buy a goal this year. It must be hard seeing all of the callups come down from Hershey and score and not him. But he is really kicking butt on the faceoffs and the pk.

OviFan08:
Going on the bus trip with the fan club to the Philly game tomorrow

Posted by: theresa21 | December 4, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

From the Miami Herald. Sounds like they think Alex G is one of the Hanson brothers. Really fun, especially Duco's quote about knowing the type of player AG is:


The Panthers finally showed signs of life in the third, with rookie Mike Duco -- who made his NHL debut Wednesday against Colorado -- fighting with Alexandre Giroux after he slammed Dmitry Kulikov into the glass.

Giroux turtled and didn't do anything as Duco repeatedly punched him as he slid across the ice.

``I acted suddenly and probably shouldn't have, but if he wants to take liberties with our young guys, people have to stick up for them,'' Duco said.

``I just stepped on the ice and saw he took a run at Kulikov and then [Dennis Seidenberg]. I know the kind of guy he is and tried to make the best of it. I thought he was going to get up and go.''

Duco was ejected from the game and slapped with four penalties.

``It was nice to see some emotion, see someone who wasn't happy that one of our young defensemen got run,'' said DeBoer

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Hock1 - he was also trying to get Stecks a goal (poor Stecks - they're going everywhere but in for him) - he was in there for a lot of those pp's in the 3rd. I don't think you can read anything about our pp from the 3rd pd.

I really like BM on the point. BB kept him there for about two shifts after Ovie's return, and then he went back to Ovie.

Posted by: hook99 | December 4, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

If BMo signed a two year deal for 3M or less, I think it would be a major coup for the Caps. I think he'll easily get about 3.5M x 3yrs somewhere else, if he continues his current pace..

Posted by: VladG | December 4, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan:
I think Duco had the wrong Giroux in mind. Claude Giroux of the Flyers/Phantoms would have fought back. Alex Giroux, no.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 4, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan: I am in Seminole County and have Brighthouse Network with Center Ice.

That is hilarious what the Miami Herald said about Giroux.

I hereby send the entire Miami Herald sports dept into the Doofus Brigade and assign them to runway cleaning duty at the AF base in Alaska. Have fun, you idiots.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

If you haven't been there yet today, go over to the Bog and check out Steinberg's response to the Kelley SI hatchet job on Ovi and Ted. Brilliant deconstruction, as our old friend RedBirdie put it; I couldn't agree more. I'm still laughing!

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

Re resigining of Backs and Semin: cap considerations, stats, etc. certainly are paramount, but also intangibles are to be considered. Chemistry among the top players is what we have developed here the last few years. That can't be bought easily -- look at the disaster we had with Jagr. Although I agree that Knubie and BMo have been great additions.

Players are not exactly commodities/interchangeable. Ovi has developed an important player rapport with Semin and Backs particularly, and Ovi is our long-term guy. By the same token, I would think Backs and Semin would want to stay and play with the best player and continue the quest for the cup (or another cup!) until fruition or, at some point, the logical conclusion it ain't gonna happen. They have been an integral part of the rebuilding of the team.

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

@tess2201
Great point about the possible Giroux confusion. That never occurred to me.

@tominfl1
Love your thought- and laugh-provoking posts. Can we make Duco an honorary member of the DB or is that honor reserved for civilians?

Posted by: wocoliz | December 4, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@wocoliz--just read it. Excellent deconstruction indeed. I laughed hugely too.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@tess, you may be right. I do look forward to Hershey whooping up on Rochester 3 games in a row coming up in December.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess we need to realize that when your at the top, people will drive to push you down, especially if they are from Buffalo.

BTW, when did the old Bills QB grow a beard and start writing bad sports articles for SI? Is he still mad about being knocked around like a rag doll by the Skins in the Super Bowl? :)

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@hock: I'm not too concerned about going 3/12 on the power play last night. That's 1/4 or 25%, which quite honestly is a respectable average. Given that they had all eighteen skaters with time on the PP last night, and that I think Bruce called off the dogs to give his top-line guys a break, and it becomes pretty decent. They had 29 minutes in penalties total, or something obscene like that - that's a LOT of time, to the point where more PP doesn't do you any good because your ice times are so unbalanced.

Yeah, there were a lot of cutesy passes, and that was annoying, but at the same time, at that point in the game it didn't really matter. With Philly, it will matter, much more. You're entirely right about that.

Since Philly's players had a closed-door meeting after getting blanked by Vancouver last night, I would expect them to come out of the gate storming and looking for a little hell, and the Caps need to be ready for that. It's a road game, too - less cutesy and more simple play is called for.

I think the boys are up to it.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 4, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz
You're absolutely right about both the PP and the game tomorrow night. I hope Semin's wrist really is at or near 100%, because Philly will definitely be testing him and the rest of our guys any way they think they can get away with. This is one game we can't afford to have a slow start in but, like you, I think the boys are up to it.

(I will definitely be glad when we get Ovi and Knuble back on Monday, though.)

Posted by: wocoliz | December 4, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Philly fired John Stevens. Now, they might actually show up for the Caps game.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Flyers have just fired their head coach, John Stevens. Just noticed that on twitter.

Posted by: ranndino | December 4, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

hmmmmmm. . . is that good or bad for us? What happened when Hanlon was fired?

Posted by: Steakum | December 4, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

We should call up our resident Hershey goon for the Flyers game. Giroux's turtleing was a bit embarrassing considering Duco was half his size.

Speaking of Giroux he's not impressed me at all so far. Big guy who can obviously score by the boatload in the AHL, but it's like he doesn't actually wanna play in the NHL. I just don't see any effort I see from other call-ups, he's a very slow skater and just doesn't seem confidence in the big time. He obviously has great hands or he wouldn't score so much in the A, but it's like he freezes when he plays for the Caps. That's the biggest difference between him and Perreault. That kid showed confidence from the first game and is only getting better and better. He's not afraid to do what he does best. It's just a hockey game to him. Love that attitude.

Back to Giroux though. This might be his last shot at the NHL and he's really not making the most of it. You can't ask for a better chance than to play on the first line with 2 of the very best players in the league. If that was me I'd be dying out there like Laing. Giroux just looks like he doesn't care if he gets sent back down. Either that or he's extremely nervous.

Posted by: ranndino | December 4, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Irony, but BBs first game was against Philly in Philly.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

NHL Net now talking about expectations for new coach in Filthy, maybe Lavoloette (sp?) and one of my favorites from the 90s, the Chief, Craig Berube.

wocoliz: No, we can put Duco in the DB. We already have a group of 12 called the Doofy Dozen that's filled with guys like Crosby, Briere, Avery, etc. Duco can go tehre as a reserve. Reading his comments, he's an idiot, claiming Giroux took a "run" at his little buddies. They were two legal, normal checks, the kind that happen 50 times a game.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Steakum

I am worried about Philly's "reckless" style since Ovi, Knuble, and Morrisonn are out. Maybe the coaching change will inspire them to focus more on strategy than gooning it up. I still think the Caps should recall Beagle and Sugden just in case it takes a while for the message to sink in.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The Caps had 12 power-play opportunities, twice with a 2 man advantage for which they scored both times, but for over 16 minutes of 5v4 they were only able to score once. I find that a bit troubling, however, I did see that BB played many different line combinations during the PPs. Was that a result of BB's confidence and allowing some of the players that otherwise would not get on the pp to have some fun? Or is he trying to find some combination to click for what it seems to be lately an anemic pp group? Just curious if anyone else saw that weakness in the game, or am I being over critical?

Posted by: hock1 | December 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not concerned about the PP. Once all of our most skilled players come back from injuries or suspension and get to play together again for a while, the PP should be fine. The only negative that I saw from last night was a recurrence of Varly's rebound control issues on that first goal. Overall, though, a very good performance by Varly and the team as a whole.

Posted by: rbpalmer | December 4, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1,

How about the Doofy Duco Dozen?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Also, on the PP, we are still at least a Top 6 PP unit. Not bad with all the injuries and suspensions.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

NHL Live reporting that the Flyers have fired their coach John Stevens. How ironic as the Flyers were the first team that the Caps played after Hanlon was fired.

Posted by: NovaCath1 | December 4, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Re resigining of Backs and Semin: cap considerations, stats, etc. certainly are paramount, but also intangibles are to be considered. Chemistry among the top players is what we have developed here the last few years. That can't be bought easily -- look at the disaster we had with Jagr. Although I agree that Knubie and BMo have been great additions.

Players are not exactly commodities/interchangeable. Ovi has developed an important player rapport with Semin and Backs particularly, and Ovi is our long-term guy. By the same token, I would think Backs and Semin would want to stay and play with the best player and continue the quest for the cup (or another cup!) until fruition or, at some point, the logical conclusion it ain't gonna happen. They have been an integral part of the rebuilding of the team.

Posted by: Steakum | December 4, 2009 4:35 PM

I agree. Team chemistry is important. I guess this is why Detroit has been so successful.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan

Yes, the PP unit looked MUCH better with the return of Semin. Overall, 1 out of 4 PP's yesterday resulted in goals.

By the end, when the score was riduculous, the Caps were not even assigning their best PP guys to PP.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 4, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was interesting, the PP this year is 28% with Semin in the lineup and only 9% with him out of the lineup.

Posted by: ksaul79 | December 4, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

And then he wrote an open letter to Kelley at SI analyzing said infractions. it's a great read. Not that I expect that SI jerk to pay attention--he's enjoying his 15 minutes of fame and could care less about responsible journalism.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 3:12 PM

---
If you look at his credentials, history and reputation -- including his coverage of 23 Stanley Cup finals -- he's not really a fly-by-night journalist.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | December 4, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I just purchased the 2010 Washington Capitals team calendar featuring 12 of our finest players. Surprisingly, the August 2010 player is Michael Nylander while Brendan Morrison, Mike Knuble, Jose Theodore (to name a few) were not included. I wonder if there was a mix up at the publishers with their printing of the 2010 Grand Rapids Griffins team calendar?

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 4, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

When you have a chance, check out the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada's interactive chat for tonight's historic Canadiens/Bruins tilt: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hockeynightincanada/idesk/

Posted by: Terptwin | December 4, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

And then he wrote an open letter to Kelley at SI analyzing said infractions. it's a great read. Not that I expect that SI jerk to pay attention--he's enjoying his 15 minutes of fame and could care less about responsible journalism.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 3:12 PM

---
If you look at his credentials, history and reputation -- including his coverage of 23 Stanley Cup finals -- he's not really a fly-by-night journalist.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | December 4, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Well then at best he is one that sensationalizes everything by just taking part of quotes and not reporting accurately. I don't how many SC's he has covered, you can't report accurately about a team or a game if you weren't there. He was completely in the wrong and inaccurate with his quotes or at best, misleading.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Supposed to say "I don't care how many SC's...

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch the Montreal centennial celebration? It was just on 6:30 - 8:00 on the NHL Net. It was really fantastic. They brought back so many heroes and then I'm telling my daughter, "They'd be booing if Gordie Howe came out," and thenm not loing afterward, they introduce Mr. Hockey so he can introduce Jean Beliveau, and here's me w/a tear in my eye, remembering back age 9 or 10, living in Detroit as a kid, and they took our Cub Scout troop to Wings practice and I got to look up and see Gordie as he came by to meet us afterward.

I sure hope the Caps can make at least some of that tradition, maybe 3 Cups or so with the Alexes and Backie.

Believe me, I'd never want to trade Semin, he's exceptional, and I hope McPhee can fit them all in w/maybe getting Laich with one of those Franzen type deals and maybe some home-town discounts. BB should have had the players watch just so they could understand what tradition means and how much it means to stick together over the years with your mates. And what a touch, to bring Gordie out there, and have him celebrate with all those Habs. Even Patrick Roy went home for this. Yes, what a touch, it was wonderful, almost made me want to root for Montreal tonight.

Almost, but not quite.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

If you look at his credentials, history and reputation -- including his coverage of 23 Stanley Cup finals -- he's not really a fly-by-night journalist.

Posted by: Dalliquippa |

I said he was an irresponsible not a fly-by-the-night journalist. As to 15 minutes, that was perhaps was uncalled for because I looked at his credentials as much as he looked at Ovi's--meaning not at all. I don't read SI. However, the Ovi penalty stats are an interesting read and that was really my point in the post.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@Daliquippa--and if he is as you state so credential then i am even more appalled at the shoddy journalism he exhibited in that piece. Have you read the piece on Ovi? It is really shoddy work with poor logic and ridiculous comparisons. It's a hack job. Truly it reads as if he has a personal gripe or bias. If he is as you say so eminently qualified to speak of such hockey matters, then what is his agenda with this piece? Because it's not responsible journalism.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 4, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh no no no! There is a whole shake-up in Phlly. Tomorrow will be the first game they will be playing under Laviollette as their new head coach. Don't teams usually win at first with a new coach? I am sure they will be feeling invigorated and hopeful. Can we burst their bubble that quickly? I thought we would have an easy win until I read the news. What can we expect?

Posted by: caraveli | December 4, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

*Coach Bruce Boudreau also addressed the status of rugged forward Boyd Gordon,

-----

rugged forward Boyd Gordon. Good gosh. I needed that

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 4, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Why would you think an easy win? Philly always plays us tough and we are so shorthanded. A tired FLA is one thing, but a "normal" Philly is a different game. That is before the change.

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

Chris Bourque put on waivers.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 5, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

The Panthers finally showed signs of life in the third, with rookie Mike Duco -- who made his NHL debut Wednesday against Colorado -- fighting with Alexandre Giroux after he slammed Dmitry Kulikov into the glass.

Giroux turtled and didn't do anything as Duco repeatedly punched him as he slid across the ice.

``I acted suddenly and probably shouldn't have, but if he wants to take liberties with our young guys, people have to stick up for them,'' Duco said.

``I just stepped on the ice and saw he took a run at Kulikov and then [Dennis Seidenberg]. I know the kind of guy he is and tried to make the best of it. I thought he was going to get up and go.''

Duco was ejected from the game and slapped with four penalties.

``It was nice to see some emotion, see someone who wasn't happy that one of our young defensemen got run,'' said DeBoer

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 4, 2009 4:06 PM |

haha, what?

Giroux is a pest/hitter now?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 5, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Hello Gang,

Here are my reflections of recent events. I was out this evening and didn't post.

1) I see that Philthy fired their coach. (Nothing like a new coach to try to spark the team.) Philthy is usually a tough opponent anyhow.

2) Kelley's article on Ovi is certainly a slam job. Granted, Ovi didn't do the right thing by getting major penalties but it seems to me that he's being targeted. I personally thought both of the penalties should have been minor but....

3) I also see that "The Hockey News" is recommending that the Caps trade Semin. (Note: the article was written before yesterday's game.) Suggesting that Minnesota & Nashville as possible options. Of course, do Minnesota or Nashville have any defensemen that we want? (I will definitely miss Sasha if he's gone.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 5, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Straight from the new bench boss:

[Laviolette] had been an assistant coach with his son's pee-wee hockey team in Florida.

"He's not too happy I'm here because now I'm not coaching down there," Laviolette said. "It was good because we weren't getting along, he was ready to fire me, I was ready to trade him. I wanted him to do something on the ice a different way and he told me that's not the way the head coach wants it done. I said I know what I'm talking about because I've coached some games before. He looked at me and said, 'Yeah, Dad, but you got fired.'

Cracked me up!

Posted by: Raber | December 5, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Straight from the new bench boss:

[Laviolette] had been an assistant coach with his son's pee-wee hockey team in Florida.

"He's not too happy I'm here because now I'm not coaching down there," Laviolette said. "It was good because we weren't getting along, he was ready to fire me, I was ready to trade him. I wanted him to do something on the ice a different way and he told me that's not the way the head coach wants it done. I said I know what I'm talking about because I've coached some games before. He looked at me and said, 'Yeah, Dad, but you got fired.'

Cracked me up!

Posted by: Raber | December 5, 2009 2:19 AM |

That is so funny. Is that a real quote?

Should be an interesting game tonight. i am always more nervous/excited watching games against the likes of Flyers, Devils, Penguins, Bruins, etc...They generally play us hard (even if they are in a rut), and this Philly team is more than capable! I know that they will have something to prove tonight. Players can feel mighty embarrassed about their play resulting in the firing of a coach.

The Caps just need to stick to their game plan, run all four lines, and they should still have a good shot. Weather the storm that the first 10 or so minutes should have, and try and control the tempo of the game.

This Cap's team is pretty resilient :)

And, really, its only one regular season game! But, I do find it interesting that we play them for their first game under a new head coach, just the same as we played them for our first game under a new head coach.

And, although I felt that Giroux (sp?) played his best game on this call up the other night, I wouldn't mind if the caps had a look at another player....perhaps osala, or even recalling Beagle...

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | December 5, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Who to start tonight?! I think Varly should. Even if he had a meltdown there earlier in the season.

But I'm really nervous about this game. The Flyers just fired their coach and they've been shut out their last two games... hope they don't explode tonight.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Forget The Hockey News re Semin.

@tominfl1
That's exactly what we could have here if we keep the pieces in place.

Ovi's quote was a nice way to end the article on Semin -- positive and important.

Posted by: Steakum | December 5, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"I sure hope the Caps can make at least some of that tradition, maybe 3 Cups or so with the Alexes and Backie.

Believe me, I'd never want to trade Semin, he's exceptional, and I hope McPhee can fit them all in w/maybe getting Laich with one of those Franzen type deals and maybe some home-town discounts. BB should have had the players watch just so they could understand what tradition means and how much it means to stick together over the years with your mates. And what a touch, to bring Gordie out there, and have him celebrate with all those Habs. Even Patrick Roy went home for this. Yes, what a touch, it was wonderful, almost made me want to root for Montreal tonight.

Almost, but not quite.

Posted by: tominfl1

Great post--I hope too that we can keep the guys together. The Caps under Boudreau have jelled into an exciting team of great chemistry and camaraderie. This team should be a benchmark in Caps traditions for years to come.

This game tonight should be a nail biter. The Flyers will have something to prove and the usually bring it on in games with us.
Meanwhile we also have something to prove and I hope that we stay steady and methodical in this game. We are a team facing adversity and need to remain united. I'm definitely feeling an "us" vs "them" attitude--and not just with the Flyers but the entire NHL establishment.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 5, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Just found out my son's travel hockey game in canceled due to snow. Good news is, I am now going to Philly for the game. My older son coaches mites and his team will be the mites on ice up there today. They are from Easton, MD. Make sure you cheer loud when they announce the kids since they are Caps fans. I will be waaaaaaaaaaay up in 221, probably getting pelted with anything that isn't attached to the floor. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 5, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Who to start tonight?! I think Varly should. Even if he had a meltdown there earlier in the season

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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