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Clark Says He's Okay (Update)

Chris Clark apparently was not injured when Alex Ovechkin accidentally hit him late in the third period of last night's 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers. The Caps' captain said he simply was not expecting the collision, which made it look worse that it really was.

"I was more stunned," Clark said this morning. "It was more of football block. Nothing hurt or anything."

Meanwhile, practice here at KCI has been cancelled. Only injured and ill players -- Sergei Fedorov, Brian Pothier, Tomas Fleischmann and John Erskine -- are skating. Brent Johnson is also out there facing shots.

Update:Clark was not hit on the knee, he was actually clipped up high by Ovechkin. Coach Bruce Boudreau said Clark did not finish the game due to a "coach's decision".

Also, Boudreau is still being cautious with Fleischmann and Fedorov. He said he'll evaluate them during practice and make a decision on Friday.

At some point today, I'll also have a short entry on Bengt Gustafsson's "guest" coaching stint here in Washington this week.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 7, 2009; 11:19 AM ET
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Next: Catching Up With 'Gus'


Tarik - Thanks for the update. Many of us have been worried about our Captain! Glad he's okay.

Posted by: Tracy2117 | January 7, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the All Star line-ups released thursday?

I think the game is a sham these days...that being would be an absolute crime if Backstrom doesn't make the team.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I expect as Captain, Clark will be fining OV for that reckless behavior. If he's not caught on tape singing "You're Beautiful", then there's truly a star system in the room.

Posted by: Section117 | January 7, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

backstrom and green will make the team, Ovie is a given. Semin would have if he didn't miss of those games

Posted by: _stevo | January 7, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse


A post or so ago I suggested that they bring back the Patrick division. Playing with good teams makes the Caps a better team, too.

I thought that both teams played pretty good. The Caps main fault that I saw was an oldie - no one in front of their net. Most of the shots were from outside, and one and done. No rebound shots.

I was pleased to see that some of our D actually put their guys on their wallets when they tried to set up shop in front of JT. Now if they could do that every game!

I do think that this could be a great rivalry if only Bettman would let it.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse


Doubtful the Caps would get three, much less four players on the team.

I believe the rule still is that each team must be represented and with 4 Habs and 2 Pens already on the 21 team roster that leaves 13 teams for 15 spots. Maybe 2 Caps make it and 2 Bruins and one each from the other teams.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | January 7, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see Johnson get the nod on Friday, and let Theo get some home cooking vs. the Frogs on Saturday night.

FYI - Even though we have a home-away this weekend...Montreal will be playing 3 games in 4 nights with us at the end.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 7, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse


The rule is that each team must be represented be it either in the actual All-Star game or the Young Guns game, so it is possible that 3 Caps could go. While they certainly deserve it, I'm sure someone gets snubbed

Posted by: Don-Ald | January 7, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Backstrom could still make the Young Stars game since it's rookies v. sophomores this season

Posted by: honed | January 7, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Trade Clark. He only has one goal and he is always hurt. He was the captain during the rebuild, Ovie is our captain now. We dont need Clark anymore. I love his heart and how he sticks up for our guys on the ice, but sometimes a man has to shoot his own dog. Thanks Clarkie, it's been real.

Move Nylander, too. He's too much $$$ for too little output. Free up come cap space for a big, rugged, veteran D-man at the deadline.

Eric Fehr couldn't buy a goal if he had Bill Gates' money.

Posted by: griz0615 | January 7, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

So now that everyone appears to be getting healthy, the clock is ticking on either Alzner being sent down, Poti on LTIR, or GMGM making a move. What does everyone see as the most likely scenario?

Posted by: ThePat | January 7, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

By the way my post was a joke, I know everyone discussed it the other day.

Posted by: ThePat | January 7, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much Bouwmeester would cost in a trade. Impossible dream, yes. But I've dreamt worse (better?).

Posted by: Zornado | January 7, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Quick Question ...

Does anyone know how many man games we have lost this year to injury?


trying to shut up a few Flyers fans on my end:)

Posted by: fredhilljr | January 7, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Re: man-games

As of Saturday it was 201, though I haven't seen anything since then.

Posted by: Section117 | January 7, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

1) Nylander is here to stay folks. Too many reason$ that make a trade of Nylander near impossible. Most importantly, HE has to agree to it!
2) Fehr may be playing hard, but his lack of production coupled with the returns of Flash/Feds might make him the odd man out. He can't be demoted without waivers so might HE be trade bait?
3) Can the Caps really be forced to demote their best defensemen, Alzner due to their salary cap issues? Ironic that he may be the easiest to remove since he doesn't need to clear waivers, and can be brought back for the post season/or more injuries.

Posted by: fauxrumors | January 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tarik, for the Clark update & the upcoming post on Gus.

Posted by: uncatim | January 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...thought it was in the 300's myself. TEB posted something awhile back on it. Or was that from the broadcast of one of the games.

Having CRS is a pain.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Continuing the thread from before...

Yes, I know Poti and Pothier are big, expensive contracts to move and Pothier can't move until he can prove he can play. Longer term, I could see him being sent to the AHL for "conditioning" as he gets nearer. Maybe Alzner does a short trip back to Chocolate town as they sort this out, but eventually we got to dump some defensemen. I think someone noted Mo, he's a million and change and on a one year deal. He might be good end of year fodder, and his internal value is much less now that they have Schultz mopping up for Green in the back end.

Nylander to Chicago is ideal for many people, but its not going to happen until Chicago clears some cap space by dumping a goalie.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 7, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I can't remember, what is CRS?

Posted by: uncatim | January 7, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

PHEW! Glad to hear Clarkie's OK! That could have been very, very bad...

Richards? Called Ovechkin a "dirty player?" Puh. LEEZ!

Pot, meet the kettle... except in Richards' case, it's true.

Posted by: irockthered | January 7, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

If Nylander would move his NMC, Colorado may be interested due to all their centers dropping like flies. I doubt hed move it to go there and I doubt Colorado would be interested. But they do need a Center.

Posted by: ThePat | January 7, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

As good a reason as any to get rid of

G G A P +/-
Nylander---40 3 15 18 3

Steckle ---38 5 7 12 2

Gordan ---38 5 7 12 1

In my opinion, Stecks & Gordo are much better defensively. Certainly on the penalty kill.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 7, 2009

Of course as fauxrumors says---probably not possible.

Posted by: sidehillman | January 7, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse


I forgot....

(can't remember sh@@ = CRS)

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

or maybe that was sarcasm and I'm being redundant...

Posted by: Steve_R | January 7, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

1) Anyone not think other teams have noticed how much Nylander's game has erroded the past year or so? In addition to having a NTC he also has 2 MORE Years After this season left on a bloated contract!
2) Why would Chicago, or any other team for that matter want that? His production is piss-poor despite getting oodles of quality ice time.

Posted by: fauxrumors | January 7, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse


you can't remember what CRS is? I find that mildly funny.

Greg and others RE: Man Games.

We are at 211 now. 206 prior to PHI game (per game notes) + 5 for guys out of the lineup.

If you really want to shut up any teams fans about injuries, instead of just talking about man games lost, it's important to show WHO was lost. Someone posted a while back, an entire list of Eastern conference teams and players, and asked where those teams would be without:

Top 2 minutes defensemen (or top 2 scoring)
2nd line center (or #1 PP/PK center).
(at the time of injury) top goal scorer
(at the time of injury) 3rd leading goal scorer

We can keep going, but you get the idea. It's not just role players this team lost when it lost players. It was key elements of the "Young Guns" troop and those who support them and their efforts.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse


I wouldn't call 30s on every other PP + playing with a different line combo every game "quality" time. I'm as sick of his lack of production as the next guy, but I also want to give him 5 games with the same line combo before tossing him in the garbage.

If he can help salvage 20+ goals from Flash and 15 or so from Fehr before the end of the year, I think he'll have done a great job. We just have to get him back on that line.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 7, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse


I can agree that's pretty dirty, but it serves a purpose. If someone's face-washing me with their snotty gloves, that might be my first reaction. I bet it's a while before he snot-rocket-washed again.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

fredhilljr, man games lost going into last night's game (per the Caps game notes) was 206. It 210 after the game, unless we count Pothier (and I'm not sure about that), then its 211.

I personally cannot wait for Poti to return.

Posted by: RedBirdie | January 7, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

CRS = Can't Remember Sh.... it! :)

Posted by: Greg S. | January 7, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder about the coach's decision. Clark was getting all uppity with a bunch of white-shirts and he may have kept him out incase one of them wanted a run at him, or to make sure there were no stupid penalties called that could cost us the game.

Cause other than that, I thought he was playing well in his role last night.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

an' I was fixing to get all Japers w/ the Corsi Rating System. Or Cote Really Stinks. Or...wait, what was that next thing...

Posted by: redlineblue | January 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough IE: snotty gloves

All the more reason not to put it in your mouth

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | January 7, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ruutu's bite of last night is not the first such incident. I remember last year, Philly's Derien Hatcher bit the finger of the Devils' Travis Zajac, right through the glove. No penalty called on that incident, either...

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | January 7, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

How much is Fehr making? Would it really help us alot $-wise by trading him? I wouldn't cry to see him go. He's definitely replaceable. I wish Kozlov would teach him how to skate! Gotta keep Alzner up with the bigs. Very impressed with him!

Posted by: dsphvywght | January 7, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Poor uncatim ... a good joke lost in translation.

Posted by: Boo- | January 7, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The NHL looked into the Hatcher/Zajac thing though. The replay showed that Zajac's fingers were in Hatcher's mouth and Hatcher never actually bit him. Zajac's injury happened when he pulled his hand from Hatcher's mouth, cutting his finger on his teeth.
As much as I cant stand Ruutu, it is believable that he never actually bit him. It all happens so fast out there when there is a scrum.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 7, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bryaningrocery | January 7, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

dsphvywght, Fehr makes $735K, the only guys on the current roster making less than 700K are Collins, Steckel and Erskine.

Posted by: koalatek | January 7, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: cbs75 | January 7, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse


he's already rubbed it all over your face. biting the finger ensures he doesn't do it again.

Motion to make Rutuu an illegal name in the NHL?

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 7, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have to make some sort of move to get Feds off the Injured list and under the Cap. They can't send down Alzner, as they're still way shorthanded on the back line (I don't think they're going to put Fedorov back on D just after coming off an injury). Pothier isn't an issue, as he's on the injured list indefinitely, ditto for Erskine as they both have concussion issues.

This isn't going to be popular, but the obvious move the Caps should make is to waive Chris Clark with the intention of sending him to Hershey. He won't get claimed (no team is going to pick up a 33 year old who has had multiple injuries in the past 2 seasons and has a 2M+ Cap hit.)

Clark hasn't been anywhere near as good as his pre-injury self and he will never get to the 30 goal (or perhaps even 20 goal) plateau again. He's a great leader and good in the locker room, but he can be that as an assistant coach too. It really hurts to say it, but it may be time for him to go...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | January 7, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Tarik.....18-1-1 at home, big win over Philly and we get a 4 paragraph story in the paper.....c'mon WaPo lets jump on the Caps Bandwagon (or is it Bandzoni in hockey?)

Posted by: yodude1 | January 7, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's not rush Flash and Feds.

Fedorov needs to let that ankle ehal. If it is 110% after coming off LTIR, by all means let him get back at Columbus for the awful time there.

If not, he should sit another 2-3 games, IMO.

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 7, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

*said ehal, meant heal

Posted by: DrAdamson | January 7, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Koalatek, thx for the Fehr $ report. Getting rid of him doesn't help us too much. The thread seems clear that Nylander or Clark may need to go.

Posted by: dsphvywght | January 7, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Trading Nylander would be obvious if he would waive his NTC and a team would be willing to absorb an extra two years of his bloated contract. I never thought bringing him back made a lot of sense given his age and he's not nearly the player Feds is at 38. I'd make him a healthy scratch when Feds returns to 'encourage' him to waive the NTC.

The Caps may have to trade Clark or Morrisson if they can't unload Nylander to free up cap space. Trading Poti is crazy given that he's our No. 2 defenseman when healthy and has a lot of playoff experience. I like Morrisson as much anyone else, but he may be the odd man out when Poti returns since he's on a one-year deal and will be a FA after the year. I think it will be harder to move Clark or Nylander given their age and declining production.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 7, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

dsphvywght: Clark and Nylander both need to go. That will clear up some cap space as will Feds' retirement next year, and Jose's conrtract expiring the year after that.

Buth then we have to re-sign Semin and Backstrom. Jeez!

Posted by: griz0615 | January 7, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

While Nylander may have lost a few steps on the ice, I believe he was brought here in large part to take #19 under his wing and get him adjusted to life in the States and the NHL. The two are very close and I would bet that Backstrom might not appreciate Nylander playing anywhere else but here. So I think we may just have to get used to seeing #92 doing circles on the ice. Let's look for some positive things to say about Nylander....the circles he skates are quite nice....

Posted by: plantguysteve | January 7, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

good point plantguysteve

and for the fans who rag on Clark not scoring you all do know that he really isn't a goal scorer. He's a grinder and his style of play is exactly like Gordon and Bradley. But Clark is also very physical, lays down the hits, and fights too! The Caps need guys like that. Ovechkin can hit, but cannot fight. Players will always try to run at Ovechkin and who will be there to defend him other than Brashear?

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | January 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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